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Now That’s What I Call Music 6 to be released as a two-CD set

Feel the Quality on CD for the first time

Now That’s What I Call Music 6 will be reissued next month as a 2CD set, as the reissues of the classic compilation series continue.

Now 6 was originally released in November 1985 and was the biggest selling ‘Now’ at that point in time. It features a particularly strong track listing, in my opinion, with post Live Aid Queen (One Vision’), what turned out to be Nik Kershaw‘s last ever UK hit single (‘When A Heart Beats’), Eurythmics‘ only number one (‘There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)’), Kate Bush‘s seminal ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)’, Arcadias ‘Election Day’ and many more great songs.

It’s not perfect – no ‘Now’ is – but at least Cliff’s cheesy ‘She’s So Beautiful’ and David Grant & Jaki Graham‘s awful ‘Mated’ are at the end of their respective sides!

As we prepare to play guess-which-track-will-be-the-wrong-mix, we should also note that there is one track missing, Bryan Adams and Tina Turner‘s ‘It’s Only Love’ (it belongs between ‘Alive and Kicking’ and ‘Empty Rooms’). The ‘Now’ team have confirmed they couldn’t ‘clear’ this track for licensing.

A word on the cover. Probably my absolute favourite ‘Now’ artwork. Just love the thought and detail that have gone into this. Today’s computer generated trash is not in the same stratosphere as what the ‘Now’ team were creating 35 years ago.

Now 6 will be reissued on 24 July 2020.

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Various Artists

Now That's What I Call Music 6 - 2CD set

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CD 1
1. Queen – One Vision
2. Nik Kershaw – When A Heart Beats
3. Feargal Sharkey – A Good Heart
4. Eurythmics – There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)
5. Simple Minds – Alive and Kicking
6. Gary Moore – Empty Rooms
7. Marillion – Lavender
8. Elton John – Nikita
9. Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)
10. Level 42 – Something About You
11. Tina Turner – We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)
12. Ub40 – Don’t Break My Heart
13. Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin – Separate Lives
14. Cliff Richard – She’s So Beautiful

CD 2
1. Arcadia – Election Day
2. Ub40 & Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe
3. Fine Young Cannibals – Blue
4. Midge Ure – If I Was
5. Siouxsie and the Banshees – Cities in Dust
6. Madness – Uncle Sam
7. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions – Lost Weekend
8. The Communards – You Are My World
9. Paul Hardcastle – Just for Money
10. Jan Hammer – Miami Vice Theme (From ‘Miami Vice’ Soundtrack)
11. Maria Vidal – Body Rock
12. Baltimora – Tarzan Boy
13. Mai Tai – Body & Soul
14. Cameo – Single Life
15. David Grant & Jaki Graham – Mated

75 responses to Now That’s What I Call Music 6 to be released as a two-CD set

  1. Glen says:

    Is now 7 begin re-issued soon. The new now are not the same by design as the original albums.

  2. Paul English says:

    Here’s my findings

    Nik Kershaw – When A Heart Beats (Album version used instead of mix with earlier fade which was on Now 6 LP)
    Eurythmics – There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) (Greatest Hits / Ultimate Collection mix which is just a fade of the album version. The 7″ edit was on the Now 6 LP)
    Bryan Adams & Tina Turner – It’s Only Love (Omitted from CD)
    Marillion – Lavender (Album version used instead of longer single mix which was on Now 6 LP – very obvious and a schoolboy mistake)
    Midge Ure – If I Was (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 6 LP)
    Madness – Uncle Sam (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 6 LP – difference of over 1 min)
    The Communards – You Are My World (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 6 LP)
    Paul Hardcastle – Just For Money (Album version used instead of 7″ mix which was on Now 6 LP – difference of nearly 1 min)
    Baltimora – Tarzan Boy (Original version used instead of shorter Summer Remix 7″ which was on Now 6 LP)
    Cameo – Single Life (ROW 7″ mix used instead of UK 7″ mix which was on Now 6 LP)

    UB40’s Don’t Break My Heart album version appeared on the original Now 6 LP and is also here. The original 7″ mix of it and You Are My World are still MIA on CD.

  3. Steve Woodward says:

    At least 8 tracks do not match the original UK 45s:

    Eurythmics – There Must Be An Angel – longer and is just a fade of the LP version, the original 45 was an edit of the LP version.
    Marillion – Lavender – much shorter LP version.
    UB40 – Don’t Break My Heart – same as always on CD. Vocals didn’t come in until 0.37 on the original 45.
    Midge Ure – If I Was – longer than the 45 (LP version?).
    Madness – Uncle Sam – much longer LP version.
    Communards – You Are My World – 1987 remix.
    Paul Hardcastle – Just For Money – much longer LP version.
    Baltimora – Tarzan Boy – first 45 version, the hit 45 was a shorter remix.

    You’ve got to admire their consistent lack of effort researching these reissues (though maybe not all were the actual 45s on the original LP/cassette, I don’t have either to compare).

    • Martin Kilroy says:

      I’m assuming after 6 of these the trade off is that by putting the most available version on the cd there is less researching and detective work required, hence £7.99 rather than £14.99 and hiring someone who knows where to look

  4. Lee says:

    Now down to a more reasonable £7.99 on Amazon

  5. Stephen says:

    This is up on iTunes as a pre-order and has previews and track times for most of the album… they’ve got it soooooo wrong. Everyone knows marillions “Lavender” was longer when released as a single don’t they? The people at NOW don’t. They’ve used the shorter album version and that’s just for starters. I’ve been on board with these reissues and always pre-ordered, not anymore. I’ll buy this, if at all when it’s in the bargain bin where it belongs. 6 reissues in and they’re still it getting it so wrong

    • Paul English says:

      Have just seen that now. Of all the ones to get wrong – don’t think I have ever seen the Misplaced Childhood mix on a comp. Doesn’t make sense to include it.

      Based on the times, the Communards and Paul Hardcastle are the album versions. Neither 7″ mix has been on CD before so not a surprise.

      Madness also looks to be album version.

      Eurythmics appears to be close in length to single but a bit long.

      • Steve Woodward says:

        Eurythmics will be the early fade of the album version used on other CDs, not the original 45 version which was an edit, not just an early fade.

        Paul Hardcastle was released many moons ago on an Old Gold CD single.

        The Communards and UB40 have never been released on CD in their true 45 versions I don’t think.

  6. Djjazzyjc says:

    Communards, You Are My World is sure to be the wrong version. Back in 1985 it opened up with the piano run. When the song was reissued in 1987 there was an extended intro with strings which is the only version I’ve been able to find anywhere since. I guess the original vinyl 45 would be the correct version.

  7. Adey says:

    They dont make em like they used to…

  8. James Barker says:

    This was my first Now, the now long lost vinyl was an amazing design at the time, all the way up to now 14 they were creative geniuses! Then they went down the digital route with bland designs aimed at the masses. This was at a time when they were at their best for me, the music seemed to match the feel of the design somehow. It’s a real shame they didn’t continue with this design style right up to 100 (nice nod to the now logo on Now 100 didn’t go amiss!). Loved Pretty much all the songs too!

  9. Lee says:

    Up to now, and I am sure I am not alone here, I’ve picked up every one of the Now releases for £8 off of a supermarket whilst shopping. Amazon can keep their above £10 pricing.

    For some reason I could remember this one and 4 being my favourite ones. Whilst 4 has been played a lot since it came out on CD, I am looking at the tracklisting for 6 and trying to work out why I had it in mind as fondly remembered.

  10. Darren Gray says:

    I like all the tracks on Now 6. I don’t know why all the bashing of the song Mated bu Jaki Graham & David Grant personally i think they have better voices than the Utopia version that sounds lame and lacking to me. Everyone taste though differs in music i guess.
    It will be interesting to see what happens with Now 7 CD release of the Pet Shop Boys Opportunities as i doubt it will have the same version that was accidentally released on the original LP and cassette which was never released elsewhere.

    • Mark says:

      Ah! The matrix mix!

      • SimonP says:

        It was released, see below. The Discogs entry for Now 7 has some interesting info in the review section about it. If the PSB’s label did what it says there then there were probably other labels doing the same which would result in exclusive versions ending up on these compilations…

    • Ant in NZ says:

      It was actually officially released commercially as the 7 inch in South Africa with a wrap around poster sleeve which changes hands for silly money these days. In Australia, some 7 inches from 1985 were pressed with an edit of the Version Latina mix. This could well be rarer given the quantities that Now 7 would have sold in.

  11. Norn Cutson says:

    Kate Bush ***AND*** Siouxsie ***AND*** Eurythmics!?!?!
    What a time to have been alive!!!!!

  12. Steven Roberts says:

    On a related note…picked up** Now 102 in Co-Op today, and couldn’t help but be somewhat amused by the fact that they had tagged on five ‘throwback’ tracks from Now 2.

    Is modern pop music SO AWFUL that they have to draw punters in with songs from 1984!?!

    (**as in “looked at the track listing and put it down again”)

  13. Stephen Roddam says:

    Why are people so disparaging about Cliff Richard? If they actually took the time to listen to his music instead of parroting other people’s unfounded comments they would realise what a huge talent he is. Some People is one of the best singles ever released, for example.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I wasn’t disparaging about Cliff Richard. I was disparaging about ‘She’s So Beautiful’, which is awful.

    • John McCann' says:

      I prefer wired for sound !,, daddy home is also really good,,,but the centre court at Wimbledon was giving a retractable roof for a good reason,,to stop him and pam Shriver “entertaining”,

    • Soren says:

      off topic but a compilation of Cliff Richard”s extended versions of the 80”s could be great

      • Craig Hedges says:

        because Cliff is hard working, honest and mostly because of his religious beliefs he is just an easy target. Saw him many times live in the 80s which unfortunately spoilt me because I then assumed when I went to concerts by other artists they would sing in tune as well and sound just like they did on the records.
        Cliff is only as good as the people he works with, personally I love the albums he made with Alan Tarney and Craig Pruess.
        Sadly he hasn’t done anything in the last 30 years I like, he did work with Tarney on the Wanted album but it sounded very phoned in.

  14. Donnie Day says:

    Amazing you can pick these up for £2 at car boot sales.

    Cash cow

  15. Brian Smith says:

    I don’t know that Mated song. We never got it in NZ. Sounds like a song about the biological act of mating. lol

  16. Mark R says:

    Very few songs I can actually remember, which is odd as I’m usually pretty good on this sort of thing. Arcadia. That was a good album!

  17. SimonP says:

    I bought four of those tracks as singles at the time, so I’m definitely not in the “it’s one of the greats” camp. Four out of thirty is a 13% like rate!

  18. Chris S says:

    Ugh,
    David Grant & Jaki Graham Mated.
    Never could figure out why such a good Todd Rundgren song could sound so bad.

  19. Rowly75 says:

    How many wrong mixes have they done in the series so far then? I feel another thread coming on…

      • SimonP says:

        Some of those are pretty pathetic. Example:

        Ultravox – Dancing With Tears In My Eyes (Original Now 3 was 4:10 in line with the 7″, this fades early here at 4:04)

        Six seconds different? Pass me the smelling salts!

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          If you are going to list the differences then you may as well do it accurately, as Paul has done. Some are minor and some definitely aren’t (Paul Young and Every Time You Go Away).

        • Paul English says:

          @ SimonP

          Nobody expects 100% perfection and the missing tracks as well as the occasional minor error would be tolerated if the care was taken with the rest of it.

          Obviously longer album versions of commonly available single mixes is baffling when so many other compilations / releases can get them right. These people are paid to do a job so should do it properly. I am not.

  20. RJS says:

    Good deal and alert! I’ve ordered it from amazon.it but kept my UK order alive for the time being. Amazon’s pricing moves in mysterious ways and there might be a huge price drop on the UK site before it’s released.

  21. Iain McDermott says:

    Tarzan Boy. That 7” mix on the original LP is what I’m hanging out for. Fingers crossed.

  22. David Roest says:

    I almost forgot that there was once a time that UB40 ruled the charts. They are twice on this compilation.

    • Nancy says:

      UB40 ruled the charts for the whole of the ’80s and early ’90s. They are the most successful reggae group in the world of all time. They had the most singles and albums in the charts like no other group of their genre.

      • John McCann' says:

        I think bob and the wailers are on the phone for you?

        • Nancy says:

          Bob Marley and The Wailers are the most important as well as the most familiar reggae act of all time, no question. But according to various charts and sales facts UB40 are above them.

          • John McCann' says:

            Google, who is the best selling reggae artist of all time,, according to qworra,its bob with 13studio albums and 2live albums,,, now I used to love UB40 Nancy, present arms and signing off where classics,,but once they started that red red wine,and got into a successful formula, they just became irrelevant,a bit like Texas started out in leathers,slide guitars,got a middle of the road hit and fell into a bland routine but shifted loads of records,( I sappose thats the name of the game),,but getting back to the boys,the Campbell’s are from Scottish descent, they must have been born with Jamaican blood running through their veins,

  23. Lee Rosevere says:

    This version of Mated is not AWFUL.. far from it. Anything with Jaki Graham is going to be good.. but yes the Todd original is better.

  24. Dom says:

    These Now reissues bring back great memories; had Now 5 up to Now 12 on cassette (apart from Now 10 which I bought cheap on CD). The one track/version I’m praying they get right/match the original release is the ‘matrix’ mix of PSB Opportunities on Now 7. As far as I’m aware it’s never been released elsewhere officially, let alone on CD.

  25. Glam King says:

    Next they’ll skip Absolute Beginners by David Bowie on Now 7 despite A Kind of Magic could get featured likely as it’s featured on limited copies of it as a bonus track

  26. Alan says:

    Now 6 to 16 are all good cover designs. 17, 18 and 19 are rubbish, and from 20 onwards they’re very generic and pretty much all look the same.

    I’m surprised Kate Bush allowed her song on this, as she now fully owns the rights to it. Guessing it was a good enough deal.

  27. Bernard O’Hara says:

    It is actually Cliff with Stevie Wonder – from the musical ‘Time’…written by Dave Clark

  28. John McCann' says:

    Wot no pig?,,,I liked the pig!

  29. Tim Abbott says:

    One of my first ever albums, bought for me as a Christmas present from my granddad in 1985 (predated only by Roland Rat’s The Cassette Of The Album, and The Police’s Zenyatta Mondatta). Still vividly remember unwrapping it as a young’un.

    I honestly don’t remember anything from side 4 after Maria Vidal, but the rest of the tracks are instantly recalled.

  30. mike says:

    The advertising tag line for Now 6 in 1985 was ‘Feel The Quality’.
    With another potentially missing track and potentially significant opportunity for many wrong versions, sarcasm springs to mind..

  31. Chris Bennett says:

    My younger sister had this on cassette.
    Apart from the Cliff track, Baltimora is the worst on this set. Hated it when it first came out and still do. Apart from these two, the track list is great. Fingers crossed they get the mixes correct.

    • Dr Volume says:

      Tarzan Boy is a harmless bit of Eurotrash. By far the biggest clunker on here is the Paul Hardcastle, featuring Bob Hoskins doing a n-n-n-not very good tune about robbers and crooks.

  32. Simon Taylor says:

    I think I’m the only one who likes Mated.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      It’s amusing to me that someone sat down to write a love song and decided the title should be ‘mated’ :)

    • Blueboy says:

      There’s few of us more. But must say i prefer Todd’s version.

      • SimonP says:

        Having only heard this version and having just listened to the Utopia original it’s the latter that sounds like a terrible cover version to me!

        Not that I’m a big fan of the DG/JG version either, mind…

  33. Steve Woodward says:

    To my knowledge, only 2 tracks here not yet released on CD in their correct 45 versions, namely UB40 and The Communards. No doubt they’ll be wrong again!

    I never owned the original LP or cassette, so don’t even know if they were correct on the original release….

  34. Marcel Rijs says:

    Empty Rooms, Alive & Kicking, Lavender and If I Was look loky to be the ones that are screwed up.

  35. Martyn Alner says:

    Now 5 & 6 were the two cassettes I had when they came out, and played them to death (skipping Cliff naturally!).

  36. TOM RICHARDSON says:

    Love the artwork too Paul! Had it on vinyl at the time! The generic covers (and tracklists) of later years are awful!

  37. Stuart says:

    I’m probably showing my age; but the last of the great Nows in my humble opinion, and even on this one, Side 4 is the start of the decline of the series (and pop in general for me). This was the last one I bought back in the day before I started buying ‘artist’ albums

    iirc Now 7 does have some classic tracks (Peters Wylie and Gabriel) but the hit to miss ratio had swung into the negative for me at this point.

    Looking forward to replacing my cassette copy of this and re-living my musical youth

  38. Barnaby Dickenson says:

    This Now album also saw the Now series regain supremacy over the Hits series. The previous Christmas, the first Hits album was at No.1, while Now 4 had to settle for second place. As I recall, the positions were reversed for Christmas 1985, putting Now back on top. I’m crediting that ‘Bang on trend’ paisley jacket and stitched Now label as much as the track listing.

    • Glam King says:

      Now – The Christmas Album did get a CD release in 1986, despite in terms that they excluded John Lennon and Greg Lake and turning it into a 16-track album, released at the same time as Now That’s What I Call Music ’86 and Now 8 on single CD same as Hits 5 being released on compact disc, if they would’ve re-released it again in December, the hands of beckoning they would exclude Gary Glitter and putting Greg Lake and John Lennon back in, due to ‘Thank God It’s Christmas’ being excluded from compilations over the years in the 21st century, would be a excuse now.

      NOW haven’t put their hands on re-releasing two of their early NOW Dance albums, at the moment they’re both cheap second-hand on vinyl right now and NOW the Summer Album, yet again if a re-release on CD would have happened, they would have excluded the two Beatles tracks due to licensing issues, the next CD release may have another omission from David Bowie with a film track, as with Queen’s ‘A Kind of Magic’ was only featured on limited copies of vinyl as a bonus track, could get finally featured to the CD format in nationwide releases.

  39. Mark says:

    Think this was the first one I bought on double vinyl. Amazing track listing. all the ones you mention Paul plus ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’, ‘A Good Heart’, ‘If I Was’, ‘Miami Vice Theme’ and the immortal ‘Tarzan Boy’! I even like ‘Separate Lives’. Might pick this up for the pure nostalgia.

  40. CJ Feeney says:

    I’ve said elsewhere that Marillion’s Lavender 7″ is the best mix of the song, as they recorded extra vocals and guitar parts for it. It was left off the Misplaced Childhood super deluxe in favour of the Lavender Blue mix (overloud drums and not much else).

    So a leading candidate for “wrong mix” on this edition.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Should be okay with Running Up That Hill as there was no 7″ mix.

    • TOM RICHARDSON says:

      I agree – the single mix of Heart Of Lothian is superb too – although I would imagine the band members and prog purists would poo-poo the ‘poppy’ single mixes and prefer the original album segues as it was intended! I like both!

    • Jules(Rules) says:

      The 7″ version of Lavender has been available on the Singles 3CD set, though. (Same with the Kayleigh and Heart of Lothian 7″ edits, which would’ve crashed the limits of the MC bonus disc if they’d included them all…)

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