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12" Compilations (past & present)

12" Compilations (past & present)

Postby xymox970 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:59 pm

Since I have started collecting CDs once again a couple of years ago, getting close to the 80s themed compilation marked was one of the first things on my mind.
After making sure of getting the essentials & the cheaper and readily available options of with an abundance of minor & bigger hits, I went into the 12" arena.

One of the first things I came across was the 12" 80s series ( These proved to be a real jackpot and still stand as one of my favorites to this day. Luckily I was able to get most of them in decent (used) condition. On the other hand - unfortunately, looks like I was just about too late with one of the biggest / most soughed after series - the so80s by Blank & Jones. Of course, some of the volumes and still easy to find, especially the ones starting with volume 6 and beyond (except for no.8), but its a different story when it comes to the first five volumes. Still trying to get my hand on those, although when I take a closer look at the tracklisting - for example at volume no5. - its a mystery to me why is this one still so valued when the track selection is not that great by any stretch of imagination. In fact, I can only think of one track that I really treasure there and that is Friends by Amii Stewart. The first four volumes are somewhat a different story.

The other compilation series that remains very popular is Ben Liebrands Grand 12"s. This doesnt cover the 80s exclusively, as we all know, but as some others, it has its advantages & drawbacks. The sound quality - the work that has been put into getting the most out of these to sound as good as possible is well known and documented. The same goes for so80s series as well.

The Razormaid series in a category for itself and I cannot even hope that I would get my hands of a decent number of these volumes in a fair amount of time.

There are others - for example the quite popular budget compilations like Twelve Inch Eighties that have their share of the market.

Retro-Active - Rare & Remixes (7 volumes) is another very interesting series, but quite controversial apparently because of the sound quality of the recordings.
I have not been able to test it for myself thusfar.

Classic Alternatives looks appetizing as well but doesnt easily come by outside of Canada & The US.

Dance Classics - The Pop Edition comes to mind as well, but after browsing through its many volumes, sounds like a bit of a hit & miss type of thing. The art of making a good quality free flowing 12" compilation with no expandable mixes doesnt look to be as easy as it might look like at first.

The one that I have my eye of right now is Maxi-Pop (Contrasena Records) - a Spanish label with a great (different kind of) selection of tracks.

So, I would love to hear from other members here ..... what are your favorite 12" compilations (past & present) with regard to track selection & sound quality ? Which ones would you recommend going for ?
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Re: 12" Compilations (past & present)

Postby audiodile » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:41 am

The Dance Classics Series had not just the 12 volumes of the Pop Edition, but 7 volumes of New Jack Swing and some 50 volumes of the regular Dance Classics series. Yes the track selection is somewhat hit and miss but I've seen many tracks on these collections that don't show up elsewhere and the sound quality is excellent.

So80s also has some good stuff but I find there are even more misses than hits, especially later volumes although at current they are one of the only comps still going.

One of the best ever is also one of the hardest to find, 7 volumes of Big 12 Inches, very rare multi-disc compilations of remixes released in Hong Kong (!) in 1994. Stuff on here that I never thought I'd see on disc and a pretty good mix of US hits and European hits as well. ... e/14885699

Likewise a similar series to Big 12 Inches are the four almost as rare volumes of Maxi Dance Legend.

Plenty of short-lived series like Old School Nation (two volumes), Billboards Top Dance Hits (only 1984 and 1985 featured all remixes), Extended 80s (only source of a rare mix of Sledgehammer), the 6 volumes of Japanese series KOL 12 Inch Dance Versions, and honestly so many more.

Collecting remixes on CD has kind of been my passion for the last 20 years, and is your best way to find rare comps with specific mixes. Happy hunting.
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Re: 12" Compilations (past & present)

Postby thunderbird2 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:40 am

this is one of my favourite compilations and has a good selection ... se/1932863

i was not aware of any contention in the retro active CD's i have quite a few and they always prided themselves on sourcing the masters , sound quality to me is spot on
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Re: 12" Compilations (past & present)

Postby omar » Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:20 am

I do miss those Retro-Active cds. I thought most of them sounded pretty good (perhaps a little loud at times) but overall an excellent selection of remixes. I wish they'd do more volumes somehow.
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Re: 12" Compilations (past & present)

Postby ZippY » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:10 pm

Although not quite a compilation of only 12 inch mixes, this is more of a 80s French disco artist 7 and 12 inch collection:éférence-80

I have Bandolero, Chagrin D'Amour, Desireless, Magazine 60, Righeira and Stéphanie. All from master tape sources. Happy with it.
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Re: 12" Compilations (past & present)

Postby musfan » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:43 pm

Xymox - Razormaid sells a hard drive with the entire series on it on their website.
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Re: 12" Compilations (past & present)

Postby Glenn » Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:53 pm

Aside from the so80s, 12"/80s, Classic Alternatives and retro:active comps I would recommend these which contain some rarities not on the generic comps:

80s Remixed & Extended 2016 3 CD on Sony ... se/9069209

Original Hits - 80s 12" 2009 6 CD on EMI ... se/1944417

Hit That Perfect Beat Vol 2 1995 CD on MCA ... ase/950970

The 12 Inch Dance series has some good releases (80s pop, 80s remix, 80s synthpop, ...)
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Re: 12" Compilations (past & present)

Postby Fred Taghon » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:20 am

thunderbird2 wrote:this is one of my favourite compilations and has a good selection ... se/1932863

i was not aware of any contention in the retro active CD's i have quite a few and they always prided themselves on sourcing the masters , sound quality to me is spot on

There are quite a few tracks on the retro:active cds that were processed using some compression/limitation that resulted in an uneven consistency in volume levels throughout a song. Beloved's Pod That Went Pop Mix springs to mind as that is a real rarity and while it is listenable, I cringe every time these compression anomalies rears up throughout it. The tracks that were not affected by this processing mostly sound excellent, though definitely on the loud side.
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Re: 12" Compilations (past & present)

Postby jaybag » Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:04 pm

I'll co-sign on the Ben Liebrand "Grand 12 Inches" series. I also shelled out the €20 to join the "Upgrades and Additions" program where if Ben comes up with a different/better mix than the one on the CD, you get it for free. Most of the CD sets now come with 15-25 additional tracks in the form of upgrades. Usually they're different mixes of songs on the discs, not many of them are true repeats.
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