As you will probably have noticed, despite my previous post nearly 2 years ago (!) there has been no activity on this blog and I think the time is right to effectively bring it to a close now. Don’t worry, I won’t be deleting any content, I want it to remain as a permanent(ish) record of the marathon that kicked this all off.
Since everyone seems to do podcasts now, and it’s a lot more interesting to me to talk about the albums rather than post tons of videos (that mostly disappear eventually anyway) I will be continuing my NOW journey with the next one in line – NOW 21 – on a podcast together with my mate John Tyndall. It’s called ‘Oblong Desk’ and an explanation of why should be enough to make you click on the link to the homepage below.
Thanks for all your support.
Well, hello you and thanks for being patient while I have spent most of 2018 not doing anything at all on this blog. I’m afraid this is mostly down to laziness but postings from NOW albums – resuming with 21 – will be back soon,
In the meantime, it probably hasn’t escaped your attention that today sees the release of NOW 100, together with a re-release on CD of the original album (which they’ve already done for an anniversary a few years back, but maybe this one will actually have the proper single versions on it?) so it would be a bit remiss of me not to post something on here especially since the albums are the reason for me having this blog in the first place.
Did I ever think they would get to 100 when I was listening to them and buying them in the 80s & 90s? No, absolutely not! It’s an amazing milestone, so why not celebrate by listening to your favourite NOW album today? I’ll be sticking 11 on later!
Re-released seemingly just because and sadly ending this NOW album is this song. Even worse for people like me who can’t stand it, we’re ‘treated’ to the full length version.
Don’s song ‘Vincent’ is a brilliant song and rightly a No.1 single. Contrary to popular belief, this overdone drivel only got to No.2 – Wikipedia claims it topped the chart! The re-release peaked at No.12.
What’s really irritating about the inclusion of the full length version is that we effectively lose a song from this disc. I know what I would’ve included from late 91, and you can see that below.
Have a great Christmas – I’ll be back with the 3 (yes, back up to a full complement!) NOW albums from 1992 next year.
How brilliant that this is on the album – and it’s the proper version too, with the ‘rude word’ and all, rather than the not very good one that Eric Idle re-recorded where he wibbled on about Barnet FC for ages.
And it is Christmassy I guess…sort of. Sadly, I have to report that Eric Idle is apparently now a Scientologist. Sigh.
I really like this, despite the fact that it contains Mike Read. Seemingly designed to get all radio DJs to play it endlessly, this tactic didn’t quite work because it only made No.21. It was also – barring re-releases – their last Top 40 hit.
I couldn’t find a video so you’ve got a TOTP appearance instead.
A pretty good pop song, this. It was a cover of the only good thing David Cassidy was ever involved in, but VOTB’s version only got to No. 25 sadly. They must be one of the most under-rated bands of the late 80s / early 90s.
For various reasons, I completely failed to post anything yesterday, so here I am a day late.
First up, a song which had been released about 100 times (possibly a slight exaggeration) before becoming a No.2 hit for 3 weeks all the way back in April, as Ashley reaches into his grab bag for the end of this album to see what he can find.
At least we’re ending with some quality pop this week, with a song that had reached No.4 all the way back in March and was the last massive hit for the Swedes.
Next Friday, the last 5 tracks from this album which are pretty much the textbook definition of ‘a real mixed bag’ both in terms of style and quality. The very last of them is one of the most over-rated songs of all time…..
Another one that was picked for the album before release (way before, in this case), another low chart peak – No. 27 this time.
Don’t click on the video yet. Do you remember this? I bet you don’t. It was the only track to be released from ‘Live Baby Live’ and….it’s a bit rubbish quite honestly. Thankfully, after a run of duff singles, their next album and the singles from it would turn out to be quite brilliant.
On the plus side, here’s a massive hit! (No.2 for a couple of weeks)
Unfortunately, it’s this. It’s another one that had 2 bites of the cherry, with an earlier 91 release having seen it struggle to No.53. Although the band had been huge all over Europe for years, their one and only previous UK Top 40 hit was in…1979.
Say hello to the 3rd consecutive track on this album that missed the Top 20. This was another one included before it was released. The band’s previous hit had been 5 years earlier with ‘Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone’. Clearly everybody had given that this spent 2 weeks at No.33. Ashley Abram mischievously flags up a guest ‘London born vocalist’ in the sleevenotes though it’s blindingly obvious who that is if you listen to the song. A shame he didn’t also use the phrase ‘Professional Scotsman’.
Not as big a hit as you may have thought, this one. It got to No.22, and that was after a re-release because earlier in 1991 it only made No.66. It made its reputation by being played on the radio a LOT for years afterwards. Weirdly, you never hear it now though, do you?
A bit later than usual this week, but just making the Friday deadline, here come another 6 songs from NOW 20!
First up, my favourite song on the entire collection. Put on the album before it was released, presumably in the expectation that it would be a huge hit, it got to…..No.40. And that was after spending 2 weeks in the lower reaches of the Top 75.
I genuinely think that this is one of the biggest injustices in chart history, though I guess it’s not the most radio friendly song which may not have helped. It’s beautifully arranged and performed and I think the best thing she’s ever done.
Here’s our final ballad of the week, delivered by Norwich’s finest, telling us all about when she had an overdose of ice cream or something. Her 3rd solo hit, and sadly the least interesting.
That’s me done then. Next week it perks up a bit – eventually – and I’ll also be bringing you what I think is the best track on the album. Which naturally peaked at No.40….
Join me for another half dozen next week then!
A No.1 hit! OK, it first topped the chart in late June, but they had to take what little they had available for this album. You all know this one, unsurprisingly the official video doesn’t seem to be available so here’s Jase with some kiddies on the Pops.
This isn’t too bad I guess, but like all Paula Abdul songs, would be even better with someone more skilled at singing than her fronting it. This was her last Top 10 hit.
Dreary hippy bollocks. That is all.
I must admit that I actually don’t mind this one. It was the first track from ‘Shepherd Moons’ and although that album topped the chart, rather surprisingly this single only got to No.13.
I’m going to rattle through this week’s 6 selections pretty quickly for the main reason that they’re all a bit dull quite honestly. I’m not quite sure why Ashley Abram made it his mission to make everyone doze off when they put this disc / cassette / LP on.
First up, a dreadful cover and a bit of an odd one to start with. Not a big hit either, with a top position of No.20. What’s even worse is that we could have had actual Crowded House if ‘Fall At Your Feet’ had been chosen which a) Is a fantastic song and b) Got 3 places higher in the chart.
Here’s the 2nd track on this album that also made an appearance on NOW Dance 91.
I loved this at the time, I bought the 12″ (albeit when it hit the bargain bin) and thought it was one of the best tracks of the Summer. These days I can’t get quite so excited about it.
And that does it for Disc 1. All being well, I will serve up half a dozen tracks from Disc 2 in a week’s time. Advanced warning: you may be in danger of dozing off.