Now 52 [US] vs Now 89 [UK]

In the 1992 flick Strictly Ballroom, character Scott Hastings catches quite a bit of flack for his flashy, crowd-pleasing choreography from the established old school of competition ballroom dancing his parents teach and helped establish. These NOW posts are HERC's flashy, crowd-pleasing choreography - he gets a lot of flack from his peers but damn if they aren't among the most popular and fun to write posts here at The Hideaway.  
Just before Halloween, Now 52 was released in the US.  The first sixteen tracks feature a cross section of upper echelon Hot 100 hits, including the current eight weeks at Number One (and HERC's Summer 2014 Jam) "All About That Bass". HERC's personal pop preference has him really liking a full third of the total of twenty-one songs on Now 52 (there are "5 free tracks") and especially these four videos and the six talented women they feature. 
WARNING! check your volume levels:

Here in the States, the Now series is on track to have put out an even dozen albums (four regular numbered releases and eight Specials) by end of year 2014. Over in the UK, the birthplace of the Now series some thirty-one years ago, they are going to squeeze out at least sixteen albums this year, with each and every one of them containing two or three discs. HERC shines the spotlight on two of his favorites from of those sixteen: Now Drive (released 9/15/2014) and Now Million (released 10/27/2014).  
Drive is apparently 60 popular driving songs in the UK from the past five decades spread across three discs. HERC agrees with some of the choices and just shakes his head at some of the others. What do you think of the songs on Now Drive? Are they your favorite driving songs?  HERC's pick of the litter:

For the Million disc, the folks at Now set up a Twitter Poll so fans could vote on their favorite million-selling song from the seven decades spanning, sixty-one tracks licensed for the triple disc album.  When the voting ended this past weekend, over ten million Tweet votes had been cast - 10,456,663 to be exact.  The top two vote-getters were "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls and "...Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears. Between the two of them, they garnered more than 92% of the total votes cast, a whopping 9,609,523 votes combined. The tracklist and playlist for each album are below.  But first a few HERC favorites from the Million album:

On November 24th, Now UK will release two albums: Now 89 and Now Legends.  As HERC types this, the official tracklist for Now 89 has yet to be revealed though guessing what it will be has become something of a pastime across the sea, with thousands of people voicing their picks and opinions.  What is known is that it will be yet another two disc set and feature between 44-50 songs.  When the Now 89 tracklist is finally revealed, HERC will update this post so check back.

As for Now Legends, it's tracklist was announced on Halloween and will feature 42 songs from the Sixties up through the Nineties spread across two discs.  HERC has no idea what the criteria was for their picks and he has no problem with most of them while knowing that glaring omissions like The Beatles and Bowie are merely licensing issues.  Before he unveils the tracklist and playlist below, here's a couple of HERC's favorite videos from Legends:


  1. Had to laugh at Hilary Duff's inclusion in the "hot up and coming artists" portion of "Now 52"... Not quite as hilarious as Shelby Lynne winning the "Best New Artist" Grammy SIX albums into her career, but chuckle-worthy nonetheless.

  2. That so-called "Drive" album is immediately disqualified for its inclusion of ballads.

    That "Legends" disc, on the other hand, is a good mix.