The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

“NOW” and Then: U.K. Compilation Series Celebrates Three Decades in Three Discs

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Now 30 YearsWhen I was heavily ensconced in a retail job, I had the task of stocking new music and movie releases and sharing the new releases with the rest of the store on Tuesday morning. Without fail, every time a NOW That’s What I Call Music! compilation came out, someone would marvel how many such compilations existed, prompting me to tell my co-workers that they should check out the NOW series as it originated in the U.K., back in 1983, where they were double albums and released with slightly more frequency to the point where the 84th volume hit stores in March (as opposed to the single-disc 47th volume that streeted in the U.S. last Tuesday).

Of course, here at The Second Disc, I’m surrounded by record collectors and pop enthusiasts, so this illumination is nothing new. (That’s one of many reasons why I’m a lot happier editing these pages, I’ll tell you that!) But anyway, the point is that NOW That’s What I Call Music is indeed celebrating 30 years – and its doing so with a new, triple-disc compilation of highlights from its lengthy run.

NOW That’s What I Call 30 Years features an interesting, semi-chronological hodgepodge of pop cuts from the ’80s, ’90s, ’00s and today, from Michael Jackson to Madonna, Take That to the Spice Girls, Adele to PSY. It’s disappointingly centered on the traditional pop scene on both sides of the Atlantic, thereby ignoring some of the R&B and rock-infused diversity that the NOW series was often known for (Radiohead appeared on at least one volume, for cryin’ out loud). As such, it’s a very, very patchy portrait of pop, passing a good chunk of the mid-1990s and mid-2000s. (Also, a considerably more minor quibble, but what’s up with the 20th Century-Fox meets Pink Floyd cover art?)

But NOW are one of the best – and one of the only – games in town as far as anthologizing pop music for the masses, so NOW That’s What I Call 30 Years might be a set for your collection when it’s released May 27 in England. Hit the jump to check out the full track list and order your copy off Amazon.

NOW That’s What I Call 30 Years (Universal/EMI/Sony Music (U.K.), 2013)

Disc 1

  1. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
  2. Into the Groove – Madonna
  3. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) – Eurythmics
  4. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go – WHAM!
  5. Dancing in the Street – David Bowie & Mick Jagger
  6. Chain Reaction – Diana Ross
  7. Don’t Leave Me This Way – Communards
  8. Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
  9. I Should Be So Lucky – Kylie Minogue
  10. I Think We’re Alone Now – Tiffany
  11. Back to Life (However Do You Want Me) – Soul II Soul feat. Caron Wheeler
  12. Killer – Adamski feat. Seal
  13. Sacrifice – Elton John
  14. Eternal Flame – The Bangles
  15. You Win Again – Bee Gees
  16. The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss) – Cher
  17. Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
  18. Saturday Night – Whigfield
  19. Back for Good – Take That
  20. 2 Become 1 – Spice Girls

Disc 2

  1. Angels – Robbie Williams
  2. My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme from “Titanic”) – Céline Dion
  3. No Matter What – Boyzone
  4. Whole Again – Atomic Kitten
  5. Oops!…I Did It Again – Britney Spears
  6. Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of…) – Lou Bega
  7. Livin’ La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin
  8. Don’t Stop Movin’ – S Club 7
  9. Hey Baby – DJ Otzi
  10. Sound of the Underground – Girls Aloud
  11. Just a Little – Liberty X
  12. Mad World – Michael Andrews feat. Gary Jules
  13. You Raise Me Up – Westlife
  14. Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis
  15. Push the Button – Sugababes
  16. Call on Me – Eric Prydz
  17. Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean
  18. I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ – Scissor Sisters
  19. Valerie – Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse
  20. Grace Kelly – Mika

Disc 3

  1. Rolling in the Deep – Adele
  2. Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
  3. In for the Kill – La Roux
  4. I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
  5. Forget You – Cee Lo Green
  6. OMG – Usher feat. will.i.am
  7. Mercy – Duffy
  8. Only Girl (in the World) – Rihanna
  9. What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction
  10. Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera
  11. Princess of China – Coldplay & Rihanna
  12. The A Team – Ed Sheeran
  13. Hallelujah – Alexandra Burke
  14. Beneath Your Beautiful – Labrinth feat. Emeli Sandé
  15. 15. Bruno Mars – When I Was Your Man – Bruno Mars
  16. Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin
  17. Price Tag – Jessie J
  18. Pompeii – Bastille
  19. Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble – PJ & Duncan
  20. Gangnam Style – PSY

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