I was in the pub earlier watching England’s disappointing performance against Australia and during the ad break their was one for Now That’s What I Call Music Vol. 71. This in itself wouldn’t be worth a post but it reminded me that this year also marks the 25th anniversary of the series.
The reason that this prompted me to post The Housemartin’s classic track Happy Hour is that it was one of the songs on Now 7, the first one of the albums I ever bought – on tape, which kind of blows any hopes I have of pretending I’m younger than I actually am. In fact Now 7 was pretty much the first album of any kind I ever bought. Of course playing Happy Hour is also quite a nice way of congratulating Hull City on realising the title of The Housemartin’s debut album London 0 Hull 4 by beating 4 London teams in their first few months in the Premier League.
Whilst the Now albums are often derided due to the amount of cheesy pop they include, the three or four I bought back in the 80s should kill the lie that there was no decent music in that most un-cool of decades: along with The Housemartins there were tracks by Run DMC, Pete Wylie, Cameo, Madness, Billy Bragg, The Blow Monkeys, M/A/R/R/S and the unfairly under-rated Style Council.
I’ll leave you with a track I hadn’t thought of for years till I saw it on the track-listing for Now 7 whilst researching this post: it’s an amazing piece of the sort of overly ambitious pop that characterised so much of the 80s. It might be mocked now but at least bands like this attempted to do more with pop than just push out bland pap using Saturday night TV shows to market their ‘product’. Ladies & gentlemen, I give you the Brilliant Minds of Furniture.