Sunday, 22 March 2015

Now '86 roundup

Since I've just written about the four exclusive songs on Now '86 and tagged the relevant tracks from Now 8, it seemed fitting to put up an index post to link back to the songs I wrote about on Now 7 as well. So here follows the sequence of the apostrophe album, with credit again to A Pop Fan's Dream:

  1. Queen 'A Kind Of Magic'
  2. David Bowie 'Absolute Beginners'
  3. Peter Gabriel 'Sledgehammer'
  4. Pet Shop Boys 'West End Girls'
  5. Level 42 'Lessons In Love'
  6. Communards 'Don't Leave Me This Way'
  7. Diana Ross 'Chain Reaction'
  8. Jermaine Stewart 'We Don't Have To...' [sic]
  9. Gwen Guthrie 'Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But The Rent'
  10. Sly Fox 'Let's Go All The Way'
  11. UB40 'Sing Our Own Song'
  12. Tears For Fears 'Everybody Wants To Run The World'
  13. Status Quo 'In The Army Now'
  14. Cutting Crew '(I Just Died) In Your Arms'
  15. Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald 'On My Own'
  16. Boris Gardiner 'I Want To Wake Up With You'
Whether this is a reasonable summary of pop in 1986 is a matter of opinion: it certainly differs from the retrospective double-CDs released in 1993 and 1999, and from the current downloadable Now That's What I Call 1986, but of course corporate changes in the record industry have affected what's available to them, and they were presumably constrained by the need to save some big tracks for the Now 8 CD. Still, they seem to have scraped the first four tracks of Now 7 without much thought, even though Sly Fox and UB40 seem a little out of place in retrospect, especially at the expense of 'Holding Back The Years', 'When The Going Gets Tough' and anything involving Wham! or George Michael. On the positive side, at least there's no Chris De Burgh.
Bearing in mind the relatively high retail price of a CD back then, releasing this compilation as a double CD presumably wasn't considered, though it was only about a year later than Now 10 became the first double Now CD. That's presumably part of the reason why there wasn't a Now '87 at the time, although this album didn't sell particularly well anyway, peaking only at 65 on what was then a combined album chart. Since the CD versions of the early Now albums were combined with the chart runs of their vinyl and tape equivalents we can't really see how much they sold, but I'm guessing the answer is not much, hence their relative scarcity.

Since there's no official playlist for the album I've created my own versions on Spotify and Deezer. No Peter Gabriel but everything else is there.

Available on: Now That's What I Call Music '86

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