What Was On The First "Now That’s What I Call Music" Album?

28 July 2018, 10:00 | Updated: 30 July 2018, 11:52

The classic compilation series has reached the incredible of milestone of 100 editions this month. It’s taken them 35 years to get there - but what was on the very first LP, back in 1983? Let’s drop the needle on side 1, track 1 and find out…


  1. Phil Collins - You Can’t Hurry Love

    The drummer with Genesis finally makes the transition to pop superstar with this cover of the Supremes’ Motown classic. The video showcases his acting talents. Sort of.

  2. Duran Duran - Is There Something I Should Know

    Duran entered the halls of pop superstardom this year and the video was suitably grandiose (and expensive).

  3. UB40 - Red Red Wine

    The Brummie reggae outfit put aside their hard—edged political tunes for some more mainstream tracks. They covered this song thinking it was a Jamaican classic. Turned out it was originally done by crooner Neil Diamond. Oops.

  4. Limahl - Only For Love

    The former frontman with flavour-of-1983 Kajagoogoo went solo with indecent haste, but we genuinely don’t remember this one, just the Never-Ending Story theme tune. Do you like his jumper and braces combo?

  5. Heaven 17 - Temptation

    After splitting from The Human League in 1981, Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh concocted this studio project, which had some excellent hits. This is the best known and is still a banger.

  6. KC And The Sunshine Band - Give It Up

    Harry Wayne Casey (aka KC himself) leads the band with this poptastic hit which took them from their R&B and disco roots to Number 1 in the UK charts. CHECK THE MOVES.

  7. Malcolm McLaren - Double Dutch

    Always on the lookout for the next big thing, former Sex Pistols manager McLaren teamed up with a New York skipping team and powered this tune with some authentic South African sounds and hip hop scratching. Skipping was suddenly dead fashionable in the UK for about three weeks.

  8. Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse Of The Heart

    The Welsh power-balladeer teams up with Meat Loaf’s producer Jim Steinman for this epic piece of 80s nonsense. Video filmed in the home of gothic drama, Virginia Water in Surrey.




  1. Culture Club - Karma Chameleon

    With this Number 1 hit, Boy George made the leap from clubland wannabe to pop legend. Please do not swim in the river.

  2. Men Without Hats - Safety Dance

    Obscure - but excellent - Canadian synthpop ditty. You won’t be able to get it out of your head for days, now. Video looks like a clip from The Hobbit.

  3. Kajagoogoo - Too Shy

    See Limahl on side 1. Hailing from Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire this people of blue-eyed soul produced by Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran made the top of the charts, but pin-up frontman Limahl left barely six months after this hit the charts. That’s showbiz. Imagine dancing to this in a club in Romford on a Friday night.

  4. Mike Oldfield - Moonlight Shadow

    Young Mike didn’t really follow up the huge success of 1973’s Tubular Bells, but he made a return to the charts with this folky ditty. It’s now best known (in our house) for being the theme tune to “Dave Angel: Eco Warrior” on The Fast Show.

  5. Men At Work - Down Under

    Huge, huge international hit for this Australian band - but it went sour when the publishers of the old classroom song “Kookaburra” took legal action, claiming the flute riff was similar to their melody. Great video.

  6. The Rock Steady Crew - (Hey You) The Rock Steady Crew

    The most “1983” hit on Now 1, this is hip-hop and the breakdance craze in all its innocent glory. Let’s body pop! Watch my lino!

  7. Rod Stewart - Baby Jane

    Like a lot of old rockers, Rod The Mod enjoyed a resurgence as one of the Old Guard in the 1980s (see: Elton John, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney). This is a respectable hit, but the cheesy video leaves a lot to be desired.

  8. Paul Young - Wherever I Lay My Hat

    1983’s vocal superstar scored big with this Marvin Gaye cover. He then went on to cover Love Will Tear Us Apart. Oh dear.




  1. New Edition - Candy Girl

    An adolescent Bobby Brown starred in this R&B kids’ group, which also spawned 90s crooners Bell, Biv AND DeVoe and Ralph Tresvant. The Jackson who?

  2. Kajagoogoo - Big Apple

    We really don’t need another Kajagoogoo track, thanks.

  3. Tina Turner - Let’s Stay Together

    After spending the latter half of the 70s in the wilderness, Tina reinvented herself as a superstar in the 80s, with this Al Green cover being a highlight.

  4. The Human League - (Keep Feeling) Fascination

    The League lost a bit of momentum following the massive success of their 1981 album Dare and this was something of a stopgap single. Fans of the synthpop pioneers were horrified by the appearance in this video of an actual guitar. Ugh!

  5. Howard Jones - New Song

    Synth solo star that shot up the charts in ’83. He was accompanied by a mime artist called Jed who “threw off his mental chains” as the lyrics suggested. Howard, people want to get home, stop blocking the exits!

  6. UB40 - Please Don’t Make Me Cry

    Another track from the ’40, this got to Number 10 in the charts.

  7. Peabo Bryson And Roberta Flack - Tonight I Celebrate My Love

    We can only speculate how many people were conceived to the sounds of this slushy ballad in the summer of 1983. Wow.


  1. Tracey Ullman - They Don’t Know

    Between being a comedian on the BBC and becoming a TV star in the US and launching The Simpsons, Ullman had a brief career as a pop star. This hit was written by the much-loved Kirsty MacColl.

  2. Will Powers - Kissing With Confidence

    Weird, weird hit from artist Lynn Goldsmith who uses a harmoniser to make her sound like a bloke on this guide to love and self-help. At least that’s the idea. Nile Rodgers was involved. Of course he was.

  3. Genesis - That’s All

    Phil Collins kept a successful solo career going at the same time as his main band, and 1982 saw Genesis go full-on pop. This tune seems to sum up his recent divorce, judging by the lyrics.

  4. The Cure - The Love Cats

    They did it! After years of producing gloomy albums and moping about in long raincoats, Robert Smith and co became proper pop stars with this student disco classic.

  5. Simple Minds - Waterfront

    Jim Kerr’s major bid to become the next U2, but the Breakfast Club was calling.

  6. Madness - The Sun And The Rain

    Chirpy and underrated single from the Nutty Boys. Someone should make a musical out of their songs, they really should.

  7. Culture Club - Victims

    Well, it was George’s year, so let’s leave on a high - literally. The video sees the Boy sat on a crane in what was the most expensive pop promo ever made (that week).