You know, sometimes I think this might be the greatest pure pop album of all time - then I remember The Beatles once existed.
So alright then, this is the greatest 'Mega-hit Blockbuster' album of all time, the type from which half the songs were huge hits, and this album was heard everywhere for about a year and a half. It puts Thriller
, Purple Rain
, Born in the USA
, and er - Hysteria
, all in their place. Practically a Greatest Hits
album of all-new material, the half of these songs that weren't hits could just as easily have been, if there wasn't some limit to hits-per-album.
Where in the world to begin? Okay, howsabout the beginning - the telephone ring setting the listener up for the powerful rocker "Hanging On The Telephone" - when Debbie Harry trills I can't control myself
- any heterosexual male whose libido doesn't shoot up ... well. On the next cut, "One Way Or Another", Harry pushes her newfound agressive sexuality to the limit by chattering in the voice of what we'd now refer to as a stalker - and when the lights are all down I will drive by your house
- as if she ever needed to stalk any man.
As a bleached blonde who grew up idolizing Marilyn Monroe, Harry coldly emotes "Fade Away (and Radiate)" with utmost sincerity and detachment, in a tale of fan worship and blurring of reality. Harry makes a midnight curfew sound like a life or death matter (literally: it's 11:59 and I want to stay alive
), Chris Stein growls that he's your dog but not your pet, the mix brings Burke's powerful drumming to the fore, and producer Mike Chapman reins the band in for a tight bright, shiny explosive powerhouse of sound that's relentlessly accomplished and professional, and for once all the better for it.
by Reviewer: Creative Noise
(blogging at Creative Noise