Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #12

Day 12 takes us to 11th July 1988.

July 1988
This is what the world looked like in July 1988, all pink and floral and foxglove-y. I gotta get some of those for the garden of my new house when I finally have time to plant some flowers out there.

Let’s have a listen to the summer hits of that year.

Now! That's What I Call Music #12
Track 1: Wet Wet Wet – With A Little Help From My Friends

Bit of a pointless ’80s cover for me, I’m afraid – other than some vocal stylings on the odd chorus, I’m not seeing what this adds to the Beatles original.

Track 2: Belinda Carlisle – Circle In The Sand

Really like this song – nice tuneful ballad with some epic vocals.

Track 3: Maxi Priest – Wild World

Love those reggae instrumentals, and the vocals are nice and soulful too.  Also, a great sax solo!  Really like this one.

Track 4: Aswad – Give A Little Love

Two reggae-tinged tracks in a row!  I officially feel summery.  This one’s a nice upbeat party song.

Track 5: Climie Fisher – Love Changes (Everything)

Much better than Rise To The Occasion from yesterday, but still a bit saccharine for my liking.

Track 6: Elton John – I Don’t Wanna Go On With You Like That

Really like the drums and piano in the intro, and the song is nice and upbeat.  Nodding along happily here.

Track 7: Scritti Politti – Oh Patti (Don’t Feel Sorry For Loverboy)

Great slow synth intrumentals, but the vocal is too cheesy for me.  (I note I’m saying similar about a lot of songs today – I’m clearly in a more ‘edgy’ mood.)

Track 8: Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight

I’ve no idea why this was back in the charts seven years after its original release, but I don’t care, ’cause this is hands down the best solo song Phil Collins ever did.  That ominous build and build and build until the drums finally kick in is just wonderful.

Track 9: Hothouse Flowers – Don’t Go

This is what I consider a ‘pre-1990s’ song, otherwise known as an ominous reminder that the fun of the ’80s was nearly over and soon we would all be dressing in minimalist neutrals and plaid.  Not a fan of the instrumentals in general, though there’s a bit of sax solo that kind of saves it.

Track 10: Morrissey – Every Day Is Like Sunday

This is probably the only solo Morrissey track I like (other than First Of The Gang To Die, which I developed a soft spot for in 2005), largely because this one is so hilariously gloomy that it’s almost self-parodic.

Track 11: Danny Wilson – Mary’s Prayer

There’s a nice nostalgia factor with this one for me, ’cause our family had it on a Celtic Anthems compilation circa 2000, but I do find it a bit cheesy.

Track 12: Johnny Hates Jazz – Heart Of Gold

Nice interesting instrumentals, good tune.  Really like this one.

Track 13: Voice Of The Beehive – Don’t Call Me Baby

Another one that’s a bit ‘pre-1990s’.  Nice tune though.

Track 14: Iron Maiden – Can I Play With Madness

Am I the only one for whom that title triggers the mental image of Bruce Dickinson asking his mum if he can go round to Suggs’ for tea?  Please tell me I’m not.

Fairly standard rock metal, as you might expect from Iron Maiden – not one of their more exciting tracks.

Track 15: Heart – These Dreams

This softer ballad from Heart doesn’t really have enough edge for my liking, but it’s still a nice song.

Track 16: T’Pau – I Will Be With You

Nice tune, but there’s not much to elevate it above ‘dull slow ballad’ in my book.

Track 17: The Time Lords – Doctorin’ The TARDIS

‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).

I’m sure everyone knows this is actually the KLF under an alias.  Anyway, it’s a Doctor Who song, so obviously I love it.

Track 18: Sabrina – Boys (Summertime Love)

It’s a classic not-a-guilty-pleasure from my early ’00s ’80s playlist, ’cause I am absolutely shameless about loving this one (it’s the type of song I would traditionally blast on full volume at 3am when drinking alone.  It’s probably for the best I don’t drink alone anymore).

Track 19: Bananarama – I Want You Back

More solid pop from Bananarama.  I really ought to listen to that Wow! album more often.

Track 20: Tiffany – I Think We’re Alone Now

I’ve always found this one pretty annoying, I’m afraid.  Cheesy lyrics, irritating tune.

Track 21: Hazell Dean – Who’s Leaving Who

Great track – awesome epic atmosphere right from the start.

Track 22: The Communards – There’s More To Love (Than Boy Meets Girl)

Nice tune on this one, and some lovely instrumentals – another great track from the Communards.

Track 23: Jermaine Stewart – Get Lucky

‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).

Nice upbeat bit of pop, though the vocals are a bit dull.

Track 24: Glenn Medeiros – Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You

BLURGH.  Cheese on top of cheese on top of cheese.  Far too much for me, not my cup of tea at all.

Track 25: S-Express – Theme From S-Express

This was a hit again in 1998 for some reason, ’cause I had it on a compilation I bought around that time.  I’ve always found it a bit dull.

Track 26: Salt-N-Pepa – Push It

Love this one!  Great singalong party track.

Track 27: Derek B – Bad Young Brother

I usually quite like ’80s rap, but this one’s not really my thing.

Track 28: James Brown – The Payback [Part One]

An early ’70s track from James Brown re-entering the charts.  Not a super exciting song.

Track 29: Rose Royce – Car Wash

Another throwback track, this time from the late ’70s disco era.  Not sure what it’s doing back in the charts in 1988, but it’s a classic party song, and I’m going to make it today’s top wedding DJ dance track.

Track 30: Natalie Cole – Pink Cadillac

Nice funk bass on this track.  Vocals a bit mid-century retro for my liking though.

Track 31: Jellybean and Adele Bertei – Just A Mirage

‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).

I’ve not really enjoyed the Jellybean songs featured so far in the Now! compilations, but this epic party track is great!  Definitely one for the playlist.

Track 32: Will Downing – A Love Supreme

Nice long sax instrumental recurring throughout, which is always a good thing.  Nice tune too.

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