Despite being mastered by the widely-respected Steve Hoffman, the three volume Only In The 80's series is largely overlooked if not downright ignored by fans and collectors of Eighties music. Originally released in 1995, the series was re-released in 1999 via Big Ear Music and can still be had relatively inexpensively with little effort. Each of the discs contains 12 tracks though the duration of each disc varies, though none of them tops an hour.
The Romantics (above) kick off Volume One (shown at top of the post) which features a few pop hits, some KROQ New Wave staples and closes with Toni Basil's "Mickey" and Weird Al Yankovic's "Ricky" (below), his creative send-up of the former track. Allmusic critic Heather Phares calls this one "an otherwise standard '80s compilation." This is the shortest of the three discs, coming in just under forty minutes.
Volume Two is the longest disc in the series at fifty-five minutes with a somewhat more diverse playlist including R&B hits from the Pointer Sisters and Earth, Wind & Fire while still featuring certified pop hits and New Wave favorites. The cover art for all volumes is totally lame, fer shure fer shure. HERC's favorite track from Volume Two is Wall Of Voodoo's "Mexican Radio" (below).
The final volume in the series was more of the same song selection-wise, prompting Ms. Phares to proclaim both Volume Two and Volume Three a "standard-issue '80s collection." The disc clocks in at 47:42 and ends with perhaps a prophetic potential buyers beware title from Richard Marx: "Should've Known Better".