Day 8’s Now! compilation was released on 24th November 1986.
Let’s move onto the music.
Track 1: Duran Duran – Notorious
Yup, I still love Duran Duran. I also wish the Now! compilers would start putting their tracks later in the mix. I appreciate the need to start with a great tune, but sometimes it’s nice to save the best for last!
The song is one of my favourites (and not just for that Sparkle Motion bit in Donnie Darko that everyone always brings up). I love the ‘no-no-notorious’ hook, the way the verses build, the funk guitar – great track.
Track 2: Pet Shop Boys – Suburbia
Another great track from Pet Shop Boys – absolutely beautiful chorus and synth line.
Track 3: Aerosmith and Run DMC – Walk This Way
Bit overplayed these days, but still a classic, although I have to say I prefer the original version that Aerosmith did themselves.
Track 4: The Communards and Sarah Jane Morris – Don’t Leave Me This Way
A childhood favourite and one of the first pop songs I learnt to sing along to! I guess when you’re a toddler it’s easier to hit those high notes.
I discovered while Richard Coles was competing on Strictly last year that he’s responsible for the longest piano solo of the ’80s, which occurs in the middle of this song. Plus points!
Track 5: Swing Out Sister – Breakout
Nice and upbeat, but there’s something about the vocal that annoys me.
Track 6: Steve Winwood – Higher Love
Charming song, always liked this one. Great instrumentals, and I love that singalong chorus.
Track 7: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – (Forever) Live And Die
A bit slower than usual for OMD, but still a lovely tune.
Track 8: Genesis – In Too Deep
Nice epic instrumentals building throughout the song – really like this one.
Track 9: Cameo – Word Up
Another classic. There have been a lot of pointless ’90s, ’00s and ’10s covers in an attempt to replicate the greatness of this song, but nothing has come close to the original.
Track 10: Grace Jones – I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect For You)
I do like Grace Jones, and I really like the atmosphere of this track, especially during the verses.
Track 11: Mel & Kim – Showing Out (Get Fresh At The Weekend)
I’ve got a huge soft spot for Mel & Kim, and I really like this one, even though every time it pops up on Vintage TV Geth complains that they never show Respectable, which he apparently remembers as being a much bigger hit.
Track 12: Jermaine Stewart – We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off
I love this one! I never actually heard it until 2011, when it re-entered the charts after being featured in a Dairy Milk TV advert. Great pop track.
Track 13: Jaki Graham – Step Right Up
Probably the best out of the Jaki Graham tracks that the Now! compilers have chosen recently. Nice upbeat track with a catchy chorus.
Track 14: Janet Jackson – What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Quite a fun tune, but the lyrics annoy me.
Track 15: The Human League – Human
I really like this lovely, introspective track – a bit of a departure from the Human League’s earlier stuff, but really nice.
Track 16: Boris Gardiner – I Want To Wake Up With You
Bit cheesy for my liking, though I like the reggae beat.
Track 17: Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush – Don’t Give Up
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
Lovely duet, lovely tune. Really like this one.
Track 18: The Housemartins – Think For A Minute
I don’t think the Housemartins did a bad tune, and this is gorgeous as usual.
Track 19: Madness – (Waiting For) The Ghost Train
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
Madness turn their hand to ‘spooky’. Another one for the Hallowe’en playlist!
Track 20: Status Quo – In The Army Now
I really like the atmosphere of this one, and I’m not the biggest Status Quo fan. Great track.
Track 21: Huey Lewis & The News – Stuck With You
A bit daft and cheesy, but it’s a nice head-nodder.
Track 22: Big Country – One Great Thing
This is a better Big Country track than has been included on Now! compilations so far. Nice chant-along chorus.
Track 23: Billy Bragg – Greetings To The New Brunette
I like Billy Bragg’s stuff, though I wouldn’t necessarily add it to a typical ’80s party playlist. It’s more for post-party listening circa 4am. This one’s got a nice tune and awesome lyrics.
Track 24: Cutting Crew – (I Just) Died In Your Arms
A favourite from back during my first flush of ’80s nostalgia in the early ’00s – I played it over and over. I was lucky enough to see Cutting Crew play back in November, and the crowd naturally went absolutely nuts for this one. I think that was the point that Geth and I decided we were no longer going to be stuck in the upper gallery at the Sage, where the party is decidedly not happening. Apart from anything else, you can’t take drinks into the upper levels! This decision turned out to be a good one on Monday night, when we went to the Kim Wilde gig and enjoyed a much more high-energy atmosphere down on the floor.
Speaking of Kim Wilde…
Track 25: Kim Wilde – You Keep Me Hangin’ On
Is it another excuse to post the slightly blurry video I took of Kim Wilde performing this song on Monday night? I think it is!
I like most stuff that Kim Wilde has done, but this is my absolute favourite track of hers. Stunning cover of the ’60s classic that brings it storming into 1986 – amazing epic atmosphere.
Track 26: It Bites – Calling All The Heroes
Good pop track, though the messed up beat at the start annoys me a bit. Great singalong chorus.
Track 27: Doctor & The Medics and Roy Wood – Waterloo
Utterly daft cover. Sadly, I’m going to have to class it as a ‘pointless ’80s cover’, as it’s just not different enough from the Abba version.
Track 28: Debbie Harry – French Kissin’ In The USA
Okay song, but this has never come close to her Blondie classics for me.
Track 29: Robert Palmer – I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On
I really like Robert Palmer’s stuff, and this one is great – awesome instrumentals throughout.
Incidentally, it’s interesting in today’s climate to hear a song of this theme from a male singer.
Track 30: Paul Hardcastle – The Wizard
More interesting sampling from Paul Hardcastle. Some great bits of tune on this track.
Track 31: Gwen Guthrie – (They Long To Be) Close To You
Nice gentle cover of the Carpenters track. Not at all a pointless cover – it’s very different.
Track 32: Nick Berry – Every Loser Wins
Really dislike this one, sorry. Cheesy ballad that I believe was released as an Eastenders tie-in. Not a fan.