[50/50] Album #46: “Just Say Yes Terday”

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Album #46: “Just Say Yes Terday (Vol. VI of Just Say Yes)” — Sire Records/Various Artists (1992)

55352149The sampler. The mix-tape. The compilation. Hell, just say it: “New from K-Tel!”

Sometimes the best album is nothing more than a collection of singles. Sometimes they are carefully constructed with the highest of aesthetic and historical intentions (such as Rhino Records’ seminal New Wave collection “Just Can’t Get Enough”) — but most are thrown together just to make a quick buck (the aforementioned K-Tel, and their bastard demon seed “Now That’s What I Call Music?!”). Every record company puts out compilations as well, usually to hand out as swag, and sometimes — like Sire Records did in the late ’80s and early ’90s — to sell directly to the public.

The Just Say Yes series drew heavily on Sire’s new wave and alternative bands, and for Vol. IV they dove back into their archives to resurrect The Dead Boys and The Undertones, as well as unearth such gems as M (“Pop Muzik”) and Madness (“One Step Beyond”). The real revelation though, was a pair of ’70s songs I’d never heard of before: “Warm Leatherette” by The Normal, and “Ca Plane Pour Moi” by Plastic Bertrand. I still can’t get enough of them. In fact I’m playing both, at the same time, as I write this.

Many of the singles on this sampler were also included in the Rhino series — and I briefly considered picking one of its 15 volumes for “the compilation album” — but “Just Say Yes Terday” was a birthday gift from my brother, and although he and I have exchanged a few mix CDs over the years (at least 50 at last count), this is the one commercial collection I keep returning to.

And the countdown continues: https://japeland.wordpress.com/5050-top-50-albums/

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