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 Posted:   Feb 18, 2024 - 7:46 AM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

I have compiled a Top 20 list of my favourite "various artists" albums.

(I have not included soundtrack albums, as those are a genre of its own for me.)

Please give us your list!

Here is mine:

1. APOLLO (1993)
Classic from Belgian record label R&S Records, or rather their ambient division Apollo. Tracks by the likes of Electrotete, David Morley, Aphex Twin, Golden Girls and Biosphere. Totally immersive.

2. MORE THAN A CHILLING (1994)
Ambient house compilation from Israeli label Kasbah Records. William Orbit, Sven Vath, Robert Leiner, David Morley, Electrotete, Sun Electric, The Grid, Aphex Twin, Future Sound Of London...simply an amazing track list.

3. CHERRY STARS COLLIDE (2023)
Four discs of dreampop, shoegaze and ethereal rock from 1986-1995. Talk Talk, Lush, Cranes, Chapterhouse, Bel Canto, Slowdive, All About Eve... Good value for money.

4. TRANCE EUROPE EXPRESS (1993)
Another classic 90s house music collection. 2CD-set featuring Orbital, System 7, Cosmic Baby, The Source, The Orb, Sabres Of Paradise... 192-page book included.

5. COME TOGETHER (2023)
Four discs of adventures from the indie dancefloor 1989-1992. Intastella, Hypnotone, 808 State, Electronic, The Beloved, Northside, The Shamen, Jesus Jones, Happy Mondays...

6. THE BEST OF HEMDALE (1991)
Previously unreleased music from movies AT CLOSE RANGE by Patrick Leonard and BEST SELLER by Jay Ferguson make this collection gold. Also tracks from Tangerine Dream's MIRACLE MILE plus much more from the Hemdale film company.

7. THE HYPERCYCLE VEGETARIAN PICNIC (1994)
Intriguing (and rare) Dutch house/ambient compilation from the Hypercycle label. Particularly interesting are the tracks by First Contact.

8. THE WORLD OF PRIVATE MUSIC VOL. 2 (1987)
Splendid tracks in the "New Age" genre from artists like Patrick O'Hearn, Yanni, Jerry Goodman, Azuma and Eddie Jobson. Label ran by Peter Baumann, ex-Tangerine Dream.

9. BEZ'S MADCHESTER ANTHEMS (2006)
Happy Mondays' own Bez with a double-album featuring "selected tunes from back in the day". New Order, Utah Saints, Orbital, Together, The Cure...and of course Happy Mondays.

10. CELESTIAL JOURNEY (1996)
High-quality New Age/ambient set from Rising Star Records. Christopher Franke, Jonn Serrie, Suzanne Ciani, Michael Stearns, Steve Roach, Patrick O'Hearn and more.

11. MUSIC FOR DREAMS (1995)
2CD-set from Denmark. Lots of enjoyable (and varied!) music from the likes of Deep Forest, Megabyte, Stina Nordenstam, Peter Gabriel, Jam & Spoon, Enigma and Coldcut.

12. NOW DANCE 903 (1990)
I still remember the joy of finding Together's "Hardcore Uproar" on this 2LP-collection back in 1990. The 12" version running for 6:20 is by far the best track on the album. There was even a picture of the two members of the band, but also the sad news that member Jonathan Donaghy had recently died.

13. T23 (1988)
This record includes music from the T23-label from Kristiansand, Norway. The only place where you can find "Going Down" by Jan Bang/Harald Hempel and the remix of "When The Rain Comes" by Woodlands.

14. THE ARTFUL BALANCE COLLECTION VOL. 1 (1986)
Interesting 80s smooth jazz compilation from US label Artful Balance, featuring Dreamstreet, Vince DiCola, Jeremy Lubbock and Randy Waldman.

15. THE OFFICIAL MUSIC OF THE 1984 GAMES (1984)
This record mostly features instrumental music from artists like Toto, Foreigner, Bill Conti, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones and Bob James, from the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

16. PLANET ORIGO (2007)
The only compilation-album from the great Norwegian electronic/New Age-label Origo Sound, including Sverre Knut Johansen, Karsten Brustad, Current, Green Isac and Dystopia. Rights-issues prevented Biosphere and Erik Wøllo to appear.

17. MUSIC FROM THE FILMS OF RIDLEY SCOTT (2013)
BSX Records released this album of re-recorded music from Scott's films, like BLADE RUNNER, LEGEND, BLACK RAIN, THELMA & LOUISE, 1492, WHITE SQUALL and GLADIATOR.

18. THE DIRECTOR'S CUT - MUSIC FROM THE FILMS OF MICHAEL MANN (2007)
There are many musical highlights from the films of Michael Mann, by artists like Jan Hammer, Shriekback, Blue Foundation, Clannad, Jan Garbarek, Moby and Terje Rypdal. Missed a track by Tangerine Dream though.

19. APOLLO 2 - THE DIVINE COMPILATION (1995)
The follow-up to 1993's Apollo, this time a 2CD-set. Not quite as strong as the first, but still several highlights from Global Communication, Thomas Fehlmann, Robert Leiner and Aedena Cycle.

20. BEHIND THE EYE - EYE Q COMPILATION VOL. 1 (1994)
Album from the German Eye Q-label run by Sven Vath. Mostly unknown artists in the trance-genre. Energy 52 may be the most known artist.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 18, 2024 - 1:19 PM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

There was a series of CDs on Rhino Records in the 1990s called "Have a Nice Day" which was a collection of "one hit wonders" from the 1970s that I really enjoyed...

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 19, 2024 - 4:14 AM   
 By:   Indy1981   (Member)

I still listen to Rhino's "Soul Hits of the '70s: Didn't it Blow Your Mind" series (20 volumes).


https://www.discogs.com/label/776765-Soul-Hits-Of-The-70s-Didnt-It-Blow-Your-Mind!?page=1

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 19, 2024 - 6:43 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

What a huge topic, even if you exclude "songtracks" (aka Various Artists soundtracks) -- of which I have quite a few favs.

I don't listen much to these albums anymore, but I have a bunch from my chilldhood/teenage/formative years that I sometimes put on for nostalgia's sake. Some of these were on cassettes (copied or originals) -- not mixed tapes, but proper various artists albums. As I don't have a cassette player anymore, I tried to replicate these as Spotify playlists (best as I could, anyway, some songs weren't there). For example, IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME, ÅPEN LINJE MED STUTUM & OSVOLD, KASSETTAVISEN PÅ GANG 14, GET YOUR KICKS ON ROUTE 66.

Then I have a few on CD as well. There's one HiFi test CD from the 90s covering multiple genres that I actually recently used to test my new speakers. Then there's this odd compilation that I bought on sale in Grimstad in the 90s -- for no reason other than that it was cheap and that it had some oldypants favourites. There was a period I tried to sell it, but nobody wanted it, so now I'm stuck with it. That's OK, it's a fun disc:

https://www.discogs.com/release/13077172-Various-30-Years-Of-Rock-And-Fashion-Volume-1-1964-1978

Finally, I would also like to mention Christer Falck's excellent 5CD set of Norwegian rock and pop history, produced for NOPA. I got this for free at a NOPA event a few years ago, and it really covers our history well:

https://www.discogs.com/release/19852000-Various-NOPA-80-%C3%85r-1937-2017

I suppose those are some of my favs. I should point out that, in addition to songtracks and film music compilations, I've also excluded DJ set releases (like many Paul Oakenfold albums, for example), even if they include originals and remixes by a bunch of different artists.

I also have your no. 8, btw. I didn't like it for many years, but have come to appreciate it more now. Fortuitous that I didn't manage to sell it back then, I suppose.

 
 Posted:   Feb 19, 2024 - 10:49 AM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

I decided to put 3 film music compilations on the list, as those aren't ordinary soundtracks...

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 19, 2024 - 11:20 AM   
 By:   lars.blondeel   (Member)

Actually quite enjoying the 'Now Yearbook' series, especially between 80-88

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2024 - 9:55 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I forgot to mention the SYNTHESIZER GREATEST series of albums, which are - of course - my alltime favourite 'various artists' albums. Didn't even think about including them, as my mind was so geared towards rock/pop stuff. Although -- technically speaking -- they're all performed by Ed Starink, so ONE artist doing covers of various artists. Maybe that's a different category.

 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2024 - 12:59 PM   
 By:   Ny   (Member)

Back in those mid-90s I was buying up any Aphex Twin material I could find, and I ended up with some wild compilations. There is one I return to often - WASTED, part 1 of the best of Volume (they all had covers with fish on them). It has a lot of cool, iconic tracks from that era, also some rare ones, including one of my fav Autechre tracks that I was never able to find anywhere else. And it introduced me to Node, an awesome beat-less electronic outfit who make these moody, pulsing, twisting 8 or 9 minute tracks.

Then there's the compilations from Rough Trade, which is a record shop in London that specializes in independent music. Every year they'd release a 2 cd compilation of their favourite tracks from that year, and when I lived there I always picked it up just to hear new stuff. They also released cool 2cd genre sets, I still have the Electronica one and the Rock'n'Roll one, but the king of them all is their anniversary 4cd set, 25 Years of Rough Trade. Really good standard across all four discs.

And then there's Mixmag Records present Richie Hawtin, a live recorded minimal techno mix. It's very chill compared to a lot of his club gigs, and more suited to home listening. For me it's the only dj mix that has stood the test of time. I could say that about Hawtin's music in general.

 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2024 - 3:26 PM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

A couple I remember with real fondness, though don't listen to them now.

Virgin Venture - Music without Frontiers - where I first heard Stewart Copeland's Equalizer music, and lots of other stuff I fell in love with and had to buy.

Amberdelic Space - four CD set that was the first time I heard Hawkwind intentionally. A real gamut of electronic music from the 70's through The Orb.

Fun thread, thanks!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2024 - 4:56 PM   
 By:   Phil567   (Member)

My favorite various artists albums are two K-Tel albums: 22 Explosive Hits Vol. 2 and Juke Box Jive.

 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2024 - 5:52 AM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

A couple I remember with real fondness, though don't listen to them now.

Virgin Venture - Music without Frontiers - where I first heard Stewart Copeland's Equalizer music, and lots of other stuff I fell in love with and had to buy.

Amberdelic Space - four CD set that was the first time I heard Hawkwind intentionally. A real gamut of electronic music from the 70's through The Orb.

Fun thread, thanks!


Do you mean MUSIC TOO GOOD FOR WORDS re Copeland?

 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2024 - 9:18 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

No, FB, I don't know that one. It's this one:

Music Without Frontiers


https://www.discogs.com/release/3617666-Various-Music-Without-Frontiers-Venture-Music-Sampler-Vol-I

 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2024 - 10:50 AM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

No Copeland on that one though...

 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2024 - 12:00 PM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Well duh, I don't know how I missed that or mixed it up.

Um, it's still a good and eclectic collection (the one I pictured, I mean), even without Copeland.

The others I recall loving were the two NoSide collections I found at Tower in the 90's - Nordic folky samplers with Vasen and lots of others. Promoted in the USA in the late 90's/early 00's as "Cheaper than food!" as they cost $5 each - $2 on sale new.

 
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