NOW 53 (US)

With it's debut in the Top 10 of Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart this week, Now That's What I Call Music! 53 continues the series streak of consecutive Top 10 albums by becoming the fifty-third link in the chain.  Released on February 3rd, the album reportedly sold just under 100,000 units in the past seven days, which is slightly below the 103,000 Now 52 logged it's first week out of the box.  Containing sixteen bonafide chart hits and five NOW What's Next tracks, Now 53 also has this week's Number One song on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart.  Don't believe me?  Just watch!
Released alongside Now 53 this past week was Now That's What I Call Movies, a collection of eighteen hit songs heard on movie soundtracks from the Seventies up through last year's Guardians Of The Galaxy Seventies throwback soundtrack.  And before you ask, yes, Eighties soundtrack king Kenny Loggins is here with one of his many cinematic songs.
NOW collectors like HERC recognize the title Now That's What I Call Movies as having been issued over in the UK in the Fall of 2013.  A three disc, 57 song collection that naturally leaned towards British artists as well as British films, the UK Now Movies set shares seven songs with the US Now Movies disc.  Unfortunately for HERC, the song below is not on either of the Now Movies collections.

As UK pop music fans eagerly await the imminent unveiling of the cover art, release date and track list for Now That's What I Call Music! 90, Now That's What I Call Power Ballads - the most recent volley in the NOW series - was lobbed over the Atlantic Ocean three weeks ago.  Power Ballads are HUGE over in the UK but their definition of what makes a power ballad is a lot broader and inclusive than HERC's own.  The triple disc, 56 track collection, Now Power Ballads has many decent songs but only five that fall under HERC's simple definition of "a power ballad" which is essentially a hard rock act performing a ballad.  How many hard rock acts do you count on the playlist below?  The following song may be the most well-known power ballad of all time yet it is nowhere to be found on the extensive tracklist below.

Nearly six years ago, someone at Now Music's US HQ illustrated HERC's definition of a power ballads beautifully with the compilation and release of the single disc Now That's What I Call Power Ballads.  It says right on the cover that it contains 18 DEFINITIVE ROCK BALLADS! and HERC can bear witness to the truth of that statement though if he was picking the songs, he might have picked the one below instead of "Love Bites".  Fun Fact: HERC used to own that same sweet sleeveless tee Joe is wearing in the video.  Went well with his parachute pants.
Of course, the heavily advertised Monster Ballads compilations (1999-2006) had already scorched the same ground as had Time-Life's extensive eight disc Ultimate Rock Ballads Collection (2007) by the time Now Power Ballads came out in 2009.  Other HERC-approved power ballad compilations from the Audio Archives are pictured below along with a couple of commercials.

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