Various Artists

Now That's What I Call Music II [UK]

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The U.K.'s Now series features timely selections of pop hits and provides a convenient way for casual pop fans to stay on top of the most popular singles. The sets are almost always naturally well-rounded, encompassing dance music, R&B, hip-hop, teen pop, and rock. And though they might expire, in a sense, since they're based on trends in pop music, they work as more than adequate snapshots of specific points in time. The second volume, released in 1984, includes Nena's "99 Red Balloons," the Rolling Stones' "Undercover of the Night," the Thompson Twins' "Hold Me Now," Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax," Madness' "Michael Caine," Nik Kershaw's "Wouldn't It Be Good," and Matthew Wilder's "Break My Stride."