Updated 14 January 2018
© Paul English and A Pop Fan’s Dream, 2014 – 2018.
Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.
This blog is not affiliated with any record labels that have been involved with releasing Now That’s What I Call Music and / or any other compilation albums.
Any opinions, unless otherwise attributed, are mine alone.
Links to websites such as YouTube are posted for information purposes only. I can take no responsibility for any content that may be amended or deleted after I post the links.
The purpose of A Pop Fan’s Dream is to provide a central resource for pop and dance compilations of the 1980s, 1990s and beyond.
The starting point was initially 1983 with the first instalment in the long-running Now That’s What I Call Music series. While the Nows form a core part of these pages, I also explore their rivals and the burgeoning dance compilations that emerged from 1987 onwards. In addition to UK releases I also focus on European compilations (particularly those late 1980s series from Germany and The Netherlands as they are great for featuring single edits).
In July 2016, I made a decision to go right back to 1980 and examine a selection of K-Tel and Ronco compilations – plus a select few from other labels. These were my earliest exposures to pop music and really re-kindle long buried memories.
The sign of a good compilation is effective sequencing and use of the correct hit versions. Over the years I have purchased thousands of 7″ and 12″ singles. As standalone items they sound wonderful. However when a number of them were squeezed onto one side of an LP (lasting 30 – 35 minutes) the sound quality inevitably suffered. CD compilations were a god-send for me and, aside from releases dating from the early years (say 1980 – 1985), this blog primarily focuses on the shiny discs.
May 2014 – January 2016
Reviews were posted every two days and followed this alternating pattern:
Type #1: The main UK pop compilation series in chronological order i.e. Now That’s What I Call Music, Now Dance, Now spin-offs, Hits, Telstar Greatest Hits Of, Smash Hits, Brit Awards etc.
Type #2: All other pop and dance compilations (both UK and European). If there’s more than one in a series then I tried to review these in order of release date.
July 2016 – May 2017
Reviews were posted every Saturday and followed a (mostly) chronological pattern of UK compilations from 1980 to 1984. At the end I featured a couple of foreign variants.
May 2017 onwards
Reviews continue on a weekly basis. I’ve gone back to finish off the 1990s.
Each post includes commentary under the following headings:
Review. Should be self-explanatory.
Favourite tracks. My personal picks (usually two, three or four songs) with accompanying YouTube clips.
Lest we forget. A YouTube clip of one key track that’s great / underrated / may have slipped through the cracks etc.
Missing tracks and other thoughts. What might have been. What else could have featured. This is really only relevant for Now and Hits albums.
Advertising. If there’s a television advert or promo spot I’ll feature it. If you find one that I’ve missed then please inform me of its existence by commenting on the respective post.
Note on YouTube clips: Please note that I will try to post a link to the version of the track that appears on the compilation (which may not necessarily be the official music video).
Categories and tags
Categories. Albums are categorised under the series they belong to. Standalone compilations will be filed under one of the following: Dance non-UK, Dance UK, Pop non-UK and Pop UK. If you can’t find what you’re looking for under these general categories, then I haven’t got around to reviewing it yet.
Tags. I have disabled these as they were impacting on search engine optimisation results.
Please do not ask me to share copyrighted material via MP3 or other uploads. All the compilations reviewed on this blog are available on the second hand market.
Comments and feedback are welcome here and on any of the posts.
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