It might seem early to be reviewing a New Year’s CD, but Capitol/EMI has already released some Christmas and New Year titles, so that must be Jack Frost who’s been nipping at my nose.
Count Down to the New Year is a must-have compilation filled with great songs (except one, more on that later) for partying. This is the kind of music that the louder you play it, the better the party will be.
With songs covering the last several decades and a variety of styles, Count Down to the New Year makes for the ideal party. Hate the 80’s? When this song is over, you’ll be in another decade. Hate Snoop Dogg (how could you?)? Chill, the Baha Men are up next (and no, they’re not letting the dogs out).
There are twenty songs on Count Down to the New Year, and the intent is clear with the first cut, “Rock and Roll All Nite” by Poison. For those who are celebratory-impaired, there are instructions for “Your New Year’s Countdown Party.”
Count Down to the New Year also includes “Mony Mony (Live)” by Billy Idol; “The Reflex,” Duran Duran, “U Can’t Touch This,” MC Hammer; “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” A Taste of Honey; “Atomic Dog,” George Clinton; “Heart of Glass,” Blondie; “Auld Lang Syne,” The Beach Boys; “Get It On (Bang a Gong),” Power Station; “My Sharona,” The Knack; “We Got the Beat,” The Go-Go’s; “(Keep Feeling) Fascination,” The Human League; “Unbelievable,” EMF; “Catch Me I’m Falling,” Pretty Poison; “Beautiful,” Snoop Dogg, featuring Pharrell and Uncle Charlie Wilson; “Move It Like This,” Baha Men; “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia),” Us3 featuring Rahsaan and Gerard Presencer; “Right Here, Right Now,” Jesus Jones; “Everybody Wants You,” Billy Squier; and “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” Simple Minds. If the party’s really good, skip that last one — nobody’s going to remember anything. (Okay, don’t skip it; it’s a great song.)
Now, if you don’t know how to party, you are instructed to start the CD at the stroke of 11:30 p.m., New Year’s Eve. When Blondie is finished with “Heart of Glass,” hit the pause button ‘cause it’s time for the countdown. At the stroke of midnight, toot horns, throw streamers, kiss anyone who’ll let you, and hit “Play,” to hear The Beach Boys´ “Auld Lang Syne,” the one song — ironically — that this collection could have done without. It’s sappily, queasily saccharine (can you tell I’ve never like it?) and I’d rather hear Guy Lombardo’s Orchestra or the drunk down the street.
Once “Auld Lang Syne” has played, Power Station will get the good times going again with “Get It On (Bang a Gong),” and everyone can get down to serious partying. Happy New Year!
Bottom Line: Would I buy Count Down to the New Year? Yes, but I’d always skip The Beach Boys cut.