Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Three of a Kind #80

We've done Now That's What I Call Music 1, so let's move not-all-that-swiftly on to Volume 2, shall we? Why not. As I'm admittedly overly fond of saying, this was the first album I ever owned. Certainly I'd already collected a dozen or so singles by this point - Joe Dolce's Shaddap You Face, Kraftwerk's The Model and the 1982 England World Cup Squad's This Time (We'll Get It Right), to name but three - but Now 2 was the first record that made me utilise the 33rpm switch on my turntable. Here's the full track listing.

Record One Side One:

1. Queen - Radio Ga Ga
2. Nik Kershaw - Wouldn't It Be Good
3. Thompson Twins - Hold Me Now
4. Matt Bianco - Get Out Of Your Lazy Bed
5. Carmel - More More More
6. Madness - Michael Caine
7. Flying Pickets - Only You
8. Nena - 99 Red Balloons

Record One Side Two:

9. Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want To Have Fun
10. Tracey Ullman - My Guy's Mad At Me
11. Matthew Wilder - Break My Stride
12. Julia & Company - Breaking Down (Sugar Samba)
13. Joe Fagin - That's Living Alright
14. Hot Chocolate - I Gave You My Heart (Didn't I)
15. Snowy White - Bird Of Paradise

Record Two Side One:

16. Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax
17. Eurythmics - Here Comes The Rain Again
18. Howard Jones - What Is Love?
19. The Smiths - What Difference Does It Make
20. Fiction Factory - (Feels Like) Heaven
21. Re-Flex - The Politics Of Dancing
22. Thomas Dolby - Hyperactive
23. China Crisis - Wishful Thinking

Record Two Side Two:

24. David Bowie - Modern Love
25. Culture Club - It's A Miracle
26. Rolling Stones - Undercover Of The Night
27. Big Country - Wonderland
28. Slade - Run Runaway
29. Duran Duran - New Moon On Monday
30. Paul McCartney - Pipes Of Peace

Straight away it suffers in comparison to its more illustrious predecessor - Vol. 1 having contained, by my reckoning, ten UK number ones to Vol. 2's paltry four. But is the second instalment really that much poorer than the series opener? Well, yes, frankly. I mean, Snowy White's Bird Of Paradise? Tracey Ullman's pointless Madness cover My Guy's Mad At Me?? (Mary Wells had obviously claimed dibs on the use of My Guy as a song title two decades previously.) Re-Flex's The Politics Of Dancing?! Purlease!

Even some of the more well-known songs on this volume leave me cold now. I really, really hate Radio Ga Ga for example. Even as a feckless child I realised what a load of pompous drivel that was. And maybe they've just been played to death in the intervening quarter of a century (in fact, they definitely have) but Relax and Girls Just Want To Have Fun really get on my wick now too. Whereas the only good thing about It's A Miracle is it's not The War Song. Humbug!

But it's not all bad news; far from it, in fact. I mean, look! What Difference Does It Make is on there! (The fact that I was far too young and stupid to realise its genius at the time is neither here nor there.) And, erm, Wouldn't It Be Good. (Oh come on, you know you love it really!) Incidentally, Nik Kershaw was married to the daughter of an English teacher at my school. Or am I thinking of Howard Jones? No, Nik definitely never married him. Ho and indeed ho.

I also muchly like these three songs (which is probably just as well bearing in mind that I'm sticking them up as mp3s here).

Julia & Company - Breakin' Down (Sugar Samba) mp3

Thomas Dolby - Hyperactive mp3

Slade - Run Runaway mp3

More Now/Music-based madness to follow at some point in the future - possibly!


Davy H said...

Frightening thing is, for me, all this seems quite 'late' - i.e. I can remember wobbling home from the pub with 'the lads' attempting to harmonise 'Only You' and seeing 'What Difference' on TOTP on the Hall Of Residence (sic) telly. I.e. I was not a kid, i.e. shite and double shite, I is old.

HowMarvellous said...

yep, for a late Slade song - Run Runaway was dead good; & I've always had a spot for Hot Chocolate. That Madness one is a gem.

Kershaw played up the road last week, at a school.

alex said...

What about Matthew Wilder's Break My Stride? I only ever knew the 90s dance version of this song until about a month ago, when Architecture in Helsinki covered it in a live set and I looked it up on Youtube to remind myself of who did it and why I knew it.

What winning compilations.

adam said...

Break My Stride may be the catchiest song in the world. it's real anthrax- level catchy. They used to play it at half times during Solent Stars basketball games we went on school trips to at around this time.

Seeing The Smiths on here is always funny, although not as funny as hearing 'oscillate wildly' as the background music on Antiques Roadshow the other night.

Kippers said...

Smiths songs'll be turning up on Last of the Summer Wine next!

I just looked up that AIH cover of Break My Stride. It's surprisingly unironic and faithful to the original; the crowd really lapped it up too. This is obviously what the pop kids want!

HowMarvellous said...

Kippers - Morrissey'll be on last of the Summer Wine you mean. I'd watch it then; lets have Noddy too.

Kippers said...

Actually I can well imagine Noddy Holder ending up in the cast!

I Am Not The Beatles said...

Brilliant. The Politics Of Dancing is one of may favourite pop songs of the period. Superb!