Day 13’s Now! compilation came out on 21st November 1988.
Let’s see what pop hits the Now! compilers have for me today.
Track 1: Yazz & The Plastic Population – The Only Way Is Up
Classic party track, and that blaring horn at the start is great, but I find the tune to the vocal a bit annoying.
Track 2: Womack & Womack – Teardrops
Nice tune, though it’s a bit repetitive for me.
Track 3: Erasure – A Little Respect
I adore this one! Brilliant singalong party track. Also, I can’t not post that excellent Tube singalong video.
Track 4: The Christians – Harvest For The World
A little ashamed to say that I’m not familiar enough with the Isley Brothers original to be able to say whether this cover is pointless or not. There’s lots of very ’80s twiddly instrumentals, but the vocal is a bit mid-century throwback, so it’s hard to guess.
Track 5: Hue & Cry – Ordinary Angel
Interesting instrumentals at the start, a bit Eastern-tinged. Nice tune, though it’s a bit slow for me.
Track 6: UB40 and Chrissie Hynde – Breakfast In Bed
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
Fairly standard UB40 slow reggae – great vocals from both singers. I actually like this even more than their cover of I Got You Babe.
Track 7: Robert Palmer – She Makes My Day
Really nice tune from Robert Palmer – interesting instrumental lines and great vocals.
Track 8: Breathe – Hands To Heaven
Nice instrumentals, but far too slow and saccharine for me. Apart from the sax solo. You can’t go wrong with a sax solo.
Track 9: Phil Collins – A Groovy Kind Of Love
Not a pointless cover as it’s very different from the Mindbenders original. It’s much slower and a lot more boring. Not a fan.
Track 10: Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry, Be Happy
I’ve always quite liked this jaunty tune. Didn’t they use to sell singing novelty fish that sang this song, or am I imagining that?
Track 11: The Art Of Noise and Tom Jones – Kiss
Nothing can beat the original Prince version, but this cover is not bad at all. It’s very different to the original, and I’m a big fan of Tom Jones and his distinctive voice. That guitar solo is great too.
Track 12: Bryan Ferry – Let’s Stick Together
Nice upbeat track, originally released a decade earlier, so the stylings are obviously very ’70s. Love the instrumentals though, and though it’s a late ’70s song, there’s something quite glam rock about it – Ferry still channelling his earlier Roxy Music days.
Track 13: Kim Wilde – You Came
At the Kim Wilde gig last week (sorry, not going to shut up about that just yet!), Kim dedicated this one to the audience. Great solid pop track with an awesome epic singalong chorus.
Track 14: Bomb The Bass – Don’t Make Me Wait
Bit of an irritating intro, but the track is good once you get past that – great synth line, great vocals, great tune.
Track 15: Brother Beyond – The Harder I Try
This one’s a bit cheesy for me, but the tune’s quite nice and it’s a good head-nodder.
Track 16: The Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
Not sure why this one was back in the charts, but it’s a classic for a reason. Great track.
Track 17: Fat Boys and Chubby Checker – The Twist (Yo, Twist!)
It’s that Fat Boys cackle at the start again, but this retro-tinged rap track would not have been at all scary to my toddler self. Definitely a party song.
Track 18: Wee Papa Girl Rappers – Wee Rule
Quite an interesting song – I like the tune on the chorus, and it’s nice to hear female-fronted rap in the ’80s style.
Track 19: Salt-N-Pepa – Twist And Shout
Speaking of which… Was it a thing in 1988 to fuse rap with retro rock ‘n’ roll stylings? I wouldn’t have expected to like that, but I do. This one’s great, with rap verses straddling the classic chorus. The opposite of a pointless cover.
Track 20: Yello – The Race
Ohhhh…it’s this one! Classic party tune, but I didn’t know what it was called or who it was by. Every day’s a learning experience.
Track 21: Inner City and Kevin Saunderson – Big Fun
Fairly standard for Inner City – nodding my head, but the tune’s not super exciting.
Track 22: D-Mob and Gary Haisman – We Call It Acieed
Infamous vocal, classic dance track. Bit repetitive for me, but it’s a good party song.
Track 23: Beatmasters and PP Arnold – Burn It Up
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
I find this one a bit dull, nothing out of the ordinary, though I quite like that trumpet hook.
Track 24: Milli Vanilli – Girl You Know It’s True
By the time I started reading Smash Hits in the early ’90s, Milli Vanilli were a bit of a joke in the pop magazines as it was widely believed that they didn’t actually provide the vocals on their records. I’m not sure if this was true, but it was the kind of thing that was a symptom of the irritating move towards manufactured pop groups.
As for the song itself, the possibly-fake vocals are a bit cheesy, but the instrumentals are great.
Track 25: Level 42 – Heaven In My Hands
I have the Sage Gateshead tab open ready on my browser to order those tickets! I’ve just…not done it yet. I will soon.
More fab instrumentals, great upbeat guitar, interesting track. Like this one.
Track 26: Jane Wiedlin – Rush Hour
Chair-dancing here from the start – great singalong chorus, great tune.
Track 27: The Proclaimers – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)
The unofficial Scottish national anthem, played whenever we score points at the rugby. Get several hundred Scots in a room, play this song, and watch the chaos ensue. The ultimate in singalong classics.
Track 28: T’Pau – Secret Garden
The chorus annoys me, but otherwise it’s quite a good tune.
Track 29: Transvision Vamp – I Want Your Love
Really interesting song with great vocals. Big fan of this one…
Track 30: Duran Duran – I Don’t Want Your Love
…and the title juxtaposition here is hilariously schizophrenic. I hope that was deliberate, Now! compilers!
Duran Duran may not want our love…but I think you know what I’m about to say. I love Duran Duran, and this song is another cracker. Lovely vocal harmonies on the verses, nice epic atmosphere, brilliant singalong chorus, great lyrics.
Track 31: The Human League – Love Is All That Matters
Interesting to hear the Human League’s later ’80s stuff here. The synth isn’t nearly so prominent, and it’s a bit smoother and more polished-sounding than their earlier stuff, especially the backing vocals. Nice tune, too, and that outro is beautiful.
Track 32: All About Eve – Martha’s Harbour
Classic goth ballad. I’ve always liked this one, so I’ll forgive the Now! compilers for ending yet another compilation with a ballad.