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  • Writer's pictureAndy Przybyla

Now That's What I Call Music

The phone rang this morning at about 8.10am.  BBC Newcastle radio asking me questions about my favourite songs from the NOW compilations and asking if I would like to go live on the radio to discuss them.  Sadly having only been in bed a few hours and having 2 busy days ahead I had to decline but it did delay me falling back asleep remembering how these albums have impacted on me.

I remember back in 1983 actually buying the first album on vinyl and playing it on my mams stereo system.  I've bought NOW albums in just about every format they were produced on, vinyl, cassette tape, CD and digital.  I own currently all 99 albums digitally which I felt imperative for being a DJ, I already had most of them but did need to fill in some gaps from later years (I never really collected a lot of music after the 90s).

Back in 1983 Virgin were experiencing a great deal of success with their artists in the charts so they approached EMI which allowed a huge amount of hits songs to be included.  The first album had 11 of 17 number 1 hits from the year.  As the complications grew in popularity several more labels signed on meaning more and more hits could be added.

While artists like Robbie Williams, Rihanna, Calvin Harris and Kylie racking up over 25 hits each on the compilations, some notable American artists have never appeared on them due to licencing issues.  Madonna being one huge admission.  The basic series has obviously ran for 100 albums now which would take over 250 hours to listen to - I know the majority on my van stereo recently.  There have been a load of spin offs too and the series has versions in several other countries.

The NOW series have also had their fair share of competition over the years they have managed to shrug off.  Now what ever you think of the 21 hits selected from over the past 25 years I would not have liked the job to select them.  I personally think there are too many new songs on and the early years aren't fully represented.  Will I buy it?  I don't know as its got nothing new on but for competition sake £10 is not the end of the world.

As a DJ the NOW albums are a great core for your music.  They are clean radio edits you can use in all your events, they are popular songs everyone knows so it's a no-brainer, much like the clubland series I also collect.  I tend not to buy anything but greatest hits albums as people will only ask for and expect the main tracks that chart.  So buying compilations and greatest hits can save having a load of chaff in your collection.  The monthly music subscription takes care of the rest and if you need to go further back than 1983 there are tons of good decades albums to fill out the gaps.

So, well done Now and here's to another 100 editions.

Andy P

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