Our “Now!” Comps Have So Much Growing Up To Do

Aug 29th, 2008 // 6 Comments

NOW1.jpgBritain’s The Independent celebrates the 70th incarnation of the pop-comp series Now! with an extensive list of the hits and misses among the compilation’s selections, which number 2,701 songs over the last 25 years. While the quality level of our Stateside counterpart doesn’t nearly reach the heights of the original (the first volume of the UK series featured “Love Cats,” after all), surely I could do the same for the 28 volumes that have shown up on our shores, and in our stores.

Before I begin: My process consisted of my taking a glance at each tracklist and making a snap decision. I’m sure each volume’s selections could be analyzed with chart data and continuing radio airplay, but instead, I just went with what my gut told me to. If you happen to prefer Case’s “Happily Ever After” to Fatboy Slim’s “Rockafella Skank,” I apologize in advance.

Also, I ignored the Now! off-shoots (Christmas collections, ’80s collections, etc.), mostly because this took long enough.

NOW #1 (October 27, 1998):
BEST: Radiohead – “Karma Police”
WORST: Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – “Zoot Suit Riot”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 2 (July 27, 1999):
BEST: New Radicals – “You Get What You Give”
WORST: Baz Luhrmann – “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 3 (December 7, 1999):
BEST: Fatboy Slim – “The Rockafella Skank”
WORST: Blessid Union of Souls – “Hey, Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me)”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 4 (July 18, 2000):
BEST: Aaliyah – “Try Again”
WORST: Train – “Meet Virginia”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 5 (November 14, 2000):
BEST: Mystikal featuring Pharrell – “Shake It Fast”
WORST: Aaron Carter – “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It…)”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 6 (April 3, 2001):
BEST: R. Kelly – “I Wish”
WORST: Evan and Jaron – “Crazy For This Girl”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 7 (July 31, 2001):
BEST: Eve featuring Gwen Stefani – “Let Me Blow Ya Mind”
WORST: S Club 7 – “Never Had a Dream Come True”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 8 (November 20, 2001):
BEST: Sum 41 – “Fat Lip”
WORST: Jive Jones – “Me, Myself & I”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 9 (March 19, 2002):
BEST: Mary J. Blige – “Family Affair”
WORST: Adema – “Giving In”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 10 (July 23, 2002):
BEST: Kylie Minogue – “Can’t Get You out of My Head”
WORST: Baha Men – “Move It Like This”

Now That’s What I Call Music 11 (November 19, 2002):
BEST: N.O.R.E. – “Nothin’”
WORST: Jennifer Love Hewitt – “BareNaked”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 12 (March 25, 2003):
BEST: Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell & Charlie Wilson – “Beautiful”
WORST: Amanda Perez – “Angel”


Now That’s What I Call Music! 13
(July 22, 2003):
BEST: Justin Timberlake featuring Vanessa Marquez – “Rock Your Body”
WORST: Counting Crows featuring Vanessa Carlton – “Big Yellow Taxi”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 14 (November 4, 2003):
BEST: Baby Bash featuring Frankie J – “Suga Suga”
WORST: 3 Doors Down – “Here Without You”

Now That’s What I Call Music 15 (March 23, 2004):
BEST: Britney Spears – “Toxic”
WORST: Eamon – “I Don’t Want You Back”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 16 (July 27, 2004):
BEST: Beenie Man featuring Ms. Thing – “Dude”
WORST: Lenny Kravitz – “Where Are We Runnin’?”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 17 (November 2, 2004):
BEST: Franz Ferdinand – “Take Me Out”
WORST: Crossfade – “Cold”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 18 (March 15, 2005):
BEST: Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell – “Drop It Like It’s Hot”
WORST: Three Days Grace – “Home”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 19 (July 19, 2005):
BEST: Amerie – “1 Thing”
WORST: Eminem – “Mockingbird”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 20 (November 1, 2005):
BEST: Franz Ferdinand – “Do You Want To”
WORST: Black Eyed Peas – “Don’t Phunk with My Heart”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 21 (April 4, 2006):
BEST: Three 6 Mafia featuring Eightball and MJG & Young Buck – “Stay Fly”
WORST: The Pussycat Dolls – “Stickwitu”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 22 (July 11, 2006):
BEST: Three 6 Mafia – “Poppin’ My Collar”
WORST: Ashley Parker Angel – “Let U Go”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 23 (November 7, 2006):
BEST: Kelis featuring Too Short – “Bossy”
WORST: Nick Lachey – “I Can’t Hate You Anymore”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 24 (March 27, 2007):
BEST: Nelly Furtado – “Say It Right”
WORST: Nickelback – “If Everyone Cared”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 25 (July 17, 2007):
BEST: Lloyd – “Get It Shawty”
WORST: Avril Lavigne – “Girlfriend”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 26 (November 13, 2007):
BEST: Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson and D.O.E. – “The Way I Are”
WORST: The Last Goodnight – “Pictures Of You”

Now That’s What I Call Music! 27 (March 11, 2008):
BEST: Paramore – “Crushcrushcrush”
WORST: Sara Bareilles – “Love Song”


Now That’s What I Call Music! 28
(June 3, 2008):
BEST: Metro Station – “Shake It”
WORST: Natasha Bedingfield – “Pocketful of Sunshine”

Now That’s What I Call Music [Official site]
Now that’s what we (still) call music! [The Independent]

  1. Michaelangelo Matos

    Jesus Christ is “Zoot Suit Riot” a piece of shit.

  2. Michaelangelo Matos

    also, thanks for inspiring my semi-annual download of “You Get What You Give” because I have to hear it RIGHT NOW

  3. DocStrange

    @Michaelangelo Matos: I firmly believe that “You Get What You Give” is one of the finest pop songs of the past fifteen years and anyone who doesn’t believe that has no taste in music.

  4. CaligulaHamSandwich

    I could never stand “You Get What You Give,” not even when I was working at MCA and it was keeping the lights on (“Someday We’ll Know” is the far superior–and only tolerable–song on that album). And it makes me forever sad you guys that you have such a distaste for Sara Barillapasta while promoting that terror Paramore. Everything else except Fatboy Slim ever being anything’s best I co-sign.

  5. bcapirigi

    thank you for reminding me that no band on earth will ever be as bad as blessid union of souls.

    also, do you really dislike Never Had A Dream Come True that much? i think that whole Now CD isn’t that terrible, but I can’t imagine disliking that song more than Jaded by Aerosmith or the one Britney Spears single that I still can’t remember the melody to.

  6. bcapirigi

    @Michaelangelo Matos: Also, worst band name ever. seriously. ewwww.

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