Metro- Universal’s £1.2billion takeover of EMI involves the latter selling its share of the compilation album brand. This has left the future of Now That’s What I Call Music! in jeopardy and Now 83 may be the last release unless an investment in the series is made. Peter Hart, editor of Top Of The Pops magazine, told The Telegraph: ‘They’re a total guilty pleasure and an essential part of growing up. ‘But at the same time, these song collections are nearly as an important part of British pop heritage as Top Of The Pops itself, and it would be devastating to see them disappear for good’ he added. The 83rd compilation is slated for a November release. The first Now That’s What I Call Music! was released in 1983, featuring tracks from The Cure and Phil Collins. The CD series also branched out into Reggae and Christmas specials.
While part of me is absolutely trying to exploit nostalgia for page views, this post is mostly dedicated to appreciating the legacy of the Now! series. because I don’t think people remember just how big of a game changer it truly was. A lot of the population might not remember there was a time just after mix tapes and right before Napster where if you wanted all the hot new radio jamz for yourself, you actually had to buy an entire CD. Even if you only liked “Fly,” you still had to drop $15 on an entire Sugar Ray album, which is bullshit even if it did come with both the regular and Super Cat versions. iTunes came on the scene in January 2001 and effectively made Now! choke to death on its giant digital music cock, but not before the release of what was possibly the most devastating music compilation the world has ever seen: Now! 5. Here’s a link to the track listing like you don’t have it memorized already, but for for anyone too lazy to click all you need to know it that it was 19 songs and 71 minutes and 24 seconds of perfection.
This CD defined the music of the new millennium. Some people might argue for 3 or 4, and some assholes might even make a cases for the final death throe that was Now! 6, but they’d all be wrong. Where else could a kid experience Kryptonite, Bon Jovi and the clean version of Mystikal’s Shake Ya Ass all in one place? Your ride to school in the morning wasn’t complete unless you were blasting this as loud as your Walkman’s plastic headphones would go. You want a boy band? It has literally every single one you could think of. Just figuring out how your penis works? Then why not play the unbeatable musical MFK with a year 2000 Mandy Moore, Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears. Constantly tormented by the rest of your classmates? Get out your frustration by listening to Everclear on repeat, because it would still be a couple years until you had access to MySpace and spray painted Airsoft guns. It was a truly universal CD, and for that, I thank you Now! Goodnight, sweet prince.