Before the Now That’s What I Call Music albums grabbed the pop music compilation market by the throat and refused to let go, compilation albums tended to be released by companies such as Ronco or K-Tel and were basically one off affairs bringing together a number of popular songs. One of the strongest examples of this was the rather good Raiders of the Pop Charts, which was produced by Ronco, also well known for their household gadgets.
In 1983 Indiana Jones fever had yet to subside, so the marketing men decided to piggy back on the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark by putting a guy in a leather jacket and holding a whip on the front cover. They even unashamedly stole the logo from Indy as well!
Despite all this though the compilation was actually very good, with a large number of well known and well loved songs. It featured hits by bands such as Culture Club, The Pretenders, Madness and Heaven 17. It even found room for a few of the more novelty songs of the time, including Tony Basil’s Mickey. Probably the most bizarre feature of this compilation though was that it was split into two parts which were sold separately.
The compilation did very well, and I reckon the makers of the Now albums at least used it partially as a model for their own efforts. Raiders of the Pop Charts hit the top of the UK album charts in January 1983, and also holds the current record for the largest jump up the UK album charts, when it climbed 37 places from number 40 to number 3 at the very beginning of 1983.