Agree or disagree, this is it!  The all time top 30 albums.  The best musical projects ever conceived.  We've often heard the great classics like Elton John's "Yellow Brick Road", The Beatles' "Abbey Road", or The Eagles' "Hotel California".  After listening to a few thousand albums over the last twenty years, these albums do quite well.  If I was asked to take a selection of albums to a secluded island, then the list below would be my favourite all time top 30.

Electric Light Orchestra
Released September 1981
Jet  -  462834-2

RATING 100%+

Electric Light Orchestra where formed in 1970, from the remnants of the sixties group The Move.  Through out the seventies, they blazed the charts with landmark albums, such as "A New World Record", "Out of the Blue", "Discovery", and their early eighties platinum piece, "Xanadu".  In 1981, the Jeff Lynne Orchestral Experience reached it's peak with the album "TIME"

This album was released during an era, when the seventies studio production sound started to merge, into the synth pop sound of the early eighties.  Lynne presents this change with a theme of space and time.  In 1981 this album came across with a futuristic feel.  The present seems to throw a whole new prospective on the album, when listening to the lyrics.  Many of the tracks describe how once they were wild imaginations, on what the 21st century would bring.

The album opens with a surrounding orchestral prologue, which leads into the first track entitled "Twilight". Other tracks I enjoyed very much included "Ticket to the moon", "The way life's meant to be", "Rain is falling", "From the end of the world", "The lights go down", "Here is the news", "21st century man", and the top five hit "Hold on tight", which charted in August of 1981.

I just couldn't imagine my music collection without this CD.   This would have to be my all time favourite album.

Super Trouper
Released September 1980
Polydor  -  800 023-2

RATING 100%+

Abba are well known for their success in the 1970's.  Super Trouper displays Abba at their audio best.  Tracks include "Super trouper", "The winner takes it all", "On and on and on", "andante, andante", "Me and I", "Our last summer", "The piper", "Lay all your love on me", "The way old friends do" and "Happy new year". 

Every time I've played this disc, I've never skipped a track.  These were the days when you bought an album and every track sounded excellent.

Various Artists
Xanadu  - Motion Picture Soundtrack
Released July 1980
Jet  -  465054

RATING 100%+

A stunning showcase of production work from Jeff Lynne and John Farrar.  Just like Abba's Super Trouper, Xanadu was an album with a lot to offer, with many hits from Electric Light Orchestra and Olivia Newton John. 

Olivia gave us "Magic", "Suspended in time", "Suddenly" with Cliff Richard, and the albums best offering "Xanadu".  Olivia in combination with The Tubes, swirled together the 1940's cabaret sound of the Andrews Sisters Song "Forget about the Blues", with the electrifying early eighties sound of "Dancin", performed by the Tubes.  The mix Jells like dynamite and gives both tracks a whole new sparkle.  Jeff Lynne's contribution gave this album it's unique sound, that makes this soundtrack an unforgettable classic.  Tracks like "It's alive", "I'm alive", "Don't walk away", and  "All around the world" were recorded by Electric Light Orchestra.

If I could only take ten albums to a desert island, this would be one of them

The Rockmelons
Tales of the city
Released July 1987
True Tone / EMI Records  -  CDP 790297-2

RATING 100%+

80's Techno-Pop has never sounded so good as this album.  I am a BIG BIG Fan of this style of music as some of my favourite artists include Pseudo Echo, Bananarama, Rick Astley, Madonna (early years), Irene Cara and the list goes on. 

Tales of the City features both Peter Blakeley and Wendy Matthews at their finest.  Both simply went down hill after their departure from this group, particularly Wendy.  From the opening, this masterpiece catches us with the electric rhythms of "New groove".   The perpetual dance flavour keeps our legs moving with "Rhymes", "Jump", "Thief", "What's it gonna be", "Boogie-tron", "Dreams in the empty city", "Get back on the groove", and "Money talks".  At the time of release, the album was sold with an extra EP called "six on the floor".  The EP featured an extended six-track dance mix of their popular singles.

Today many record shops have hundreds of those dance compilations sitting on rows of racks.  Nothing ever can come close to this one.

Rick Astley
When ever you need somebody
Released October 1987
RCA  -  VPCD 7625

RATING 100%+

Unfortunately at the time of release, Rick Astley was tagged as a mimed singer, due to the attachment to Stock Aiken and Waterman. 

From the first day of this albums release, I always believed that this performer had talent.  He lived up to his true standard, when he performed live in London in 1991, promoting his then album "Free"

When ever you need somebody was another great techno-pop experience.  The album kicks in immediately with his biggest hit "Never gonna give you up", and follows through nicely with more great tracks.  Other brilliant cuts from this album include "Whenever you need somebody", "Together forever", "It would take a strong, strong man", "Don't say good-bye girl", "No more looking for love", "You move me", and the old Nat King Cole hit "When I fall in love".  The best version I've ever heard.

I don't care what others think, this guy's got true talent.

Irene Cara
What a feeling
Released November 1983
Epic Records  -  CDEPC 25730

RATING 100%+

Once again, it's another trip through 80's techno-pop.  I remember wearing out my old vinyl version, I bought in 1983. Buying the CD version in 1987 revived the same rhythmic thumping euphoria.

With the driving power of Giorgio Moroder's production, "What a Feeling" spawned four top charting singles in the Australian Charts.  June 1983 saw the appearance of the #1 single "What a feeling", followed by her #5 hit in December 1983, "Why me".  April 1984 came with "The dream (hold on to your dream)" which was then followed by "breakdance" in June.  I love the song "Talk to much".  "Romance 83/84" keeps the mid-eighties rhythm swinging - just listen to those lyrics.  It was rather unfortunate to see that the album reached a modest #40 in Mid January 1984.  With the production work of Giorgio Moroder, I expected the album to sell at the same level as Donna Summer's earlier material, as this too was produced by Moroder.

This album was peddle to the metal all the way--no fill in here!

Motion Picture Soundtrack
Released May 1983
Casablanca  -  811 492-2

RATING 100%+

Pure early 80's dance--I just can't get enough of this one.

This album signature hit was Irene Cara's "What a feeling".  This record cracked up the dance temperature with other tracks such as "He's a dream" and "Man hunt".  Laura Branigan does "Imagination", Donna Summer plays "Romeo (he's my boy)" and my favourite off this one is "Lady lady lady" by Joe Esposito.  Love songs don't come better then this. Other cuts include the September 1983 top 10 hit "Maniac" by Michael Sembello and Kim Carnes "Where the heart is".  This album contains a lot of Giorgio Moroder work, which is mainly why I originally bought the vinyl equivalent.

A repertoire of ten brilliant tracks with a timeless longevity.

Bucks Fizz
Golden Days
Released June 1993
Pickwick Records  -  United Kingdom
PWKS 4125

RATING 100%+

The British group Bucks Fizz formed in London during 1981, and won the Eurovision Song Contest that year with their world wide hit "Making your mind up". This track went to #1 in early July that year and set the scene for their chart on-slaught.  They followed up with more hits and two more AMS top 20 #1's.  Their next hit was "A piece of the action" in September 1981  -  "Land of make believe" #1 in January 1982.  Other big hits included "Now those days are gone", "My camera never lies" (top 5 in June 1982), "London town", "I hear talk", "You and your heart so blue", and many others. 

This group mainly got their success in Europe.  Many European groups suffered poor sales in Australia, due to insignificant air-play. This is still a major downfall of Australian Commercial Radio. 

When taking into consideration their huge success in Europe, Bucks Fizz played a Big presence on the AMS top 20 Charts.  They had moderate success on the Australian Music Report top 100, with their biggest hit "making your mind up". (#6 in June 1981) 

In the early 1990's, It was great to see a record label like Pickwick, releasing obscure retro material.  This album has all their hits on it.  Great early 80's euro pop sound through this entire disc. 

Rick Astley
Hold me in your arms
Released September 1988
RCA  -  VPCD 6800

RATING 100%+

Rick never lost any of his punch with his second album, "Hold me in your arms".  The first single of this album "ain't to proud to beg" went top 3 in October 1988, on the AMS top 20.  This album also contained the hits "take me to your heart", "She wants to dance with me", and features other monster album tracks, such as "Giving up on love", "Dial my number", "hold me in your arms", "Till then (time stands still", and "I don't wanna loose you" 

This disc comes across with a good consistency of dance hits and love ballads.

The Cars
Greatest hits
Released September 1985
Elektra  -  960 464


Rick Ocasek and Benjamin Ore are some of the finest song writers and when it comes to ROCK, they really know how to ROLL me over.  WOW! Nothing fishy here. 

The best cut is "Tonight she comes", which got to #1 in September 1985. (AMS top 20 Singles Chart)  This CD catches most of their great hits "My best friends girl", "Just what I needed", "Let's go", "Touch and go", "Shake it up", "Let the good times roll", "You might think", "Magic", "Drive", and "I'm not the one", which went top 5 in January 1986. 

I was somewhat disappointed, that the selection missed the tracks "Hello" and "Why can't I have you", but then I bought the Heartbeat City album; which kind of solved that one.  It also slipped up on the Benjamin Orr track "it's all I can do".   

Besides not having those three tracks, the rest is nothing short of amazing, from start to finish.

All chart information is obtained from the Australian Music Report top 100 and Australia's Music Service Weekly top 20 Singles charts.

#11  -  Michael Jackson  -  Thriller  -  Epic  -  December 1982
#12  -  Donna Summer  -  Summer  -  Mercury  -  July 1982
#13  -  Donna Summer  -  Dance Collection  -  Casablanca  -  July 1987
#14  -  Abba  -  Arrival  -  Polydor  -  August 1976
#15  -  Sharon O'Neil  -  Foreign Affair  -  Columbia  -  May 1983
#16  -  Elton John  -  Too low for zero  -  Rocket  -  July 1983
#17  -  Wham!  -  The Final  -  Epic Records  -  October 1986
#18  -  Roxette  -  Look Sharp  -  EMI Records  -  June 1989
#19  -  ELO  -  Discovery -  CBS  -  June 1979
#20  -  Abba  -  Abba  -  Polydor  -  June 1975
#21  -  Pseudo Echo  -  Love and Adventure  -  EMI  -  January 1986
#22  -  Sherbet  -  The Hits 1969--1984  -  Festival  -  September 1988
#23  -  Cliff Richard  -  Private collection 1979-1988  -  EMI  -  July 1989
#24  -  Paula  Abdul  -  Forever your girl  -  Virgin  -  May 1989
#25  -  Abba  -  The Album  -  Polydor  -  January 1978
#26  -  ELO  -  A New World Record  -  Jet Records  -  December 1976
#27  -  Dire Straits -  Brothers in Arms  -  Mercury  -  March 1985
#28  -  Human League -  Greatest Hits  -  Virgin  -  October 1988
#29  -  Devo -  New Traditionalists   -  Warner  -  January 1982
#30  -  Cathy Dennis  -  Move to this  -  Polydor  -  February 1991

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