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Music / NOW That's What I Call Music!

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The NOW That's What I Call Music! albums are a series of compilation albums featuring well-known songs from various singers — often those who are popular in the charts at the time of release, though with the occasional old classic included as well. They are often sold through mail order advertisements. The albums were first released in the United Kingdom and in Ireland, but the popularity of the albums has led to them being released across the world. The NOW! brand is owned by Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.

The extensive discography can be found here on Wikipedia.

NOW That's What I Call Tropable!

  • Abandoned Mascot: The NOW! albums used to have a pig mascot that was taken from a Danish bacon advertisement. The pig stopped being used after the fifth UK album until it came back for the 100th UK album.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • Because the albums are meant for family audiences, they usually use radio edits of the songs if available.
    • NOW That's What I Call Music! 38 included "F**kin' Perfect" by P!nk. It sounds like the original with the F word removed, but no gap between words because of it. Strangely the track listing lists the song as "F**kin' Perfect". Coincidentally, this was the same Now Album to feature both "Tonight I'm Loving You", and "Forget You".
    • Eliza Doolittle's song "Pack Up" was included on NOW That's What I Call Music! Vol. 77. The original lyrics were "And I like to tiptoe 'round the ship goin' down", but on the NOW! version, the lyric was "And I like to tiptoe 'round the tiff goin' down". Apparently the Brits just can't differentiate "ship" from "shit" for some reason, so they decided to play it safe.
  • Christmas Episode: The NOW That's What I Call Christmas! albums are released to celebrate Christmas. They include popular Christmas songs.
  • Christmas Songs: The aforementioned NOW That's What I Call Christmas! albums include the most popular Christmas songs at the time of release.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Early on, the albums used roman numerals for some (but not all) of the titles.
    • The earliest albums didn't have the famous exclamation mark. Later albums put the exclamation mark after the word "NOW", which caused the title to be broken up awkwardly. It wasn't until volume 20 of the UK series that the exclamation mark got put in the place it is now.
    • The NOW! albums are one of the major CD retainers in the age of digital, possibly being an example of Later Installment Weirdness, but the first few UK albums were released on cassette tape, even though CDs were in use at the time. The idea was to create more B-sides by using cassettes, which has definitely been scrapped, since they already had 2 tapes (the albums mostly do contain 2-4 discs, but that would have been like a 8-side).
      • The releases of UK albums 102 through 109 were accompanied by CD releases of 2 through 9, allowing collectors to fill out the missing CD gaps (10 was the first to be released as a full two disc set, while 1 had seen a CD release for the series' 25th anniversary).
  • Greatest Hits Album: In some regions, Best Of albums are released that contain the best songs from a particular time period that were previously released on other NOW! albums.
  • In Name Only: The localizations have entirely different album covers and include entirely different songs. The only thing that ties the localizations to the original UK series is the name, NOW That's What I Call Music!.
  • Long Runner: The first one of these things came out in 1983.
  • Non-Appearing Title: These are compilations of previously-released songs, so don't expect to hear the name of the album in any of the songs.
  • Numbered Sequels: All of the albums in the series are titled NOW That's What I Call Music! X, with "X" being the number of the installment of the album.
  • Officially Shortened Title: The entire franchise is often shortened to NOW!, though some social media outlets use NOW That's Music!. The officially shortened title of NOW That's What I Call Music! X would be NOW! X.
  • Remix Album: The NOW That's What I Call Remix edition.
  • Retraux: The cover of the UK version of NOW That's What I Call Music 17 renders the logo and background with low-resolution pixel graphics.
  • Shout-Out: The title of the series and the abandoned pig mascot are references to a Danish bacon advertisement from the 1920s that had a pig saying "Now. That's What I Call Music" in response to a singing chicken.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: for a stretch in the late 2000s, the NOW albums were practically the only ones on the market that could sell in consistently high numbers, to the point where each release would dominate the album charts for months at a time until the next instalment appeared (this was also true in the late 1980s when the series began, but album sales were far higher across the board at the time and so the effect was less noticeable). This was explicitly cited by the Official Charts Company as the impetus behind the creation of the Top 40 Compilations sub-chart, which hived off the series (and other "various artists" compilations like it) to a separate rundown.
  • That's What I Call "X"!: The album proudly states that the contents are what it calls "music".
    • The shortened title NOW That's Music! plays with this by objectively stating that it is music, and not just that it's called that.
  • Work Info Title: The franchise's name confirms that it's about music.