EVA released Now This Is Music 6 during spring 1987. Like the previous edition, they decided to put all tracks from the vinyl and cassette on to two separate CD releases. This was not cheap and consequently copies are quite scarce – although more plentiful than Now This Is Music 5 – Volume 1 and Now This Is Music 5 – Volume 2.
Eight of the album’s 14 tracks had already featured on UK compilations such as Now That’s What I Call Music 8 [Peter Gabriel with Kate Bush, Cutting Crew, Mel and Kim], Now That’s What I Call Music 9 [UB40, Boy George, Genesis] and The Hits Album 6 [John Farnham]. Meanwhile an alternative take of the Pet Shop Boys’ Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) had appeared on Now That’s What I Call Music 7. (I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight had already received the digital treatment on Now That’s What I Call Music ’86 while Don’t Give Up and Showing Out are also on the Now 8 CD. Nevertheless it’s great to see the pioneering house #1 Jack Your Body appear on disc.
The opening track is Duran Duran’s Skin Trade taken from the Nile Rodgers-produced Notorious LP. It’s got a a deliciously funky sound and sees the band start to move in a new direction. It failed to make the UK top 20 and is considered their first failure. Next up are John Farnham’s hymn-like You’re The Voice and Tina Turner’s little-remembered Girls. The latter was partially written by David Bowie and has Phil Collins on drums. Little epic breakouts. Time for Scorpions and their powerful power ballad Still Loving You.
So So. An album of many peaks. The collaboration with Kate Bush – Don’t Give Up – is sublime. Check out So DNA for evolution. “Somewhere there’s a place where we belong”. After Cutting Crew’s driving drama there’s Ghost Dancing, the Simple Minds track that sounds like an eargasmic re-working of I Travel. Less good is the cod-reggae of UB40’s Rat In The Kitchen [Mi Kitchen for the UK] before the tempo rushes back up with the Appleby sisters’ debut as Mel and Kim. Showing Out gets us all fresh for the weekend.
Jack Your Body: total classic that will last forever. Boy George’s cover of Ken Boothe’s Every I Own: enjoyable and a hell of a lot more style than UB40. Genesis’ Land Of Confusion is primarily remembered today for its Spitting Image video; as a pop album Invisible Touch takes some beating with prog fans salivating over the 11 minute Domino and cool instrumental The Brazilian. Opportunities was given a second chance in 1986 and became pop art. Discography #03. And in a shocking flashback to those summer days of doing absolutely nothing we have Iron Maiden’s first blood from Somewhere In Time: the gleaming metal of Wasted Years. Dedicated to all the troopers down at the reservoir.
Duran Duran – Skin Trade
Iron Maiden – Wasted Years
Lest we forget
Tina Turner – Girls