Now VHS Special


Promotional music videos were well established by the time that the first Now album was released in November 1983. Accordingly it made good sense to release accompanying VHS collections. Typically these included up to 20 tracks and during the early years, featured a number of songs that were not included on the main albums. Many of these came from acts that were already on EMI and Virgin & affiliated labels so it made sense to promote them via this medium. On the first nine volumes, there are 46 exclusive tracks that did not feature on the accompanying audio formats. What follows below is a list of all these along with a chronological Spotify playlist which includes 43 of them. The unavailable ones are denoted by an asterisk. There were also a few instances of songs appearing out of sequence on the VHS releases (i.e. Culture Club’s Victims on Now 2 & Jermaine Sterwart’s We Don’t Have To… on Now 7) but these have not been included. When played back now, this is an fascinating trawl through some forgotten ’80s classics.

Now That’s What I Call A Music Video (1983)
Freeez – I.O.U.
The Assembly – Never Never

Both of these well known hits would later be compiled on disc 2 of this, the first in Now’s excellent 10th Anniversary series.

Now That’s What I Call Music Video II (1984)
Tina Turner – Help
Status Quo – Marguerita Time
Shannon – Let The Music Play
The Icicle Works – Birds Fly (From A Whisper To A Scream)
Bourgie Bourgie – Breaking Point
Marilyn – Cry And Be Free *
Kajagoogoo – The Lion’s Mouth

This is a more esoteric selection. Tina Turner’s Help peaked at #40 in March ’84 with the Shannon and Status Quo tracks being the most well-remembered. Both aired on MT USA’s first series. Please note that the Bourgie Bourgie track is only on Spotify in demo form – still great though. The Lion’s Mouth is an underrated post-Limahl hit.

Now That’s What I Call Music 3 Video (1984)
Simple Minds – Up On The Catwalk
Farmers Boys – In The Country
Helen Terry – Love Lies Lost
Loose Ends – Emergency (Dial 999)
Working Week – Venceremos
Talk Talk – Dum Dum Girl
Kajagoogoo – Turn Your Back On Me
The Mighty Wah – Come Back
I-Level – Our Song
Limahl – Too Much Trouble
Thomas Dolby – I Scare Myself
The Blue Nile – Tinseltown In The Rain

Of the 20 tracks on this videotape, only 8 were actually on the LP and cassette. Surely some sort of record? Simple Minds’ Up On The Catwalk is a classic but shows their gradual change of direction. In The Country is more famous for being sung by Cliff while Working Week’s Venceremos is sublime sophisti-pop. As is The Blue Nile’s classic masterpiece. I have fond memories of The Mighty Wah performing on Top Of The Pops on the day I bought Now 3. Please note that the I-Level track is only on Spotify in its 12″ version.

Now That’s What I Call Music 4 Video (1984)
Thompson Twins – Sister Of Mercy
Meat Loaf – Modern Girl
Iron Maiden – Aces High
Depeche Mode – Blasphemous Rumours

Both Sister Of Mercy and Modern Girl would be nabbed by the first Hits album. Aces High tends to get overshadowed by 2 Minutes To Midnight while Depeche Mode’s elusiveness on ’80s Nows thankfully did not extend to the VHS releases.

Now That’s What I Call Music 5 Video (1985)
Elton John & Millie Jackson – Act Of War
Maze – Too Many Games
The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – So In Love
Feargal Sharkey – Loving You *
Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder – Goodbye Bad Times
Belouis Some – Imagination
Nick Heyward – Laura

Probably the hardest one to find and features an interesting selection of *other* singles. That Cult track was played at every indie disco of my youth while the Maze tune is an underrated soul gem. Loving You was Feargal’s second 45 but wasn’t on his debut album. Imagination ended up on both Now Dance (in 12″ form) and Hits 4.

Now That’s What I Call Music 6 Video (1985)
Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls
Thompson Twins – King For A Day
Depeche Mode – It’s Called A Heart
The Cult – Revolution
Ian Dury – Profoundly In Love With Pandora *

King For A Day and West End Girls were compiled on Hits 3 and Hits 4 respectively. The Depeche Mode single was used to promote their first singles collection, a 1985 Christmas present. The Ian Dury tune is a real rarity and was the theme tune for The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole ITV series. It seems to have vanished without trace.

Now That’s What I Call Music 7 Video (1986)
Culture Club – Move Away
Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Love Missile F1-11
Samantha Fox – Do Ya Do Ya (Wanna Please Me)

Three well known tunes that all could have made the parent album. It was the last stand for Culture Club (for the ’80s anyway) and Sam’s quality follow-up to Touch Me. The Sigue Sigue Sputnik album still gets played in my house every few months.

Now That’s What I Call Music 8 Video (1986)
The Damned – Anything
Ultravox – All Fall Down
Glass Tiger – Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Warriors Of The Wasteland

Of this quartet, only Frankie really did the business chart-wise. I still prefer Watching The Wildlife despite it’s lowly chart peak.

Now That’s What I Call Music 9 Video (1987)
Gary Moore – Wild Frontier

Interestingly Gary does feature on the main album – but it’s a different track, Over The Hills And Far Away.

POSTSCRIPT: Now That’s What I Call Music Japanese Laserdiscs
And there’s more! The Japanese laserdiscs are extremely difficult to locate and in the case of Now 1 and Now 4, also had different tracks that did not feature on the main albums. These are not included in the above Spotify playlist but are worth knowing about.

Now That’s What I Call Music Laserdisc (1983)
Mike Oldfield – Shadow On The Wall
Genesis – Mama
China Crisis – Christian
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Genetic Engineering
China Crisis – Working With Fire & Steel

Now That’s What I Call Music 4 Laserdisc (1984)
Talk Talk – It’s My Life
Savage Progress – My Soul Unwraps Tonight

Now 4 Japan

3 Responses to Now VHS Special

  1. Martin Davis says:

    Thanks ever so much for a brilliant post. I have all the Now VHS releases save for Now 5. Didn’t realise there were so many tracks that weren’t on the accompanying albums but nice to have a bit of variety. Almost like an extension to each of the individual volumes.

    I have a copy of “Profoundly In Love With Pandora” courtsey of a release called The TV Hits Album 2 which was released by Towerbell Records in the mid 80s. Did a cassette rip of it a few years ago.

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