Now CD errors

The purpose of this page is to document the errors with the ongoing series of Now That’s What I Call Music CD reissues. While it’s great to see these early albums emerge on CD at last, the quality control has been slipshod with numerous mistakes. It’s clear that the best time to do this would have been in late 1987 or early 1988 – just after Now 10 came out, the first one to have the same number of tracks on LP, cassette and CD. While impossible to know for sure, these releases could have come in a chunky fatbox, there would have been few or no licensing issues & they probably would have exactly matched the originals.

Now 8 errors (4 out of 32)
Genesis – In Too Deep (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 8 LP and CD)
Grace Jones – I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect For You) (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 8 LP and CD)
Janet Jackson – What Have You Done For Me Lately? (LP Edit from Design Of Decade used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 8 LP)
Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush – Don’t Give Up (Shaking The Tree 5:57 version instead of the 5:41 7″ mix that was on Now 8 LP and CD)

If you own the original Now 8 CD and get the West German CD Musikladen Eurotops for the 7″ mix of the Janet Jackson track, then you can fully re-create the original double LP.

Now 7 errors (10 out of 33)
Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer (Album version used instead of early fade single mix which was on Now 7 LP)
Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) (4:37 Full-length original 7″ used instead of Alternative 7″ AKA Matrix mix that was unique to the Now 7 LP. I was expecting the regular & common 1986 7″ version but this is the one that turned up on Please: Further Listening)
David Bowie – Absolute Beginners (Omitted from CD)
Simple Minds – All The Things She Said (7″ promo edit used instead of album version which was on Now 7 LP)
Big Country – Look Away (Sounds more like album version instead of Robin Millar production which was on Now 7 LP – slightly different ending)
Simply Red – Holding Back The Years (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 7 LP)
Billy Ocean – When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going (Edit version of 3:00 instead of noticeably longer 7″ mix which was on Now 7 LP)
Nu Shooz – I Can’t Wait (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 7 LP – nearly 2 minutes longer)
The Real Roxanne with Hitman Howie Tee – (Bang Zoom) Let’s Go Go (Omitted from CD)
Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald – On My Own (Omitted from CD)

In an unwelcome twist, the spine says “NOW MUSIC 7” instead of “NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL MUSIC 7” – so when lined up with the others on the shelf, it doesn’t match. Sloppy! Yes, all the original LPs said “Now Music” aside from the first. But Now 1-6 on CD have had the full title on the spine so this looks odd.

Now 6 errors (10 out of 30)
Nik Kershaw – When A Heart Beats (Album version used instead of mix with earlier fade which was on Now 6 LP)
Eurythmics – There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) (Greatest Hits / Ultimate Collection mix which is just a fade of the album version. The 7″ edit was on the Now 6 LP)
Bryan Adams & Tina Turner – It’s Only Love (Omitted from CD)
Marillion – Lavender (Album version used instead of longer single mix which was on Now 6 LP – very obvious and a schoolboy mistake)
Midge Ure – If I Was (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 6 LP)
Madness – Uncle Sam (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 6 LP – difference of over 1 min)
The Communards – You Are My World (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 6 LP)
Paul Hardcastle – Just For Money (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 6 LP – difference of nearly 1 min)
Baltimora – Tarzan Boy (Original version used instead of shorter Summer Remix 7″ which was on Now 6 LP)
Cameo – Single Life (ROW 7″ mix used instead of UK 7″ mix which was on Now 6 LP)

UB40’s Don’t Break My Heart album version appeared on the original Now 6 LP and is also here. The original 7″ mix of it and You Are My World are still MIA on CD.

Now 5 CD errors (11 out of 30)
Scritti Politti – The Word Girl (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 5 LP – over 1 min longer)
Stephen TinTin Duffy – Icing On The Cake (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 5 LP – over 1 min 20 secs longer)
Kool And The Gang – Cherish (Original Now 5 was very close to album version. This is 3:44 and is shorter than the 7″ mix)
Paul Young – Every Time You Go Away (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 5 LP – over 1 min longer)
Marillion – Kayleigh (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 5 LP – very obvious as album segues evident)
Bryan Ferry – Slave To Love (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 5 LP)
Pat Metheny Group & David Bowie – This Is Not America (Omitted from CD)
Sister Sledge – Frankie (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 5 LP)
Simply Red – Money’s Too Tight (To Mention) (Seems to be the 4:28 mix used on the 1996 Greatest Hits – 50 seconds longer than 7″ mix which was on Now 5 LP)
Jaki Graham – Round And Around (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 5 LP)
Loose Ends – Magic Touch (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 5 LP)

Fine Young Cannibals and Phil Collins tracks appear to have been faded very slightly on the original Now 5 LP – we’re talking a couple of seconds so not including these as errors.

Now 4 CD errors (9 out of 32)
Nick Heyward – Warning Sign (Now 4 LP has the 7″ mix which contains two raps – at 2:07 and 2:55. This slightly shorter version doesn’t)
Culture Club – The War Song (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 4 LP & original CD)
Style Council – Shout To The Top (Matches the mix used on The Singular Adventures Of which runs very slightly longer than the one used on Now 4 LP & original CD)
Thompson Twins – Doctor Doctor (Album version used. On the Now 4 LP & original CD it ran about 10 seconds shorter – possibly video version)
The Kane Gang – Respect Yourself (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 4 LP. Very obvious – 1 min 45 secs longer)
Big Country – East Of Eden (7″ mix included here. The version on the original Now 4 remains unique – at 3:35 an extra chorus is sung instead of the instrumental break)
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Tesla Girls (Compilation version used – as on 1988’s Best Of OMD. About 8 seconds longer than 7″ edit on Now 4 LP)
Kim Wilde – The Second Time (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 4 LP. Quite a different beginning)
Eugene Wilde – Gotta Get You Home Tonight (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 4 LP. Very obvious – 1 min 45 secs longer)

It’s good to see that the original CD should remain sought after given that it contains correct versions of three of the above tracks

Now 3 CD errors (15 out of 30)
Nik Kershaw – I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 3 LP)
Sister Sledge – Thinking Of You (Closer in length to the album version and slightly longer than the 7″ mix used on original Now 3)
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Locomotion (Original Now 3 was 3:53 in line with the 7″, this fades early here at 3:44)
Ultravox – Dancing With Tears In My Eyes (Original Now 3 was 4:10 in line with the 7″, this fades early here at 4:04)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes (Cowboy & Indians 7″ instead of We Don’t Want To Die 7″ picture disc)
Womack & Womack – Love Wars (Album version used instead of 7″ edit which was on Now 3 LP – nearly 2 minutes longer here)
Style Council – You’re The Best Thing (Slightly longer than the 7″ mix used on original Now 3 but only a few seconds – identical length to video version)
Bob Marley & The Wailers – One Love / People Get Ready (Omitted from CD)
Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy (Now 3 LP used the longer version of 5:02 which was also on the 7″ picture disc; the CD has the shorter 7″ mix 3:55)
Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 3 LP)
Bananarama – Robert De Niro’s Waiting (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 3 LP)
Thompson Twins – You Take Me Up (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 3 LP)
Gary Glitter – Dance Me Up (Omitted from CD)
The Art Company – Susanna (Album version which is also on some 7″ copies. However shorter DJ edit 7″ was on Now 3 LP – 46 second difference)
David Sylvian – Red Guitar (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 3 LP. The 7″ mix has never been on CD so another missed opportunity)

Now 2 CD errors (8 out of 30)
Madness – Michael Caine (Album version)
Joe Fagin – That’s Livin’ Alright (Different take, not the 45)
Snowy White – Bird Of Paradise (Too long, not the single mix)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax (Come Fighting instead of the original 7″ AKA Move)
Eurythmics – Here Comes The Rain Again (It’s the album edit)
The Smiths – What Difference Does It Make? (Again, album version not the never-on-CD-before 7″ edit)
Re-Flex – The Politics Of Dancing (They use a shorter edit)
Paul McCartney – Pipes Of Peace (This has longer intro and is the album version)

Now 1 CD errors (4 out of 30)
Limahl – Only For Love (20 seconds longer on CD – album version rather than unique edit that was on the original Now 1)
Malcolm McLaren – Double Dutch (They use album version rather than 7″ mix which was on the original Now 1)
New Edition – Candy Girl (Album version instead of 7″ mix)
Simple Minds – Waterfront (Missing sticks intro that’s from the original single)

The 25th anniversary CD and 2018 reissue are identical in content. The former has a cardboard vinyl replica sleeve while the later edition comes in a jewel case.

27 Responses to Now CD errors

  1. Martin Davis says:

    Quite shocking that there were so many instances where the versions of the tracks on the CD reissues don’t match the versions contained on the original LP/Cassette versions.

    Isnthere any known reason as to why the David Bowie track is ommitted from Now 5?

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      “Unable to secure rights” is the reason given. Nothing more. Possibly licensing refusal from Pat Metheny or the label that originally issued the soundtrack – The Falcon & The Snowman.

    • Trekkie313 says:

      Most likely so they could fit on the record, the vinyl mix/edits being made first then copied to the original CD.

      • nlgbbbblth says:

        Hi
        The original releases were primarily sourced from masters supplied by the respective labels. In the vast majority of instances, the label provided the 7” single master. Now did a couple of edits themselves but these were the exception. For these CD releases, the labels still supply the masters but there are two issues:
        1/ Unless specifically requested, the label will supply the first mix that comes to hand. Which may be the album version.
        2/ Now staff do not appear to have sufficient knowledge or awareness of what to check for.

        The obvious solution is to check against an original copy before pressing up the CDs.

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  3. bwci.bo says:

    What is the difference between the 7″ and L{ versions of Nik Kershaw’s I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me? I thought they were the same? Is there a mix difference I’m missing? Thanks.

  4. Mark Colgan says:

    Did anyone compare later LP to their issued at the time CD? Say Now 20 or whatever, maybe these errors between LP and CD have happened all alone. Shortened mixes would be needed to keep the vinyl groove deep enough, not such an issue for the CD.

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      I stopped buying the vinyl at the earliest opportunity so unsure. If there are variances, I’d imagine they’re in the later ones maybe 25-35 as they had up to 39 minutes of music per side – shocking quality.

  5. Warren Wilding says:

    So far I’ve found the following errors on the Now 7 reissue:
    Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer is the album mix 5:10 of not the single fade 4:53.
    PSB – Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) is the full length original seven-inch mix 4:37 instead of the Matrix mix at 3:20.
    Simple Minds – All The Things She Said is the edit of 4:00, instead of the album mix at 4:15, which was on the original Now LP.
    Simply Red – Holding Back The Years is the full album mix of 4:28, not the edit at 4:04 that was on the original Now 7.
    Billy Ocean – When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going is a very short 3:00 edit, not the 7” Mix 4:07, as originally featured.
    Nu Shooz – I Can’t Wait is not the single mix at 3:37 but the full length album mix at 5:25.
    Plus of course the three very unfortunate track omissions.

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      Thanks Warren, just got my CD this afternoon so will update later. Including the full length original 7″ of Opportunities is a nice touch (in a weird sense) as I was expecting the regular 1986 hit version.

  6. Warren Wilding says:

    To add to the list, Big Country – Look Away has a slightly truncated ending with a slightly reduced track length by 2 seconds.

  7. AkickUPthe80s says:

    Has anyone managed to get a copy of Now 7 for £7.99? Amazon are still £10.99 (I expected it to drop on release day), HMV are £12.99. I don’t know if Sainsburys are stocking it but ASDA and Tesco aren’t.

  8. nlgbbbblth says:

    Updating the argument that this is mostly down to lack of attention to detail:

    I’d certainly cut the Now compilers some slack on these tracks

    Limahl – Only For Love (Now 1 fades 20 seconds early – seems to be unique. Never on CD)
    Malcolm McLaren – Double Dutch (7″ version never on CD)
    The Smiths – What Difference Does It Make (7″ version never on CD – although download was available c 10 years ago)
    The Art Company – Susanna (DJ Edit rare if ever on CD)
    David Sylvian – Red Guitar (7″ version never on CD)
    Nick Heyward – Warning Sign (7″ version never on CD)
    Big Country – East Of Eden (Unique edit never on CD)
    Jaki Graham – Round & Around (Rare if ever on CD)
    Loose Ends – Magic Touch (Rare on CD)
    Nik Kershaw – When A Heart Beats (Rare if ever on CD – may be a unique early fade)
    The Communards – You Are My World (7″ version never on CD)
    Paul Hardcastle – Just For Money (Rare on CD)
    Cameo – Single Life (Rare on CD)
    Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) (Matrix / Alternative 7″ never on CD)

    That’s a total of 14.
    I’ll also give the benefit of the doubt on the 7 omitted tracks as licensing can be complicated.
    So that’s 21.

    67 errors in total which means for 46 of them, they had no excuse for getting it wrong – 69% were avoidable. By avoidable, I mean that the single mixes are previously available on CD on other recent compilations or other releases from the artists. Some a bit trickier to find than others but none impossible.

  9. nlgbbbblth says:

    Trying to rank these Now CDs in terms of “best / worst” comes down to a points system. The lower the score, the better.
    Minor error = 1 point
    Major error = 2 points
    Track omission = 3 points

    Now 1 – 4 points
    Now 2 – 12 points
    Now 3 – 24 points
    Now 4 – 12 points
    Now 5 – 18 points
    Now 6 – 17 points
    Now 7 – 19 points

    Now 2 and Now 4 are tied but Now 4 is “better” given it has fewer major errors (3 vs 4)

    An alternative scoring system is just to rate the CDs on what’s on them, rather than what’s missing i.e.
    Minor error = 1 point
    Major error = 2 points

    The scores now look like this:

    Now 1 – 4 points
    Now 2 – 12 points
    Now 3 – 18 points
    Now 4 – 12 points
    Now 5 – 15 points
    Now 6 – 14 points
    Now 7 – 10 points

  10. Bry says:

    Can you tell me differences between new reissues vinyl 1 and 2 and originals , that’s if there are any . Thank you

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      Hi Bry
      The vinyl reissues of Now 1 and Now 2 have the same errors as the CD versions – so that’s four on Now 1 and eight on Now 2. While there is some merit in purchasing the CD versions, there is no point in forking out for the vinyl reissues and that – I suspect – is why they stopped after Now 2.

      I recommend you seek out NM copies of the originals – there are 26 NM copies of Now 1 on Discogs and 13 of Now 2.

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