Now Dance ’95 or NOD 15 was the series’ first release of the year. A spring tide, it’s a double CD containing “40 ultimate dance hits”. Polygram were still off the pitch. The main plugs on the front cover are The Bucketheads, N-Trance, Perfecto Allstarz, Alex Party, Eternal, M People, Strike, Clock, MC Sar & The Real McCoy “and many more”.
CD1 explodes with The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind) whereupon Kenny ‘Dope’ Presents The Bucketheads and samples Chicago’s Street Player in a tuff groove. Next is the perfectly pitched Paul Oakenfold’s project Perfecto Allstarz knocking the stuffing out of Reach Up (Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag). Clock throw us back to 1984 [Beverly Hills Cop] and 1985 [Harold Faltermeyer 45] with a fast-paced Axel F. We’re in Smash Hits ’95 – Volume 1 territory as N-Trance bang out Set You Free. No editing here; pure radio gold. MC Sar and The Real McCoy drop the immensely glorious Run Away. Tops off all round.
Famous and dandy: Amos goes deep into the club zone for Let Love Shine. Strike up a handbag banger with U Sure Do. Experience love, joy and happiness on M People’s sublime Sight For Sore Eyes. A sleeper next: Tin Tin Out’s sweet-laden cover of Always Something There To Remind Me. Back to the top with Baby D’s cracker Let Me Be Your Fantasy; the twist being the Ruffer Remix, all smokin’ breakbeats with no piano. Wicked. There’s no let-up in quality as Snap go trance on the evocative Welcome To Tomorrow (Are You Ready?) while Moby’s Everytime You Touch Me is a masterpiece of emotion.
Corona are back! It’s the workmanlike Baby Baby. Pass the sick bag for Rednex’s Cotton Eye Joy. A Rhu Glenn staple. 2 Unlimited keep on getting busy with Here I Go while Whigfield’s Saturday Night was still being heavily caned in the spring of ’95, almost six months after its breakthrough. Meanwhile it’s great to see the late Tony De Vit’s Brummie house classic Burning Up on this. He put together his first Essential Mix in 1995 as well. And almost there is Jon (Of The) Pleased Wimmin as he creates his own Passion. Elsewhere Rio and Mars take the beats up a notch on Baby I Gotta Have You while Tinman summon up some teen spirit on the chunky Eighteen Strings. 4-3-2-1.
Disc 2 starts with a blast of electricity – Nicki French covering Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse Of The Heart. Also appearing on that first Now That’s What I Call Music were The Human League. Tell We When is an assured return, sleek and modern. Eternal continue to make super R&B jams as Crazy glides by. Fitting like a glove is Respect from Judy Cheeks before Alex Party’s ethereal Read My Lips. There’s more body part name-checking on Reel 2 Real’s chaotic Raise Your Hands while Pato Banton makes sweet music with Ranking Roger on Bubbling Hot. The burning question: is the latter related to Ranking Ann?
Aswad butcher the classic You’re No Good while M-Beat do Sweet Love a drum ‘n’ bass disservice. Or that’s what I thought then; 20 years on and I’ve a new-found respect for Nazlyn’s vocal. There’s some funky soul courtesy of Carleen Anderson’s Apparently Nothin’ before R Kelly’s super smooth Bump ‘N’ Grind. We’re in boyband mode on Ultimate Kaos’ innocent jive Some Girls while The Brand New Heavies cut some serious acid jazz heat on the joyful Spend Some Time. Lovestation’s Love Come Rescue Me is similarly uptempo with a positive message from the heart.
To Loveland who get Rachel McFarlane on board for the upbeat I Need Somebody. Throw that beat in the garbage can, it’s Greed! This version of Pump Up The Volume bounces around with a bewildering effect. I know they got soul. Break out the party tunes – Mr Roy’s Saved – before taking in some progressive trance hop from The Flavour, No Matter What U Do. The set closes with two epics: Marky Mark with Prince Ital Joe on the big Eurodance banger United. Please don’t confuse him with Money Mark. And lastly a melancholy sleeper from Lavinia Jones; Sing It To You (Dee-Doob-Dee-Doo). Massive in Israel, only reached #45 in the UK. Shades of Tom’s Diner.
M-Beat featuring Nazlyn – Sweet Love
Brand New Heavies – Spend Some Time
MC Sar and The Real McCoy – Run Away
Eternal – Crazy
Moby – Everytime You Touch Me
Lest we forget
Lavinia Jones – Sing It To You (Dee-Doob-Dee Doo)
Pingback: Now That’s What I Call Music 30 (EMI / Virgin / Polygram, 1995) | A Pop Fan's Dream
This is probably my favourite dance compilation of all time – late ’94/early ’95 is my golden era and this comp covers it so well. I remember seeing it in the shop and thinking what great artwork and perfect tracklisting. I started saving for it but a few weeks later Now 30 came out so I bought that instead.
Thanks Ben – it captures that period very well. I was in my final year at university and trying to come to grips with studying. Tracks from this soundtracked the distractions – on the radio, through windows and car stereos, at parties, in the pool hall etc.
Pingback: Now That’s What I Call Music 1994: The Millennium Series (EMI / Virgin / Universal, 1999) | A Pop Fan's Dream
Pingback: Now That’s What I Call Music 1995: The Millennium Series (EMI / Virgin / Universal, 1999) | A Pop Fan's Dream
Out of interest do you know if the Now Dance series was still being released on vinyl by this point?
No – the last LP was NOD11 – Now Dance ’94 Volume 1
Hi again Paul. Thanks for confirming this. Interesting that the vinyl releases of Now Dance were stopped before the ones from the main series.
Was the same with the cassette releases. Think the last one was Now Dance 2001 which came out in late 2000 whereas Now 63 was the last release from the main series.
This was one of my favourite Now Dance compilations. I never worked out why they faded ‘The Bomb’ as they did. It wasn’t really done for saving time.
I was 17 that year. I don’t think we ever had it as good in terms of dance compilations. Telstar released 4 volumes of Dance Mania, 2 Club Zones and 2 Dance Booms. Global released 3 volumes of On A Dance Tip. We had Dance Zones 4.5&6. There was an Energy Rush and Dance Massive 95 (both still the only place I’ve found Set You Free by N-Trance where the radio edit is unedited). Vision released a couple of decent discs. 2 x Now Dance. Dance Mania, Dance Tip, Dance Zone and Best Dance Album In The World Ever all released end of year stuff, along with a Best Dance Album of the Year by Vision.
On top of the Now compilations, Global got involved with producing hits compilation, along with Telstar’s Smash Hits and Sony’s TOTP.
There was a trend in 1994 for compilers to release double CDs, maybe in the wake of Dance Zone selling 40 track albums for a similar price to a single CD. However 1995 was the year of single cd releases. Perhaps it was more effective to produce a 20 or so track cd and get as many new tracks as possible? The same week that the year’s biggest selling dance compilation (other than end of year efforts) On a Dance Tip 2 was released, it contained half of the top 10, another 5 tracks were in the top 40 the week before, plus a few other recent big dance hits and a couple of fillers.
Surprisingly, the Now Dance compilations of this time fared poorly to most of the other dance compilations. This was the 30th biggest selling compilation of the year; Now Dance Summer 95 didn’t make it. Dance Tip featured at 16,15,47. Dance Mania at 22,23,31,44. Dance Zone at 27,17,35.
Enter 1996 and dance compilations almost vanished.
Thanks Andrew. That’s great info on the sales – surprised to see the Now Dances ranked lowly. Agree, that 1994 was a peak in double disc compilations. The end of the fatbox era too. The one disc move made sense from an all killer, no filler perspective. 1996 saw a big change as you point out.