NOW 20 Disc 2 Track 17 : Don McLean – American Pie (Full Length Version)

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.

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NOW 20 Disc 2 Track 16 : Monty Python – Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

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.

NOW 20 Disc 2 Track 13 : James – Sit Down

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.

NOW 20 Disc 2 Track 12 : Roxette – Joyride

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…..

NOW 20 Disc 2 Track 11 : INXS – Shining Star

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.

NOW 20 Disc 2 Track 9 : Glass Tiger – My Town

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’.

NOW 20 Disc 2 Track 7 : Alison Moyet – This House

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.

NOW 20 Disc 2 Track 6 : Cathy Dennis – Too Many Walls

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!

NOW 20 Disc 2 Track 1 : Paul Young – Don’t Dream It’s Over

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.

NOW 20 Disc 1 Track 18 : PM Dawn – Set Adrift On Memory Bliss

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.

NOW 20 Disc 1 Track 17 : The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu – It’s Grim Up North (Part 1)

Our second No.10 hit in a row, as Ashley Abram moves on a place from his previous No.11 obsession.

When that story about ‘where does the North start’ made its biennial appearance on the BBC website recently, did anyone consult this song? They did not.

Rather brilliantly, all of the KLF / JAMMS tunes from their imperial phase of 1990-92 are compiled on NOW albums, though admittedly you have to buy NOW Dance 91 to get one of them. Can you imagine something like this getting into the Top 10 these days?

NOW 20 Disc 1 Track 16 : Moby – Go

These days, Moby’s early rave career seems to have practically been forgotten, despite this – his first hit – having made the Top 10.

For those who only know his chillout music, this might come as a bit of a shock but is actually quite mild compared to hardcore stuff like ‘Feeling So Real’!