NOW 62 [US] (2017)

The release schedules between the US and UK Now That's What I Call Music! compilations albums have always been out of sync - NOW UK had already issued forty numerical volumes since 1983 before the first NOW US volume was released in October 1998. NOW UK issues three double-disc compilations annually, while NOW US puts out four single disc albums a year. In April 2017, NOW 96 was issued in the UK and on May 5th, NOW 62 will be released here in the States. If their current release schedules hold up, it looks like NOW US could eventually catch up to NOW UK about forty years from now. Mark your calendars!

I feel myself slowly turning into one of those people I see commenting all over the internet: "Today's music sucks! The best music was from back in my day!" Like Brad Hamilton, I'm a single married successful semi-retired guy and I listen to a lot of new music - just not on the radio. Looking at the tracklist for NOW 62, I recognize just five songs and maybe a dozen of the artists.
I more-than-like exactly one song on NOW 62. "The Fighter" is an odd-duck: sounds like it was recorded by a couple of elementary schoolers using their teacher's iPhone when he wasn't looking. I've really liked it since I first heard it nearly a year ago when Ripcord was first released in May 2016. I shared it extensively with family but withheld it from friends, mostly because I knew they would not like it on principle. (Don't ask me what principle. I have no idea.) It's by two top Country artists but the song is most definitely not Country music, at least not by my wide-ranging and constantly fluctuating standards. It may not be a country or pop song but I like it like it yes I do.

When I (safely and alertly) drove sixteen hours straight back to Pineville last August for PawPaw's funeral, I sang along with this song, including both Keith's and Carrie's parts, at the top of my lungs across Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas. Once there, I shared the song with my Mom along with another favorite I thought she'd like, John Pardi's "Head Over Boots":

When Mom drove out here for a two-week Christmas visit that turned into a six-week stay she has sadly still not recovered from, her favorite song was the then-current single from Urban's Ripcord, "Blue Ain't Your Color" so I uploaded it to her minivan's hard drive along with 800 or so other songs I thought she might like hearing over and over.

There are sixteen charted hits from fourteen(!) different Billboard charts on NOW 62 plus six NOW presents: WHAT'S NEXT tracks for a total of 22 songs and a playing time just a few seconds shy of 80 minutes. For obsessive NOW collectors like myself, it should be noted that NOW 62 has eight songs in common with NOW 96.

Coming two weeks after NOW 62 is the digital-only release of Now That's What I Call A Workout - Throwback Edition. It features eighteen tracks to make you sweat, including "Gonna Make You Sweat" by C+C Music Factory and several other of my favorite songs. This album and NOW 62 above are two completely different animals but If I had to choose only one to lick my ears, it would be NOW Workout: Throwback Edition. This disc makes a good companion disc to NOW 90s Pop with which it shares a couple of songs.

(For more NOW-branded workout tunes, check out my NOW 96 post HERE.)

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