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Epic Years
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  • The Epic Years collects everything Altered Images recorded and released in their short career as the world's most cheerful pop band. Only three albums and a handful of singles between 1979 and 1983 and they were done. Separately, the three albums are bite-sized treats: the kiddie goth Happy Birthday, which spawned the incessantly chirpy title track; the confetti-filled Pinky Blue with its timeless hit "I Could Be Happy"; and the surprisingly sophisticated Bite, which was a perfect blend of Blondie and Bowie (thanks in part to production by Mike Chapman and Tony Visconti). Placed together in a collection like this, there's a clear progression from album to album: first, a band getting its sound together; then a band that seemed to promise something brilliant; and finally one that did just that before coming to a sudden stop. This collection doesn't add much new that wasn't on the single-disc reissues that came out a decade-plus earlier, but the remixes and extended versions of the singles are collected on one disc titled The 12" Album. If one is already in possession of the deluxe reissues, there's not a hugely compelling reason to get this set. There are a couple of 7" mixes that weren't included previously and The 12" Album is a load of fun, but mostly the sound quality is the same and the essays on the single discs are more complete. Anyone looking for a one-stop collection of their work will be pleased, though, both by the ease with which all the music can be heard and by becoming the proud owner of some of the best and brightest pop music ever made. ~ Tim Sendra
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