23 episodes

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

    • Music
    • 4.9 • 24 Ratings

Celebrating all things related to the variously compiled world of pop.
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    NOW 23 - Autumn '92: Zoë Howe

    NOW 23 - Autumn '92: Zoë Howe

    It's Autumn 1992! Damn, Would I Lie To You?
    What an interesting time for the UK singles charts. Is it fair to say the decade was at some sort of apex point? 
    Well, the tracklist for November’s NOW, That’s What I Call Music 23 album was certainly not giving us a clear a view of what the next big thing was going to be. Or was it?
    Whilst the start of the 90s had exploded with a colourful wave (or should that be rave?) of indie & dance, and very soon Britpop would take a steely and sneering guitar grip across the nation, 1992 almost seemed to be in a fascinating holding pattern. Not exactly the annus horribilus that some were calling it, and as always the NOW team were on hand to serve up a suitably compiled snapshot of musical delights (and Billy Ray Cyrus) for us to feast upon.
    Tasmin Archer, Sophie B Hawkins and Betty Boo led the way for some great female fronted pop moments, Arrested Development were providing an RnB laidback groove for the 90s, the Freddie Mercury tribute concert was still impacting across the charts and The Shamen were being, naughty, naughty, very naughty.
    But there was also a fair degree of retro feel to this edition of NOW. Was it the 80s (Simple Minds), 70s (ABBA) or 60s (Vanessa Paradis!)? TV advert songs - which brand of jeans were you buying? And don’t even mention waistcoats! Just too funky for me...
    But even when things don’t seem to be happening, there’s always something happening. And there’s no doubt that the 90s had plenty of excitement waiting around the corner!
    Joining me for this episode is author, visual artist and sometime musician Zoë Howe.
    Zoe has produced acclaimed biographies including The Slits, the Jesus & Mary Chain, Wilko Johnson, Stevie Nicks, Florence + The Machine, Lee Brilleaux and Poly Styrene and in 2021 was part of the team behind the award-winning documentary Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché. 
    She has made radio programmes for Absolute Radio, Resonance FM and currently presents the Rock ’n’ Roll Witch show on Soho Radio. Zoë’s forthcoming book Witchful Thinking (a handbook for the modern Wise Woman) is to be published by Llewellyn in May 2022. And later this year will also see her revision of the book The Art of Punk released, and the launch of The Jam 1982, a collaboration with The Jam’s Rick Buckler.

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    • 1 hr 6 min
    NOW 12 - Summer '88: Jude Rogers

    NOW 12 - Summer '88: Jude Rogers

    Enjoy this trip.
    And it is a trip!
    What a poptastic year 1988 was turning out to be at NOW HQ! As the 80s were speeding their way towards a dayglo regeneration into the 90s, the charts were chock full of a glittering arrays of sensational delights and 7” wonders! 
    The first instalment of NOW That’s What I Call Music – Volume 11 in April – had delivered a chart topping selection of skyscraping hits, and most importantly for many, had brought the unadulterated excitement of the UK dancefloor into our homes and headphones via ‘that’ Side 4 of blistering BPMs.
    And make no mistake, volume 12 picked up where this left off, in sizzling, swingorilliant (and quite frequently, 70s) summer style! 
    Join my special guest culture journalist, author and broadcaster Jude Rogers, as we head back to that summer and swap floats with the likes of Wet, Wet Wet, Belinda Carlisle, Bananarama, Maxi Priest and many more. 
    Jude shares a pool (no more swimming puns – Smash Hits Ed!) of fabulous anecdotes and memories from summer 1988; which pop stars were making the young Jude feel ‘confused’(warning, contains vests and stonewashed 501s), how pop and Smash Hits became a solace for a 10 year old girl and which songs would she take with her back to the beach in Menorca (clue, not you Marti) and which tracks were missing (yes, I’m looking at you HITS8!).
    Along the way we also revisit a certain Beatles related charity album (Frank Sidebottom anyone?), drop in on Eurovision 1988 (not yet, Celine!), stop off at the mall with Tiffany and invent a new genre – step aside Sophistipop, say hello to Sophistidance (yes, that’s you Jellybean!)
    And throughout our journey back 34(!) years, we recognise the importance that our pop soundtracks have in moving with us through our lives and how we celebrate the hits and headlines that have stayed with us ever since.

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    • 1 hr 13 min
    Now Millennium 1996 - Grant McPhee

    Now Millennium 1996 - Grant McPhee

    For this episode I am joined by award winning film director Grant McPhee.
    Amongst Grant’s films are Big Gold Dream, which tells the story of FAST Product and Postcard Records, two of Scotland’s most loved independent record labels and Teenage Superstars the story of what happened next in the uncompromising world of Scottish indie music, featuring music and interviews from the likes of The Vaselines, BMX Bandits, Primal Scream and Teenage Fanclub.
    Grant heads back to 1996 to consider his musical journey as a fan from collecting 60s pop singles growing up in Fife to discovering Indie as a student in Edinburgh. Along the way, Grant shares stories of summer Holiday viewing of The Monkees on TV, to the Chart Show defining what Indie was through to the heady days of student life and memories of some defining soundtrack moments including, of course 96’s iconic Trainspotting.
    We also explore the whole concept of retrospective curation, as viewed in the NOW Millennium series. How does the music of 1996 stand up 25 years later? Are these the hits we remember or does the shifting period of time and culture reshape our memories? And how would a NOW 1996 Yearbook look now? Which hits still make the cut, musically and culturally?
    All of this and much more, including memories of The Associates, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, BBE (!)
    Choose Life, Choose NOW, Choose 1996!

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    • 46 min
    NOW 34 - Summer ‘96: Lee Thompson

    NOW 34 - Summer ‘96: Lee Thompson

    Can 1996 really be over a quarter of a century ago? Yes it can, and this is where we find the hot hits of summer as sizzlingly delivered in NOW34!
    The charts as ever, were serving up a veritable feast of genres, hits and headlines. The feelgood factor was in full swing, in part due to the excitement of Euro96 but also a UK culture scene that was embracing a vibrant period of creativity across music, cinema and the arts. ‘Britpop’ was still very much the ‘thing’of 1996 and this edition of NOW fully embraced the guitar pop of its many ambassadors such as blur, Oasis and Suede. 
    But this is only part of the story.
    Something else was happening in the pop world that would soon explosively ‘spice’ up and shape the rest of the decade. And as boy bands splintered, rising stars were seeking their Freedom (and much more of that to come!). 
    As always, the fast pace of the UK music scene is captured here, and so we welcome huge crossover club anthems, hip hop and RnB royalty, euro(vision) pop and a clutch of familiar faces trying to evolve with the 90s – some more successfully than others.
    Join radio and TV music producer, writer and curator Lee Thompson as we explore the summer of 1996 through the tracks across NOW, that’s what I call music 34. Along the way, discover which act ‘would never be heard of again’ after their first visit to Viking FM (clue – they were heard of again, quite considerably!), the legendary soul singer who would swap the dancefloor for the glamour of the North East trainline and which track Lee joined Neil Finn on as a duet. This and much, much more!
    And also find out why Bon Jovi and Pato Banton probably won’t be returning our calls.

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    • 1 hr 12 min
    2021 - The Back to NOW Review!

    2021 - The Back to NOW Review!

    Welcome and indeed the most festive of greetings, as the back to NOW podcast brings 2021 to a close. 
    And from a variously compiled world of pop viewpoint, what a fabulous year it has been!
    For this special end of year episode, like the most treasured of Christmas present annuals nestling under the Christmas tree, we unwrap the last twelve months of NOW – and indeed pop culture as a whole – to see what has tickled our fancy and sparked our collective curiosities!
    Consumers of fine compilations have been spoiled for their chosen tunes with a smorgasbord of selections including everything from glam to 60s girls, from boogie nights disco to Disney, Eurovision to two volumes of 12 inches of extended stimulation! 
    Oh, and did we mention the wonder that has been the 83 and 84 Yearbooks? 
    And as it is indeed the season to be jolly, we shall take a sleigh ride stop and carefully unwrap the newest NOW Christmas album and decide if it’s worth stuffing into your stocking! 
    Expect starring appearances for Duran Duran, ABBA, Lieutenant Pigeon (!), Sister Sledge, Amanda Lear, Jona Lewie and many more! 
    Discover the link between brown beer and Shazam (really?), how Channel 5 has saved music TV, why the Pig is still so important and who really were the ‘Gibson Brothers of Breakdance’ (you need to know!)?
    Join Radio 2’s Sounds of the 80s producer and masterful mastermixer Johnny Kalifornia
    Music Journalist and all-round social media pop mogul Ian Wade and the man that has brought the Duckie club night back to life and continues to sprinkle pop joy wherever he goes – Mark Wood as we collectively bring the curtain down on an amazing pop year and look forward to what is on the horizon for 2022!

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    • 1 hr 3 min
    NOW 64 - Summer '06: John Earls

    NOW 64 - Summer '06: John Earls

    Welcome to summer 2006! 
    And things were, indeed, Crazy. 
    That top selling nine-week run at No1 was significant for not just featuring (the not crime fighting rodent) Dangermouse but for being the first UK chart topper to make it there purely on downloads (remember them?) alone. But of course, you knew that chart fact already, didn’t you, pop pickers?
    But there is so much more to rediscover on NOW 64, as we dive back amongst those shiny cover surf boards to ride the crest of this noughties pop wave. Classic Pop writer, journalist and all-round (indie) pop kid John Earls guides us through the hits and otherwise across these two CDs. Where to begin? There’s the solid gold pop classics thanks to Nelly Furtardo, Lily Allen, Sugababes and Rihanna; those young cavalier guitar heroes (can we say indie?) The Kooks, Razorlight and The Zutons, and a plethora (the correct collective noun) of outrageous dance covers that certainly signalled that the eighties were back! What was going on? Ask James Morrison – whilst stuck at the end of CD2, he was quietly inventing the next decade!
    As Top of The Pops turned off the lights for the final time, the singles charts were undergoing some strange times for sure. Could those CD singles (and B-sides!) really be on their way out too?
    And don’t forget the all-conquering celebrity Big Brother winner Preston and the Ordinary Boys (and Lady Sovereign!) Could there BE a more 2006 sentence?
    Also starring P!nk, Keane, (Sir) Tom Jones, the ‘efficient’ Will.I.Am, Izzy from Neighbours (thanks to Elvis Costello!) and (very briefly, thankfully) Matt Willis and Fall Out Boy. We even find time to chat Blossoms/Rick Astley! How on earth did we get there, I hear you (possibly) ask? Tune in to find out!
    And finally, discover why Shapeshifters (but not Nile Rodgers) won’t be returning our Christmas cards.
    Trust us, there is a lot more to summer 2006 and NOW 64 than you may think. Dive back in!

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    • 1 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

SiWo28 ,

Now that’s what I call nostalgic

At last, someone else shares my utter bafflement regarding the song order on Now 16. Fabulous!

Cook Reports ,

Musical Snapshot

If you like wallowing in the nostalgia of songs you love, reappraising ones you thought you loved or those songs perhaps best forgotten then you’ll love this podcast. Some great guests, anecdotes and excellent 80s theme music.

lord eric ,

NOW That’s what I call a podcast ..!

I found this podcast via Twitter, it’s a great & well produced show, the host & guests are very knowledgeable. Growing up in the 80s & buying these Albums brought me great joy, so listening to the podcast brings back great memories of these much loved albums 10/10.

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