• OTR: Laura Branigan - The Best of Branigan

    18 Dec 2008, 01:34 by warren33

    There was only one reason I bought this album: I needed a copy of "Self Control" for a Halloween mix I was making. I can't remember which record store I bought it in, but I do know that the chain no longer exists. I also ended up buying the disc new because trips to two other stores yielded squat in Laura Branigan CDs. Thankfully, it was on the discount rack...I think...

    The Best of Branigan was the first hits compilation of Laura Branigan's material. Released in 1995, two years after her final album, Over my Heart, this collection is probably the best album ever released under Branigan's name. A quick glance through her discography reveals a glut of albums with a couple of strong tracks (the label's "hit hopefuls," I call them) padded with filler. Mercifully, this compilation allows one to forgo wading through seven tepid albums just to get to the pop gems one really wants to listen to.

    And it is a very much pop record. …
  • OTR: Berlin - The Best of...1979-1988

    14 Mar 2008, 00:54 by warren33

    Berlin actually have four proper studio albums (their 1982 debut, Pleasure Victim is technically an EP), two of which are represented on The Best of Berlin 1979-1988, in addition to Pleasure Victim. The two albums represented are Love Life (1984) and Count Three & Pray (1986) - the records of their 1980s heyday. Voyeur (2002) and 4 Play (2005) were both released after VH1 tracked down members of the group for their short-lived series "Bands Reunited." I don't think anybody has actually heard the songs from their non-eighties releases...at least no one I know has.

    With Berlin, the 1980s are the way to go. It's funny that the time period they choose for this compilation is 1979-1988 since their earliest single - "A Matter of Time" - dates to 1980, not 1979. Meanwhile, the newest material on the disc is culled from Count Three & Pray, released in 1986. The only thing from 1988 here is the compilation itself, which incidentally features no new songs in order to…