Thursday, 16 June 2011

NOW 29 - That's What I Call Music!

I'll bore anyone when it comes to my taste in music. As the various musical blog posts on this site will testify, it's nothing if not eclectic.

So I may as well add to them with this call out for what in my mind is the finest of the NOW (That's What I Call Music) CD collections. At my last count, the series has now reached No.78 - the first being released back in November 1983.

Of all of those to date, there's one that stands out for me - NOW 29.

Why? Well, it's a mixture of the songs on it and the fact that it encapsulates in one compilation a feeling for a wonderful period of my childhood that no other complilation touches. It was released on 21st November 1994 at which time I would have been 12 years old. The music on the CD would presumably have been high up in the charts in the proceeding months following on from the release on NOW 28 in the August.

They're a sound of my youth but also, an unmistakeable sound of the early-to-mid '90s. At present, we have many 'Flares' clubs for those who enjoy their 70s music and 'Reflex' for those who like their 80s (I like both I must admit) but the whole concept of the 90s club hasn't really taken off yet but I expect that in the years to come it will and when it does, it will play some of the hits that I have selected from NOW 29 right here...

Baby Come Back (Pato Banton with Robin & Ali Campbell)
With lyrics such as "I must admit I was a clown to be, messin' around, but that dosen't mean that you 'ave to leave town, come back, yes and give me one more try, 'cos a love like this shoulda never ever die, come back, yes wi' me colour TV, and me CD collection of Bob Marley, come back".


Baby I Love Your Way (Big Mountain)
Originally written and performed by Peter Frampton in 1975, it is this version of 19 years hence that stays with me. It's upbeat, positive and optimistic sound is one that I absolutely adore to this day...a further 17 years hence...

Saturday Night (Whigfield)
A song that probably encapsulates the 90s more than virtually all others, it just screams 1994 and for those young enough to be alive and aware of music in that year, it just burst out of nowhere and into your face.

Rhythm of the Night (Corona)
Not necessarily my vibe of music ordinarily, it still has to be said that this is a classic of the era and well deserving of a special mention here...

MMM MMM MMM MMM (Crash Test Dummies)
It's just an 'out-there' tune. It's instantly recognisable and is pretty chilled out in my book.

We Have All The Time In The World (Louis Armstrong)
Do I really need to explain why? It's a timeless classic.

Originally made famous as a James Bond theme from On Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1969, it came back to public attention 25 years later as part of a Guinness beer commercial after My Bloody Valentine chose to cover it for charity. Armstrong's version was then re-released and reached number 3 in the UK Singles Chart.

Midnight at the Oasis (Brand New Heavies)
It's another chilled out tune from an oft forgotten band - again with the 90s hallmark sound stamped all over it.

Trouble (Shampoo)
It may have been their only real hit but I'll defy anyone to say that they don't know the hook!

Parklife (Blur)
What better way to finish my selection than with one of the 90s finest? It was with the death of Britpop after 1996 and the end of the great battle between Oasis/Blur and Pulp that my interest in modern music began to wane. So here, along with Eastenders' very own Kevin Wicks (Phil Daniels) at the wheel, it's one of the best musical videos of the decade...

They are only 9 of the 38 tracks on the double CD that is NOW 29 but it gives you a flavour of the music of my era.

It's not as if every other of the 29 songs are hits. With compilation CDs, you've always got to sift through the chaf to find the wheat but as the NOW series goes, there are some serious hits on No.29!


  1. Indeed, a classic of the NOW genre. But it wouldn't be until Now 37 that the series peaked, in my humble opinion. 37 defined my first summer at Trinity College, Carmarthen. Britain was King of Pop and the Spice Girls conquered the world.

    And Hanson gave us Mmh Bop... I rest my case.

  2. Nice choice... I'm tempted to do my own post with NOW 30! having said that, though you mentioned whigfield, you didn't MENTION THE DANCE! I can still remember it now!