NOW 95 [UK]

You're probably thinking to yourself "Dang, HERC, you just did a NOW post last week." But here we are back again for the second of three(!) NOW posts for the month of NOW-vember 2016. There are just that many releases to cover people so let's get right down to it.

Now That's What I Call Music! 95 will be released on November 18th in the UK. Forty-five songs across two discs, you know the drill. For chart freaks like us, it is worth nothing that the last five Number One songs on the UK charts are on NOW 95 and two of those songs also topped the US charts. But NOW 95 is merely a formality. Now That's What I Call Music! 96 is expected in March 2017. Assuming the current release schedule continues, NOW 97 will follow in July 2017 and NOW 98 should show up around this time next year, November 2017. Then NOW 99 in the Spring of 2018 and NOW 100 in Summer 2018.
But I've gotten ahead of myself. Let's jump back. In 2012, there was Now That's What I Call A No. 1, celebrating 60 years of The Offical Chart Company with sixty hits across three discs. That collection was preceded by Now That's What I Call No. 1's, another triple disc set in 2006. The successor to both sets is Now That's What I Call No. 1 Hits, featuring sixty-two chart toppers on three CDs. To be released on November 11th, this latest all Number One hits compilation is fully up to date with a few 2016 singles and a quick way for the UK pop music fan that has come of age in the past decade and a half who missed out on the earlier NOW compilations to catch up. There are no songs from before 2000 on the set. For those of us who have been collecting NOWs for the past ten, twenty or since the first NOW album more than thirty-three years ago, the collection offers nothing new. Except maybe the artwork. (The playlist above is short one tune, "About You Now" by The Sugababes.) 
Four albums titled Now That's What I Call Love have been released. The first, containing just nineteen songs, was released in the UK in 1994. The second, Now That's What I Call Love 2, came out in the UK fifteen years later and featured only seventeen tracks. The first US release of Now That's What I Call Love was in 2010. With twenty songs, it is my favorite of the bunch. I'm not exaggerating when I say of the 36 songs on those first two UK compilations, there are less than five songs I would even remotely consider favorites. They are all kinds of weak but that's just this Yank's opinion. Then in 2012, the fourth Now That's What I Call Love compilation was released in the UK. Expanded (bloated?) to forty songs on two discs there still aren't more than a couple tunes I would consider adding to a Valentine's Day or Anniversary playlist for my dark-eyed Sweetie. But on November 18th, NOW goes big with a three-disc Now That's What I Call Love, spanning the past six decades (previous NOW Love compilations only featured contemporary selections) and piled high with sixty-one love songs, not all of them ballads. This could be the new silver standard of NOW Love albums though it shares more than a few tracks with the No. 1 Hits album above. Or the perfect holiday treat for your dear old Mum. I know my own mother would enjoy it immensely.


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