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> REVIEW: Now That's What I Call Music II, Released 26th March 1984 | 30 Tracks | 4 #1 Singles
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Now That's What I Call Music II Ratings
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post Aug 14 2016, 07:21 PM
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    Details
Released: 26th March 1984
Origin: United Kingdom
Label: Virgin / EMI
Format: Vinyl / Double Cassette / Video
Duration: 02:00:00 (120 Minutes)
Tracks: 30
#1’s: 4
Chart Peak: #1 (5 weeks)
Sales: 600,000 (2x Platinum)
    Tracklisting
1. Queen – Radio GaGa* 5:45 {2}
2. Nik Kershaw – Wouldn’t It Be Good* 4:50 {4}
3. Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now* 5:00 {4}
4. Matt Bianco – Get Out Of Your Lazy Bed 4:40 {15}
5. Carmel – More More More 3:20 {23}
6. Madness – Michael Caine* 3:45 {11}
7. Flying Pickets – Only You* 3:40 {1}
8. Nena – 99 Red Balloons* 3:51 {1}
9. Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun* 3:51 {2}
10. Tracey Ullman – My Guy’s Mad At Me 3:00 {23}
11. Matthew Wilder – Break My Stride* 3:10 {4}
12. Julia & Company – Breakin’ Down (Sugar Samba) 3:15 {15}
13. Joe Fagin – That’s Living Alright 3:05 {3}
14. Hot Chocolate – I Gave You My Heart (Didn’t I?) 3:45 {13}
15. Snowy White – Bird Of Paradise 4:10 {6}
16. Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax* 3:55 {1}
17. Eurythmics – Here Comes The Rain Again* 5:45 {8}
18. Howard Jones – What Is Love? 4:05 {2}
19. The Smiths – What Difference Does It Make? 3:40 {12}
20. Fiction Factory – (Feels Like) Heaven 3:40 {6}
21. Re-Flex – Politics Of Dancing 4:25 {28}
22. Thomas Dolby – Hyperactive 4:40 {17}
23. China Crisis – Wishful Thinking 4:30 {9}
24. David Bowie – Modern Love* 4:20 {2}
25. Culture Club – It’s A Miracle 3:45 {4}
26. Rolling Stones – Undercover Of The Night 4:55 {11}
27. Big Country – Wonderland 4:30 {8}
28. Slade – Run Runaway 4:10 {7}
29. Duran Duran – New Moon On Monday 4:45 {9}
30. Paul McCartney – Pipes Of Peace 3:50 {1}

Key
Tracks highlighted red were official UK #1’s.
Tracks with an asterisk (*) next to their title have also been included in special releases from the series.
The track duration has been highlighted cyan.
Bracketed numbers refer to highest chart position reached.
    Miscellaneous Facts
Track Most Weeks At #1: Flying Pickets – Only You / Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax (5 Weeks)
Lowest Charting Track: Re-Flex – Politics Of Dancing {28}
Longest Song: Queen – Radio Ga Ga / Eurythmics – Here Comes The Rain Again 5:45
Shortest Song: Tracey Ullman – My Guy’s Mad At Me 3:00
Edited Tracks: Unknown
Unedited Tracks: Unknown
Inlay Mistakes: None
Other Facts: N/A
    On This Day In History
No music news to delcare for 26th March 1984.
    Other Resources
Official Now Music Website
Wikipedia
TV Cream
Everyhit


This post has been edited by awardinary: Aug 21 2016, 10:33 PM
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post Aug 14 2016, 07:24 PM
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    Andrew's Review
Four Months after the success of Now That's What I Call Music came this second edition titled Now That's What I Call Music II also known as Now II.
Early 1984 the charts were not very busy, and so songs held onto the #1 spot for considerable weeks, but EMI were able to include 4 #1 singles from since the time Now That's What I Call Music was released in December 1983. Like it's predecessor, 30 tracks were chosen to make up the compilation, and these included songs from various artists from Queen to Cyndi Lauper, from Eurythmics to Madness, from Tracey Ullman to Rolling Stones, there was definately something for everyone which catered for the charts of the time. No artist had more than one track featured.
The design was similar to that of Now That's What I Call Music, showing small photos of artists on the front cover.
Now II was the only time in the entire series we saw appearances from The Smiths (though Morrissey would appear later in the series), Matt Bianco, Carmel and Nena amoungst others.
All in all, I have found this album to be OK to listen to, but that is all it is for me, it's not as good as the first volume. To be fair, there probably wasn't alot that EMI could have done as the compilations are based on sales at the time, so there wasn't really much more that could have been added, but it's certainly not as memorable.

Artwork Rating: 4/10 Very Poor
What we see in the artwork of Now II is a bland, less appealing look than the very first volume. What should have been a marked improvement in design actually became worse and what we are left with is another plain black cover with a random scattering of album artists and some rather boring font displaying the compilation name and featured artists. This would not grab the attention of prospective buyers today that's for sure.

Side 1 Favourite: Queen – Radio GaGa
This opening track of Now II was not even a #1 single, yet Freddie Murcury and co. created a much loved hit here, and for that reason it is my favourite of Side 1.

Side 2 Favourite: Matthew Wilder – Break My Stride
Upbeat, with a taste of reggae inspired sounds and feel-good lyrics. A pleasurable listen then and now too.

Side 3 Favourite: Howard Jones – What Is Love?
This is by far the weakest side of the compilation, even though it boats a famous #1 single from Frankie Goes To Hollywood. I voted for Howard Jones as I feel this was his best work.

Side 4 Favourite: David Bowie – Modern Love
Nice pace, and a fitting song for David Bowie to release in the 80s, possibly his most noteworthy of this era of his career.

Overall Rating: 3/10 Extremely Poor
After the high hopes that the first volume provided, there was surely the expectation that it would be as good, if not better. Perhaps it was just a poor period in the charts, but they could have included Billy Joel – Uptown Girl for an additional #1 single which might have made a slight improvement, albeit, slight.

Andrew's Best 5 (as of August 2016)
1. Matthew Wilder – Break My Stride
2. Queen – Radio GaGa
3. David Bowie – Modern Love
4. Nena – 99 Red Balloons
5. Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Andrew's Worst 5 (as of August 2016)
1. Joe Fagin – That’s Living Alright
2. Rolling Stones – Undercover Of The Night
3. Madness – Michael Caine
4. Snowy White – Bird Of Paradise
5. Eurythmics – Here Comes The Rain Again


This post has been edited by awardinary: Aug 21 2016, 10:32 PM
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Dobbo
post Aug 15 2016, 06:34 PM
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Artwork Rating:
A bit bland for me. I can see they've tried the random throwing down of mini-square photos effect but there's far too much empty space of black plus the pics are so small I can barely tell who they are! 3/10.

Side 1 Favourite:
Can only be Radio GaGa, iconic track. Don't know half of the others but the other one I do really like is Flying Pickets Only You, one of the only acapella songs in history to achieve UK #1 and it's a really nice cover, even if I much prefer the Yazoo original the previous year.

Side 2 Favourite:
99 Red Balloons, love this! Just a superbly catchy track which is great in English & German. Shout out to Cyndi Lauper although if there's ever a song I try to hide my liking for kink.gif

Side 3 Favourite:
Relax, again the first song takes it. I'm not huge on this song (I prefer Two Tribes & The Power Of Love by them) but nothing else really stands out. Do like a lot of the Eurythmics stuff but not so much that particular number.

Side 4 Favourite:
It's A Miracle. This is a pretty poor side in all, just going for the track I don't mind the least here really.

Overall Rating:
Yeah... not really a fan of this edition at all. Only a select few good songs (and even then I wouldn't put them in my top tracks of the mid-80s), quite a bit of filler & the aforementioned poor artwork leads me to rate this as a 4/10. (I'm giving it the BOD somewhat on the tracks I don't know as they may be quite good in some cases).
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post Aug 17 2016, 01:35 PM
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2/10
Radio Ga Ga
Girls Just Want To Have Fun wub.gif
Relax
Modern Love
5/10
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HarryEzra
post Aug 17 2016, 02:19 PM
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Artwork Rating 6/10 ohmy.gif
Side 1 Track: Queen - Radio Gaga wub.gif
Side 2 Track: Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want To Have Fun wub.gif
Side 3 Track: Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax
Side 4 Track: David Bowie - Modern Love
Overall: 8/10 Really good tracklist tbh, impressed wub.gif
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post Aug 20 2016, 01:13 PM
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Listen to NOW! That's What I Call Music II

When: Tonight, 20:00 [pre-party from 19:00]
Where: plug.dj, using the link https://plug.dj/now-thats-what-i-call-music
What to expect: Music from the second NOW! compilation (released 1984), including songs by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Cyndi Lauper, David Bowie, Queen etc.
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danG
post Aug 20 2016, 01:33 PM
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I've gone through a bit of the tracklisting and gawd, some of the tracks sound like real crap. Can already tell this won't be as good as the first one but we've at least got songs like Relax, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Radio GaGa and 99 Red Balloons.
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Jade
post Aug 20 2016, 01:44 PM
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Artwork Rating: 4/10 - I appreciated the images of the artists on the first edition but it isn't anywhere near as effective here with them so scattered and small.

Side 1 Favourite: Queen - Radio Gaga - An anthemic classic from a band who I am generally a fan of. The lyrics are a bit nonsensical and coupled with the clapping, it's just really fun from start to finish.

Side 2 Favourite: Nena - 99 Red Balloons - This is not just my side 2 favourite but also my favourite of the whole edition! Just so catchy and endearing both in English and German. Excellent production and pretty unique vocals also.

Side 3 Favourite: Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax - I did a project on the lyrics of banned songs on radio 1 in English at A Level, and this song has always been a 'go-to' example of banned songs. That project really opened my eyes to quite how filthy this was! It's very suggestive but exciting all the same.

Side 4 Favourite: David Bowie - Modern Love - This is probably the weakest side for me. Even as a huge Beatles fan, 'Pipes of Peace' doesn't do a lot for me. So I decided to go with Bowie! I sadly didn't know a lot of his back catalogue until after his passing, but at least I finally got round to discovering a lot of his work albeit not in the best circumstances. This is a great song and he still continues to impact me over 30 years later, as 'Blackstar' is my favourite album of 2016.

Overall rating: 7/10: Generally some strong songs on here but more filler than last edition for me. Plus I'm not crazy about the artwork. Overall still pretty enjoyable though.
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danG
post Aug 22 2016, 01:10 PM
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Artwork Rating: 3/10. It's awful. The images feel out of place, and there's too much empty space.

Side 1 Fave: Queen - Radio Ga Ga. It couldn't have been anything else really, Queen really are one of the best bands of their time, if not the best.
Side 2 Fave: Nena - 99 Red Balloons. This used to be a SingStar classic for me, great fun song too (even if the lyrical content isn't exactly "fun" laugh.gif).
Side 3 Fave: Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax. Brilliant production, and gotta love how catchy the hook is - and the obvious sexual reference in the main lyric laugh.gif
Side 4 Fave: David Bowie - Modern Love. I don't really have much of a choice here, this is the only good song in Side 4.

Overall: 5/10 Poor. A few good songs in this but a lot not worth listening to.
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popchartfreak
post Dec 29 2016, 06:11 PM
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fab track list from a period I loved. Queen/Culture Club/Frankie/Cyndi for me....
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