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Radio Love Songs (The Singles Collection)

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Album Review

The U.S. release of 2000's Casual Viewin', which included half an album's worth of new material mixed in with some of 54-40's biggest hits, spotlighted the need for a comprehensive retrospective of the band, bundling all its singles in one place. Radio Love Songs: The Singles Collection finally fulfills this promise, and will be all the 54-40 that most fans need. The band was never particularly consistent and has no must-own discs in its catalog, so this singles collection plays better than the albums even if the random sequencing fails to highlight 54-40's development as a band. The group's best-known number — "I Go Blind," which was turned into a modest hit when covered by Hootie & the Blowfish — is included, as well as chugging guitar rock like "Unbend" and "Lies to Me," the '60s-influenced, organ-driven pop of "Since When," and plenty of anthemic roots rock like "Nice to Luv You." Not all of it sticks, and the absence of any liner notes is disappointing, but the best moments on Radio Love Songs show why 54-40 became so important on Canadian and American college radio in the '80s and early '90s.


Formed: 1981 in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Can

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

A Vancouver band with a folk-pop take on alternative rock, 54-40 formed in 1981 as a trio consisting of bassist Brad Merritt, drummer Darryl Neudorf, and vocalist Neil Osborne. (The band took their name from James K. Polk's presidential campaign slogan, "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight," which sought to expand the U.S. border northward.) Initially, 54-40 toured the Western Canadian club circuit, without gaining much attention. In 1984, Phil Comparelli was added on guitar and vocals; Neudorf left shortly...
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Radio Love Songs (The Singles Collection), 54-40
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