"Compilation Reviews"

by Al Slavicsky

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Mojo Records
Duran Duran was the supergroup of the 1980s. This is the 1990s, and various punk, ska, and alternative artists are taking their stabs at the pop icons' songs. Highlights on the release include Goldfinger's rendition of "Rio" interluded with parts of The Monkees' "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone" and Dio's "Rainbow in the Dark" and becomes a tribute to Ronnie James Dio; the warped mach nine version of "A View to a Kill" by GOB; the odd arrangement of "Girls on Film" by The Wesley Willis Fiasco; and the most shocking cover of "Ordinary World" done by River Fenix -- go figure. Fifteen tracks to piss off the retro time warped groups around the world. A+.


Spider Club Music
If you need to get yourself into a violent rage, then slam yourself silly for this compilation. Contains a who's who of today's underground punk-hardcore movement -- Ill Repute, The Freeze, Jughead's Revenge, Blank 77, White Kaps, Staalag, Divisia, Apocalypse Hoboken, Boba Fett Youth, Litmus Green, Bristle, Damnation, Sex Offenders, Drunk In Public, National Guard, The Force, Useless Intent, ifarm, Bickley, Rubberneck, 12 Inch Rulers, and DYF. 27 tracks with the average time around two minutes makes this one understand how fast and short these songs are. Worth spending some cash on.

NOTE: Due to space constraints, the following reviews were not included in the print edition of GEOFF WILBUR'S RENEGADE NEWSLETTER. These reviews are only available here in the online edition.


Lookout Records
Lookout Records has put out another great sampler of punk music. This highlights all the great music which the label has put out during 1997. Contains all the great bands which the label put out, such as Pansy Division, Black Fork, Go Nuts, Queers, Crumbs, Avail, The Hi-Fives, Parasites, and more for a total of 23 punk rock tunes, which makes you want to go search for full lengths of these bands. 1997 may be gone, but this sampler shines on.


Hollywood Records
What would you get when you combine some of today's best alternative modern rock performers and the big band sound of the late 1940s/early 1950s? You get LOUNGE-A-PALOOZA. This release has Ben Folds Five doing a swing version of the Flaming Lips' "She Don't Use Jelly"; Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme (Steve & Eydie) doing Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" in a way in which your mother and father might actually enjoy the song; Edwyn Collins doing "Witchcraft" a la Frank Sinatra; and more. But the best song is Poe doing the haunting "A Rose is a Rose," which is very dramatic and breathtaking yet sad. Overall, it brings a new meaning to bachelor pad music.


Sony Wonder
A compilation which brings you back into the golden era of rock and roll -- the 1950s. Most of today's modern generation remember HAPPY DAYS and its short-lived spin-off JOANIE LOVES CHACHI, which is what the compilation is for. Contains the HAPPY DAYS theme, which is the only track from the '70s. The rest is what you will hear on any good oldies radio station -- "Book of Love," "The Great Pretender," "Goodnight, Sweetheart," "Bye Bye Love," "Sixteen Candles," "At the Hop," "I Wonder Why," "Get a Job," "All I Have to Do is Dream," "Earth Angel, Will You Be Mine," and "Come Go With Me." Remastered in pure digital bliss. Trivia question: Name the other two spin-offs of HAPPY DAYS. LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY and, surprise!, MORK AND MINDY.


Mercury Records
British humor has never really caught on to the American public. But this comedy has made some fans with its movie and recent reruns on PBS. This soundtrack has wide ranging listener appeal, for there is something here for all people. OMC does a great rendition of Randy Newman's "I Love LA," Wet Wet Wet covers The Beatles' "Yesterday," Alshia's Attic redoes The Shirlies' "He's a Rebel," Susanna Hoffs (ex-Bangles) takes her stab at "Stuck in the Middle With You," and Mr. Bean and Smear Campaign (featuring ex-Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson) rocks out on their cover of Alice Cooper's "Elected." These are only a few of the gems on this release, plus there are sound bites from the movie and other tunes. The British are coming, and Mr. Bean heads the new revolution.

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