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How to Be a Zillionaire

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Album Review

Moving away from the guitar histrionics of Beauty Stab, Martin Fry reduced ABC to a duo of himself and Mark White for 1985's danceable How to Be a...Zillionaire! Incorporating light hip-hop rhythms, ABC made sure Zillionaire sounded contemporary for mid-'80s dance clubs, and as a result, some of the record sounds stiff and dated. Still, when Fry's sense of melody is on, as on the catchy single "Be Near Me," or when he works in his vicious, cynical wit, as on "How to Be a Millionaire" and "So Hip It Hurts," the record rivals the peaks of Lexicon of Love.

Customer Reviews

Be Near It...

Ok... reading the few that have been written thus far. This cd (or back in the day "tape" or "album") was somewhat magical to me. While it was still freshly released, back in a summer of the late 80's, I recall listening to it in the college dorms. While definitely a turn from early recordings, it remained true to the creativity, theatrics, and unique sound of ABC... and the bonus was that you could dance to it even moreso than the efforts of its' predecessors. If you are looking for 80's nostalgia, (while I wouldn't call this the "best of the 80's), I would call this the best of ABC. Some of the sounds may seem dated today, however, the obvious "Be near Me", "How to Be a Millionaire" stand out, but also mirroring these tunes are the beautiful "Between You and Me" and "Ocean Blue" and the romping staunch beat of "15 Story Halo" that ascends to a beautiful orchestral ending (as few bands other than ABC can do). Records like this aren't made any longer. Grab this "feel good" music while you can. If you are not a child of the 80's, listen to it and I'm sure you'll find something that will make you want to dance or smile... Now that I'm a "businessman" I can appreciate "How To Be A Millionaire" 's message and beat more than ever... "I've seen the future, I can't afford it..." Martin Fry you were never so right on!

So Hip it Hurts !

ABC in full force....from start to finish, these songs are energetic, well written, powerful electronic club-style pop. Perfectly produced, this album set the standard for music production in the late 80's. The single "How to Be a Millionaire" is one of the best songs of the 80's. The remixes on this collection are excellent as well. Overall, a masterpiece of timeless rhythmic brilliance.

ABC defines the 80's

A to Z, My name is Martin Fry, F R Y. Who needs the moon, when we got the stars! Now that takes me back to cruising on the weekend in the convertible, with the top down and enjoying my youth. 14 songs is a steal at $5 for all of them. (every one of them is good)


Formed: 1980 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Genre: Pop

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

One of the most popular new wave bands of the early '80s, the British group ABC built upon the detached, synthesized R&B pop of David Bowie and Roxy Music, adding a self-conscious, campy sense of theatrics and style. Under the direction of vocalist Martin Fry, the group scored several catchy, synth-driven dance-pop hits in the early '80s, including "Poison Arrow," "Look of Love," and "Be Near Me." During the late '70s, Fry ran his own fanzine, Modern Drugs, while he attended Sheffield University....
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