Review: Various Artists – Now That’s What I Call Music 3
Let’s party like it’s 1984. A first-time release on cd for the greatest now… Series comp of them all…
Arriving on CD for the first time to mark its 35th anniversary, Now 3 is the best Now album and we’ll ban anyone who says otherwise from reading Classic Pop again.
Points in its favour:
It was released in 1984, the second-best year for pop music after 1982.
Name three better No.1 singles from the same year than Two Tribes, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and The Reflex. They’re all here. So are Smalltown Boy, Robert De Niro’s Waiting, It’s Raining Men and You’re The Best Thing.
You’ll be able to hum pretty much every song of the 28 included here from just one glance at the tracklisting.
The only obscurities are David Sylvian’s Red Guitar and The Art Company’s Susanna. The latter is admittedly a horrible stalker ballad you rightly couldn’t make in 2019 and deserved locking up for in 1984, too. But Red Guitar is an arthouse banger hereby rescued from Sylvian’s frowny attitude to his past. Hurray!
Propaganda’s Dr Mabuse was an actual Top 40 hit. Listen to it! How was that a hit?
You might not have played Blancmange’s Don’t Tell Me or The Thompson Twins’ You Take Me Up for quite some time. You will now happily lose yourself immediately in Blancmange and Thompson Twins wormholes.
If you want to stage an 80s party, then Don’t Tell Me/Against All Odds/Two Tribes/White Lines (Don’t Do It)/(Free) Nelson Mandela/Love Wars/You’re The Best Thing is astonishing compilation sequencing.
Madness’ One Better Day: now, that’s how to fall out of love with fame.
Alison Moyet’s Love Resurrection is somehow not even the best song on here.
Points against Now 3:
It’s got Queen on it. Nope, just the Queen unpleasantness. Perfect (apart from I Want To Break Free).