1986 ‘various artists’ compilation Now That’s What I Call Music 8 will be issued as a two-CD set for the first time later this month.
Issued in November 1986, just three months after number seven, Now 8 was a massive seller, going quadruple platinum in the UK and reaching number one in the charts. They actually all reached number one (except for Now 4) until the rules were changed to exclude compilations from the ‘main’ album chart (Now 13 was the last chart-topper, fact fans).
Now 8 contained “32 top chart hits” (a 17-track CD was also released) and is a decent compilation, starting particularly strongly with Duran Duran‘s transatlantic top ten hit ‘Notorious’ and the remix of Pet Shop Boys ‘Suburbia’ – the fourth, and final single from ‘Please’.
Other popular hits of the day include Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush‘s ‘Don’t Give Up’ (Gabriel’s second consecutive appearance on a ‘Now’), Run DMC‘s ‘Walk This Way’, the Communards‘ ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’, Swing Out Sister‘s ‘Breakout’, Steve Winwood‘s ‘Higher Love’, Cameo‘s ‘Word Up’, The Cutting Crew‘s ‘(I Just) Died In Your Arms’ and Robert Palmer‘s ‘I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On’.
I’d argue that this set is the last compilation in the series that still feels (more or less) like classic, high-quality, diverse ‘Eighties’ pop music. Subsequent sets still have their moments, of course, but as dance music (Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley, M/A/R/R/S etc.) and Stock-Aitken-Waterman productions creep in, the tone shifts and perhaps some ‘magic’ is lost.
There’s no confirmation, yet, as to how faithful the reissue will be to the original 32-track collection (the lack of attention to detail around mixes and random omissions has been well documented) but if ‘they’ are going to have licensing issues, then let’s hope we lose Nick Berry this time (with his Eastenders-promoted) ‘Every Loser Wins’, rather than, say, David Bowie!
Now That’s What I Call Music 8 will be reissued as a two-CD set on 26 March 2021.
Original track listing. Reissue not confirmed.
Pet Shop Boys
- Walk This Way
- Don’t Leave Me This Way
Swing Out Sister
- Higher Love
- (Forever) Live And Die
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
- In Too Deep
- Word Up
- I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect For You)
- Showing Out (Get Fresh At The Weekend)
Mel & Kim
- We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off
- Step Right Up
- What Have You Done For Me Lately
The Human League
- I Wanna Wake Up With You
- Don’t Give Up
Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush
- Think For A Minute
- (Waiting For The) Ghost Train
- In The Army Now
- Stuck With You
Huey Lewis & The News
- One Great Thing
- Greetings To The New Brunette
- (I Just) Died In Your Arms
- You Keep Me Hanging On
- Calling All The Heroes
Doctor & The Medics
- French Kissin’ In The USA
- I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On
- The Wizard
- (They Long To Be) Close To You
- Every Loser Wins