Freedom of Choice, a fund-raiser for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, presents some of the genre's best songs and places them in the context of the alternative rock of the 90s. So, songs by the Human League, A Flock of Seagulls, Missing Persons and Soft Cell are covered by Chia Pet, It's OK, Erectus Monotone, and Finger, respectively. Add covers of pre-new wavers Elvis Costello by Mudhoney and Iggy Pop by Tiny Lights, and you've got the idea.
When this collection came out in 1992, it was probably a little early to be commemorating the 80s and call -- as the liner notes do -- the Go-Go's Charlotte Caffey and Devo's Gerald V. "new wave legends". The good news, however, is that unlike most compilation CDs, this one is surprisingly consistent.
Sonic Youth, perhaps the best-known alternative band on the compilation, turn in a fine dismantling of Plastic Bertrand's "Ca Plane Pour Moi" as do Yo La Tengo, who cover Blondie's best song, "Dreaming".
White Flag provide an effective, albeit unrecognizable, cover of Kate Bush's "
More faithful to the originals are Mudhoney's take on Elvis Costello's "Pump it Up" and the Connells' rendition of Split Enz's "I Got You."
Ten years after the fact, this compilation remains an interesting relic, though it's telling that the bands of the 80s covered here are still remembered fondly, while the bands doing the covering are, but for a handful, mostly forgotten. - by epsteinsmutha
special thanks to Terrorizer and Decadance