Pros: 10 great songs that represent one year.
Cons: Everyone might have different ideas on the best of 1988
Lately I have been trying to get songs from the 80's to add to my collection so when I saw this (along with Billboard Hits 1987) I decided to pick it up and see if I like the songs as much as I remembered. Some of them I actually didn't remember at all till I heard them. From Terrence Trent D'Arby to Richard Marx to Bobby McFerrin some songs bring back memories crisp and clear, others I only have a foggy recollection of.
Kicking off this stroll down 1988 is Terrance Trent D'Arby's funk song" Wishing Well. This song holds up fairly decently and I really enjoy the soulful vocals and like this song much better now than I did in my more sanitized youth. He also did another hit I remmber called "Sign Your Name". He has a pretty interesting style but I used to get his songs confused with Lenny Kravitz and Maxi Priest when I was younger. This was a nice song to be included for 1988.
"Shattered Dreams" is a synthesized slice of dreamy "modern" rock that I didn't really like when I originally heard it. That type of music didn't do much for me but as in the case of the previous song I like it better now. The lead singer of Johnny Hates Jazz has a very soothing voice and the keyboard writing is really interesting. This is a song I didn't have in my collection previously and since I certainly won't be rushing to buy a Johnny Hates Jazz album anytime soon this was an economical song to have on the album.
"Season Change" by Expose is one of my all time favorite songs and I love hearing this song. This song shows its age with its simplistic synth style but its gorgeous all the same. I feel like they always put a lot of feeling in their songs and for that reason their music is timeless to me. I already had this song on Expose's greatest hits but it doesn't bother me to have it again.
"Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car" reminds me of one of my favorite all time 80's movies "License to Drive". This song has some great horn arrangements and Billy Ocean has a great, powerful voice. The lyrics aren't the deepest I ever heard but they are fun and the song is energy filled. Yet another great song from the collection that I didn't have previously.
"Anything For You" is a classic Gloria Estefan ballad that is tender, sweet and I love this song. I actually don't have the album this was on so this was a real deciding factor for making 1988 a year singled out in my collection. Estefan has always displayed aching vulnerability in her ballads and this song is a prime example of the power of her music.
I can't imagine there is too many people in this world who doesn't have some type of memory to "Hold On To The Nights." Even though I am a little young to link a romantic memory to this song that HAPPENED in 1998 many time later in my adult life this song has been very appropriate. This is definitely one of Richard Marx's best.
Next we have the strange and ecclectic, yet addictive "Wild Wild West" by Escape Club. I am not sure why I like this song. I don't remember any other song by them but this song was huge when I was a kid. Actually, I am not sure why anyone likes this song.
"The Flame" is a gorgeous song that I have actually come to find a lot of meaning in. Done by Cheap Trick this song is actually one of the few songs by this group I like. I saw something on VH1 that the band did not want to do this song. Its a beautiful song though and I am glad it is on this collection.
"Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley" is a song I forgot existed until I heard the remake for the movie Reality Bites. I really like this song even though it definitely embodies the 80's synth song and echo-enhanced back-up vocals of the day.
Finally, we have the classic "Don't Worry Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin. Filled with a happy sound, this song was the feel good song of that summer. It also was included on the Cocktail soundtrack. I have always liked this song.
This is a great collection of 80's hits that bring back the earlier years of my life and some of the first songs that made me enjoy music. Many other songs could have easily been interchanged and I definitely would not call this CD comprehensive but its cheap, fun and has some songs you might have forgotten about.