35 episodes

Celebrating all things related to the variously compiled world of pop.
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Back to NOW‪!‬ Pop Rambler

    • Music
    • 4.9 • 35 Ratings

Celebrating all things related to the variously compiled world of pop.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    NOW 27 - Spring ‘94: John Aizlewood

    NOW 27 - Spring ‘94: John Aizlewood

    Welcome to the middle of ‘the nineties’! Sort of! Spring 1994, to be exact. And indeed, the popworld is revelling in the ‘seed of the new breed’.
    Again, sort of…
    You know the drill by now, the glorious NOW, That’s What I Call Music 27 steers you though the wonderfully choppy waters of the UK charts. Sometimes the shore is graced with the wonders of perfect pop from the likes of Swedish Global grabbers Ace of Base. Life can indeed be demanding, without - who knows - understanding.
    Further along the journey we find Eternal being fabulous and poppy, still as a classic foursome, and - wait - can it be Peter Cunnah and D:ream celebrating all things positive and possible, whilst popping in for a cuppa in Derry?
    You’ll need to listen in for THAT one.
    Leaving the shoreline/boat analogy behind (running out of examples, sorry), you’ll find Meat Loaf with THREE choruses, Primal Scream stuck between two rocks (you’re welcome) and Gin Blossoms having just the one. (Can you remember anymore of their songs?)
    And of course, as it’s the 90s, NOW27 moves into dance Maximum Overdrive (wrong volume, that was 26!) with the likes of Culture Beat, Capella, Reel ‘2’ Real and everyone’s favourite Charleston aping techno Dutch duo Smashing Pumpkins DOOP!
    And there’s much, much more across these 38 Top (mostly) chart hits!
    Join award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster John Aizlewood as we head back, Back, BACK to 1994 for stories aplenty of pop adventures from his days with the doorstop music authority magazine that was Q (RIP), including how he attempted to stop Ace of Base leave a room, ordered everything on the menu with Jim Steinman and tried to find Tony Mortimer’s imaginary record collection.
    Also, discover which record started it all for John (clue, it’s not on NOW27) and which group has captured his heart more than any other (clue, it’s not Doop).
    And find out which acts on the album could (possibly) provide the perfect Pointless answers and which track almost (well, not really) brought our blossoming podcast friendship to a violent end! Yes, it’s that dramatic (again, really not).
    In the words of the Urban Cookie Collective, let’s Sail Away folks! (Another boat analogy - REALLY?)

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    • 1 hr 32 min
    NOW 22 - Summer ‘92: Catrin Lowe

    NOW 22 - Summer ‘92: Catrin Lowe

    It’s the summer of 1992!
    The UK had accidentally voted in the Conservative government again but to make amends wins lots of medals at the Freddie and Monserrat Olympic Festival Sporting thingy in Barcelona, so everyone forgets for a while.
    Alan Shearer becomes the most expensive soccer star in the whole of history and the English FA celebrate their winning bid for Euro96 - spoiler, it still doesn’t come home.
    And, AND, everyone was glued to the BBC’s newest and sauciest soap opera Eldorado - what we all now recognise as the greatest TV turning point of the century. Must we throw this telly filth at our kids, said absolutely no-one.
    The new pop decade was coming of age as the third year of, what some called ‘the nineties’ was providing yet another glittering array of….(checks notes)….erm, we’re not really sure.
    But wait, this is not a problem! NOW, That’s What I Call Music 22 was on hand and available in all formats to bring you 34 (yes, 34!) toppermost chartiest hits that would make sense of everything we needed to know!
    Coming at you like an overexcited ministerial briefing from Maastricht, every conceivable genre of music reminded you that there was indeed no genre whatsoever in 1992. Erasure dug up the Blue Peter-esque garden and found ABBA in a biscuit box, Utah Saints dug behind the sofa and found Kate Bush raving in a sweater, Electronic continued to be the best supergroup since forever and, ha, ‘disappointed’ no-one (too cheesy, take this out in final draft) and whilst the Orb played chess on TOTP (checkmate, Alex!) a huge shoulderpad of serious adult rock from the likes of Cocker, Stigers and Marx was selling bucket loads of expensive CDs and trying their hardest to overshadow the pop kids (they’ll never get away with it!).
    Join podcaster, writer and promoter Catrin Lowe as we head back to this crazy summer of 1992 to revisit the hits, headlines and otherwise that make up the gloriously non genre-specific volume 22 of the world famous NOW series!
    Along the way discover which band Catrin wrote a poem about on Teletext, how Turbo B infiltrated a fireworks display in Cheshire, which NOW22 act pretended to be farm animals on a recent TV talent show and why gravy is so important when considering your power ballad.
    To quote Simon Bates - 1992: Sexual Crusader or just a Big Girl’s Blouse? You decide!

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    • 1 hr 16 min
    NOW 3 - Summer '84: Mark Savage

    NOW 3 - Summer '84: Mark Savage

    Alexa, show me 1984.
    If you were to ask a certain searchable device (others are, obviously available), there’s a high probability that the year George Orwell predicted would see us living in a terrifying future nightmare would instead be adorned with a wash of neon, colour and an array of sunshine pop. 
    And the character staring back at us wouldn’t be Big Brother, it was a pig in shades. Of course!
    (And is there anything cooler?)
    Yes, it’s here! July 1984, and the third volume of the world famous NOW That’s What I Call Music series had arrived and quite literally rocketed - locomotion style - to the top of the charts. And for sure, the compilation album was back, Back, BACK!
    A glittering selection of the pop’s finest (and The Art Company) lined up to highlight why 1984 is often (argue with us here) cited as one of the greatest music years. 
    From Duran Duran’s worldwide fl-fl-flexing monster smash, to Wham! shining brighter than Doris Day, NOW3 features some of the decades biggest hits. Take a look at Phil Collins, wait for pizza (talking some Italian, probably) with Bananarama, even stay up way beyond bedtime to catch falling men with The Weather Girls. Wow!
    But WAIT!
    Underneath the streamers and balloons of summer 1984, wasn’t there just a hint of darkness?
    Of course there was! Global annihilation never looked or sounded so fabulous (and we’re not talking Threads, thanks again BBC)! Nik Kershaw wasn’t letting the sun (or his snood) go down, Ultravox had tears in their eyes (shortly before humanity was vaporised) and of course Frankie Goes To Hollywood were on top of the whole mushroom cloud as Two Tribes (and just a smidgeon of Trevor) ruled the airwaves, charts and the 12” mixes whilst we listened to Patrick Allen’s public information messages. Chilling? Yes it was, and we haven’t even got to The Art Company yet! Brrr! 
    So, let’s jump back to summer 1984 with the BBC’s music correspondent, Mark Savage to explore the many faceted pop kaleidoscope of 30 Top Chart hits that is Now Music 3. Along the way also find out how Mark discovered pop growing up in Northern Ireland, memories of sun kissed holidays and which record had the neighbours banging on the wall.
    Plus, the mystery of a very strange cassette tone is - after 30 years - revealed! 
    Geeky? Us? Of course we are!
    As Cyndi Lauper said, we all have a suitcase of memories - time after time.

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    • 1 hr 25 min
    NOW 26 - Autumn ‘93: Will Hodgkinson

    NOW 26 - Autumn ‘93: Will Hodgkinson

    Welcome to 1993. Autumn, to be exact. 
    And how was it all looking?
    Well, it wasn’t really baggy like 1990, or rave-y like 1991, but it wasn’t Britpoppy like 1995. It was all a bit…well, who knows? Can we say, a bit of a pop hinterland?
    And were there any clues across our ever reliant pop culture landscape for how ‘93 had shaped up? Well in a year that saw the launch of two modern icons - the Vauxhall Corsa and QVC - actually, perhaps, we’ll come back to them later. Not!
    Back to the hinterland then. We had the ever reliant and still relatively imperial Neil and Chris, resplendent in their dayglo uniforms marching to the Village People in Moscow. Or perhaps your CD single (with 6 extra dance mixes) was celebrating the glorious invasion of Europop of Culture Beat, 2 Unlimited and Haddaway. Or maybe you were, frankly too cool for school and had bunked off to the shimmering r’n’b from SWV, Janet and Eternal.
    And where was Indie? What even was indie in 1993?
    One thing is for certain, your musical tribe in 1993 was considerably, undeniably, very untribal. 
    But isn’t waiting for the Next Big Thing - and spotting the red herrings along the way - so terribly exciting?
    So if it’s autumn ‘93, it’s definitely time for NOW That’s What I Call Music 26! 
    And joining us for this excursion back 30 (!) years, none other than author and chief rock & pop critic for The Times Will Hodgkinson. 
    Will selects his highlights from the wonderfully packaged 40 Top Chart Hits as well exploring the wider pop culture landscape of 1993. Along the way, we discover Will’s inspiration for his, quite frankly wonderful exploration of 1970’s pop ‘In Perfect Harmony’ and how 1973 and 1993 really had a lot more in common than you may think.
    We also take excursions into some of 1993’s other memorable musical moments, courtesy of Bjork, London’s eclectic club scene and (unashamedly) Bowie’s Buddha of Suburbia (with a real cameo from Will, no less!)
    Expect starring (and a few understudy) roles from Meat Loaf, The Shamen, Lawrence from Denim, Stakka Bo (only a bit Stereo MCs), Crustys, Frank Farian, Hacky sacks(!) and some illicit colour photocopying - you will be shocked!
    All of this and much, much more!
    And find out why the Spin Doctors (amongst a few others) will not be returning our calls.

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    • 1 hr 20 min
    Back to NOW Christmas Flexidisc 2022

    Back to NOW Christmas Flexidisc 2022

    Welcome to this bonus edition of Back to Now!
    A small but perfectly formed bite-size extra serving of Festive Pop!
    To compliment the end of year review of 2022, enjoy a collection of previous lovely guests as they revisit some memorable Christmas hits.
    Or should that be December hits? Or Christmas adjacent pop?
    You decide, wonderful listeners!
    Indeed, in the true sense of pop memorabilia, consider this a free gift flexidisc stuck to the front cover of your double edition festive Smash Hits, back in the day - without the need to remove the sellotape and damage the cover - isn't the 21st century brilliant?
    So for 20 minutes - less than the time taken to baste your turkey - enjoy some facts and memories on hits by the Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, The KLF (and Tammy!), The Housemartins, Culture Club, Girls Aloud, Sugababes, The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl and Band Aid.
    Merry Christmas Back to Now listeners, have a good one and we'll see you bright and early on the other side!

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    • 17 min
    The Back to NOW Review - 2022

    The Back to NOW Review - 2022

    Festive greetings and welcome to what all of the Pop Kids are rightly calling the 2nd annual Back to Now review for 2022!
    Can it really be a whole 12 months since we last pulled up a cosy chair, poured ourselves a large creme de menthe and ruminated on the variously compiled world of pop? Well, yes indeed and so much has happened since! We don’t talk about politics here, no, no no - it’s all about the music. And whilst 2022 saw some genuinely big passings, we also saw some spectacular pop moments! Harry (Styles not the other one) and Kate (Bush, not the other one) ruled the charts over the spring, LF system begged the rather confusing question were we ‘afraid to feel’ for the whole summer and the autumn and quite probably the winter belongs to Taylor and her many clock face guises! 
    But whilst volumes 111-113 expertly guided us expertly through the official singles chart, the story of NOW again has been much, much MORE!
    Electronic, Punk, 80s dance, 90s dance, Pride - compilation fans you have been spoilt! 
    And of course, let’s bow in reverence for the ongoing blistering success story that is the NOW Yearbooks! Feel the Quality indeed!
    With so much to explore we implore you to put down the decorations, chase away the carol singers and enjoy a romp through the pop wonderland of 2022 with our very three wise special guests. 
    Sounds of the 80s producer and chairperson for the ‘get all madonna remixes on Spotify Now’ campaign - Johnny Kalifornia.
    Pop journalist and chairperson for ‘The Human league are for life not just Christmas’ campaign - Ian Wade.
    And the man who can either be found lunching with xPropaganda, sipping cocktails with Bryan Ferry or entertaining the masses on a Saturday afternoon at the world famous Duckies nightclub, Mark Wood.
    And as it is that special time of the year, expect some fabulous extra guests too!
    So gather around, get festive and join us for a memorable twelve months in the world of pop and NOW.

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    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
35 Ratings

35 Ratings

cactusflowertower ,

Something Good

Crazy about this podcast. Iain is a charming and unassuming presenter (a rare thing) and really knows his hit parades! The conversations are an awesome mix of the personal and the musical. Very funny, nostalgic and informative. Keep the episodes coming!

Jedibreakfast ,

My favourite podcast

My friend used to talk about reaching a flow state whilst flicking through records in HMV so much so that they’d need to know where the nearest public toilets were located. Similarly I’ve found this podcast has become the closest thing to catnip for me. All my favourite nerdy music writer personalities on here including Sian Pattenden, Pete Paphides, Andrew Harrison, Jude Rogers.
I’m not sure who Iain the presenter is but I want to know what he’s planning for his next pop related project because he is my new favourite person.

Spikecricket ,

Great podcast

Really enjoying this pod, great analysis and fun memories. Only frustration is when they talk about an artists song they don’t always say what the song they are talking about is called! Thanks though for brightening up my car journeys. Keep up the good work.

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