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CD Review: Trevor Horn and Friends

Slaves to the Rhythm (Wienerworld/MVD)


Together for one night only: Belle & Sebastian with orchestra, joined by Grace Jones, Yes, Seal, ABC, Lisa Stansfield and more including cameos by folks like Tom Jones via remote video, plus appearances by Prince Charles and the Royal Family. The link connecting this baffling roster? Producer Trevor Horn, one of the music industry's most defining and influential figures since his '80s heyday. This DVD preserves a 2004 Prince's Trust benefit concert in tribute to Horn.  

Starting with "Video Killed the Radio Star" by Horn's first band the Buggles, this enjoyable, unabashedly nostalgic 170-minute concert looks and sounds as massive and slick as the albums that Horn produced. In the finest, most spectacular live treatments they'll likely ever get, here are some of the most unforgettable songs of the '80s. As executed live with full orchestra, the classic Art of Noise track "Close (to the Edit)" is downright goosebump-inducing. The similarly lavish performance of "Dr. Mabuse" by Propaganda (a cult hit in the U.S.) is an exhilarating treat. And while some hardcore prog-rockers may despise Yes' 90125 era as Top 40 bubblegum, "Owner of a Lonely Heart" is a perfect, ultra-catchy, quintessentially 1980s pop song. — Michael David Toth

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