There was a new Pet Shop Boys EP released yesterday, which is always a good thing! I’ve never listened to a Pet Shop Boys record I didn’t like, largely because they are extremely reliable and consistent in what they do (i.e. great synthpop tunes). The new release, Agenda, is no exception.
Let’s have a listen to the tracks.
Give Stupidity A Chance
Lovely happy synthscapes to kick off. Bit of a contrast with the doomy lyrics, but after the Specials last week I’m starting to get used to that!
On Social Media
Classic upbeat synthpop that was an instant earworm when I first listened to it on Thursday night. The rhymes are daft in an endearing way, and it’s a bit ‘old men ranting about modern technology’, but the tune is awesome and I’m going to be listening to it all week.
What Are We Going To Do About The Rich?
Great chant-along track! Another one for the daily playlist. The rhythm is fantastic.
The Forgotten Child
Something a bit slower, but gorgeously atmospheric, for the last track. Love the twinkly melancholy instrumental – it’s almost Christmassy for a minute, and then the beat drops. Gorgeous stuff.
Classic and classy as ever from PSB. Love this EP!
Day 72 brings us to Now! #72, which came out on 6th April 2009.
2009 really brought the electropop, from what I remember, so let’s get cracking!
Track 1: Lily Allen – The Fear
Great tune, great lyrics. I’ve always really liked this one.
Track 2: Lady Gaga and Colby O’Donis – Just Dance
Awesome danceable piece of electropop.
Track 3: Flo Rida and Kesha – Right Round
It’s based around the hook from Dead Or Alive’s You Spin Me Round (Like A Record), so I was always going to like this one. Flo Rida’s rap style actually goes really nicely with it.
Track 4: Alesha Dixon – The Boy Does Nothing
Alesha Dixon’s post-Strictly solo comeback song. Love this tune, and the retro big band feel is much appreciated.
Track 5: The Saturdays – Just Can’t Get Enough
Pointless cover of the Depeche Mode classic, and one of the official Comic Relief singles for 2009 (so charity fundraising, as ever, is the ‘point’).
Track 6: Kelly Clarkson – My Life Would Suck Without You
This one’s pretty acclaimed, but I’ve always found the tune and theme really annoying.
Track 7: Tinchy Stryder and Taio Cruz – Take Me Back
Nice atmosphere – I like the electro lines.
Track 8: Kid Cudi and Crookers – Day ‘N’ Nite
Boring, repetitive tune, with some irritating vocal tics going on.
Track 9: Britney Spears – Womaniser
Great pop track – love the hooks on this one.
Track 10: TI and Rihanna – Live Your Life
It’s based around the hook from O-Zone’s Dragostea Din Tei, which gives the track quite an interesting sound.
Track 11: Akon – Right Now (Na Na Na)
Nice tune, quite like this one.
Track 12: Shontelle – T-Shirt
Interesting vocals, but I find the tune very generic.
Track 13: Ne-Yo – Mad
Boring tune, annoyingly saccharine vocals.
Track 14: The Saturdays – Issues
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had the Saturdays on track 5.
I quite like the rhyming of the lyrics on this one, but the tune’s a bit dull. The Saturdays did much better songs later on.
Track 15: Leona Lewis – Forgive Me
Great vocals, great atmosphere, but the tune’s pretty forgettable.
Track 16: Girls Aloud – The Loving Kind
Another boring tune, and the vocals make it a bit too ballad-y for me.
Track 17: September – Can’t Get Over
Good beat, good electro lines. The vocals are a little generic though.
Track 18: Steve Angello, Laidback Luke and Robin S – Show Me Love
Semi-cover of Robin S’s 1993 hit, mashed up with various other things. It’s not very inspired. See my Now! #24 review for the original song.
Track 19: N-Dubz – Strong Again
Boring tune, but I quite like some of the vocal hooks.
Track 20: Katy Perry – Thinking Of You
Dull ballad, not keen on this one.
Track 21: Alexandra Burke – Hallelujah
The annual bit of karaoke from the X Factor winner. To give credit to Alexandra Burke, this is not a pointless cover: there have been so many different and beautiful versions of the Leonard Cohen classic, and she did put her own stamp on it, but it just doesn’t have as much feeling in it as classic versions like those of Jeff Buckley or Rufus Wainwright.
Speaking of the X Factor…
Track 22: X Factor Finalists 2008 – Hero
There was an annoying trend in the late ’00s/early ’10s where the final twelve contestants in the X Factor would release a group single with everyone getting a line, which, just like the winner’s single, was inevitably a pointless cover of a classic song. This meant that everyone who was interested in pop music but didn’t care about the X Factor had to put up with not one but two irritating karaoke numbers in the charts around Christmas time. 2008’s offering was a pointless cover of the Mariah Carey song. (As often happens, the ‘point’ was charity fundraising, this time for Help For Heroes and the Royal British Legion. Charity fundraising = awesome! Releasing a soulless, uninspired remake of an existing song = not awesome.)
Track 23: Take That – Greatest Day
It should feel epic and sweeping – but I just find the tune irritating. I’m not sure why.
Track 24: Alesha Dixon – Breathe Slow
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Alesha Dixon on track 4.
This one’s got a nice backing track, but the tune is fairly generic.
Track 25: James Morrison and Nelly Furtado – Broken Strings
Irritatingly cheesy and slow ballad. Not my cup of tea.
Track 26: Taylor Swift – Love Story
Super saccharine soft pop-rock! Again, not my thing. I prefer Taylor Swift’s more pure pop stuff from the early-to-mid-’10s.
Track 27: Pink – Sober
Nice guitar, interesting theme, but the tune’s pretty dull.
Track 28: The Killers – Human
I still remember people getting irritated about the grammar of the line ‘are we human or are we dancer‘. Would it sound better and less jarring if the lyric was ‘dancers‘? Yes. Is it grammatically incorrect? Technically, no. Brandon Flowers is using ‘dancer‘ to mean a sort of faux-species here, and the use of the singular as an adjective in the same way that ‘human‘ can be used as an adjective is, I believe, meant to emphasise this.
Anyway, it’s quite a good tune.
Track 29: The Script – Breakeven
I’m generally not keen on this kind of soft rock, and this is no exception. Bland tune, very forgettable.
Track 30: Jason Mraz – I’m Yours
I find this kind of cheery, bouncy, acoustic-y track really irritating. Sorry!
Great bassline, lovely bit of electropop. Really like this one.
Track 32: Metro Station – Shake It
Really like the instrumentals on this track – great guitar, great synth. It all adds up to a nice retro ’80s tinge, which I’m all about!
Track 33: U2 – Get On Your Boots
Interesting vocals, good guitar line, quite like this one.
Track 34: MGMT – Kids
Oh, it’s this one! Lovely electro hook, great bassline.
Track 35: The Prodigy – Omen
I saw the Prodigy at M’era Luna 2009, and this song was the anthem of the weekend, with everyone singing it all over the place. Great dance track, builds beautifully, wonderful atmosphere.
Track 36: Kevin Rudolf and Lil’ Wayne – Let It Rock
Another great bassline and another awesome atmosphere – good track.
Track 37: Wiley and Daniel Merriweather – Cash In My Pocket
I like the ’60s retro tinge on this one.
Track 38: Kanye West – Heartless
Nice tune, quite like this track.
Track 39: TI and Justin Timberlake – Dead And Gone
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had TI on track 10.
Nice piano intro, nice epic atmosphere. Great stuff, though it would be better without the rap.
Track 40: Daniel Merriweather and Wale – Change
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Daniel Merriweather on track 37. Give someone else a chance, Now! compilers!
This is a great track, though – lovely tinkly piano, good beat.
Track 41: Pet Shop Boys – Love Etc.
Nice to see Pet Shop Boys back in the charts. I have missed that perfect synth! Wonderful tune.
Track 42: Duffy – Rain On Your Parade
More great instrumentals! Lovely atmosphere on this one.
Track 43: Vanessa Jenkins, Bryn West, Tom Jones and Robin Gibb – Islands In The Stream
Daft semi-cover (semi due to Robin Gibb’s involvement) of the Bee Gees-written song made famous by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, featuring comedy characters Vanessa Jenkins (Ruth Jones) and Bryn West (Rob Brydon) from the sitcom Gavin & Stacey. This was another song released for Comic Relief 2009. The video‘s funny, but the song’s a bit pedestrian until Tom Jones shows up at the end.
Day 66 brings us to Now! #66, which came out on 2nd April 2007.
I seem to remember that 2007 was not a bad year for chart music. Let’s see if my memory is correct.
Track 1: Mika – Grace Kelly
Great tune, very danceable, interesting vocals. I’ve always really liked this one, especially the classic-sounding epic atmosphere.
Track 2: Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby
Great rock track – another one that I loved playing on Lego Rock Band. The Wurzels’ live cover, which I saw at Beautiful Days 2010, is also something to behold.
Track 3: Sugababes and Girls Aloud – Walk This Way
Weak cover of the classic Aerosmith vs. Run DMC version. It doesn’t really work when you have two artists from the same genre, i.e. girl groups who sing pop. It was released as the official Comic Relief single for 2007, so hopefully it kept the charity money rolling in.
Track 4: Take That – Patience
This one marks the arrival of what I always considered ‘Fake That’ (the Robbie Williams-less lineup). Gorgeous song though.
Track 5: Justin Timberlake – What Goes Around…Comes Around
Great instrumentals, good atmosphere, but the vocals are a bit dull in my book.
Track 6: Nelly Furtado – Say It Right
Another great atmosphere and a nice tune. Quite like this one.
Track 7: Beyoncé – Irreplaceable
Nice, powerful song – you can really hear the disdain coming through the vocals. Good tune too.
Track 8: Kelis and Cee Lo Green – Lil’ Star
Repetitive intro, takes ages to get going. Once it does, the tune is okay but the vocals are a bit twee for my liking.
Track 9: Akon and Eminem – Smack That
Great brooding atmosphere – quite like this one.
Track 10: Just Jack – Starz In Their Eyes
Nice retro-tinged guitar and bassline, interesting vocals. Good stuff.
Track 11: Calvin Harris – Acceptable In The ’80s
One of my favourites, obviously, and something I will always dance to no matter my mood. The whole ‘I got love for you if you were born in the ’80s, the ’80s‘ section is just a classic dance hook and a great lyric. Love it to bits.
Track 12: Mason and Princess Superstar – Perfect (Exceeder)
Great beat, great rhythmic vocals, very danceable track.
Track 13: Booty Luv – Boogie 2Nite
Another good beat, and the ’70s disco tinge is also much appreciated. It’s actually a cover of a song by Tweet, but I’m not familiar with the original.
Track 14: Eric Prydz and Pink Floyd – Proper Education
Dance remix of Another Brick In The Wall. The samples from the original provide a great atmosphere, but it’s one of those examples where I just want to go and listen to the original song afterwards.
Track 15: Sharam – Party All The Time
Dance cover of Eddie Murphy’s 1985 hit. Other than the dance beat, not much is added here. They’ve just sampled the chorus over and over and made it really repetitive.
Track 16: Cascada – Truly Madly Deeply
Eurodance cover of the Savage Garden song. The original is gorgeous and didn’t deserve to be ruined like this. Awful.
Track 17: Girls Aloud – I Think We’re Alone Now
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Girls Aloud on track 3.
Interesting cover of the Tiffany classic – there’s some edgy instrumentals added and a really good beat. It’s quite refreshing to have a cover that’s not entirely pointless, but the vocals are still pretty much identical to the original version.
Track 18: Seamus Haji and KayJay – Last Night A DJ Saved My Life
Dance cover of the Indeep song from 1982. Is it karaoke night or something? That’s six covers in a row. Let’s have some original songs, please.
Track 19: Camille Jones and Fedde Le Grand – The Creeps
Great beat, nice eerie instrumentals. Really like this one.
Track 20: Jamelia – Beware Of The Dog
I love the Personal Jesus sample, and there’s a nice rhythm to the vocals. Good track.
Track 21: Gwen Stefani – Wind It Up
That yodeling at the start is just awful! Once the song gets going, though, it’s quite interesting.
Track 22: JoJo – Too Little, Too Late
Slow, bland ballad, with a depressing tune. Not my thing.
Track 23: Leona Lewis – A Moment Like This
Pointless cover of the Kelly Clarkson song. This was the X Factor winner’s single for 2006 and also the Christmas number one, so it still shows up on all the music channels every Christmas time.
Track 24: The Fray – How To Save A Life
The tune’s very depressing-sounding, but at least it builds nicely.
Track 25: The View – Same Jeans
Twee theme, but the tune’s okay, and I quite like the chorus.
Track 26: Gossip – Standing In The Way Of Control
Great bassline, great beat, great vocals. Really like this track.
Track 27: Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Catch You
Nice edgy instrumentals, more great bass, interesting vocals. Another great song.
Track 28: Klaxons – Golden Skans
Interesting track, nice vocals. Quite like this one.
Track 29: Fall Out Boy – This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race
Great beat, good epic atmosphere, interesting vocals, brilliant rock chorus. Another awesome song.
Track 30: The Killers – Read My Mind
Like the atmosphere, and the tune is nice. Disc two of this Now! compilation is really delivering so far!
Track 31: U2 – Window In The Skies
I like the way this one builds, and the chorus is really interesting.
Track 32: Robbie Williams and Pet Shop Boys – She’s Madonna
Great synth line, great tune – really like this collaboration.
Track 33: The Fratellis – Whistle For The Choir
Too acoustic-y for me, and I find the tune pretty generic.
Track 34: The Ordinary Boys – I Luv U
This one’s a little too cheesy and slow for my liking.
Track 35: Snow Patrol – Open Your Eyes
Slow, bland vocals, and those repetitive one-note guitar chords really irritate me.
Track 36: Razorlight – Before I Fall To Pieces
Nice upbeat tempo and feelgood guitar lines. Quite like this one.
Track 37: Scissor Sisters – She’s My Man
Great guitar riff, great bassline. Highly danceable track.
Track 38: The Feeling – Love It When You Call
I like the beepy instrumental at the start, and the guitar riff’s quite nice, but the vocals are not edgy enough for my liking.
Track 39: McFly – Sorry’s Not Good Enough
The theme is a bit cheesy, but the instrumentals are interesting.
Track 40: Lily Allen – Alfie
Love the old-timey carnival/big band sound of this one. Great song, really different to everything else that was going on at the time.
Track 41: Jamie T – Calm Down Dearest
Irritating theme and faux ‘drunk’ vocals. Not a big fan of this.
Track 42: Sugababes – Easy
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Sugababes on track 3. This and the Girls Aloud repetition would have been best avoided by leaving off Walk This Way so that we could all have happily forgotten about that one.
This track’s got some very repetitive vocals, but the retro-tinged atmosphere and bassline are great.
Track 43: Amy Winehouse – You Know I’m No Good
Lovely, melancholy track. Really nice tune.
Track 44: The Proclaimers, Brian Potter and Andy Pipkin – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)
Daft semi-cover featuring the comedy characters Brian Potter (Peter Kay) from Phoenix Nights and Andy Pipkin (Matt Lucas) from Little Britain. We’ve already had the original on Now! #13, so see the link for my review of that utter classic.
This recording, which was another song released for Comic Relief 2007, got to number one and outsold the original. Go figure.
We’ve avoided any ‘Not on Spotify’ moments for a fourth time!
Day 35 equals Now! #35, which takes us to 18th November 1996.
Let’s listen to some tracks by people who were probably better dressed, even if it was the sartorially-challenged ’90s.
Track 1: Spice Girls – Say You’ll Be There
The eagerly-awaited (by me, anyway) follow-up to Wannabe. With hindsight, this song’s actually pretty poor, with a dull tune and generic theme; however, it’s quite hard to separate it from the nostalgia for me, so I still have a soft spot for it.
Track 2: George Michael – Fastlove
Lovely atmosphere, great vocal hooks – really like this one.
Track 3: Peter Andre – Flava
The instrumentals are quite fun, but the vocals are pretty annoying, and that rap is super generic.
Track 4: East 17 and Gabrielle – If You Ever
Really like the intro, and it’s got a lovely tune and atmosphere.
Track 5: Deep Blue Something – Breakfast At Tiffany’s
Loved it then, love it now. This one was a youth club classic during my first year of high school. Great theme, great lyrics, lovely tune.
Track 6: Pet Shop Boys – Se A Vida É (That’s The Way Life Is)
I’ve always liked this one – a nice slower track with a feelgood atmosphere.
Track 7: Babybird – You’re Gorgeous
Found it annoying at the time, really quite like it now. Love the theme and the instrumentals.
Track 8: The Beautiful South – Rotterdam
This one, on the other hand, I’ve never stopped finding annoying. It’s that irritating chorus.
Track 9: Dodgy – If You’re Thinking Of Me
This is Dodgy’s slow, dull one. I don’t think I even enjoyed it when I saw it live.
Track 10: Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over
Crowded House’s late ’80s classic, back in the charts – I’m not sure why, but I’m not complaining. Lovely tune.
Track 11: The Bluetones – Marblehead Johnson
Oh, it’s this one! Great guitar hook, nice tune.
Track 12: Ocean Colour Scene – The Riverboat Song
An all-time favourite! Absolute anthem, epic energy, great lyrics, wonderful guitar riff. I adore this one.
Track 13: Sheryl Crow – If It Makes You Happy
I’ve always found this one annoying – not keen on the tune.
Track 14: Garbage and Tricky – Milk
Great atmosphere – really like this track.
Track 15: Neneh Cherry – Woman
Nice epic intro, awesome atmosphere all the way through. Good stuff.
Track 16: Lighthouse Family – Goodbye Heartbreak
Nice to hear some saxophone at this late stage! The rest of the track is a little dull, although the ‘I don’t need you now‘ bit has quite a good singalong aspect.
Track 17: Pulp – Something Changed
Nice tune, nice instrumentals, great epic chorus. Lovely track.
Track 18: Cast – Flying
Oh, it’s this one. Found it a bit dreary at the time, still do now. Just not keen on the tune.
Track 19: Suede – Beautiful Ones
Good upbeat track, great tune, great lyrics. Another solid song from Suede.
Track 20: Belinda Carlisle – Always Breaking My Heart
Nice guitar intro, nice classic-sounding track, great chorus. Really like this one.
Track 21: Dina Carroll – Escaping
Interesting chillout bit at the start, nice beat during the verses. Not a typical Dina Carroll ballad, which is a welcome relief.
Track 22: Boyzone – Words
Introspective cover of the Bee Gees classic. Lovely tune, great atmosphere.
Track 23: Eternal – Someday
Fairly paint-by-numbers ballad that was released to tie in with Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame film. As such, it’s very musical-theatre-sounding.
Track 24: Backstreet Boys – I’ll Never Break Your Heart
Far too saccharine for me, and also now a Christmas-associated song thanks to the music channels (the video‘s set in a ski lodge, which I guess is why it gets put on the Christmas playlists).
Track 25: Damage – Love II Love
Oh, it’s this one. Never been keen on this – the chorus is repetitive and irritating.
Track 26: Clock – Oh What A Night
Fairly pointless cover of the Four Seasons classic. The main addition is the rap over the top. It’s not horrible, but it’s not great.
Obligatory ‘I hate pointless ’90s covers’ rant: this was the version that introduced me to this song.
Track 27: Louise – Undivided Love
Good beat, but it’s a pretty generic pop tune.
Track 28: Ant & Dec – When I Fall In Love
Ant & Dec, now having changed their name from PJ & Duncan (see Now! #31 review for discussion of why), try their hand at a ballad (well, it’s a ballad until the chant-along chorus kicks in, anyway). Horrific!
Track 29: 911 – Don’t Make Me Wait
Great, interesting piano intro. It leads into a fairly generic and cheesy pop track, though.
Track 30: Strike – My Love Is For Real
I quite like the verses on this dance track – there’s a bit of edge there – but the tune is pretty uninspired.
Track 31: Faithless – Insomnia
Classic dance track, great epic atmosphere, wonderful electro hook.
Track 32: BBE – Seven Days And One Week
Oh, it’s this one. I think I liked this more at the time than I do now – it’s a bit repetitive.
Track 33: Stretch ‘N’ Vern – I’m Alive
Loved it at the time, forgot about it for over twenty years, can’t say I’m too keen on it now. The backing track is great, but the rap’s fairly awful. I quite like the Boogie Wonderland sample though.
Track 34: Healy & Amos – Stamp!
I think I’m back in the imaginary ’90s nightclub that plays nothing but dance, although to be fair 1996 isn’t quite as bad as 1995 was. This one has some interesting lines, but it’s a bit messy for my liking.
Track 35: Livin’ Joy – Follow The Rules
Another very generic dance track – nothing special here.
Track 36: Wildchild – Jump To My Beat
Very messy track with irritating lines. Don’t like this at all.
Track 37: Underworld – Pearl’s Girl
Dull lines, very little melody, messy track. The beat’s quite good though.
Track 38: Space – Neighbourhood
Great atmosphere, great instrumentals, really nice track.
Track 39: Björk – Possibly Maybe
Not keen on the experimental-sounding instrumentals – they’re giving me a headache – but the vocal is nice when I can hear it over the top.
Track 40: Shed Seven – Chasing Rainbows
One of my friends had a poster of Shed Seven on the wall even though she didn’t really like them. I think she’d got it free when they were supporting someone else. That sort of sums up Shed Seven for me – they weren’t really a band that anybody actually liked.
The track itself is dull, slow and very forgettable.
Day 28, and we’ve reached 1st August 1994 with the Now! compilations.
Let’s get on with those summer hits.
Track 1: Wet Wet Wet – Love Is All Around
I remember the long, long summer when this was number one for fifteen weeks (which feels like a long time when you’re nine). I got so sick of it at the time, but I actually think nowadays that it’s quite a nice cover of the Troggs classic.
Google Image Search is failing me on this one, but the highlight of the whole thing was when Smash Hits did a parody cover from the year 2050 with ‘Wet Wet Wet still number one’ as the headline, four skeletons as the image, and a cover price of £21.50 or something. Well, I thought it was hilarious at the time. I’ll have to go through my old Smash Hits collection and see if I can find it.
Track 2: All-4-One – I Swear
In summer 1994, I visited the US for the first time with my family. I’d never been out of Europe before, and so going to North America was super, super exciting – we’re actually flying over a noticeable bump in the Earth’s surface! We’re going to see all those places from TV shows! Then I remembered that America was the place with the guns, and so I had a week-long freakout about OMG WHAT IF I GET SHOT.
Anyway, we went to New England for four weeks, none of us got shot, my dad had a good joke with airport security about how he wouldn’t like to have to stab anyone on the plane with his penknife (they laughed and let him take it in the cabin. Oh, 20th century, you were a different world!), my mum discovered iced cappuccino, we stayed in actual motels and swam in all the swimming pools, we ate silver dollar pancakes for breakfast at the Tremont House Hotel in Boston, and everywhere we went and everything we did, this song played on the radio, the biggest hit of the summer.
For the rest of the year, whenever we heard it anywhere, the wee bro and I would be all like OMG THIS REMINDS ME OF AMERICAAAA and get slightly emotional.
Uh, anyway, the track. Lovely tune, great sax solo, precious memories. Can’t beat it.
Track 3: Ace Of Base – Don’t Turn Around
Interesting tune, great jaunty beat. Like this one.
Track 4: Aswad – Shine
Great Latin-tinged track, gorgeous tune. Loved it then, love it now, a longtime favourite.
Track 5: The B-52s – (Meet) The Flintstones
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
Novelty cover of the classic TV theme tune, released to tie in with the live-action film. I thought the film was terrible even when I was nine, but I quite like this version of the song.
Track 6: Let Loose – Crazy For You
Smash Hits had a huge bee in their bonnet around this time about how ‘old’ and ‘decrepit’ Let Loose were. Hang on a second while I depress myself by googling how old the band members actually were in 1994.
Answer: 24, 26 and 27. Yeah.
The track is edgier and rockier than I remember, with a slight ’80s throwback vibe about it. I really like it, actually.
Track 7: D:Ream – U R The Best Thing
We already had this one, on Now! #25, which was only three compilations ago! Did the Now! compilers think nobody would notice this stuff?
Urgh. See the link for my review.
Track 8: The Beautiful South – Everybody’s Talkin’
Pretty cover of the ’60s classic – good stuff.
Track 9: Marcella Detroit – I Believe
Nice tune, nice instrumentals, but a bit slow.
Track 10: The Pretenders – I’ll Stand By You
I’ve always found the tune on this one annoying, and it’s not hard enough to be a rock ballad favourite. Not a huge fan.
Track 11: Stiltskin – Inside
The only version on Spotify is a live version, which would normally warrant a YouTube Pause (TM) (I hate live versions of stuff – if I want to hear it live, I’ll go see the band), but I’m a bit pushed for time tonight so I’m being lazy with this one.
That guitar riff is absolutely classic, so I hope they put a real version on Spotify soon so I can add it to my playlist.
Track 12: Blur – Girls And Boys
Classic chant-along Britpop anthem. Brilliant song from a brilliant album.
Track 13: M People – Renaissance
Great beat, but the tune is pretty repetitive.
Track 14: Eternal – Just A Step From Heaven
Like the atmosphere – this is a nice track when it’s not the slightly irritating chorus.
Track 15: Toni Braxton – Another Sad Love Song
Fairly generic pop ballad. Not keen on this one.
Track 16: China Black – Searching
Nice jaunty beat, but the tune’s a bit so-so.
Track 17: Dawn Penn – You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No)
Great, classic track – loved it then, love it now. You can’t not sing along to that chorus.
Track 18: Chaka Demus & Pliers – I Wanna Be Your Man
Annoying vocals, annoying tune. Not a fan.
Track 19: Erasure – Always
Quality synthpop as ever from Erasure, but due to this song playing on the radio during a bout of carsickness en route to the caravan (I probably wasn’t actually sick, just really nauseous due to reading in the backseat, but those associations are strong), I…still feel sick when I hear it.
Track 20: Seal – Prayer For The Dying
Lovely track from Seal – beautiful atmosphere, beautiful tune.
Track 21: The Grid – Swamp Thing
Like that banjo line – fairly solid dance track.
Track 22: Two Cowboys – Everybody Gonfi Gon
Two slightly country-inspired dance tracks in a row, but it turns out I don’t mind country-inspired so much when the Eurodance is this good. Great track, wonderful electro instrumentals.
Track 23: MAXX – Get-A-Way
Another great dance track. I may have to start making a list of requests for the next time I find myself at a ’90s night!
Track 24: Reel 2 Real and The Mad Stuntman – Go On Move
Classic bassline! The rest of the track’s not really anything special, though.
Track 25: The Prodigy – No Good (Start The Dance)
Not the first track to sample the ’80s classic You’re No Good For Me, but definitely the best. Classic stuff.
Track 26: Cappella – U And Me
Great atmosphere, great beat, great dance track. I’d forgotten how good 1994 was for dance!
Track 27: Haddaway – Rock My Heart
Pretty similar to What Is Love, but as that one’s a stone-cold classic I’m not complaining. Brilliantly danceable stuff.
Track 28: 2 Unlimited – The Real Thing
Another great dance track – how many of these were there at the time? Love those slightly eerie instrumentals.
Track 29: Sonic Surfers – Don’t Give It Up
I’m starting to feel like I’m in a nightclub. Was everything a dance track in summer 1994? Maybe I was so busy hearing Wet Wet Wet and All-4-One everywhere that I just didn’t notice.
This one is…another great dance track, believe it or not!
Track 30: DJ Miko – What’s Up
Irritating dance remix of 4 Non Blondes’ What’s Up (see Now! #25 for my review of the original version). This is a song that very definitely did not need to be turned into a generic dance track. Not keen on this treatment.
Track 31: Clubhouse and Carl – Light My Fire
Danceable beat, jauntily camp vocals, atmospheric synth lines – this one’s a lot of fun.
Track 32: Tony Di Bart – The Real Thing
Two tracks with the same name on the same Now! compilation! I feel like we’re back in the title-inspiration-starved late ’80s again.
This one’s not as good as the identically-named 2 Unlimited song, but it’s still a good dance track, and I’m still on that dancefloor in the imaginary nightclub. I’m not sure whether that Bee Gees lyric (‘if I can’t have you/I don’t want nobody, baby‘) is homage or theft, though! (Wikipedia calls it ‘sampling’, but the tune is totally different.)
Track 33: CJ Lewis – Sweets For My Sweet
Annoying chorus alert! Good dance beat though.
Track 34: Bitty McLean – Dedicated To The One I Love
Feelgood reggae-tinged cover of the ’50s classic. Nice track.
Track 35: Salt-N-Pepa and En Vogue – Whatta Man
Absolutely classic collaboration, great track with a fabulous singalong chorus.
Track 36: R Kelly – Your Body’s Callin’
Found R Kelly and his penchant for underage girls creepy then, still find him creepy now. Some things don’t change!
The song’s boring, anyway.
Track 37: The Brand New Heavies – Dream On Dreamer
Oh, it’s this one! Nice upbeat track, great tune. Like this song.
Track 38: Juliet Roberts – Caught In The Middle
This one was ALSO already on Now! #25! I hope they were offering partial refunds to people who’d bought both compilations!
See link for review, yadda yadda.
Track 39: Glo-Worm – Carry Me Home
Irritating lyrics, but the tune and atmosphere are quite nice.
Track 40: Pet Shop Boys – Absolutely Fabulous
More great synthpop from Pet Shop Boys, released to tie in with the TV show. We always watched the show in our house, so I’ve appreciated this one ever since.
Day 26, and we’ve reached 15th November 1993, which marks a full decade of Now! compilations!
Now! 26 is a bit of a classic one – loads of the kids at school had it, so it always got played at parties. Let’s have a listen.
Track 1: UB40 – (I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You
Cover of the Elvis classic in standard UB40 style. I quite like this one – it’s got a nice epic atmosphere.
Track 2: Pet Shop Boys – Go West
Fabulous synthpop cover of the Village People song! I’ve always loved this one, even if it does bring back embarrassing memories of doing a dodgy dance performance (choreographed by two friends who did tap, jazz and modern classes and thus thought they could choreograph) to it for the rest of my primary school class.
Track 3: Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax
We’ve had this one already, on Now! #2! The prevalence of this nonsense at the moment just shows how many great ’80s tracks were returning to the chart in the early ’90s.
You know the drill, click the link for my review.
Track 4: M People – One Night In Heaven
I usually quite like M People, but this one is a bit dull.
Track 5: Eternal – Stay
Dull tune, annoying vocals. I’m sure Eternal did better tracks.
Track 6: SWV – Right Here [Human Nature Radio Mix]
Oh, it’s this one…and I’m back in the backseat of our Volvo 340 with the radio on, endless Scottish country roadsides zooming past. It’s not that great a track, but it certainly brings back some memories.
Track 7: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Boom! Shake The Room
An absolute classic, played at every birthday party I went to in the early ’90s. I’m aware I’ve said that about a few songs, which makes me think I should compile some sort of ‘kids’ birthday nostalgia’ playlist. Anyway, you can’t not sing along to this one.
Track 8: The Shamen – Comin’ On
A bit repetitive, not enough melody for me.
Track 9: Stakka Bo – Here We Go
Another repetitive, dull track – not keen on this at all.
Track 10: Chaka Demus & Pliers – She Don’t Let Nobody
The tune annoys me, and I find the vocals a bit saccharine.
Track 11: Tina Turner – Disco Inferno
Nice rock-tinged cover of the Trammps classic. Like this one.
Track 12: Belinda Carlisle – Big Scary Animal
Belinda Carlisle’s gone all ’90s and guitar-edged. Not hugely keen.
Track 13: Spin Doctors – Two Princes
Adore this one! Absolutely stunning tune, great singalong track.
Track 14: REM – The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
Lovely tune from REM – and I always appreciate that little The Lion Sleeps Tonight reference in the opening vocals. Great song.
Track 15: Levellers – This Garden
Lovely song from the Levellers – beautiful tune, never gets old (and because Geth and I used to go to Beautiful Days all the time I’ve seen this one played live many times).
Speaking of seeing stuff live at Beautiful Days…
Track 16: James – Laid
This was probably my highlight of James’ set at Beautiful Days 2009, and is probably my favourite track of theirs. Great tune.
Track 17: Crowded House – Distant Sun
Nice tune, but it’s a bit slow for me.
Track 18: Radiohead – Creep
Classic track, although it’s a bit overplayed these days.
Track 19: Meat Loaf – I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)
I’ve always loved this one (and it’s gotta be the full twelve-minute version!) – it’s an absolutely beautiful track.
Track 20: Cappella – U Got 2 Let The Music
Great uptempo dance tune – happily chair-dancing away here.
Track 21: Haddaway – What Is Love
Absolute stunner, one of my favourite songs of this era. Beautiful dance tune.
Track 22: 2 Unlimited – Maximum Overdrive
This one’s a bit of a dull tune, but the beat’s good and danceable.
Track 23: Culture Beat – Mr Vain
Another absolute dance classic with a great tune and wonderful singalong vocals – love this one.
Track 24: The Goodmen – Give It Up
Lots of upbeat drumming, nothing much else until it breaks into the slightly messy melody. Not one for the playlist, I’m afraid.
Track 25: Leftfield and John Lydon – Open Up
Nice upbeat head-nodder – quite like this one.
Track 26: Apache Indian – Boom Shack-A-Lak
Good jaunty retro-tinged reggae – great stuff.
Track 27: Urban Cookie Collective – Feels Like Heaven
Nice dance-pop tune – big fan of this.
Track 28: Captain Hollywood Project – More And More
Great electro instrumentals, but the vocals let it down.
Track 29: Juliet Roberts – Free Love
Interesting instrumentals, good uptempo beat.
Track 30: Jamiroquai – Too Young To Die
Nice funky track, a little slow, but it is absolutely standard Jamiroquai even this early on, so I do like it.
Track 31: Dina Carroll – Don’t Be A Stranger
The most overblown of all the overblown Dina Carroll ballads. Nice tune, but the style is just too much for me.
Track 32: Take That – Pray
I’ve mentioned that I was a big Take That fan during this era, and this is another solid pop song. Great stuff.
Track 33: Gabrielle – Going Nowhere
Nice upbeat tune, but I find the vocals a bit dull.
Track 34: Lena Fiagbe – Gotta Get It Right
Annoying tune, annoying cheesy lyrics. Vocals are interesting, but generally not a fan.
Track 35: Soul II Soul – Wish
Too slow and dull for me.
Track 36: Lisa Stansfield – So Natural
Urgh, saccharine ballad! Not a fan of this at all.
Track 37: Björk and David Arnold – Play Dead
Great, interesting duet with a wonderfully epic atmosphere. A classic.
Track 38: Lenny Kravitz – Heaven Help
Another dull ballad. Not keen.
Track 39: Go West – The Tracks Of My Tears
Slow guitar cover of the Smokey Robinson classic. I shouldn’t like it, but it’s such a great song however it’s done that I can’t help it.
Track 40: Janet Jackson – That’s The Way Love Goes
Dull, repetitive track – not enough melody for me.
…Do my eyes deceive me? Have we really reached the end of a Now! compilation without a single ‘Not on Spotify’ moment? We really must be approaching the modern age!
It’s also the first Now! compilation to stretch to 40 tracks. No wonder it’s taking longer and longer to listen to these every day!
Day 20’s Now! compilation was released on 18th November 1991.
I doubt any of the following tracks will be as pleasing as my pompom dress, but let’s have a listen anyway.
Track 1: Vic Reeves and The Wonder Stuff – Dizzy
Big Wonder Stuff fan – have seen them fairly often – so I really like this cover of the Tommy Roe classic that they did with Vic Reeves. There’s enough folky instrumentals here to make it quite different from the original – good stuff.
Track 2: Belinda Carlisle – Live Your Life Be Free
Vocals are a bit overblown here for my liking, but I do like the track, especially the rockier edge.
Track 3: U2 – The Fly
Urgh, the ’90s, when U2 got boring. Dull tune, repetitive vocals, no fun anymore.
Track 4: Pet Shop Boys – Where The Streets Have No Name (I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You)
And speaking of U2…being a synthpop nut, I do actually prefer this cover to the original. Sorry, Bono & Co.
Track 5: Erasure – Love To Hate You
Another solid synth track from Erasure – gotta love that I Will Survive sampling. This is a good example of a sample from a classic tune being used in a track that actually suits it.
Track 6: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Sailing On The Seven Seas
I’m a huge fan of OMD’s stuff, and this is a good solid track, even though it’s not quite as synthy as their earlier work. Great chant-along vocals.
Track 7: Simply Red – Something Got Me Started
I know I said before that the ’80s are my favourite Simply Red era, but this is definitely my favourite individual song of theirs. Great instrumentals, wonderful atmosphere on the vocals, nice upbeat tempo, and that sax-into-piano solo is mega. Love it.
Track 8: Lisa Stansfield – Change
Dreary vocals, boring backing track. Not a fan of this one.
Track 9: Zoë – Sunshine On A Rainy Day
Something about the vocal annoys me here. I’m not keen on the tune either.
Track 10: Salt-N-Pepa – Let’s Talk About Sex
This was a favourite for kids in my class to sing loudly in my primary school playground in 1991, probably because it was risque and hence kind of rebellious in the thinking of a six-year-old.
I think it was also popularised by the ‘Let’s Talk About Juice’ version in the Fruit-Tella advert (was it Fruit-Tella? Let me google that a minute. Um, googling was inconclusive, but it did tell me that it was definitely Fruit-Tella that did the ‘I’m Too Juicy’ takeoff of Right Said Fred’s I’m Too Sexy, so I’m fairly sure they must have done this one too).
I will probably end up doing a whole post soon about how advertising doesn’t work in this respect. I remember pretty much every TV advert shown during my ’90s childhood, but I can hardly ever remember what the exact product was that they were advertising.
Track 11: Color Me Badd – I Wanna Sex You Up
Bit of a repetitive one, but I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for it due to it being another one that was used in Britain’s Got The Pop Factor.
Track 12: Kenny Thomas – Best Of You
It’s a nice upbeat tempo, but I find the song a bit dull.
Track 13: Prince and The New Power Generation – Gett Off
Prince is another artist who really went downhill in the ’90s as far as I’m concerned. Not enough melody or joy for me here.
Track 14: Rozalla – Faith (In The Power Of Love)
Nice upbeat dance track, and that sax solo is lovely. Some really interesting instrumentals here.
Track 15: 2 Unlimited – Get Ready For This
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
Absolute classic dance track from childhood – played at every birthday party in the early ’90s, often during pass-the-parcel in order to ramp the adrenaline up.
Track 16: Moby – Go
Nice epic atmosphere, though the track is a bit repetitive.
Track 17: The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu – It’s Grim Up North [Part 1]
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
This is another alias of the KLF, incidentally. Good brooding dance track, really like this one. That Jerusalem sampling is inspired.
Track 18: PM Dawn – Set Adrift On Memory Bliss
Okay a cappella intro, but then we’re straight into the misplaced sampling of Spandau Ballet’s True with awful spoken word and cacophonic clashing vocals over the top. Just terrible.
Track 19: Paul Young – Don’t Dream (It’s Over)
Utterly pointless cover of the Crowded House classic from a whole five years earlier. Why did people even buy covers like this? Surely the original was still available to buy on an album in the record shops!
Track 20: Enya – Caribbean Blue
Beautiful chillout track from Enya – lovely stuff.
Track 21: Julian Lennon – Saltwater
Really nice instrumentals, though the vocals are pretty dull.
Track 22: Paula Abdul – Rush Rush
Nice tune, but it’s a bit slow for me. Interesting violin solo, though!
Track 23: Jason Donovan – Any Dream Will Do
This was too cheesy for me even as a six-year-old, though lots of my classmates loved it, which meant we had to sing it in music class a lot. Blurgh.
Track 24: Cathy Dennis – Too Many Walls
Again, solid pop, but I’d prefer it if it were a bit more upbeat.
Track 25: Alison Moyet – This House
Obligatory ‘going to see this artist soon!’ squee. Well, if you can count next February as ‘soon’…
Beautiful slow ballad with an epic, dramatic atmosphere and gorgeous lyrics. Hope she plays this one when I go see her!
Track 26: Marc Cohn – Walking In Memphis
Classic, beautiful song – absolutely love this one.
(I even have a real soft spot for the later Cher cover, though that one really is pointless – it’s just this version with Cher’s vocals on top. Anyway, I won’t get ahead of myself in case it features later.)
Track 27: Glass Tiger – My Town
Cheesy pop-rock, pretty generic. Not a fan.
Track 28: Scorpions – Wind Of Change
Lovely epic atmosphere, great rock ballad.
Track 29: INXS – Shining Star
Nice interesting track from INXS – great vocals, good build to the song, nice sax towards the end.
Track 30: Roxette – Joyride
Another great upbeat bit of pop-rock from Roxette – great stuff.
Track 31: James – Sit Down
A classic bit of ’90s indie. When I saw them at Beautiful Days in 2009 they actually finished with this one, which is apparently not at all usual, because being their biggest hit it’s the one they’re sick of. I do like it, though.
Track 32: Voice Of The Beehive – I Think I Love You
Really like those guitar instrumentals, and the atmosphere is great. This is probably the best version of the Partridge Family track as far as I’m concerned – it’s so different and so interesting.
Track 33: Slade – Radio Wall Of Sound
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 1: lazy tribute version substitute.
Slade’s earlier stuff is amazing to me, but this track is a bit rock-by-numbers, though I do like that singalong chorus.
Track 34: Monty Python – Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life
Not sure why this classic Life of Brian soundtrack song was back in the charts, but here it is. Pleasant diversion, but it’s a bit ‘novelty’ for me.
Track 35: Don McLean – American Pie
Often back in the charts since its original 1971 release, this is a great classic to end on! Beautiful lyrics, lovely tune, absolutely worth its eight-minute-plus running time.
Day 15’s Now! compilation was released on 14th August 1989.
On with the tracks!
Track 1: Queen – I Want It All
Brilliant track, one of my favourites from Queen. Wonderful guitar solo from Brian May, of course, but the best bit is when it goes quiet for a drums ‘n’ chanting singalong. Great stuff.
Track 2: Simple Minds – Kick It In
After an uninspiring slow intro, this track does what it says on the tin, thankfully. Vocals a bit experimental for my liking, though.
Track 3: Fine Young Cannibals – Good Thing
Bit of a retro-sounding track from Fine Young Cannibals. Nice tune, but a bit repetitive for me.
Track 4: Holly Johnson – Americanos
I’m not hugely keen on Holly Johnson’s post-FGTH solo stuff. There’s something irritating about the tune and instrumentals on this one.
Track 5: Transvision Vamp – Baby I Don’t Care
Great pop-rock track from Transvision Vamp. Nice singalong chorus, great guitar.
Track 6: INXS – Mystify
Nice bouncy instrumentals, nice vocals, lovely epic quiet chorus. Really like this one.
Track 7: Roxette – The Look
Love this track! Great guitar, great vocals, awesome tune. Roxette are one of those bands where I like pretty much all of their stuff, but this is a real standout.
Track 8: Stevie Nicks – Rooms On Fire
Slight aside for a minute while I bemoan the fact that I am no longer going to try and get tickets to see Fleetwood Mac this year because they’ve had drama again, with Lindsey Buckingham quitting, and I WANTED TO SEE ALL FIVE OF THEM BECAUSE THAT’S THE CLASSIC LINEUP DAMMIT. This is the only gig disappointment of 2018 that I have not been able to mitigate somehow.
Anyway, this Stevie Nicks solo track is lovely and epic, absolutely holding its own against the Fleetwood Mac back catalogue. Cracking song.
Track 9: Paul McCartney – My Brave Face
Nice upbeat track, nice tune. Good head-nodder.
Track 10: Gerry Marsden, Paul McCartney, Holly Johnson and The Christians – Ferry ‘Cross The Mersey
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
Never been keen on any version of this track, ’cause the chorus annoys me. I do appreciate the instrumental treatment of this one, though.
Track 11: The Beautiful South – Song For Whoever
So, back on Saturday when I was listening to Now! #10, Geth went on this big ominous ramble during Build by the Housemartins that that was the point when the Housemartins were starting to sound like the Beautiful South, and that it would only be a matter of time before the former went bang and the latter rose from the ashes. That did of course happen in the late ’80s, but as much as I do prefer the Housemartins, I don’t think the Beautiful South are a bad thing. This song is lovely and has just the right level of whimsy for my liking.
Track 12: Kirsty MacColl – Days
Beautiful cover of the Kinks track. There’s enough interesting things done with the instrumentals here (not to mention MacColl’s gorgeous vocals) to make the cover non-pointless, and the result is lovely and sweeping.
Track 13: Danny Wilson – The Second Summer Of Love
Not sure about this folk-rock track – I quite like the bridge, but the chorus is a bit cheesy.
Track 14: Waterfront – Cry
Good instrumentals on the intro, but the track is a bit generic. Sax solo does save it a bit.
Track 15: Hue & Cry – Violently
Another slow one from Hue & Cry – again, a bit dull for me. They just never matched Labour Of Love as far as I’m concerned.
Track 16: Cliff Richard – The Best Of Me
1989: the year everyone decided Cliff Richard was a thing again for some reason. This one is mouldy cheddar, but what do you expect?
Track 17: Soul II Soul and Caron Wheeler – Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)
I’ve always liked that ‘back to life/back to reality‘ hook. Nice head-nodder as well.
Track 18: Neneh Cherry – Manchild
Nice tune and great instrumentals, but it’s a bit slow for me.
Track 19: Bobby Brown – Every Little Step
Dull tune, but the beat’s all right.
Track 20: Inner City – Do You Love What You Feel
Nice intro – then the dull vocal kicks in. Not a fan.
Track 21: D-Mob and LRS – It’s Time To Get Funky
Good dance track, quite like this one.
Track 22: Donna Allen – Joy And Pain
Love that sax! Nice tuneful ballad, even if the vocals are a bit repetitive.
Track 23: Gladys Knight – Licence To Kill
Love a James Bond soundtrack song! (We’ll gloss over the missed opportunity of A View To A Killfor now.) Epic almost-orchestral instrumentals, building atmosphere, great vocals – this is what you want.
Track 24: Natalie Cole – Miss You Like Crazy
Super saccharine ballad, annoying chorus. Not my thing.
Track 25: Pet Shop Boys – It’s Alright
More classic synthpop from Pet Shop Boys. Love those synth hooks.
Track 26: Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers – Swing The Mood
Novelty cartoon rabbit that I quite liked at the time, being four. The mix of classic swing and rock ‘n’ roll tracks leaves a little to be desired, though.
Track 27: Swing Out Sister – You On My Mind
Nice upbeat track, lovely tune, good vocals – I quite like this one.
Track 28: Bananarama – Cruel Summer ’89
I don’t know whose idea this 1989 remix was, but it’s a good excuse to hear some classic Bananarama again! Great track when it’s not the weird remix bit.
Track 29: De La Soul – Say No Go
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 1: lazy tribute version substitute.
Finally, some rap that’s actually interesting! Great instrumentals too.
Track 30: Norman Cook and MC Wildski – Blame It On The Bassline
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
Here’s another phoenix from the ashes of the Housemartins’ split, back in the days before he was going by Fatboy Slim. This was actually the Beats International project, although I guess they hadn’t come up with the name yet.
Really quite like this mishmash of samples, especially the Blame It On The Boogie hooks.
Track 31: Double Trouble and The Rebel MC – Just Keep Rockin’
Nice upbeat dance track – happily nodding along here.
Track 32: The Cure – Lullaby
My favourite song from my favourite band! Now THIS is a good way to end a compilation. Indescribably beautiful mournful track – I will adore it forever.
Day 11’s Now! compilation takes us to 21st March 1988.
Here’s some music by people who almost certainly drove better cars than my dad did that month.
Track 1: Pet Shop Boys – Always On My Mind
Great cover of the Elvis classic. I love the synth line on this one, but then I love the synth line on pretty much every Pet Shop Boys track. This was the 1987 Christmas number one – I would say ‘deservedly so’ if it weren’t for the fact that it should have been Fairytale Of New York that year.
Track 2: Belinda Carlisle – Heaven Is A Place On Earth
Love this one! Another classic from my ’80s playlist I made in the early ’00s. I used to blast it in my first student flat. Thankfully my flatmates all loved it too.
Track 3: Billy Ocean – Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car
Is Billy Ocean’s car a dodgy red Austin Ambassador? If so, I’d get into it any day. I miss that car.
Great bit of pop, always liked this one.
Track 4: Jermaine Stewart – Say It Again
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
Nice piano intro, nice tune on the chorus, generally pleasant song.
Track 5: Eddy Grant – Gimme Hope Jo’anna
Argh, annoying chorus alert! Good party song, but give me Electric Avenue any day.
Track 6: Eddie Cochran – C’mon Everybody
Not sure why this ’50s classic was back in the charts, but here it is. Nice bit of timeless rock ‘n’ roll.
Track 7: Morrissey – Suedehead
Fairly typical of Morrissey’s just-post-the-Smiths era. I’m not a big fan of this one, there’s nothing in the tune that I like.
Track 8: Elton John – Candle In The Wind
Again, I have no idea why this song was back in the charts more than a decade after its original release, but it was. I actually prefer the Diana tribute reworking from 1997. Honestly!
Track 9: Wet Wet Wet – Angel Eyes (Home And Away)
Another annoying chorus – there’s something kind of whiny about it. I’m not sure what the ‘home and away’ in the title is about, either – it just reminds me of the soap opera, which I’m not sure had even started in 1988.
Track 10: Johnny Hates Jazz – Turn Back The Clock
Kind of a dull one in my book, though the instrumentals are quite nice.
Track 11: T’Pau – Valentine
Really like the way this one builds – great, interesting track.
Track 12: Billy Idol – Hot In The City
A bit repetitive in its tune, but still a good head-nodder.
Track 13: Sinéad O’Connor – Mandinka
Nice upbeat track, love the guitar and the vocals on the bridge and chorus.
Track 14: The Mission – Tower Of Strength
Goth club classic! Get that two-step going.
Track 15: Whitesnake – Give Me All Your Love
Not as epic as the best Whitesnake songs, but still a nice singalong hair metal chorus.
Track 16: Kylie Minogue – I Should Be So Lucky
This was my favourite song in 1988, but then it was also the favourite song of every other girl in my nursery class (you’re not very original when you’re three). I still love it – great pop track.
Track 17: Mel & Kim – That’s The Way It Is
More great pop from Mel & Kim. I think this may be one of my favourites of theirs.
Track 18: Joyce Sims – Come Into My Life [Radio Mix]
Nice tinkly intro, great catchy hooks, great tune.
Track 19: Jellybean and Elisa Fiorillo – Who Found Who
Chair-dancing from the start with this one – bit of a cheesy vocal, but a nice bouncy track.
Track 20: Bananarama – I Can’t Help It
Love this one! Another solid pop song from Bananarama.
Track 21: Dollar – Oh L’amour
Fun fact: the original Erasure version of this was never a hit, which is probably why this Dollar cover (which was a hit) appears on so many ’80s compilations. Absolute epitome of a pointless cover, as it changes nothing from the original (in fact, I was playing it the other day and I don’t think Geth even noticed it wasn’t the original, and he’s a huge Erasure fan), but that at least means that it’s just as danceable.
Track 22: Vanessa Paradis – Joe Le Taxi
Slightly slower one, but still a nice track. One for the chillout playlist.
Track 23: Morris Minor & The Majors – Stutter Rap (No Sleep Till Bedtime)
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
Daft Beastie Boys parody, very of its time. Mildly amusing, but not playlist-worthy.
Track 24: Bomb The Bass – Beat Dis
How could I fail to love a track with a Thunderbirds sample? This one is great.
Being the queen of misheard lyrics, I was all ‘OMG, is that the f-word in my lovely innocent ’80s pop?’ No, of course it’s not! They’re actually singing ‘funky’. Contrast that to today’s charts, where every second word in pretty much every song has to be muted on the radio. I hate this century. </getoffmylawn>
Track 25: Coldcut and Yazz & The Plastic Population – Doctorin’ The House
Another annoying chorus. What is it with those today? I quite like the rest of the track, though.
Track 26: Krush – House Arrest
Great dance song. I don’t imagine most wedding DJs would play this one, but I might request it off Geth next time he’s DJing a wedding.
Track 27: Jack ‘N’ Chill – The Jack That House Built
I really like this one as well – lots of chair-dancing today. Great synth line, love the samples too.
Track 28: Beatmasters and The Cookie Crew – Rok Da House
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
This one’s not so much my cup of tea, though I do like the piano bit.
Track 29: Two Men, A Drum Machine & A Trumpet – Tired Of Getting Pushed Around
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
Wikipedia informs me these were actually a Fine Young Cannibals spinoff band. I quite like the track.
Track 30: Climie Fisher – Rise To The Occasion
Bit of a dull ballad, which is becoming standard for the last track. Let’s have something more upbeat, Now! compilers!