Now That’s What I Call No81bob’s World Volume 1


A few notable things happened 30 years ago.

Firstly, the Smiths released their first album and started a brief but oh so influential journey in music.

Secondly,  it’s 30 years since Brighton and Hove Albion reached Wembley in an FA Cup Final starting that strange race to become the first club to be both relegated and win the FA Cup Final in the same year.  We did one and lost the other but I guess it’s congratulations to Wigan Athletic this year for finally achieving the slightly warped double in it’s entirety.

But thirdly a phenomenon started that was blazingly obvious and it seems incredible that nobody thought of doing it before. NOW That’s What I Call Music was released to instant success.  Why don’t we do an album where all the pop hits of the last six months are all brought together on one double compilation?  No rubbish, no fillers and no dodgy Top Of The Pops (TOTP) cover versions.  And do you know what, people might buy it!

In the world before NOW, compilation albums were ropey affairs – there may be a few noteworthy hits but then the rest would be filler of the worst kind.  They seemed to be designed more for the convenience of record companies than the record buying public.  Or frankly they were shockingly poor cover versions issued under the banner of TOTP or such – entertaining, but for all the wrong reasons.

But then came along Richard Branson and his Virgin label and suggested the obvious.  Why not group together the actual music that people have been buying all in one place?  And sell it back to them again as a compilation?

Sometimes the simple ideas are the best.


Over the years most chart-selling artists have had a NOW airing, some like Robbie Williams 28 times, but there is one noticeable absentee.  Madonna was so mad at Now 7 for keeping her off the top of the album charts that her record company campaigned for compilation albums to have their own charts so as not to sully the name of ‘real’ albums!  Hence we now have at least two album charts.


Which NOW do you have?

NTWICM3It’s absolutely fine to be a little snobbish about NOW and poo poo it’s blatant commercialism but let’s not pretend you haven’t got at least one tucked away in the attic/ garage/ dusty corner of the spare room.

Mine is NTWICM Volume 3, and looking through the track listing I can claim 29 years later that I know and love every track on that with the noticeable exception of two – Gary Glitter’s Dance Me Up (we really don’t have to go there, do we?) and David Sylvan’s Red Guitar of which I have zero recollection.  As to everything else – all four sides open with classics from Duran Duran, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Queen and Wham.  And then go on to deliver OMD, Bananarama, Weather Girls, Bronski Beat…what more could I have wanted?

So I say.  Stand Up.  Be Proud.  And Tell the world which NOW do you have!


Now That’s What I Call No81bob’s World Volume 1

Of course, no81bob’s world is a very different one from the pop charts so based on the NOW premise of what I have been listening to in the last six or so months what would go in to the compilation?  The Spotify list below is my stab at it based on brief deliberation.  I’ll leave you to judge, enjoy, tut at the selection…

Atomic Ranch – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Hoppipolia – Sigur Ros
Radioactivity (Orthodox mix) – The Ukrainians
Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine
Paradise City – Guns N’ Roses
The Hardest Button To Button – The White Stripes
National Anthen – Lana Del Rey
Heavy metal drummer – Wilco
The Stars (Are Out Tonight) – David Bowie
Dresden – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Stupid – Bobby Womack
MJB Da MVP – Mary J. Blige
Runaway – Kanye West
Thinkin Bout You – Frank Ocean
I Wanna Be Adored – The Stone Roses
Seven Seas – Echo And The Bunnymen
Andy Warhol – David Bowie
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Patti Smith
What Katie Did – The Libertines
Little Hitler – Everything But The Girl
Take Five – Dave Brubeck

If you’ve not used a Spotify list before just click on one of the play buttons below and uhmmm, turn up the volume.