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4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • ASIN: B001BGGIY4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,801,853 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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I bought this album on vinyl in 1982 or so. It ran its course and the only album track I could remember, apart from Safety Dance, was Ban the Game, which only runs for a minute or so. I had never heard Folk of the Eighties, the second album appended to this CD. In fact, I didn't even know they had released a second album. Sandwiched between the two long-players is their first single, Antarctica. Now, 20-odd years later, what to make of these? ...
... Quite a lot, as it happens. Rhythm of Youth has some great songs that instantly came back to me as they played through. Living in China is very un-PC by today's standards but bubbles along on an adrenaline-charged dance beat. I Got the Message and Ideas for Walls are the other stand-out tracks, along with Safety Dance of course, but the album is largely quite consistent. Its mostly electronic but, if you listen closely, they do use a bit of guitar and some acoustic percussion to fill out the sound.
Folk of the Eighties is less consistent but has some very good songs on it. The stand-out here is "Where Do the Boys Go" which is harder edged and more energetic than any of their other songs. It deserves to have been as well known as Safety Dance, but sadly languishes here as an album track. The rest of this album see them exploring a little more and the results are largely worthwhile. In a few places it reminds me of Pete Shelley's solo albums of the same period [Homosapien and XL-1], although it is generally a little less dense.
I never knew this stuff had been released on CD and I had to pay the same kind of outrageous prices being asked now. All I can say is that you get two full albums, plus an old single, on one CD. That makes it seem like decent value, even before you spend the money. Once you spin the disc a few times, I'm sure you will feel that it was money very well spent [at least until someone comes along and remasters it at a decent price].
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I LOVE Men Without Hats. I first got into them in High School when I found the Rhythm of Youth in tape form for a doller at a truck stop. I listened to it all the time (still listen occasionally, just for kicks). When I found out this had been produced I hurried up and ordered it. To my surprise, BONUS!!! Folk of the 80's Part III had been included! I was overjoyed, having never gotten to hear the album. Rhythm of Youth has the ever-popular Safty Dance that nearly everyone knows on it. Unlike my tape, however, the CD doesn't contain the extended version of the song. (Fortunately, I own the Collection CD, which does contain the extended version, so I wasn't so ticked) Other songs from the Rhythm side that rule include: I Like, I Got the Message, Ideas for Walls, and Things in My Life. The second half is Folk of the 80's Part III (with Rhythm being pt 2). The standout tracks here are the semi-title song Folk of the 80's, Where Do the Boys Go?, I Know Their Names, and No Dancing, which is somewhat melancholy after the happiness contained within Safety Dance. But, don't get me wrong, both of these albums are excellent and definatly recommended if you like music that you can dance to (if you want :) and music that just makes you feel good.
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MwH is famous for the simple but yet very harmonic synthesizer-melodies that go straight to your tongue and your fet. It's not just good mood pop, but even a little bit bad mood electro-theme - a style never copied after that imho.

And now I found: Great! I never knew there's the two top albums altogether in one CD. This is the top pick for whoever is searching the top hits of MwH.
Forget about those shabby best of rips.

BUT: This one is taken from analog sources. The sound is ... whatshallIsay ... shady. If you've got the old vinyls and some great record player and pre-amplifier you probably got a better source, but otherwise this is the best you can get!
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