Now that’s what I call pop history - Bexley’s links to world-famous compilation

PUBLISHED: 16:10 05 December 2013 | UPDATED: 16:10 05 December 2013

The first-ever Now album

The first-ever Now album

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Last month marked exactly 30 years since the first Now That’s What I Call Music! compilation album was released, featuring the likes of Duran Duran, Tina Turner and UB40.


The first Now! hit record shops on November 28, 1983 and sold 1.1million copies

Phil Collins’ You Can’t Hurry Love is the first song to feature on a Now! album

The series took its name from a 1920s advertising campaign for Danish bacon featuring a pig listening to a chicken. It had the caption: “Now, that’s what I call music.”

The most successful volume to date is 1999’s Now! 44, which sold 2.3million copies and is the biggest selling compilation album ever

Robbie Williams is the most featured on the series

The most recent Now!, number 86 sold 200,000 copies in its first week and features the likes of Lily Allen and Katy Perry

Three albums are released every year and there are also a number of spin-off CDs

The series has survived the rise of the CD, the fall of the cassette and the emergence of MP3s to release its 86th incarnation in time for Christmas.

Over the past three decades, Now! albums have featured some of Bexley’s proudest sons and daughters – but none more so than Kate Bush, who saw her songs feature three times between December 1985 and December 1989.

Born in Welling, her first appearance was on Now! 6 which saw her sandwiched between Elton John’s Nikita and Level 42’s Something About You with her UK number three single Running Up That Hill.

Her next appearance, on Now! 8 in 1986, was alongside Peter Gabriel with the duet Don’t Give Up, which reached number nine in the singles chart.

Bush last graced the sleeve of Now 16! in 1989 when her hit The Sensual World joined the likes of Wet Wet Wet, Queen and Cliff Richard.

However, the Hounds of Love singer isn’t the only Bexley connection to the Now! series as rock god Keith Richards has appeared with The Rolling Stones on two editions.

Born in Dartford, Richards attended Sidcup Art College in the late 1950s but it was almost 30 years later, in 1984, that he would make his first Now! appearance.

The Rolling Stones’ Undercover of the Night finds itself on Now! 2 and a decade later, in 1994, Richards appears again with Love Is Strong on Now! 29.

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