NOW 59, the latest in the popular US series of pop compilations was announced last week with a release date of August 5th. No tracklist has been released but maybe some of the songs from NOW 94, whose playlist was announced last week in anticipation of it's July 22nd release date will be included on NOW 59 as well. That is usually how these things work. For those of you new to the NOW game, the world's longest-running, best-selling pop hit compilation series began in the UK in 1983 and crossed over to the States in 1998, the numerical difference between the two series owing to the fifteen-year head start. Whereas the US version features a max of 20 songs on a single disc, the UK NOWs have evolved from 30 track double vinyl albums to double compact disc affairs with up to 42 songs and NOW 94 will be no exception to that rule. Usually good for at least three or more chart-topping Number One hits, NOW 94 is only the second volume in the series (after 1989's NOW 16) not to feature at least one Number One single. By comparison, NOW 93 featured seven of the chart-toppers. Before we get to the tracklist, I'd be remiss if I didn't include the video of Ariana Grande letting down her high pony below:

NOW, Inc. has covered Summer before, releasing triple disc sets Now That's What I Call A Summer Party in 2015 and Now That's What I Call Summer in 2014. But the very first Summer themed NOW album was released 30 years ago: NOW - The Summer Album, a double LP or tape released way back in 1986. Though it's considered somewhat rare among NOW collectors, copies can be had for decent prices. One of the things that sets this set apart from most others is the inclusion of two Beatles tracks. The songs are not rare or anything, its just that John, Paul, George and Ringo have always been notorious for never licensing their work for various artists compilations like the NOW albums.

Now(!), nearly four decades after that initial attempt at an NOW-worthy Summer playlist, the music minions have come up with Now That's What I Call Summer Hits - three discs, sixty-three songs that may or may not evoke those warm Summery feelings. Released on July 1st, the album stands out to me as it contains two of my Mom's favorite songs from the past couple of years: this one and that one. Beyond that, the majority of it is music I need never hear again.
It's been awhile since I featured an Australian So Fresh compilation here on The Hideaway and I'm not offering up excuses or apologies. The Top 40 laden albums just have not been my cup of tea and therefore come up against my longstanding policy of not wasting any energy on things I do not like. But the most recent release in the series, The Hits Of Winter 2016, was released in June 2016 and features one song from one artist that has captivated me. The song is "Sound Of Silence" and the artist is Dami Im (dah-mee eem), an X-Factor winner that repped Australia in the most recent Eurovision song contest, and I've been enjoying her brief discography and watching her videos for the past week. I confess she does not look like I had imagined upon first hearing her but that is on me.
Dami's second full-length album is an eleven song tribute to Classic Carpenters and rather than trying to mimic Karen Carpenter's unique voice, our girl Dami stays true to her own voice amid stripped down production and intimate arrangements.

Here are the other three So Fresh albums I neglected to cover:
              March 25, 2016              November 27, 2015            September 18, 2015          

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