NOW4 – 1984: Richard Drew

Joining me for this episode is RTS Nominated TV Production Designer Richard Drew. As well as ‘creating the magic’ for, amongst many others, The Inbetweeners, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and most recently After Life, Richard describes himself as a self confessed Pop Fan since he can remember. 

Richard and I explore the pop landscape of autumn 1984 and whilst NOW 4 was gearing its assault of the album charts, a new compilation LP was preparing to HIT back.

Richard also shares some of his personal musical memories and influences; how his mum sold the Beatles to America, how OMD rescued him from Trevor Horn and how one lunch break he found himself duetting with Paul McCartney.

Expect supporting roles in this episode from a neon lit array of stars including Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Ultravox, Hazell Dean and find out why ‘Ice And The Falling Rain’ may be the great lost 80s classic!

Anchor

Apple

Spotify

NOW 17 – Spring ‘90: Michael Mulligan

1990 – A new decade dawns and with it comes a genre-bursting variety of pop opportunities. Dance, Indie….Indie dance!

Whilst the top of the artist album charts celebrated classic artists such as Phil Collins, Elton John and the Carpenters, the first full year of the compilation chart was exploding with an eclectic mix of dance -and the Top 40 singles chart was becoming increasingly exciting, varied and fast moving as the decade took shape – and NOW17 took a great snapshot of it all!

Joining me for this episode is Michael Mulligan.
Michael has made a name for himself working in all manner of music retail, lending his expertise as a consultant for record labels and mining the archives for overlooked gems. He is also the author responsible for books including ‘The Story of NOW in 100 artists’, published to celebrate, not surprisingly,  the release of NOW 100. And most recently, Michael contributed the insightfully crafted sleeve notes to the soundtrack reissue of Julien Temple’s 1986 film adaptation of Absolute Beginners.

So, come back to Spring/Summer 1990 and celebrate how the decade memorably kicked off. Expect starring roles from Erasure, Depeche Mode, Candy Flip, The Charlatans, Beats International, Cliff, Des Lynam (!) and why Sydney Youngblood won’t be returning our calls!

Anchor

Apple

Spotify

NOW 5 – Summer ’85: Simon Galloway

1985 – a positive jamboree of pop and a fascinating year for the increasingly competitive compilation LPs. 

As NOW! faces stiff opposition from the record companies in the shape of HITS & OUT NOW! amongst others, the gloves were off for a slice of the various artists market.

At the centre of the year sits the Big Pig and NOW 5. But how did this expanding market affect the tracklist for the UK’s leading compilation summer offering? And how did NOW! regain it’s place as the nation’s favourite compilation LP?

Join Simon Galloway (The Giddy Carousel of Pop) and myself as we battle our way through the hits, misses and headlines of this pivotal year of pop.

Along the way, we discuss early musical memories, Live Aid, the exploding UK dance scene, home taping (killing music!), Smash Hits, nostalgia culture, the ‘rotten side 4 syndrome’, Paul Hardcastle’s driving tips and much more!

I hope that you will enjoy sharing in our 1985 memories and insights. If you do, please spread the word and let me know your thoughts here or on Twitter with myself, Iain, @poprambler.

Anchor

Apple

Spotify

NOW 7 – Summer ‘86: Pete Selby

For this episode I had the great pleasure of chatting with author and music book publisher at Nine Eight Books, Pete Selby.

Amongst other accolades, Pete has co-authored two official books on the history of Now That’s What I Call Music”, and as Head of Music for Sainsburys, launched the exclusive ‘Own Brand’ vinyl record label with Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley.

Pete and I travelled back to the summer of 1986 to discuss NOW 7. Along the way we also chatted about musical memories growing up, influences and the compilation market that led to the success of LPs such as the NOW and HITs series in the 1980s.

Expect starring roles in our conversation for – amongst others – Lovebug Starski, Wham!, Peter Gabriel, and honourable mentions for Mike Batt, the Grange Hill cast and (genuine forgotten 80s) Debbie Aimee!

I hope that you will enjoy sharing in our ’86 memories and insights. If you do, please spread the word and let me know your thoughts here or on Twitter with myself, Iain, @poprambler.

Anchor

Apple

Spotify