Author Topic: Now That's What I Call Music  (Read 2520 times)

Now That's What I Call Music
« on: July 12, 2019, 12:22:37 PM »
So the 103rd(!) edition of this is out next week, but looking at recent tracklists I'm getting a bit worried about the series' future - in the last year they've clearly been struggling more and more to actually find enough current hit songs to fill two CDs, three times a year, so the second disc has all sorts of random things such as tracks from the soundtrack of 'Rocketman' and 'Yesterday', new songs from 90s legacy acts The Lighthouse Family and Westlife, and, erm, four songs from 1984 (Grandmaster Flash/OMD/The Weather Girls/Nik Kershaw), as part of "promoting" a reissue of the first few Now albums on CD for the first time. I saw Now 2 on vinyl in ASDA the other day for about £16, which amused me given that a ton of charity shops out there have the original for about 50p.

They were never a big part of my growing up - my music collection transitioned from recording videos off The Box (late 1990s) to mp3s (2000s) and eventually Spotify, but I've slowly collected over the years what's almost the entire series, mostly for a pound or less each. Rare ones I own include a copy of Now 22 on vinyl (1992, so one of the later vinyl releases before they ended in the mid 1990s), some of the late 1980s ones on CD, and randomly 2004's Now 58 on cassette tape, almost completely dead as a music medium by its time of release.

In terms of favourites, it's either the childhood nostalgia of Nows 42 to 49 (1999-2001) when I massively got into chart music for the first time, and my late teenage/early twenties era of Nows 68 to about 83 (2007-2012) which reminds me of many drunken club nights and fun times. After that there's a slow, gradual decline from knowing every song on the disc to one or two for each volume, with their only memories reminding me of shit retail jobs as they play endlessly on loop on long shifts. I imagine its audience now is mostly shifting from kids/teens to older folk who just want to keep their collection going, as I'm not sure anyone under 25 even owns a CD player anymore.

Any particular faves from the series from the CaB crowd? For those following the current TOTP repeats Now 11's tracklist is worth a look, including a brilliant second half of disc 2 that captures the era where every club song had to include the word "House" in the title to get a look in.

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 12:42:55 PM »
Now 3 is coming out on CD later this month (minus the Gary Glitter track). My favourite Now is Now 4 (hopefully it will get re-issued at the end of this year). It's got 3 of my favourite tracks of the year on it, Madame Butterfly, Warning Sign & Human Racing.

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 12:44:20 PM »
The early ones are getting their first ever CD releases as part of this reissue campaign, which gave me the idea that I might start collecting them. Haven't started yet though. A lot of people over on superdeluxeedition.com are very angry because the Gary Glitter track has been removed. Apparently 'not rewriting history' is more important than 'not promoting and profiting from a convicted paedophile'.

34-38 was my era of actually noticing them. I got 34 for my 12th birthday, and swapped 35 for something with a friend. There were a couple of oddly lesser known tracks on them - Underworld's 'Pearl's Girl' standing out somewhat on 35.
38 was my favourite. Disc 2 had a run of tracks including a version of 'Don't Leave' by Faithless that, I think, isn't available elsewhere, Radiohead's 'Karma Police' (I didn't buy OK Computer until 1998), Moby's Bond theme, PF Project's 'Choose Life', Ash's 'A Life Less Ordinary' and Ocean Colour Scene's 'Better Day'. Not all of which I like now, but at the time I played that a lot.

I love scrolling down the 'Numbers' albums on the official website, you can see how the colours got more vibrant and over-the-top over the years. The earlier ones were quite subtle in comparison with the eyesore monstrosities they have now. I just noticed they've changed the font since 101.


edit: just looking through some of the other albums in their range, there are some very amusing titles. Now That's What I Call Mum made me laugh, as well as Now That's What I Call Running and Now That's What I Call A Singer.

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 12:53:56 PM »
I can remember getting the first 2 Nows on tape from Woolworths at the same time just after Now 2 came out. I ended up getting the next few Nows on tape up until Now 9. I thought Now 9 was a bit crap so i didn't bother getting any others after that at the time they were released. I also got a couple of Now Dance tapes as well. I always wondered why the first Now Dance had a picture of someone lying on a bed on the front cover..

imitationleather

  • "The French... are famous... for their kissing"
    • http://last.fm/user/ImiLeathr
Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2019, 01:04:02 PM »
The mid-'90s ones (the only era where I actually ended up owning copies, usually gifted by my Nan at Christmas) were pretty much what first got me interested in dance music as they'd always bung a couple of tracks by legit good artists from that genre on.

boki

  • Defecranium
Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2019, 01:34:19 PM »
I also got a couple of Now Dance tapes as well. I always wondered why the first Now Dance had a picture of someone lying on a bed on the front cover..

Poor lass is probably knackered from all that dancing.  I bought my local library's beat-up vinyl copy of Now Dance 91 for 50p about 20 years ago.  Must try and dig that out later.

imitationleather

  • "The French... are famous... for their kissing"
    • http://last.fm/user/ImiLeathr
Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2019, 01:35:18 PM »
She looks like me trying to get some sleep after a night on the pukkas.

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2019, 01:51:03 PM »
Never owned a 'Now...' - even as a kid.
I think I always thought they were for cunts.

Captain Z

  • Oh yeah my cholesterol's going down
Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2019, 01:57:59 PM »
It's funny that for all the talk of how they'd managed to arrive at the 100 landmark by keeping a clear focus on consistency, relevancy, a committed team with a good ear for pop and careful arrangement of styles and songs, the Now series seems to have become a bit of a mess almost immediately. Now 100 only had 1 CD of current music and the blandest, by-numbers collection of classics imaginable. Now 102 finished with several 'classics' from Now 2 despite the fact they'd not done this with Now 101. Putting out all these reissues seems like they know the game's up and are desperately trying to wring out the last few drops.

icehaven

  • Please don't hi five people in Tamworth
Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2019, 02:22:38 PM »
I always wondered why the first Now Dance had a picture of someone lying on a bed on the front cover..


I think it's referring to the line underneath, ''...keep you moving all night long'', although illustrating that with someone tossing and turning in bed rather than dancing seems like a wilful misinterpretation of the sentiment.

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2019, 02:30:17 PM »
I've noticed a few budget compilations with a "The Hits Album" branding have come out over the past few months.

I wonder if this means the original Hits albums will be re-issued as well at some point. It'll be 35 years since the first Hits album came out at the end of this year.

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2019, 03:23:07 PM »
Never owned a 'Now...' - even as a kid.
I think I always thought they were for cunts.

Well fuck, this might be snobbiest opinion I've ever read here, which covers some ground.

I got my first NOW at NOW 11, and stopped at NOW 14.  But when you're first getting into music as a youngun, there's absolutely no better way of getting an instant collection of pop music, especially if you couldn't afford lots of singles.

From NOW 1 to NOW 99, between 1984 and 2018, they're the perfect time capsule of what music was popular for 34 years.  The track selection is a form of democracy that works.  Granted, most tracks aren't going to please yer serious music fan, but they're not for them.

"for cunts". . . christ.

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2019, 03:54:30 PM »
Well fuck, this might be snobbiest opinion I've ever read here, which covers some ground.

"for cunts". . . christ.

It's very important to take everything on CaB at face value.

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2019, 04:00:17 PM »
I've noticed a few budget compilations with a "The Hits Album" branding have come out over the past few months.

I wonder if this means the original Hits albums will be re-issued as well at some point. It'll be 35 years since the first Hits album came out at the end of this year.

I've still got the first HITS ALBUM at my parents house:



Wall to wall bangers! And "Purple Rain"!


daf

  • Laminated with 'Clarifoil'
Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2019, 04:13:24 PM »
It's very important to take everything on CaB at face value.

but with . . . "No Jacket Required" (!!)

But Seriously, I can see Both Sides (!!!)
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 04:32:16 PM by daf »

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2019, 04:28:53 PM »
I wonder what the worst Now is? Is there any agreement on this? I just randomly looked at #48 and it's generally pretty foul, what with solo Spice Girls, Bob the Builder and rubbishy dance records. The least shit songs are still ones I don't like - Furtado, Atomic Kitten, Gorrilaz - and it does make the year 2000 seem pretty shit for pop. Are there any that have no good songs on?

EDIT: The first disc of Now 43 will take some beating in terms of ghastliness.

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Now-Thats-What-I-Call-Music-43/release/1109116?ev=rr

Captain Z

  • Oh yeah my cholesterol's going down
Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2019, 04:35:31 PM »
Most of late-noughties/early teens are pretty turd, that era when Black Eyed Peas and N-Dubz were at the height of their powers. E.g.

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Now-Thats-What-I-Call-Music-74/release/2033396

Glebe

  • Wobbly caper!
Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2019, 04:38:17 PM »

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2019, 04:43:56 PM »
I used to buy those Now Dance compilation cassettes when I was a kid in the early 90s, mainly because of stuff like the Shamen and the KLF in the charts.   You would get things like Technotronic and Betty Boo in amongst fairly obscure non-charting house and Balearic tracks.  I think it was 12” remixes so there was sometimes disappointment when the version included bore absolutely no resemblance to the version of the song in the charts.

Also, cassette 1 Side 2 of Now 17 was indie as fuck (as long as you ditched it before the dadrock bellowings of the Quireboys).

It served as a gateway into the world of alt-rock for my pre-pubescent self.  I played it so often the tape went a bit wonky.

Happy Mondays  Step On
Primal Scream   Loaded
Depeche Mode   Enjoy The Silence
Jesus Jones   Real, Real, Real   
Inspiral Carpets   This Is How It Feels   
The House Of Love   Shine On   
Faith No More   From Out Of Nowhere   
The Quireboys   Hey You

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2019, 05:11:47 PM »
It's very important to take everything on CaB at face value.

Couldn’t detect any sarcasm nor irony in your original post, even with a Hubble telescope.

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2019, 05:38:41 PM »
Most of late-noughties/early teens are pretty turd, that era when Black Eyed Peas and N-Dubz were at the height of their powers. E.g.

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Now-Thats-What-I-Call-Music-74/release/2033396

Oof! That is bad.

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2019, 06:03:02 PM »
64 For Sale from £0.12

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2019, 06:47:14 PM »
EDIT: The first disc of Now 43 will take some beating in terms of ghastliness.

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Now-Thats-What-I-Call-Music-43/release/1109116?ev=rr
Not very pleasant, although 'Red Alert' by Basement Jaxx is fine, and I have some nostalgia for ATB.
But everyone knows the best stuff was always on CD2 on those '90s ones. Supergrass, Madness, Chemical Brothers, that decent Fatboy Slim track, Chicane, Blur, James, 'Better Off Alone'. That's a pretty decent selection of tracks to be on a super-mainstream release.
Most of late-noughties/early teens are pretty turd, that era when Black Eyed Peas and N-Dubz were at the height of their powers. E.g.

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Now-Thats-What-I-Call-Music-74/release/2033396
That one's a lot harder to defend.

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2019, 06:56:30 PM »
Couldn’t detect any sarcasm nor irony in your original post, even with a Hubble telescope.

I don't think you even have a telescope.
Pretending to have a telescope is a cunt's trick.

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2019, 06:59:49 PM »
I don't think you even have a telescope.
Pretending to have a telescope is a cunt's trick.

It's very important not to take everything on CaB at face value.

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2019, 07:51:37 PM »
It's very important not to take everything on CaB at face value.

Now THAT'S a cunty thing to say!*

*volume 1

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2019, 08:33:00 PM »
Now THAT'S a cunty thing to say!*

*volume 1

I’d buy more than four volumes of that.

Did you buy or obtain any NOWs at all (now that we’ve established they’re not for cunts)?

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2019, 11:12:55 PM »
Did you buy or obtain any NOWs at all (now that we’ve established they’re not for cunts)?

Nope. Compilations have never been my thing. Not sure why.

imitationleather

  • "The French... are famous... for their kissing"
    • http://last.fm/user/ImiLeathr
Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2019, 07:31:25 AM »
Nope. Compilations have never been my thing. Not sure why.

Not even Best of the Beatles?

Re: Now That's What I Call Music
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2019, 07:37:54 AM »
Not even Best of the Beatles?

Not even Now That's What I Call Best of the Beatles!