Various Artists: NOW - Yearbook 1981 (4CD)
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NOW - Yearbook 1981 (4CD)

Various Artists

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  • Release Date 20 May 2022
  • In Stock
Product code
CDYBNOW81
Format
Quadruple CD Album
Label
NOW Music

NOW Music is proud to present the newest addition to the ‘Yearbook’ series: NOW – Yearbook 1981. 4 CDs of 85 tracks that defined the charts in 1981.

Kicking off with legendary No. 1s from Queen and David Bowie (‘Under Pressure’), The Police (‘Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic’), and The Specials (‘Ghost Town’), disc 1 is packed with classics that represent the influx of new artists that dominated the year, and would set the pop and fashion agenda for the next few years… with songs which sound as fresh and vital today as they did in 1981, from Ultravox, Visage, Duran Duran, Japan, the No. 1 ‘Tainted Love’ from Soft Cell, and the year’s biggest selling single (and Xmas No. 1) ‘Don’t You Want Me’ from The Human League. Adam & The Ants make three appearances on this Yearbook and actually had 5 huge hits this year, Toyah and Kim Wilde made huge chart debuts with ‘It’s A Mystery’ and ‘Kids In America’, and chart regulars Blondie, ABBA and Olivia Newton-John enjoyed continued success with massive singles. Shakin’ Stevens had two No. 1’s (both present here), and Madness produced a classic cover of ‘It Must Be Love’. Disc One closes with two more No. 1’s from soul legends Smokey Robinson with ‘Being With You’ and Michael Jackson, who enjoyed his first UK No. 1 with ‘One Day In Your Life’ a re-discovered track from his Motown recordings.

Disc 2 opens with ‘Imagine’ – a No. 1 nearly 10 years after it was first released, in the wake of John Lennon’s tragic death at the end of 1980. Huge ballads from Roxy Music, Pretenders, and REO Speedwagon are featured along-side the biggest selling track of the year in the U.S. from Kim Carnes with ‘Bette Davis Eyes’. Rock is well represented by Status Quo, Rainbow, The Who, Electric Light Orchestra, and the great collaboration ‘Please Don’t Touch’ between Motorhead and Girlschool. Dance music was a huge presence on the charts of 1981 as a new ‘80’s disco’ sound emerged and included hits featured here from Freeez, Imagination, Hi-Gloss, Yarbrough & Peoples, and Tom Tom Club, as well as continued smashes for established dance artists Earth, Wind & Fire, Odyssey and a big hit for 60s legends, Four Tops.

Yearbooks are all about celebrating the mix of chart hits there were in the year – and Disc 3 presents a sublime mix of ballads, pure pop, rock n roll revivalism, party floor-fillers, and easy listening. John Lennon once again leads the disc with his No. 1 ‘Woman’ taken from his most recent album with Yoko Ono ‘Double Fantasy’. ABBA’s ‘One Of Us’, Randy Crawford’s ‘Rainy Night In Georgia’ and the superstar partnership of Diana Ross and Lionel Richie on ‘Endless Love’ are all defining love songs – and led by ‘Stand And Deliver’ by Adam & The Ants begins a run of pure-pop classics from Kiki Dee, Cliff Richard, Dollar, and No. 1’s from Aneka with ‘Japanese Boy’ and 1981’s Eurovision winners Bucks Fizz with ‘Making Your Mind Up’. Rock n roll enjoyed a revival and Shakin’ Stevens’ ‘This Ole House’ topped the chart, with Stray Cats and Coast To Coast also enjoying big hits. Bad Manners’ take on ‘Can Can’ was a party classic, as were hits from Modern Romance and The Look. Easy listening pop also enjoyed a great year, Kate Robbins & Beyond had a big hit with ‘More Than In Love’, Elaine Paige had a smash with ‘Memory’ from the musical ‘Cats’ and Julio Iglesias had a No. 1 with ‘Begin The Beguine (Volver A Empezar)’.

The final disc in this collection features more new artists who saw their first chart success in 1981 including Haircut 100, ABC, Altered Images, Landscape, The Teardrop Explodes, Fun Boy Three, and U2 who made their debut with ‘Fire’, plus more artists who continued to build their chart careers, including The Jam, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Siouxsie And The Banshees, UB40, Gary Numan, Squeeze and closing with Elvis Costello & The Attractions with ‘Good Year For The Roses’.

It was a watershed year for pop with new British artists emerging from the ashes of punk and disco by way of the New Romantic movement, and Disc 4 also includes second tracks on this collection from Duran Duran and The Human League alongside Spandau Ballet who would all go on to achieve huge success worldwide in the following few years.

NOW – Yearbook 1981; a celebration of the eclectic and creative brilliance of the year in pop.

Tracks
CD 1
1 Queen & David Bowie - Under Pressure  
2 The Police - Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic  
3 The Specials - Ghost Town  
4 Ultravox - Vienna  
5 Visage - Fade To Grey  
6 The Human League - Don't You Want Me  
7 Duran Duran - Planet Earth  
8 Soft Cell - Tainted Love  
9 Japan - Quiet Life  
10 Kim Wilde - Kids In America  
11 Toyah - It’s A Mystery  
12 Adam & The Ants - Prince Charming  
13 Blondie - Rapture  
14 ABBA - Lay All Your Love On Me  
15 Olivia Newton-John - Physical  
16 Stars On 45 - Stars On 45  
17 Shakin' Stevens - Green Door  
18 Madness - It Must Be Love  
19 Smokey Robinson - Being With You  
20 Michael Jackson - One Day In Your Life  
Tracks
CD 2
1 John Lennon - Imagine  
2 Roxy Music - Jealous Guy  
3 Pretenders - I Go To Sleep  
4 Kim Carnes - Bette Davis Eyes  
5 REO Speedwagon - Keep On Loving You  
6 Electric Light Orchestra - Hold On Tight  
7 The Who - You Better You Bet  
8 Rainbow - I Surrender  
9 Status Quo - Something 'Bout You Baby I Like  
10 Motorhead, Girlschool - Please Don’t Touch  
11 Hazel O'Connor - Will You?  
12 Tom Tom Club - Wordy Rappinghood  
13 Yarbrough & Peoples - Don't Stop The Music  
14 Imagination - Body Talk  
15 Hi-Gloss - You’ll Never Know  
16 Freeez - Southern Freeez  
17 Odyssey - Going Back To My Roots  
18 Earth, Wind & Fire - Let's Groove  
19 The Whispers - It’s A Love Thing  
20 Four Tops - When She Was My Girl  
21 Champaign - How 'Bout Us  
Tracks
CD 3
1 John Lennon - Woman  
2 ABBA - One Of Us  
3 Lionel Richie & Diana Ross - Endless Love (From "The Endless Love" Soundtrack)  
4 Randy Crawford - Rainy Night In Georgia  
5 Sheena Easton - For Your Eyes Only  
6 Adam & The Ants - Stand And Deliver  
7 Godley & Creme - Under Your Thumb  
8 Kiki Dee - Star  
9 Cliff Richard - Wired For Sound  
10 Dollar - Hand Held In Black And White  
11 Aneka - Japanese Boy  
12 Bucks Fizz - Making Your Mind Up  
13 Shakin' Stevens - This Ole House  
14 Coast To Coast - (Do) The Hucklebuck  
15 Stray Cats - Rock This Town  
16 Bad Manners - Can Can  
17 Modern Romance - Everybody Salsa  
18 The Look - I Am The Beat  
19 The Nolans - Attention To Me  
20 Julio Iglesias - Begin The Beguine (Volver A Empezar)  
21 Kate Robbins & Beyond - More Than In Love  
22 Elaine Paige - Memory (From 'Cats')  
Tracks
CD 4
1 Adam & The Ants - Antmusic  
2 Altered Images - Happy Birthday  
3 Duran Duran - Girls On Film  
4 The Human League - Love Action (I Believe In Love)  
5 Spandau Ballet - Chant No. 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On)  
6 Haircut 100 - Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)  
7 ABC - Tears Are Not Enough  
8 Landscape - Einstein A Go-Go  
9 Phil Lynott - Yellow Pearl  
10 Gary Numan - She’s Got Claws  
11 Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Souvenir  
12 The Passions - I'm In Love With A German Film Star  
13 The Jam - That's Entertainment  
14 U2 - Fire  
15 Siouxsie And The Banshees - Spellbound  
16 The Teardrop Explodes - Reward  
17 Tenpole Tudor - Swords Of A Thousand Men  
18 Department S - Is Vic There?  
19 UB40 - One In Ten  
20 Fun Boy Three - The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum)  
21 Squeeze - Labelled With Love  
22 Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Good Year For The Roses