Now This Is Music was the Dutch equivalent of the Now That’s What I Call Music series. It ran from 1984 to 1989 and was compiled by EVA which was a collaboration between the EMI, Virgin and Ariola labels. As you would expect, the first three volumes were just released on vinyl and cassette. However in late 1985 EVA decided to test the market with a CD version called Now This Is Is CD Music. It included 14 tracks which were all drawn from the previous releases.
Six of the tracks are taken from 1984’s Now This is Music. There’s Pat Benatar’s ubiquitous Love Is A Battlefield and Tina Turner’s classy Private Dancer. It’s great to find the 7″ edit of the latter on CD. Also welcome are the progressive art rock of Don’t Answer Me from the Alan Parsons Project, Talk Talk’s fantastically sung Such A Shame and the restless To France which remains one of Mike Oldfield’s best pop singles. Beautiful singing from Maggie Reilly too. Thomas Dolby’s I Scare Myself was his less-successful follow-up to Hyperactive! but its melancholic trombone sounds excellent 30 years later.
Just two songs from Now This Is Music Volume 2 [released spring 1985] are included – Jermaine Jackson’s smooth Do What You Do and the insipid Too Late For Goodbyes from Julian Lennon. The remaining tracks were originally featured on Now This Is Music 3 with the relatively unknown All At Once becoming Whitney Houston’s first Dutch hit in April 1985. Elsewhere you get the evergreen UB40 / Chrissie Hynde duet I Got You Babe, Kate Bush’s stunning comeback single Running Up That Hill and the big Breakfast Club sound of Simple Minds’ Don’t You (Forget About Me).
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark’s Crush album has now elevated itself to #1 in my ranking of their LPs. So In Love was the lead single and remains one of their most underrated hits. Check out that beguiling and mysterious video too. Meanwhile it’s fair to say that appreciation for Chris Rea was much greater in Ireland and Europe than his native United Kingdom. He released one of his finest albums in 1985 – Shamrock Diaries – which included Josephine. It’s a tribute to his daughter and has been re-recorded on a number of occasions. The La Version Francaise remix went on to became a massive favourite in Ibiza c.1989. Halycon days.
Chris Rea – Josephine
Talk Talk – Such A Shame
Lest we forget
Alan Parsons Project – Don’t Answer Me