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Now That's What I Call Music 2... Revisited
As a result of an obsession with BBC4's "Top of the Pops: 1984" we had a look at the era's other pop behemoth - the sprawling Now That's What I Call Music series. Starting at volume 1 and carrying on until we get bored we'll report back with highlights and lowlights of each release. Here's our take on Now 2.
Release Date: 26 March 1984
Peak UK Chart Position: #1
Best Song: David Bowie - Modern Love
Very tough choice on this one. There's some big hitters like Thompson Twins ("Hold Me Now"), Cyndi Lauper ("Girls Just Want to Have Fun") and Frankie ("Relax") doing battle with indie chancers like Madness' vastlly underrated "Michael Caine" and The Smiths ("What Difference Does It Make?"). But then Bowie shows up with "Modern Love" and shows them how it's done.
Worst Song: Many...
Matt Bianco is quite annoying but side D has an atrocious run of clunkers which includes Culture Clubs career low "It's A Miracle", Rolling Stones' "Undercover of the Night", Big Country's "Wonderland" and Slade's "Run Runaway". Quite the quadruple.
Era Defining Song: Joe Fagin - That's Livin' Alright
Proof that all was not well in Thatchers' 1984, Dennis, Neville, Oz and co were off to Germany to find work and this was their superb theme tune. I am not joking. It's superb.
Daft Song: TraceyUllman - My Guy's Mad At Me
I love Tracey Ullman's version of "They Don't Know" but her reworking of Madness' "My Girl" doesn't get anywhere near those heights.
Most Surprising Inclusion: Slade - Run Runaway
Surely their ship had sailed by now (apparently not, it got to #10).
Don't Remember: Julia and Company - Breaking Down
There's a few on here that don't look familiar on paper (Matthew Wilder?) but most people will probably know most of these songs the second they pipe up. The exception to this rule for me was Julia and Company. I have no memory of this. Its not the worst song on the album.
Aged Well: Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax
Still sounds a bit fresh.
Aged Badly: Matt Bianco - Get Out Of Your Lazy Bed
Matt Biancos 50's kitsch was cool in 84 but it all seems a bit embarrassing now.
Indie infiltration: The Smiths - What Difference Does It Make
There's a couple on here but The Smiths is the obvious standout. From back in the day when Morrissey was alright.
China Crisis plays noticably quieter than the rest of the tracks on the vinyl version. Odd.