Celebrating all things related to the variously compiled world of pop.
NOW 8 - Autumn '86
It’s Autumn 1986 and the charts are once again filled with a glittering array of colourful, confident pop. The post-Live Aid landscape of 1985 has enabled its stars and supporting cast to build their singles and album popularity. Shiny new CDs are ensuring an aspirational digital era is on the way. But the singles chart still manages to reign supreme with an exciting range of tastes and flavours - from the Nile Rodgers produced funk of returning popsters Duran Duran, to the polished, sharp R’n’B courtesy of Janet Jackson and Cameo. And as the eighties moved on, new acts such as the Pet Shop Boys and Swing Out Sister were making their mark and looking onwards to ’87.
As always, the NOW compilation series captured a moment in time, as we moved from the dance joy of Mel and Kim through the glorious Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush and onwards to a soap opera wedding that gave us a certain barman’s Big No.1 ballad!
Oh, and did we mention HITS 5?
Join Radio 2’s ‘Sounds of the 80s’ producer Johnny Kalifornia and I as we first of all explore his love of pop growing up, before we head back to the chrome covered pop of ’86.
Expect starring roles for Kim Wilde, Grace Jones, Robert Palmer and find out why Boris Gardiner and Don Johnson probably won’t be returning our calls.
NOW 11 - Spring '88
It’s Spring 1988 and pop music is BIG once again!
And as always, NOW That’s What I Call Music is there to capture the charts in all of its late 80s bombast as symbolised by Volume 11 and THAT wonderful, mirrored skyscraper cover.
The Pet Shop Boys are reigning supreme in their imperial phase, the girls are conquering the charts from Kylie to Belinda and Vanessa to Sinead.
But change is in the air as the decade draws to a close and as the BPM increase so does the excitement – a whole side of House signals that dance music has the charts and the UK under arrest!
Join Universal Music’s Mark Wood and I as we revisit his musical influences and why NOW11 is such an important time capsule for him.
Along the way expect starring roles for Kylie, Bomb the Bass, Blondie and The Wombles (!) and find out all about one of Mark's biggest musical passions - what The Guardian describe as ‘Britain’s Greatest and Strangest Nightclub’ - Duckie.
I Know You’re Gonna Dig This!
Back To NOW 11 - Trailer
Coming soon - back to Spring 1988 as Mark Wood opens up NOW11 and shares pop memories of a time when things were changing - and not a moment too soon!
Bob Stanley - Compiling Stories.
For this special episode, I am joined by musician, writer, DJ, and film producer Bob Stanley.
Bob is a founder member of Saint Etienne, and a regular contributor to amongst others, The Guardian, The Times and Record Collector. Bob has compiled and produced an enviable collection of compilation albums for his own record label Croydon Municipal and with a host of collaborators for Ace records.
Bob shares his love for 70s compilations albums, library culture, the joy of discovering forgotten tracks and the wonderful nature of sequencing that the likes of K-Tel and Ronco provided us with.
We also explore the evolution of NOW through the 80s, how dance music came to the fore in the ‘90s and why we love collecting music in the UK.
With the launch of his latest compilation, Café Exil: New Adventures in European Music 1972-1980, Bob also provides an insight into his own process of creating compilation albums; where inspiration comes from, his favourites and what themes he is looking to curate next.
NOW - The Christmas Album
In this episode we shamelessly deck the halls, crack open the eggnog and pass around mince pies in honour of NOW - The Christmas Album. Cue, sleigh bells!
Join pop pundit & musician Ian Wade and I as we celebrate the classic festive compilation. From Band Aid to Bing Crosby via Slade, Macca and a dazzling array of hits, the first off-shoot LP from the NOW brand set the tinsel-drenched tone for all Christmas compilations that came afterwards.
And of course, as it's Christmas, we provide a second course of glittering insights and rambles about lost classics, missing tracks and basically, why we all love our festive favourites so much at Christmas.
Grab your favourite tipple, pull a cracker and enjoy a very seasonal Back To NOW!
Back To NOW Christmas Trailer
New episode on the way! Join @WadeyWade and I as we explore NOW The Christmas Album and all that’s come since. And as a taster, ever wondered what Band Aid would have been like if released in 1974? Of course you have!
Customer ReviewsSee All
An entertaining look at pop culture through the lens of Compilation Albums
This is a really enjoyable podcast which takes the listener on a journey through time as reflected by the music compilation albums of the day. The host and guests are extremely knowledgeable and the conversations are engaging, informative and great fun. It’s like sitting the pub (remember that?) with great friends discussing aspects of some of the best (and worst) popular music ever recorded and curated. Superb!
If you have any recollection of the thrill of finding the latest tracklist for a Now compilation in Smash Hits, you will absolutely get this.
And if that sounds incomprehensible to you, but you love pop music and want to hear how much it means to knowledgable guests, you will absolutely get this.
One for the pop kids
A really enjoyable podcast, I’ve listened to the first three and subscribed. Well produced and with great knowledge of pop culture, Iain and guests take us on a journey through a year of pop. Even when discussing acts which aren’t particularly my cup of tea they provide an enjoyable and interesting listen.