Monday, April 20, 2015

Now That's What I Call Music! Collab with Rare Opal


A while ago, my fellow blogger and lovely friend Breige asked me if I'd like to do a collab post about our "Now That's What I Call Music" memories. Now... probably isn't as popular today as it was in the 90s/00s - in later years they seemed to be churned out every few months. They almost seem out of date by the time they come out now, such is the sheer speed of music availability. Years ago, getting my hands on a song I liked could have taken months! I stopped buying them about ten years ago, but in the 90s, it was a different story.

Here's Breige's post about her memories of Now....36.

My first Now album was Now....34. I'm warning you, I'm going to go into very rambly nostalgia territory here so if that's not your thing, you may want to check out the Essie swatches that I posted earlier today instead.

Now That's What I Call Music! 34 was released in Ireland and the UK in August 1996. For reference purposes, here's a picture of me in August 1996. I don't know why I'm making that face.

In August 1996, the Summer I turned 13, we went to England for the first time for a week. We stayed with friends of my Mum's in Northampton, but we stopped off to visit relatives in Luton first. While we were there, my younger cousin Kevin gave me this album on tape, saying he was sick of it. "Kevin's tape" was written on the front cover in biro and I was overwhelmed because it was the most recent compilation and we didn't get tapes very often, they were expensive! Most of my tapes were mix tapes of stuff I taped off the radio. I played it to death that summer and it introduced me to some of my favourite albums over the next few years. So thanks, Kevin!

That summer brings back a lot of memories for me - first time in England, first time at the cinema in a different country (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), first time in The Body Shop (strawberry lip balm FTW), first time at a theme park (Wicksteed Park), first time at McDonalds, and the day my Mam's friend bought me this book, which I still have:

That tape accompanied me on my walkman everywhere when we got home. I listened to it every single day without fail. I think there were four tapes - two as the equivalent of CD One, and two for CD Two. Here's the tracklisting:

CD One:

  • The Spice Girls - Wannabe
  • Robbie Williams - Freedom
  • Peter Andre - Mysterious Girl
  • Dodgy - Good Enough
  • Ocean Colour Scene - The Day We Caught The Train
  • Larry Mullen/Adam Clayton - Theme from Mission: Impossible
  • Underworld - Born Slippy
  • JX - There's Nothing I Won't Do
  • Gina G - Ooh Aah ... Just a Little Bit
  • Pianoman - Blurred
  • Livin' Joy - Don't Stop Movin'
  • Louise - Naked
  • Mark Morrison - Return of the Mack
  • 2PAC - California Love (feat Dr. Dre)
  • Pato Banton - Groovin'
  • Reel 2 Real - Jazz it Up
  • Maxi Priest - That Girl (feat Shaggy)
  • Los Del Mar - Macarena
  • Umboza - Sunshine
  • Wink - Higher State of Consciousness
  • Todd Terry - Keep on Jumpin' (feat Martha Wash & Jocelyn Brown)
  • Robert Miles - Children
CD Two
  • George Michael - Jesus to a Child
  • Oasis - Wonderwall
  • The Bluetones - Slight Return
  • Paul Weller - Peacock Suit
  • Bon Jovi - Hey God
  • Bryan Adams - The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me is You
  • Belinda Carlisle - In Too Deep
  • Suggs - Cecilia
  • Blur - Charmless Man
  • Suede - Trash
  • Joan Osborne - One of Us
  • Crowded House - Instinct
  • Lighthouse Family - Ocean Drive
  • Tina Turner - On Silent Wings
  • Everything But the Girl - Wrong
  • OMC - How Bizarre
  • OMD - Walking on the Milky Way
  • Space - Female of the Species
  • Cast - Walkaway
  • Boyzone - Coming Home Now
I've chosen five favourites from the first tape, and five from the second. You can listen to them all on this playlist - each one takes me right back to that Summer every time I hear it. As a result of this album, I became a massive Blur and Bryan Adams fan. The Spice Girls were on there too but I loved them anyway - Wannabe isn't included on my playlist because I never liked the song. I was Peter Andre crazy - I used to have little pictures of his face stuck all over my homework copy at school. 

*Drowns in Nostalgia*


  1. LOVE that picture! Snap on the Peter Andre loving, I had posters on my wall! My Mum is a big Madness fan, so she bought that Cecilia by Suggs single and played it loads. And Gina G reminds me of the Eurovision that year! The last time Ireland won ;( You obviously liked your mix better than my first one, as I barely even touched disc two that much of Now 36, it was too 'alternative' for 9 year old me!

    1. That's never the last time Ireland won!! That is scary :( Ah there were a lot that I would forward too, especially whatever side Robert Miles was on - I'd forward right to the end and then rewind just for that song :)

  2. I think mine was Now 36, but I remember wanting the mixes for a while before I was ever allowed them.

  3. Love your song choices, Sharon. I'll happily be singing "One of Us" and "The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me is You" all evening now! I haven't heard "Children" in years, that was *everywhere* for ages at the time.


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