BACK in the 1970s and 1980s I was, believe it or not, the rock music correspondent for the Examiner. I received lots of free records to review and spent many nights enjoying Huddersfield's vibrant music scene of the time. My wife still hasn't forgiven me.
Among all the music available, I always avoided compilation albums.
They were often done on the cheap, at that time, with chart hits cut to fit into the LP format of the day.
Others to be avoided were those segued singles and albums, where classic songs were re-recorded by session singers and stuck together in one endless track to a disco beat.
I recalled the era this week when I saw an advert for Now That's What I Call Music 83.
As it happens, 1983 was the year the very first one was launched. It was an idea from Virgin Records that they developed with EMI. Later, other record companies joined the collaboration.
Theirs was a different concept. They used original hit records – usually number ones – and put them on double albums or cassettes to retain the quality. About three a year were released and they were obviously great for parties but they have also provided a wonderful discography of the music of the last three decades.
The very first had 30 hits including You Can't Hurry Love by Phil Collins, Baby Jane by Rod Stewart, Wherever I Hang My Hat by Paul Young and Karma Chameleon by The Culture Club. The latest has 43 hits by today's stars.
I never collected them – I still had my prejudices – but it must be nice to have the full set.