Nice summery dance beat, but the tune’s not that inspired.
The video is all about Rita Ora leading a group contemporary dance routine in a neon-lit studio.
Remedee, Notes and Young Adz – Love Of My Life
Some interesting synthy things going on with the backing track, but there’s no tune to speak of.
The video features lots of shuffling around a London tower block and, of course, some standing around in front of cars.
Krept & Konan, Headie One and K-Trap – I Spy
Annoying squeaky voices on the backing track, repetitive rap. Not my thing.
Some interesting bits in the (NSFW-due-to-close-up-twerking-towards-the-end) video – there’s a chat show host involved and some random flamenco outfits – but it’s mostly a fairly generic haze of bling, exotic mansions and car-standing.
So. Three and a half months, ten and a half solid days of music listening, and 4,020 tracks later, here we are at Day 100, the final day of this Now! compilation marathon. Day 100 means that we have finally reached Now! #100, which has just been released today, 20th July 2018.
Here they are, then – the very last summer hits.
(Let’s take a minute to appreciate this awesome celebratory cover. On the top left, we have the pig that featured on the covers of Now! #3 to Now! #5 – well, it’s actually a much cuter version! On the top right, we have an airship with the logo that was used on the covers of Now! #3 to Now! #16. Love the fireworks too! Perfect cover for this special occasion.)
Track 1: Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa – One Kiss
This was number one for quite a few weeks, but it’s not my thing. I find the tune really irritating and a bit repetitive.
Track 2: George Ezra – Shotgun
I like the rhythm on this one.
Track 3: Clean Bandit and Demi Lovato – Solo
Good bit of pop – I quite like the tune. There’s some annoying vocal stuff going on in the chorus though.
Track 4: Ariana Grande – No Tears Left To Cry
Absolutely gorgeous pop tune – I really like this one.
Track 5: Anne-Marie – 2002
Hmm. I do like the clever interpolation on the chorus of a single line – ‘oops, I got 99 problems singing “bye, bye, bye”/hold up, if you wanna go and take a ride wit me/better hit me, baby, one more time‘ – that mixes up the hooks from Britney Spears’ …Baby One More Time, Jay-Z’s 99 Problems, NSYNC’s Bye Bye Bye, Dr Dre’s The Next Episode, Nelly’s Ride Wit Me and Britney Spears’ Oops!… I Did It Again. If you remember the turn of the millennium, it’s very evocative.
I can’t stand the theme, though – and the tune on the verses really annoys me!
Track 6: Jess Glynne – I’ll Be There
Extremely irritating, cloying tune. I don’t know why I always find Jess Glynne’s stuff so grating, but I do.
Track 7: Years & Years – If You’re Over Me
Great bouncy rhythm – this one’s quite fun.
Track 8: David Guetta and Sia – Flames
Annoying tune on the vocals – not keen.
Track 9: Post Malone – Better Now
Another irritating tune.
Track 10: Jonas Blue and Jack & Jack – Rise
I get this one stuck in my head a lot at the moment. I’m not sure why, ’cause the tune’s very uninspired.
Track 11: Liam Payne and J Balvin – Familiar
I really like this one – it’s got a great Latin feel to it.
Track 12: Banx & Ranx, Ella Eyre and Yxng Bane – Answerphone
Good solid pop tune – I love that singalong chorus.
Track 13: MO, Lotto Boyzz and Mr Eazi – Bad Vibe
Nice summery song – quite like this one.
Track 14: Tiësto, Dzeko, Preme and Post Malone – Jackie Chan
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Post Malone on track 9.
Ridiculous lyrics, annoying tune on the chorus. It’s got a good beat, though.
Track 15: M-22 and Medina – First Time
Another annoying tune, and the EDM backing track is painfully generic.
Track 16: 5 Seconds of Summer – Youngblood
Great epic rock track – the chorus is awesome. Really like this one.
Track 17: Bebe Rexha and Florida-Georgia Line – Meant To Be
Too country-tinged for me, and I really hate that chorus.
Track 18: Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey – The Middle
Yet another very irritating tune.
Track 19: Khalid and Normani – Love Lies
Beautiful tune – lovely and melancholy.
Track 20: Jax Jones, Mabel and Rich The Kid – Ring Ring
Great atmosphere – quite like this tune.
Track 21: Cheat Codes and Little Mix – Only You
Bit of a dull tune – not a fan of this one.
Track 22: Shawn Mendes – In My Blood
Again, I find the tune really annoying, and I don’t like the theme either.
Track 23: MU4 – You Can’t Hurry Love
Now, this is an interesting way to end the first disc! MU4 won a competition on Good Morning Britain to appear on this Now! compilation. The competition winners were asked to cover the Phil Collins classic, which was the very first song on a Now! compilation – track 1 on Now! #1 back in 1983.
I do like the harmonies on this cover, and the retro feel remains intact, which is great. Obviously I’ll always prefer the original, but this version is not bad.
Track 24: UB40 – Red Red Wine
Disc two of this special Now! compilation is not full of new hits, like it usually would be. Instead, it features favourite pop songs that have appeared on Now! compilations throughout the years. As you know if you’re one of the intrepid souls who have been following my Now! marathon right from the start, I don’t usually like it when songs are included that have already been featured on previous entries in the series. However, seeing as this is a special celebration album, I’ll let it slide today!
Red Red Wine first appeared as track 3 on Now! #1 in November 1983. See the link for my review.
Incidentally, seeing as both track 1 and track 3 of Now! #1 have been honoured on this compilation, I wouldn’t have minded a wee shout-out to track 2! The second half of my Now! marathon has not had any Duran Duran for me to love.
Track 25: Phil Collins – Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)
Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) first appeared as track 8 on Now! #3 in July 1984. See the link for my review.
Phil Collins is getting a good look-in on this celebratory Now! entry!
Track 26: Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer
Livin’ On A Prayer first appeared as track 25 on Now! #9 in March 1987. See the link for my review.
I’m not sure how I feel about the ’80s being represented on this disc by a reggae track, a ballad and a hairmetal song. Just one synthpop or New Romantic track would have made me a very happy girl.
Track 27: Wet Wet Wet – Love Is All Around
Love Is All Around first appeared as track 1 on Now! #28 in August 1994. See the link for my review.
Interesting to see this one again after recent discussion of Drake equalling the second-place number one longevity record!
Track 28: Spice Girls – Wannabe
Wannabe first appeared as track 1 on Now! #34 in August 1996. See the link for my review.
I think eleven-year-old me would have been thrilled to find out the Spice Girls would be featuring on Now! #100, so thirty-three-year-old me will try not to roll her eyes too much!
Track 29: Oasis – Wonderwall
Wonderwall first appeared as track 24 on Now! #34 in August 1996. See the link for my review.
That’s two tracks for Now! #34, which is interesting! Really, though, Wonderwall should have appeared on a Now! compilation earlier, as it had been released about a year before it made its appearance.
Track 30: Robbie Williams – Angels
Angels first appeared as track 7 on Now! #39 in April 1998. See the link for my review.
Another favourite childhood artist that I would thoroughly have wanted to receive this honour back in the day!
Track 31: Cher – Believe
Believe first appeared as track 3 on Now! #42 in March 1999. See the link for my review.
Good to see Cher on here, though I’ll always prefer her ’80s stuff. (Yes, I know that’s the case with most decade-spanning artists.)
Track 32: Britney Spears – …Baby One More Time
…Baby One More Time first appeared as track 1 on Now! #44 in November 1999. See the link for my review.
Well, it would have been wrong if we hadn’t had at least one of the songs featured in Anne-Marie’s 2002 interpolation on track 5!
In my opinion, the ’90s selection on this disc has been a little more representative than the ’80s selection (it helps that twice as many were included), but it’s a shame that there was absolutely nothing from the early ’90s – a bit of classic dance like 2 Unlimited or Snap! wouldn’t have gone amiss.
Track 33: S Club 7 – Reach
Reach first appeared as track 2 on Now! #46 in July 2000. See the link for my review.
Track 34: Destiny’s Child – Survivor
Survivor first appeared as track 13 on Now! #49 in July 2001. See the link for my review.
Track 35: Kylie Minogue – Can’t Get You Out Of My Head
Can’t Get You Out Of My Head first appeared as track 1 on Now! #50 in November 2001. See the link for my review.
Track 36: Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River
Cry Me A River first appeared as track 3 on Now! #55 in July 2003. See the link for my review.
Track 37: James Blunt – You’re Beautiful
You’re Beautiful first appeared as track 1 on Now! #61 in July 2005. See the link for my review.
Track 38: Shakira and Wyclef Jean – Hips Don’t Lie
Hips Don’t Lie first appeared as track 2 on Now! #65 in November 2006. See the link for my review.
Rule The World first appeared as track 2 on Now! #68 in November 2007. See the link for my review.
Track 40: Coldplay – Viva La Vida
Viva La Vida first appeared as track 24 on Now! #71 in November 2008. See the link for my review.
Track 41: Katy Perry – I Kissed A Girl
I Kissed A Girl first appeared as track 2 on Now! #71 in November 2008. See the link for my review.
Now! #71 getting a double look-in as well!
Very representative selection from the ’00s overall – songs from every part of the decade and lots of different genres.
Track 42: Ed Sheeran – Sing
Sing first appeared as track 2 on Now! #88 in July 2014. See the link for my review.
Mind the six-year jump there, Now! compilers! Could have done with fewer ’00s tracks to make room for some more from the ’10s!
Track 43: Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
Uptown Funk first appeared as track 1 on Now! #90 in March 2015. See the link for my review.
My favourite track on this celebratory disc – absolutely deserves to be on here.
Track 44: Justin Bieber – Love Yourself
Love Yourself first appeared as track 2 on Now! #93 in March 2016. See the link for my review.
I’m not sure how I feel about a celebration of thirty-five years and a hundred compilation albums worth of pop music being ended on a Justin Bieber track. They could at least have gone with Sorry, his one good track, which was released around the same time.
Short and sweet from the ’10s, but at least it was more representative than the ’80s selection.
Final note: So, that’s it from me and my Now! marathon, then – well, until Now! #101 comes out in the autumn. I’ll post some stats from the whole thing at some point over the weekend as well, ’cause I love my stats – but other than that, I’m looking forward to having my music listening time back to myself again!
It’s been an interesting few months, and as a pop music geek, it’s really consolidated for me what I already felt about the way chart music has evolved during the course of my lifetime. I’ll always prefer the ’80s stuff, I’ll always cringe when the ’90s stuff reminds me of my childhood, I’ll always think most of the ’00s stuff is really tacky, and I’ll always wish most of the ’10s stuff weren’t such poor quality and so generic.
On many days – especially days when the music was especially terrible and boring – it’s the daily picture feature that has been the most fun. It’s been fascinating and terrifying at the same time to watch my life flash by, season by season.
Finally, surprisingly, after all that, I appreciate the institution of Now! That’s What I Call Music more than ever. I’m actually already looking forward to the next one.
Day 87 equals Now! #87, which came out on 7th April 2014.
Into the mid-’10s already! 2014 was my last full year living in Southampton. Let’s see what the chart sounded like.
Track 1: Pharrell Williams – Happy
It’s a bit cheesy, but it’s very joyful and danceable, so I quite like it.
Track 2: Route 94 and Jess Glynne – My Love
Annoying tune, generic track. Not keen on this one.
Track 3: Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull – I’m A Freak
Good beat, but the tune’s pretty uninspired, and the chorus is really irritating.
Track 4: Avicii – Hey Brother
Another of Avicii’s EDM-bluegrass crossovers. Quite like this track.
Track 5: Katy Perry and Juicy J – Dark Horse
Great atmosphere, and it’s got an okay tune.
Track 6: Sam Smith – Money On My Mind
I find this tune pretty irritating, and I’ve never been a fan of Sam Smith’s falsetto vocals.
Track 7: Little Mix – Word Up!
Pointless cover of the Cameo classic, released as the official Sport Relief single for 2014. While the cover is pointless, the video is great – highlights include Chris Barrie reprising his role from The Brittas Empire and Melanie C showing she can still do those Spice Girl cartwheels.
Track 8: 5 Seconds Of Summer – She Looks So Perfect
Great bit of pop-rock – really like this tune!
Track 9: Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
Irritating overblown ballad, not a fan.
Track 10: Pixie Lott – Nasty
Great beat, good big band feel – very danceable.
Track 11: One Direction – Story Of My Life
Boring, slow, cheesy, and too acoustic-y for me. Everything I dislike.
Track 12: Gary Barlow – Let Me Go
Okay beat, but the tune is dull.
Track 13: Alesso and OneRepublic – If I Lose Myself
Generic tune – nothing exciting going on here.
Track 14: Gorgon City and MNEK – Ready For Your Love
Another very uninspired track, with a dance beat that’s the same as every other dance beat from this decade.
Track 15: The Vamps – Wild Heart
Too cheesy for me, but it’s got quite a good rhythm.
Track 16: Lady Gaga and R Kelly – Do What U Want
The atmosphere’s okay, but again the tune’s not very interesting.
Track 17: Elyar Fox – Do It All Over Again
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
It’s an okay pop song with a good beat, but it’s pretty forgettable.
Track 18: Katy B – Crying For No Reason
This one’s a bit depressing, but the tune is quite pretty.
Track 19: John Legend – All Of Me
It’s very saccharine, but parts of the tune are absolutely beautiful, so I quite like it.
Track 20: A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera – Say Something
Another boring, mood-killing ballad.
Track 21: Ellie Goulding – How Long Will I Love You
And yet another one.
Track 22: Sam Bailey – Skyscraper
The 2013 X Factor winner, this year doing a pointless cover of a Demi Lovato song. Nothing interesting here.
Track 23: The Chainsmokers – #Selfie
That title is going to look so dated in decades to come. Mind you, I don’t think anyone makes pop music with the thought that it’s going to be listened to in the future anymore – it’s all a bit disposable these days. Anyway, this is interspersed throughout with the most annoying spoken word sample ever, which I think is meant to be the point, but it doesn’t make it in any way pleasant to listen to.
Track 24: Pitbull and Kesha – Timber
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Pitbull on track 3.
At my Zumba class in Southampton, we used to do a really fun, high energy, line dance-inspired routine to this, which I absolutely loved. As such, I’ve got a soft spot for this song.
Track 25: DVBBS, Borgeous and Tinie Tempah – Tsunami (Jump)
Great rhythm – happily nodding along right now.
Track 26: Calvin Harris, Alesso and Hurts – Under Control
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Alesso on track 13.
This is another one with a very unmemorable tune.
Track 27: Martin Garrix and Jay Hardway – Wizard
The hook’s okay, but everything that surrounds it is off – it could have created quite a good atmosphere if the track weren’t so messy.
Track 28: Tiësto – Red Lights
Depressingly generic tune.
Track 29: Duke Dumont and Jax Jones – I Got U
I like the steel drums, but otherwise it’s fairly boring.
Track 30: Bastille – Of The Night
Track completely made up of interpolations of Snap’s Rhythm Is A Dancer and Corona’s The Rhythm Of The Night, so I guess it’s sort of a cover. I love both tracks so I don’t mind – this compilation has had so many boring forgettable tunes on that it’s a relief to hear a tune I like, even if it’s not original.
Track 31: Example – Kids Again
I like the backing track, but again I’m just not enthused by the tune.
Track 32: Little Mix – Move
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Little Mix on track 7.
This one’s a nice solid bit of pop – good stuff.
Track 33: Neon Jungle – Braveheart
Good solid pop tune – this one’s quite danceable.
Track 34: DJ Fresh, Jay Fay and Ms Dynamite – Dibby Dibby Sound
Bit of a Zumba theme to this playlist, because this is one that we danced to in a Zumba class I was attending in Newcastle last year. I really need to go back to dance class – I fell out of the habit during the move and am a bit too busy at the moment. Maybe in the autumn.
Anyway, this one’s a bit repetitive to listen to, but it’s got a good beat.
Track 35: Tujamo, Plastik Funk and Sneakbo – Dr Who!
I’m a bit surprised I ignored this one when it was in the charts, because I’m always looking for daft vaguely Doctor Who-related songs to add to that Doctor Who playlist I’m going to create at some point in the future.
It’s a bit tuneless, but it’s got a good beat. It’d be nice if the lyrics were slightly more relevant to the title.
Track 36: Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne – Thank You
I find the rap a bit awkward. Good rhythm, though, and the sample of Alicia Myers’ 1981 hit I Wanna Thank You is awesome.
Track 37: Fuse ODG – Million Pound Girl (Badder Than Bad)
Great atmosphere, good tune. Really like this one.
Track 38: John Newman – Out Of My Head
Too slow for me, and the tune’s pretty depressing.
Track 39: Sub Focus – Turn Back Time
Bit of ’90s-tinged dance – great atmosphere.
Track 40: Matrix & Futurebound and Max Marshall – Control
Good beat, but this is another forgettable tune.
Track 41: Foxes – Let Go For Tonight
I like that piano at the start, and the chorus is epic.
Track 42: Paloma Faith – Can’t Rely On You
Interesting tune, good beat. Not a bad track.
Track 43: Le Youth and Dominique Young Unique – Dance With Me
Great beat, and it’s got a welcome ’80s tinge. Love the No Scrubs interpolation too. Good stuff.
Track 44: London Grammar – Hey Now
I quite like the backing track, but the tune’s boring and it’s too slow.
Track 45: Vance Joy – Riptide
Endearingly daft lyrics, feelgood tune. Big fan of this.