THE 1980s really had little to recommend them: Mrs Thatcher, chronic unemployment, football hooliganism and Timmy Mallett.

To make matters worse, we all looked like idiots - frilly collars, shoulder pads, big glasses and even bigger hair that started to kick a hole in the ozone layer.

The music, mostly, was rubbish too. Soulless, over-produced, synthesised pap dominated the charts. And yet, a quarter of a century on, some of that very same music is now put on a pop pedestal.

For every Bucks Fizz, Renee and Renato and Joe Dolce, the likes of Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, ABC, Wham and The Human League were churning out genuine classics.

All of them and more - Howard Jones, a-ha, Heaven 17 and Depeche Mode - are here, in all their extended 12ins glory.

The artists and their songs were never going to change the world, but they did lift the gloom and lighten the mood.

We could do with more of the same now.