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Various Artists

Breakdance! - Return of the B-Boy

(Cold Front)

It’s a sad night in Brooklyn when I go to a party and no one’s bustin’ a move on the dance floor. Blame the DJ for not providing adequate ambience I say. James Brown, Grandmaster Flash, and New Order are staples of the New York party scene soundtrack, and must-haves for any aspiring disc jockey worth his or her salt. For those of us unfortunate enough not to own the necessary cuts by these artists, here comes K-Tel’s latest move-busting compilation, Breakdance! Return of the B-Boy. Known primarily for their lovably cheesy ‘70s pop comps, K-Tel does a tremendous job here compiling 15 appropriate tracks no true B-Boy would be caught dead without. Cuts from Chaka Khan, Blondie, Gary Numan, and the aforementioned others provide the name-brands you trust, and lesser-known acts like the amazing early-‘80s hip-hop group West Street Mob, Newcleus, and Davey DMX round out the set with the quality you deserve.


I was tempted to bust out the old piece of cardboard and try some tricks as soon as the Mob’s “Break Dance, Electric Boogie” started, but an old injury I sustained during Break Battle’84 with Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones tells me it’s best to put my Breakin’ days behind me. That said, this is the ultimate party record—I dare you to put “Jam On It” by Newcleus on the hi-fi and watch people stand still, it just won’t happen. The songs on this disc have survived the obligatory postmodern irony phase (“it’s so cheesy it’s cool!”) and emerge as great music indicative of an influential era. Taken as a whole, the album has no faults, there is nary a hint of filler as each track is incredibly danceable and funky. Put this on and watch the party begin.

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