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KajaGooGoo then and Now!

April 29, 2011
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Now That’s What I Call….a great idea! – Kajagoogoo then and ‘Now!’
by theraggedtiger

 KajaGooGoo

 The series of ‘Now That’s What I Call Music!’ compilation albums began their highly successful run back in 1983, and quite amazingly are still in production, some 28 years later!  The series is currently on its staggering 78th volume!

No doubt that every KajaFax reader has at some time or another owned at least one.

Since its launch in December 1983, the ‘Now!’ brand has amassed over 100 million album sales, a remarkable achievement by any standards.  The original idea was conceived by two Virgin Records executives, searching for a way to recycle hit singles and thus generate additional revenue for the company.  What was to unfold over the next quarter of a century would indicate that they probably met their original objectives!  The series supposedly took its name and logo from a 1920’s Danish meat advertising poster, which showed a pig listening to a whistling cockerel.  The pig became the ‘Now!’ series’ mascot – at least for a while.

KajaGooGoo

 Kajagoogoo & Limahl were very much a part of the preliminary success of the ‘Now!’ albums, and their hits appeared on all of the earlier volumes of the series, with ‘Too Shy’, ‘Only For Love’, ‘Big Apple’, ‘The Lion’s Mouth’, ‘Too Much Trouble’, ‘Turn Your Back on Me’ and ‘Never Ending Story’ all making it onto the first four releases.

The ‘Now!’ franchise also produced a fine selection of video and Laserdisc compilations, many of which are now collectors pieces.

Video courtesy of nowmusic25:

It is no wonder that in 2008 when ITV Television commissioned a show to celebrate the success of that inaugural 1983 album that they invited Kajagoogoo to perform.

http://www.itv.com/documents/doc/Now%20that’s%20what%20I%20call%201983%20Press%20info.doc

For those who missed it, here is that clip:

Now.  That is what I call music.

2011 KajaFax

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. TheRaggedTiger permalink
    April 29, 2011 9:29 am

    For those who can’t/dont want to download the press release link on this article, I cut and pasted the Kajagoogoo interview part below….

    🙂

    Kajagoogoo

    (Limahl, Nick Beggs, Jez Strode, Steve Askew & Stuart Neale)

    Performing Too Shy

    Released in 1983

    What does 1983 mean to you as a band?

    Limahl: “I think for me we had come out of the punk era which was very dark, then synthesizers came along and everything got more colourful and there was just a new optimism. It was new romantic, new wave and, of course, that was an important part of our lives. We were all in our twenties and it was fantastic to be number one all over the world.”

    Stuart Neale: “1983 was really the start of it for us, it was when we hit the scene and it was very exciting. Now, 25 years on, it’s as exciting in different ways the five of us are back together and we never thought it would really happen.”

    Your first hit Too Shy went straight to number one and is still played on the radio today, why do you think it’s been such a hit?

    Limahl: “I don’t think you can know, if anyone did know the magic bottle formula they’d all be classic hits. I just think we’re grateful to be honest, I remember being told by a guy from the record company that our first song it won’t be a hit instead would get you noticed. I remember leaving the building incredibly disappointed that day because I wanted our first single to be a hit, I was just twenty three (years old) and dreaming of being on Top Of The Pops.”

    He continues: “I have too much respect for the song, it continues to open doors for us. Even if you thought you might get bored doing Too Shy when you start performing it and you see people’s reactions it makes it all worth while.”

    The music industry has changed vastly over the last 25 years do you think it was harder to make a living in a band back then?
    Limahl: “I don’t think it’s ever been easy, it’s like a jungle and you are fighting your way through trying to look for that opening – our opening was Nick Rhodes (from Duran Duran). I think what’s exciting for us now is that we can’t think of another five piece eighties band that are back together in their original line up. There might be some two, three or four pieces but even Duran Duran are minus their original guitarist.”

    What are Kajagoogoo’s future plans now that the band is back together?

    Limahl: “We’re happy to make our music and perform. The weird thing is, we had this huge hit and it’s become a classic. So now twenty five years later back in the original line up, we’re touring again.”

    Jez Strode: “We’ve been away for 25 years and when we revisited the songs we just knew it was so exciting to play them again. Because of the friction at the time and bad feeling they were put away in a cupboard.”

    Nick Beggs: “When you write a song and you live every beat and every symbol, it’s almost endemic to your personality and we just got that feeling that’s why it so right now to be doing it.”

    Limahl: “We are also writing new material as well and I think for all of us that’s so exciting.

    Steve Askew: “That’s what makes Kajagoogoo, the fact that we were all doing it together.”

    **************************************************************************************

    A nice little interview that unless you scroll down the ITV press release to read, you may miss!

  2. April 29, 2011 3:17 pm

    Loved this article, the Now albums were great for getting all the hits in one swoop but also getting stuff that you wouldn’t normally bother with.

    When I listen back to the Now albums from time to time, it’s rarely the obvious tracks tI listen to most. Been a while since I last bought one though, I don’t like enough modern music to bother!!!!!

  3. Rachel permalink
    April 29, 2011 5:03 pm

    I was lucky enough to be in that audience at the 2008 Now 83 Special! It was filned at the Granada Tv studios in Manchester….. Only the singing is ‘live’ the band were miming their instruments! The band had to do the song twice for camera angles etc. I am on the video several times – spot me if you can!! I also got to speak to Limahl after & was not allowed to wave my pink Kajagoogoo scarf during the performance – spoilsports! It was a great 80’s line up though & fab to be part of that show!

    • TheRaggedTiger permalink
      April 29, 2011 7:48 pm

      I like stories like that Rachel – first hand experience is great!

  4. Denny permalink
    April 30, 2011 5:22 am

    NOW! was such a success because it was the first time two big record companies got together on a compilation album, Virgin and EMI. If you look at the early albums there is a strong bias to both those labels.

    I think I only have the first 4 on vinyl and a few later CD’s from their “Years” series.

    I do have all the early VHS releases tho. These are worth seeking out. The first video has Big Apple with the original sound. On the later Best of Kajagoogoo DVD the sound of the car screeching to a halt is missing.
    NOW 4 has the other version of Never Ending Story on it.

    I remeber when Limahl appeard on Through The Keyhole, he had NOW 1,3 and 4 VHS tapes on his shelf. These are the only ones featuring him as it happens 😉

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