Synthpop Compilation


A new compilation coming soon from Sony compiling the best of 1980s Synthpop across three CDs.

No twelve-inch versions for a change, but just a hit-tastic selection of 53 tracks, 46 of which went top ten, back in the day.

The track listing offers no real surprises but is nonetheless full of great songs, even if Prefab Sprout‘s The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll plays fast and loose with the ‘synthpop’ moniker.


Unlike the forthcoming 12-Inch Dance: Indie set, there’s no Pet Shops Boys music to be found, presumably because Warners wouldn’t license their music out to a rival’s compilation. A-ha‘s Take on Me does make an appearance, however.

This set sports an attractive front cover design and comes packaged as a digipack. It is released on 20 April 2015.


Track listing

Disc: 1
1. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) – Eurythmics
2. Don’t You Want Me – The Human League
3. Cars – Gary Numan
4. Tainted Love – Soft Cell
5. I Feel Love – Donna Summer
6. Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
7. 19 – Paul Hardcastle
8. The Reflex – Duran Duran
9. Don’t Leave Me This Way – The Communards feat. Sarah Jane Morris
10. Gold – Spandau Ballet
11. Rock Me Amadeus – Falco
12. Only You – Yazoo
13. Vienna – Ultravox
14. Fade to Grey – Visage
15. Enola Gay – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
16. Pop Muzik – M
17. Money – The Flying Lizards
18. Axel F (From “Beverly Hills Cop”) – Harold Faltermeyer

Disc: 2
1. Blue Monday – New Order
2. Are ‘Friends’ Electric – Gary Numan/Tubeway Army
3. Temptation – Heaven 17
4. Together in Electric Dreams – Philip Oakey / Giorgio Moroder
5. Smalltown Boy – Bronski Beat feat. Jimmy Somerville
6. (Feels Like) Heaven – Fiction Factory
7. A Little Respect – Erasure
8. Too Shy – Kajagoogoo
9. Take on Me – A-Ha
10. Kids in America – Kim Wilde
11. Love & Pride – King
12. Love Plus One – Haircut 100
13. Quiet Life – Japan
14. What Is Love? – Howard Jones
15. If I Was – Midge Ure
16. Hold Me Now – Thompson Twins
17. It’s My Life – Talk Talk
18. More Than This – Roxy Music

Disc: 3
1. Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears
2. Somewhere in My Heart – Aztec Camera
3. Love Resurrection – Alison Moyet
4. The King of Rock ‘N’ Roll – Prefab Sprout
5. Body Talk – Imagination
6. Einstein a Go-Go – Landscape
7. Big in Japan – Alphaville
8. Don’t Talk to Me About Love – Altered Images
9. Living on the Ceiling – Blancmange
10. Rockit – Herbie Hancock
11. She Blinded Me with Science – Thomas Dolby
12. Is It a Dream? – Classix Nouveaux
13. Imagination – Belouis Some
14. I Ran (So Far Away) – A Flock Of Seagulls
15. Whip It – Devo
16. Oh Yeah – Yello
17. Moments in Love – Art Of Noise

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I collect esoteric synth records to begin with, so a compilation of the more mainstream “synth pop” songs befits me. It’s well sequenced and I’m glad I purchased it. I don’t have the generic 80s compilations bought at gas stations nor would I ever consider looking in there unless I had a craving for some Taylor Dayne greatest hits.



Mark Franklin

Anyone know what version of Fade To Grey it is on this album? It might be the 12″, can’t be sure though. Definitely not the 7″ version that’s for sure.


These compilations would be worthwhile if they took the time to locate the original 7″ single mixes for each one. But usually they are a mish-mash of some single mixes and some album versions. Sometimes the album version is significantly different from the version that was played on the radio at the time.


I agree with Adam – these sorts of compilations aren’t targetting the hardcore music completetists after rare songs and never-on-CD before mixes.

It’s for casual fans and overtaxed moms who might happen upon it while doing their shopping. This comp will spark memories of her favorite songs from her youth. Jeez, can’t we just be happy for HER? She’s had a rough day. Probably.


My goodness you folks are hard to please. Remember when your mum said “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all?” There can never be a definitive set of any genre. Record companies do not issue releases with the expectation of not selling any product. In this case, they expect to sell to a niche buyer who clearly are the individuals who posted about this item. I might on the other hand buy it and thank you Paul for sharing it with us. Many wonderful issues have come into my life because I saw them on your blog (since sadly so few deluxe and special releases make it to the last few remaining HMV shops (here in Canada) so then I seek them from Amazon. Once again, thank you Paul I love your blog!


I have to agree with a lot of people. This is pointless. Tracks already nagged to death.
Come on is this the only stuff that came out from the 80’s ?
Of course not, why repeat tracks and pack it all onto another compilation. There is sooooo many other gems that hasn’t yet got the chance to see thelight of day to BE RE-RELEASED on CD.
This compilation is waste of plastic and the enviroment.


I won’t be getting this. Any tracks on there that I like ( which is most of them) I already have. No 12″/ rare remixes is a shame. No Depeche Mode or Kraftwerk is criminal. But featuring Spandau Ballet and including Gold? GOLD??? Sony can bite my big one.


Pretty pointless and no China Crisis again!

derek murray

I suppose thats the good thing about the ipod.. You can make your own 80s playlist and listen to your own perfect 80s selection
hats what i do regularly.. What i do like about these 80s complilations that keep getting released, is they always seem to have a rogue ‘killer’ track or mix which i dont have….so it has to be bought for that reason

Neil I.

I believe “Love Plus One” by Haircut 100 doesn’t have *any* synth in it.


Oops, forgot to include the name of the band! It’s female duo Marsheaux.


Paul, if there is space on SDE for this rather tame/lame compilation from Sony then please can you spare an entry for Greek synth duo’s brave and triumphant covering of Depeche’s entire A Broken Frame album which is coming out at the end of April in a special 2 disc SDE version – that is a much more exciting event for synth pop lovers. Here is hoping☺


I hear what folks are saying on here, but at the same time, as a music lover,with a very deverse range of likes, I look forward to my daily info from Paul, no matter what the subject, group, etc, as at times information in Australia can be sparce and finding out on the net is sometimes the only source. As it is Paul’s site I feel he is entitled to list whatever he wants, and personally do not have any issues with these listings. Basically do not have to read what is listed in the daily email. Anyway JUST MY THOUGHTS. :)

Tom of FIN

I agree. Please do not include greatest hits type of genre boxes here. Also artist particular single collection packages should be kept out of the scope.


Is Prefab Sprout’s “Cars & Girls” even on this?

eoin hall

there is another cd uk cd from the mid 90s called 25 Years Of Number 1 Hits Vol. 8 1986/1987 that has a 3.12 version on it


yeah, the AMERICAN EDIT (3:10) is featured (always in poor vinyl quality) on
– 25 years of number 1 hits
– de pre historie de jahren 80 – 86 volume 2
– 30 years of number ones, volume 11, 1983-1986
the CANADIAN VERSION (4:10) can be found on
– more pure 80’s
and the CANADIAN/AMERICAN MIX (4:00) is a bonus on the german CD single version of falco’s own ‘satellite to satellite’ single (although in an inperfect version where after about 3:20 minutes there is a mastering error which cuts a few seconds…)

so, up until today, none of these three superior to the normal album version mixes have surfaced in good quality on CD…

eoin hall

no problem michael.that version of rock me amadeus is only avalible on a us import cd called more pure 80s from 2000.don`t know why this version is so hard to get as every radio station plays this version.


yes, i know this more pure 80s compilation but this is clearly a vinyl rip in a not really good quality, so i was hoping for a better sounding version.


@eoin hall: thank you

i am always hoping for falco’s “rock me amadeus” to be released on CD in its ‘american edit’ (3:10) or ‘can/am version’ (4:00) but they always use the normal album version (aka ‘gold mix’) (3:22)… hope sony music will remember these far superior mixes sometime in the future!

eoin hall

hi.on the allmusic.com website for the tracklisting for synth pop cd
yazoo only you song lenght is 5:14.just wondering if this is right as i though there was no original 12” version.thanks

Jim Brady

eoin hall, there is a UK 12″ extended version of “situation” – it is the b-side of the “only you” UK 12″ single (and on the cd single re-release) and differs from the well-known US remix made by Francois Kevorkian. The time posted by Discogs is 5:18, but the CD I have lists 5:20. This original extended version is more than likely the version on this compilation, and if it is, makes it slightly more interesting for completists and collectors.


Check out the Minimal Wave compilations for examples of how to do Synth-Pop right. Unearthing stuff not heard for decades and often only ever released on cassette in the first place, they are treasure troves for synth-fans.

There are excellent synth-pop compilations out there if you look for them, sadly this wretched, lazy effort from Sony is NOT one of them.

eoin hall

hi.on the allmusic.com website (link here) http://www.allmusic.com/album/synth-pop-mw0002836711
yazoo only you song lenght is 5:14.just wondering if this is right as i though there was no original 12” version.thanks


I also like infos about such releases.
By the way: any information about the RUNNING TIME of the tracks on this compilation?

Chris J

Firstly, awesome site and FB page. Secondly, thanks for making the email field switch my mobile device to the correct “email keyboard”.

But thirdly, while I can appreciate that it’s a great compilation on its own merits, it really has been done before so many times, but worse, we likely already have this collection many times over in our own collection.

This would’ve been noteworthy if it was available in Sony’s new High Res Audio format. Or maybe it is?


I know there have been MANY ’80s compilations put out over the years, but I would like to point out that sometimes a compilation set like has the potential to include a version of a song never heard before. While no compilation readily springs to mind, I’m sure it’s not unheard of. I guess only time will tell when it gets released.


Depeche Mode do not appear on any 80s or synthpop compilations because they do not want to be perceived as solely associated with the decade of the ’80s.

I had thought that the Pet Shop Boys were the same way but Paninaro ian Levine is an exception…


And again a digipack release……..hmmm


Yes Eric, I have no problem with it being reported on this site. I’m not precious about deluxe editions etc. In fact I love the fact that this site actively promotes new releases/ compilations and gives us the chance to comment on them.


Totally agree, Tom. But I don’t have a problem with these releases being featured on SDE, it’s old music being reissued after all. It’s not Paul’s fault that the record labels have absolutely no interest in sourcing or compiling something different anymore.


I love synth/80s compilations and spend far too much time searching for them in the hope of finding something original or different . I think this comp. is actually an insult: Relax! Blue Monday! etc how many times have these appeared on such compilations? In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if all the record company have done is take one of the already virtually identical compilations and just invest in new artwork. Zero thought or effort has gone into this. Why don’t they produce something with lesser known/compiled tracks from artists rather than regurgitating these brilliant tracks over and over again? Rant Over.


One word for the compilation – YAWN!


Unlike the Belouis Some track, this compilation has “No Imagination”! A 3 disc set of songs that have appeared on numerous compilations over the past 10 years! The title ought to be “Now That’s What I Call Music I Have Heard On So Many Times Before”.

Nigel D Day

I agree with the no DM comments. Seems peculiar to not have anything by the worlds biggest synth act. Saying that, I’ve seen a lot of 80s and 90s compilations, and synth pop compilations, and Depeche never seem to be on them. Anyone got any ideas why that would be ? Licensing ?


I’d say the most tenuous one there is the marvellous Love Plus One by Haircut 100 – I’m not sure it even has a synth on it.


While I won’t be picking this up as I pretty much have everything on it (several times, to boot, in some cases), I do think it’s valid to be on the forum as it is technically a reissue of this classic old music, and the strap line for the site is “the box set AND reissue music blog”.

Not everything will be a bells and whistles Frankie set, so just skip over the stuff you don’t want to read/buy, yeah? :-)

Keep up the good work, Paul!

[/pedant] :-)



Gary Numan, Midge Ure and Jimmy Somerville are the only ones which appear twice under different names. And again no Depeche Mode :D

Mark Bumgardner

Thanks for this. I’m a 70’s guy, but have a great fondness for this music as well. I’d buy this if I came upon it in one of my usual haunts. Can’t wait to see what’s on Dance Indie as well.


Almost all these tracks were at Blank&Jones’ So80s compilations, so there’s nothing new at all. And yes, I am a fan of So80s by Blank & Jones :)


I like reading about sets like this. I hope you keep mentioning them. I realize they’re not as special as 20-disc Belinda Carlisle re-releases but some of us still enjoy good compilations, even if they’re not particularly noteworthy.


not a deluxe edition. not worth of mention.

Derek Murray

Someone in the planning dept of Sony Records obviously thought to themselves after getting the request to compile a compilation entitled ‘SynthPop’, if it’s got a synth on it….it’s in!
Nice sleeve though


Well said… some really laughable choices under the banner of ‘synth pop’. Just wonder who is still buying those compilations – similar ones have now been released multiple times with almost identical tracklisting just different names (80es blabla sth, new wave, new romantic,…)

Dave Felstead

about the same as the Ministry of Sound 80’s Electronic Anthems , these comps keep coming out every year with a few different tracks and title


One simply can’t call a compilation Synthpop and not have Depeche Mode on it.

I also miss Camouflage – The Great Commandment


This set surely redefines the notion of utter pointlessness. The lack of imagination (and not Imagination!) in these endlessly repetitive sets is becoming quite depressing. I bet Sony will charge top whack for it too.


Must agree with Rodolfo. I do not see what is special about this release. It contains the usual hodge-podge that you often find on compilations sold at gas stations.


…and anyone reading this could make a better one on their own.

Rodolfo Martin

Paul, I love your site and I have been checking it everyday for the last three years. I love records so much that I can appreciate and admire deluxe editions of albums and artists that I am not interested. I like to see that SuperDeluxeEdition does not stick to one gender or one decade. It is open to all music types. For me, the 70’s is my decade because it is the decade when I was a teenager and when my musical taste was defined. I grew up in Argentina and British progressive rock (or Art Rock, as it is called in the USA) was all for me. In the 80’s, I started to know and learn about jazz (by the way, I would like to see deluxe editions of jazz artists too) but my taste for rock and even for British pop is always there. My 5,000 CDs collection (plus vinyls) can prove the variety of musicians that I continue following. However, I do not think that a compilation like Synth Pop, by Sony Music, is worthy to be mentioned here. It is not a deluxe edition.
I hope to be reading soon about the coming James Taylor’s album, first one with new songs in 12 or so years. Several deluxe editions have been announced already in his site.
Keep doing the great work you are doing.
Rodolfo Martin
Jacksonville, FL USA