Day 38 takes us to 17th November 1997 with our Now! compilation marathon.
Let’s see what was tearing up the charts at the time.
Track 1: Chumbawamba – Tubthumping
The ultimate in singalong classics, and a feature of every school disco and a lot of post-school discos in subsequent years. Brilliant track. Also, this album version that I’ve found on Spotify has a Brassed Off sample at the start, which makes it even better.
Track 2: Spice Girls – Spice Up Your Life
One of my favourites from the Spice Girls – really like this upbeat, danceable song.
Track 3: Hanson – Where’s The Love
Considering that I played Hanson’s Middle Of Nowhere album non-stop for about a year, the fact that I couldn’t remember this song shows you how forgettable it is. I sort of remember it now I’m listening to it again, but I doubt it’ll stick in my brain long.
Track 4: Boyzone – Picture Of You
I’ve never really liked this one – the tune has always annoyed me.
Track 5: Backstreet Boys – As Long As You Love Me
It should be too saccharine for me, but I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for it, largely because I always liked the video.
Track 6: Eternal – Angel Of Mine
Absolutely beautiful tune – love this one.
Fun fact: American singer Monica did a completely pointless cover of this that sounds pretty much identical, which was a huge hit in the US, so that’s the version that most people across the pond know.
Track 7: Lighthouse Family – Raincloud
Great, interesting instrumentals, but the tune on the vocals is a bit dull.
Track 8: Janet Jackson – Got ‘Til It’s Gone
Love that Big Yellow Taxi sample…but in all honesty, nowadays it just makes me want to listen to Big Yellow Taxi instead. I remember my dad getting similarly frustrated whenever it came on the radio at the time, ’cause you can’t improve on the original Joni Mitchell track.
Track 9: The Brand New Heavies – You’ve Got A Friend
Dull cover of the Carole King song (which was pretty dull to begin with) with an irritating funk bit over the top.
Track 10: All Saints – I Know Where It’s At
I quite like most of All Saints’ stuff, but this one’s got an annoying tune. Not keen.
Track 11: Louise – Arms Around The World
Interesting Eastern-tinged instrumentals in the intro, and a nice synth riff running through the verses. Shame the vocals are so generic.
Track 12: Gala – Freed From Desire
It’s not the kind of thing I normally like, but I’ve always quite enjoyed this one – I like the atmosphere.
Track 13: Sash! and La Trec – Stay
Great electro lines, but the vocals are a bit overblown.
Track 14: Dario G – Sunchyme
Love this electro track – lovely feelgood tune. Only just realised right now that the sample is Life In A Northern Town – but it’s done really well, so I won’t moan.
Track 15: Tina Moore – Never Gonna Let You Go
Horrendous nails-down-a-blackboard vocal opening! Then the rest of the track is repetitive and irritating. Not keen at all.
Track 16: Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing
We’ve had this one already, on Now! #9. I’m keeping an eye on you, Now! compilers! I’m guessing this was back in the charts due to The Full Monty.
As ever, see the link for my review.
Track 17: N-Trance and Rod Stewart – Da Ya Think I’m Sexy
Slightly messy semi-cover of the 1978 classic. There are far too many vocal lines going on, but somehow it works.
Track 18: LL Cool J – Phenomenon
Good head-nodder, quite like this one.
Track 19: 911 – Party People…Friday Night
I’ve always quite liked this one, if only for the jaunty days-of-the-week bit in the chorus (I have a similar soft spot for 7 Days by Craig David, but I’m sure we’ll get to that later).
Track 20: Ricky Martin – María
I started studying Spanish the year after this, so I was a huge fan of Ricky Martin and had all his albums. This one is a great, danceable, Latin-flavoured track, an early indicator of the Latin pop craze that would characterise the turn of the millennium.
Speaking of which…
Track 21: Bellini – Samba De Janeiro
…here’s another. Absolutely classic trumpet line, great dance track.
Track 22: DJ Quicksilver – Free
Oh, it’s this one! Really like the electro lines on this – great tune.
Track 23: Wet Wet Wet – Yesterday
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
Utterly pointless cover of the Beatles classic. There is nothing different about this version at all except for an irritating country-tinged twangy guitar instrumental in the middle.
Track 24: George Michael – You Have Been Loved
Lovely tune, but it’s a bit slow for me.
Track 25: The Verve – The Drugs Don’t Work
Depressing in a bad way. I’ve never been keen on this one.
Track 26: Oasis – Stand By Me
This track has a really irritating chord change sequence in the chorus that messes up the time signature in an infuriating way. It’s been driving me nuts for over twenty years, and as such, I’m not a fan of this song.
Example of a song that messes up the time signature in a nice, pleasant way: Golden Brown by the Stranglers. I think I’ll go listen to that once this compilation is done.
Track 27: Embrace – All You Good Good People
Nice tune, but I’m not keen on the vocals, as they sound kind of droning.
Track 28: Faithless – Don’t Leave
I really liked this one at the time ’cause I had it on the A Life Less Ordinary soundtrack. It’s still a good tune.
Track 29: Radiohead – Karma Police
Great tune, but I’m not hugely keen on the theme.
Track 30: Moby – James Bond Theme
I have often said throughout this Now! marathon that I love a James Bond theme. This is slightly different, as instead of being a new song released for a James Bond film, it’s an electro cover of the main theme. It’s okay, but you shouldn’t really mess with a classic.
Track 31: PF Project and Ewan McGregor – Choose Life
Dance track with Ewan McGregor’s ‘choose life‘ monologue from Trainspotting over the top of it. The track itself is pretty awful, so the monologue is the only bit that’s of interest.
Track 32: Robbie Williams – Lazy Days
Annoying dregs-of-Britpop tune. Not keen on this one.
Track 33: Ash – A Life Less Ordinary
Another one that’s (obviously) off the A Life Less Ordinary soundtrack. Great chorus, but the verses are pretty boring.
Track 34: Texas – Black Eyed Boy
Great beat, great tune. One of my favourite Texas tracks.
Track 35: Meredith Brooks – Bitch
Loved it at the time, makes me cringe a bit now, mainly because my friends and I all loved to adapt the lyrics when literally bitching about other girls at school. Growing up is a good thing.
Track 36: Jon Bon Jovi – Janie, Don’t Take Your Love To Town
Irritating tune, not a fan of this one.
Track 37: Ocean Colour Scene – Better Day
Lovely tune, great atmosphere – a longtime favourite.
Track 38: Cast – I’m So Lonely
Dreary, depressing tune. Not keen.
Track 39: Conner Reeves – Earthbound
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
The vocals are far too saccharine for me, but the tune’s quite nice.
Track 40: Peter Andre – Lonely
Another slow, cheesy tune. Blurgh.
Also, while Cast (see above) are so lonely, Peter Andre is just lonely full stop. I’m pretty sure this was deliberate on the part of the Now! compilers…
Track 41: Boyz II Men – Four Seasons Of Loneliness
…especially now that Boyz II Men have both of them beat by being lonely all year round. It shouldn’t be a competition, guys!
The piano instrumental on this one’s quite nice, but in general it’s yet another ballad that’s too slow and too saccharine for my liking.