EVA released Now This Is Music 7 during autumn 1987. Like the previous two editions, they decided to put all tracks from the vinyl and cassette onto separate CD releases. These were quite expensive and consequently copies remain reasonably scarce.
Six of the album’s 14 tracks would feature on contemporary UK compilations such as The Hits Album 6 [Whitney Houston, Living In A Box, Bruce Willis and The Temptations, Labi Siffre], Now That’s What I Call Music 10 [Heart] and The Greatest Hits Of 1987 [Stock Aitken Waterman]. Given that Bruce Willis and Living In A Box had been omitted from the CD version of Hits 6, their inclusion is a selling point – if you haven’t yet found them.
Whitney Houston leads with I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Joy in repetition. Living In A Box are next with their soulful eponymous debut. Thinking of a masterplan? Check out Dennis Edwards and Siedah Garrett’s smooth love-in Don’t Look Any Further. Some facts: 1) A #45 hit in the UK during May 1984, a #55 flop in June 1987, 2) Awesome video, 3) William Pitt’s City Lights [see Volume 2 due 18 August] uses the same bassline and chord structure, 4) Also sampling the bassline were Eric B. & Rakim on Paid In Full. Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over, a #27 place in ’87 but much bigger all over Europe.
The glorious Roadblock makes an appearance; Stock, Aitken and Waterman laying down an absolutely monstrous groove. It’s followed by the anodyne You Want Love by Mixed Emotions before Lionel Richie’s righteous, almost-gospel Se La. His final single from the 1980s and it’s the rare 7″ edit that’s on this CD. Rewind to early March 1987. With Or Without You gets aired on RTE Radio 2. U2 had been a long time away; the first four LPs had come out in 1980 – 1981 – 1983 – 1984. The lead 45 for The Joshua Tree was a new gold dream; a hypnotic and lush song about moral contradiction. The album didn’t exit my turntable for weeks; hidden depths revealing themselves with every play. One Tree Hill.
More Temptations as they moonlight on Bruce Willis’ cheesy but memorable Under The Boardwalk. Heart’s Alone continues to chill me to the bone; 1987’s quintessential ballad. More solitude: Labi Siffre’s powerful So Strong. Elsewhere UB40’s forgotten single, the gentle and lilting Watchdogs makes an appearance. It failed to capitalise on Rat In The Kitchen’s success but it’s great to hear it again. Peel slowly and see Bitter Fruit, Little Steven’s uncompromising mini movie. It’s the lengthy album take here. Closing time: Tina Charles shaking her booty on I Love To Love as remixed by Sanny X. The real deal.
U2 – With Or Without You
Dennis Edwards featuring Siedah Garrett – Don’t Look Any Further
Lest we forget
Lionel Richie – Se La (Single Version)