1981 may not seem to be the most memorable year in rock history, but, in hindsight, the ratio of great bands all occupying the Earth at the same time was pretty impressive. Perhaps the most singular collection of noteworthy “new wave” acts can be found on Urgh! A Music War, a movie that was comprised of performances from the likes of The Police, Devo, Oingo Boingo, Joan Jett, Pere Ubu and others.

The accompanying soundtrack album is amazingly solid and, despite the diversity on display here, not at all lacking in continuity.

The CD, long out-of-print, saw more than a few noteworthy acts dropped from the original 2-LP set, including stellar performances by Athletico Spizz (who contributed one of my personal fave tracks, “Where’s Captain Kirk?”), Toyah Wilcox, and UB40. It does a credible job, however, of collecting some of the best of punk, new wave, reggae, and synth-pop/techno acts of the time. All tracks listed below are available to DONATE TO CHARITY SLICE readers.

Track listing:

1. Driven To Tears – The Police
2. Back In Flesh – Wall Of Voodoo
3. Enola Gay – Orchestral Manoeuvres
4. Ain’t This The Life – Oingo Boingo
5. Respectable Street – XTC
6. We Got The Beat – Go Go’s
7. Total Eclipse – Klaus Nomi
8. Foolish I Know – Jools Holland
9. Ku Klux Klan – Steel Pulse
10. Uncontrollable Urge – Devo
11. Puppet, The – Echo & The Bunnymen
12. Tear It Up – The Cramps
13. Bad Reputation – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
14. Birdies – Pere Ubu
15. Down In The Park – Gary Numan
16. Shadow-line – The Fleshtones
17. He’d Send In The Army – Gang Of Four
18. Homicide – 999
19. Beyond And Back – X
20. Model Worker – Magazine
21. Sign Of The Cross – Skafish