NOW 19 Disc 2 Track 16 : Queen – Innuendo

It’s somewhat surprising that Queen didn’t get their usual billing as 1st act on either disc, especially as this was their first chart topper since 1981. Instead they close the album and I suppose give it a suitably dramatic flourish. For some reason this track gets a lot of hate, presumably because it’s misinterpreted as an attempt to do ‘Bohemian Rhapsody II’ which I don’t think was the intention at all. Surely it’s simply one last over the top Freddie flourish and the first part of his long goodbye to us that would culminate in a very sad end to the year and the Christmas No.1. But I’m getting ahead of myself here….

I hope you’ve enjoyed the live blogging of NOW 19 this afternoon. There was only one further ‘standard’ release much later in 1991 but there was also a NOW Dance edition in between the two which for the most part didn’t duplicate anything on NOW 20 so I will tackle that later in the year.

Thanks for listening and reading. Hopefully it’s in some small way brought back the spirit of that slightly mad 24 hours from exactly 2 years ago which I will always remember with fondness (except perhaps the occasional Big Country flashbacks I get to this day) just as thinking of Katherine brings back many happy memories. Veronica_Andrew_166 - small

NOW 19 Disc 2 Track 14 : The Railway Children – Every Beat Of The Heart

Let’s return to a topic that has been quite common in my journey through NOW 19 – that of the record buying public being fundamentally quite stupid when it comes to not purchasing a great song when they hear it (or alternatively, buying rubbish in great quantities)

This is such a fantastic tune and yet on first release in 1990 it got to No.68. It’s re-release saw it do a bit better but No.24 is hardly what it deserved. They had 3 other 90s singles that all landed in the lower reaches of the Top 75 and of those, ‘Music Stop’ (released at least twice!) is also well worth your attention.

NOW 19 Disc 2 Track 13 : Belinda Carlisle – Summer Rain

Here’s a poser: You have just had a Top 10 hit after several flop singles from the current album and you would love to have a good follow-up single out to keep up the momentum.

Do you a) Think that ‘Summer Rain’ would be a marvellous choice but as it is Winter leave it for a bit and maybe release something else or even re-release one of those flops instead in the meantime…

or b) Acknowledge that ‘Summer Rain’ would be better left until it’s actually Summer but think ‘what the hell, people will lap it up anyway now she’s hot property again’ and bung it out regardless.

Yes, you guessed it, the record company and / or the dozy mare decided on Option b. Frankly, decisions like that get what they deserve which in this case was a No.23 hit. For what it’s worth, and my good lady wife will disagree here since she can’t stand her, I think it’s actually a good pop song.

NOW 19 Disc 2 Track 11 : Free – All Right Now

I hate chewing gum at the best of times. It’s horrible stuff that will still be caked on everything thousands of years after we’ve all been destroyed in nuclear war / meteorite strike / global warming / other armageddon option of your choice.

It was also responsible for the re-release (yes, another one…) of this hoary old rock nonsense which had already been a hit twice. I’ve absolutely no idea what version I’ve selected for you but I will be listening to the Bob Clearmountain (great name!) remix which must have taken him about 2 minutes given that it’s barely distinguishable from the original.

NOW 19 Disc 2 Track 7 : Banderas – This Is Your Life

Another Ashley Abram punt here as it was at No.44 at the time that NOW 19 was put together. Once again, good work Sir as this is a truly magnificent tune which always grabbed your attention at the time when it came on the radio with that shuffling beat / chopped up ‘ah ah ah eh eh eh’ vocal intro.

You have to wonder exactly what the record buying public were thinking at the time by only buying enough for it to get to No.16 though, don’t you? Hang on, I bought quite a few singles at the time and didn’t buy this one….OW! (that was me smacking myself on the head for being so stupid)

This was their only hit, the follow-up ‘She Sells’ was pretty good but stalled at No.41.

NOW 19 Disc 2 Track 6 : Seal – Crazy

He’s a gone a full 360 degrees in my opinion from being a cool guy to being a bit arty and pretentious (and I always thought he was a bit grumpy about not getting a credit on Adamski’s ‘Killer’ – after all, see Miriam Stockley as previously discussed!) and then being alright again after seeing him support Duran Duran when he was a good laugh.

Through it all though, I’ve always been of the opinion that this is a rather fine song indeed.

NOW 19 Disc 2 Track 5 : The Righteous Brothers – You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’

Now come on, Mr. Abram – 2 songs in a row with Bill Medley singing on them?!

Ostensibly this was re-released as the follow-up to the re-release of ‘Unchained Melody’, but I suspect that a re-showing of ‘Top Gun’ on TV may have also helped push this one back into the limelight.

Happily for my ears, unlike the previous track, this is one that I absolutely adore. I remember getting my Mum and Dad’s 7″ singles out when I was very young and discovering 60s music properly for the first time. This one stuck out a mile as being clearly of very high quality indeed, mainly because it clearly is.

(In case you think I maybe was some child genius at picking out quality music, I should point out that during this vinyl discovery exercise, although I rightly picked out singles by The Beatles and The Monkees as being great I also took a liking to a Peter Sarstedt B-side so clearly further training was necessary)

NOW 19 Disc 2 Track 4 : Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life

The flame wars start here I expect. From disliking this song when it came out I now have a full-on hatred for it thanks to it becoming what I call a ‘housewife classic’ and it being on the radio all the bloody time. Oh, and while we’re at it, the film it’s from is vastly over-rated too. So there.

Why was it re-released in early 1991? Because of the practice which in hindsight seems totally demented whereby a film being shown on TV for the first time led to soundtrack songs being re-released ‘by popular demand’. Yeah, cheers for that.

NOW 19 Disc 1 Track 18 : Praise – Only You

OK, this is a bit strange so bear with me. If you click on the link, you will be listening to the 7″ version. However, I won’t be as the one on NOW 19 is a different mix – one of the rare occasions where they messed up when choosing the correct version to include. The video uses an entirely different mix again, which is why I haven’t given you a link to that!

This is another song from an advert – in this case for the Fiat Tempra (Anyone remember that car? No, me neither) – and the NOW 19 sleeve notes point out that the song features the ‘musical talents of George Michael’s cousin’. That is indeed correct as Andros Georgiou (who was also behind Boogie Box High) is credited as Executive Producer. However, the real star of the show is Miriam Stockley who – rather disgracefully – seems to get a credit on the sleeve for some formats of the single (but not all) and seemingly not on the labels or in the chart books.

Miriam Stockley was a regular backing vocalist for SAW, in fact she’s singing on the Kylie track on this very album. If you ever owned anything by Adiemus then that was also her you were listening to and she has done a simply amazing amount of work (check out her Wikipedia entry) while to all intents and purposes remaining invisible. Having said that, she lives in Florida and seems to be doing alright for herself so I guess she doesn’t care much about that!

NOW 19 Disc 1 Track 17 : Enigma – Sadeness Part 1

What a truly strange story this is. Romanian producer Michael Cretu was the man behind this act, and he had already had hits in Europe under various names when he began the Enigma project. It’s an unlikely No.1 hit when you think about it, and had it come out at a time of year when record sales were larger, would probably not have grabbed a week at the top. The fact that every other single from the album missed the Top 40 entirely seems to confirm this theory.

Do I like it? Sometimes, it really is a mood piece, this one. Oh, and that is the correct spelling of the song title by the way – ‘Sade’ as in Marquis De Sade don’t you know….