A staple present for most kids growing up in the UK, the ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ compilation series has now entertained music fans with the biggest and most popular music for 100 albums. Today, NOW100 is released featuring a disk of the latest hits and another featuring some of the biggest hits to feature on the series over the years.
Celebrating 100 albums featuring over 2000 artists and sales of over 120 million, ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ continues to be just as popular as ever. Launched in 1983, the compilation series has become part of music history and sales of the entire series are equivalent to every UK household owning 4 NOW albums. The series has also found success across the global, with versions appeared in the USA, South Korea, and New Zealand.
Kylie Minogue told BBC News that “it’s amazing to think that these compilations have been around for 35 years. They’ve been a big part of my career right back to when ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ was on NOW 11, all the way up to 2018 with ‘Dancing’ being on NOW 99. So, thank you very much NOW for having me on so many of the albums – 23 of them in fact – so here’s to the next 100 editions.”
Over the years the NOW albums have mapped the supersonic careers of the biggest names in pop music, with Robbie Williams holding the record for most appearances, featuring a whopping thirty times with Take That chart-toppers such as Pray and It Only Takes A Minute, and solo hits Angels, Millennium and ROCK DJ. Bajan songstress Rihanna places second, with twenty-seven NOW appearances and Calvin Harris takes third place, featuring twenty-six times.
To celebrate 35 years of the compilation classic, let’s look back at 12 facts you might not know about the NOW series.
1. NOW That’s What I Call Music! compilations have been the most popular CDs every year since 2010 – except for 2015, when Adele beat it.
2. 98 out of 99 of the compilations reached No 1 in the Official Charts
3. Over half of the UK population have bought (or been given) a NOW numbered compilation album in the past.
4. The most successful volume to date is 1999’s Now 44, which sold 2.3 million copies and is the biggest selling compilation album ever
5. Girls Aloud have clocked up the highest number of consecutive appearances – 13 albums – with a track in every album from NOW 54 to NOW 66
6. In 2017 NOW sold more product than the top selling DVDs and console games such as FIFA and Assassin’s Creed.
7. It would take over 250 hours to listen to 1-100 Now albums
8. NOW! compilations have spent 654 weeks at number 1 (up to fourth week of NOW 99)
9. So far the series has featured 602 number 1 hits
10. The longest track on any NOW album is Don McLean’s American Pie at 8.34 minutes
11. Willow Smith on NOW 78 with Whip My Hair was the youngest to have appeared on a Now album at just nine years old
12. Since Run DMC vs. Jason Nevins on NOW 39 there have been thirty ‘versus’ couplings.
25. Hollywood actors who have appeared on NOW include; Will Smith (Now 26 with D J Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Boom Shake The Room), Ewan McGregor (NOW 38 with PF Project feat Ewan McGregor – Choose Life), Kate Winslet (NOW 50) and Nicole Kidman (NOW 51 with Robbie Williams – Something Stupid) and Brittany Murphy (NOW 64 with Paul Oakenfold – Faster Kill Pussycat).
NOW100 is out today, featuring the biggest hits from Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa, George Ezra and Clean Bandit, as well as classic tracks from UB40, Phil Collins, Oasis, Spice Girls and Destiny’s Child.
NOW1 has also been re-issued on CD, cassette and vinyl to celebrate this momentous occasion and reflect how NOW has evolved over the years. The NOW Music App will be the only place you can download and listen to all 100 NOW albums on the go.