Now That’s What I Call A Predictable Extended Remix Compilation

Look, don’t get us wrong. We at SDE love a good Now compilation. They’re perfect snapshots of time, everyone has a favourite, and in their recent expanded four/five disc bundles focusing on Forgotten Pop of various decades, or the recent Glam Pop they can be pretty ace. So when Now goes a bit awry, it feels awful – like being disappointed at a member of the family for letting you down. Even when the reissues of the early editions came along, we were thrilled at this reaching out towards their legacy, until we noticed that some tracks were omitted or they’d put the inaccurate mixes on. This stuff is important.

When rumours emerged of a new Now based on 12-inch extended versions and reswizzles – now confirmed as Now That’s What I Call 12″ 80s four-CD set – we were all hoping it would be a cut above the slightly shoddy cheap ‘n’ cheerful affairs that have come before. In the last couple of decades there’s been some decent efforts. The 12”/80s series ranging from Pop, New Wave and Dance (from Universal) were quite sexy; Warners’ 12-Inch Dance series had their moments; and Blank and Jones’ long-running so80s collections are always thoughtful and feel properly curated, but these are the exceptions rather than the rule – many other CD triplers seem a bit too ‘will this do?’

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Long Hot Summers: The Story of the Style Council

Photo by Peter Anderson

In praise of The Style Council: Ian Wade reviews the new compilation

First up, let’s enjoy some context: The simple fact of the matter is that The Jam couldn’t last. Well maybe they could have, but the wheels would have long come off by the middle of the decade, the number ones would have dropped off, and a lowering of standards would’ve been par for the course as the audience and venues got more selective. That might have pleased the faithful, but you know that Paul Weller wouldn’t have the status or respect he has now if he’d milked it. That’s facts.
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Pet Shop Boys / It Couldn’t Happen Here

Ian Wade reviews the newly reissued PSB film

Pet Shop Boys seem to be undergoing something of a reissue drive as they head towards their 40th year in operation. First there was last year’s completion and vinyl-ing up of the rest of their catalogue, then Chris Heath’s seminal books Literally and In America were republished with updated notes, and now, the thing that has long been left untouched in their catalogue, the DVD/Blu-ray reissue of their 1988 film It Couldn’t Happen Here.
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Now 1985: How more ‘various artists’ compilations diluted the offerings

Ian Wade examines the shifting sands in the pop universe in 1985 and why ‘Now 5’ suffered from a reinvigorated compilation marketplace

Ah, 1985. At this point in history, pop music was in a strange flux. Even within its first few days, it was feeling like a new pop coronation of sorts with Do They Know It’s Christmas starting to feel like a final hurrah. Those who held sway were rapidly becoming redundant from their lofty perches.
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Republica reissue is Ready To Go

1996 debut album reissued as a 3CD deluxe

Republica, those Saffron-led post-Britpoppers, with their Loaded magazine yob techno, equally at home either down the rave up or Northampton Roadmenders, are reissuing their 1996 self-titled debut album in a new expanded deluxe edition.
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Toyah Solo 7CD+DVD box

A new box celebrating Toyah’s career is on its way • Signed set sold out

Toyah’s solo career is to be celebrated in a new box set due next month from Demon.

Toyah Solo mops up the era from 1985 onwards when Willcox signed as a solo turn to Sony’s Portrait Records and then subsequent EG releases, and comprises of seven CDs and a DVD plus a 48 page book. (If you’re a cursory fan and a bit confused and wondering ‘hang on, wasn’t she always solo?’ it transpires that up until then, Toyah was the name of the band she fronted.)
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Robert Forster / Danger In The Past and Calling From A Country Phone

Long unavailable solo albums to be reissued by Needle Mythology • Vinyl available with SIGNED lyric sheets • Remastered CDs with bonus tracks

Robert Forster, the ex-Go-Betweens singer-songwriter, is to reissue his first two solo albums this March.
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The Hits Album versus Now 4

In celebration of ‘Now 4’ arriving in full on CD, SDE explores the pop compilation battle to rule them all. It’s late ’84 and that pocket money isn’t going to spend itself – but which to choose? In the red corner, new kid on the block ‘The Hits Album’ and in the blue corner, the reigning champion ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ (#4). Ian Wade is your guide….

November 1984, and one of pop’s most extraordinary years was drawing to a close, ending as spectacularly when every pop star imaginable ended up on the Christmas No.1. Duran Duran were in their pomp, Wham! had embarked on a gold run, the biggest new group in the country, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, had spent a quarter of the year at the top spot and while Michael Jackson was still everywhere, Prince and Madonna’s threat level to his crown had upgraded.

All while that was going on, there was another battle brewing…
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Shakespears Sister kiss and make up and talk to SDE about their future

Just over 30 years ago, Shakespears Sister breezed into the top ten with their first single ‘You’re History’ and set into motion a perfect and peculiar pop sensation. Originally seen as a solo project for ex-Bananarama Siobhan Fahey, she teamed up songwriter and musician Marcella Detroit to knock up a few tunes. Together, their reign saw them produce a couple of albums and an armful of smash hit singles, as well as the record-breaking No.1 single ‘Stay’.
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Everything But The Girl / Walking Wounded half-speed mastered vinyl

Good news boppers, it looks like the online petitions and general haranguing have paid off, for Everything But The Girl have finally confirmed the vinyl reissue of their 1996 long player Walking Wounded.
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Leo Sayer / The Fantasy Years

4LP clear vinyl • Overseen by Leo • Comes with a SIGNED print

Leo Sayer is set to release a third vinyl box set in his series of ‘years’ themed collections next month. The Fantasy Years 1979-1983 follows previous boxes The Hollywood Years and The London Years and also completes his first decade of success with Chrysalis Records.
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All the FACs / Factory Records box sets

Factory Records is to be celebrated with two new box sets.

The Manchester-based label Factory Records celebrates 40(ish) years with a pair of new box sets covering its entire catalogue.
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