Tuesday, March 23, proved another momentous day in the history of music. Continuing a long and time-honored tradition, EMI North America, Universal Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment released Now That’s What I Call Music! 33. In honoring this lyrically lovely event, it seems appropriate to reflect upon the time-honored history of the Now! franchise.
Arriving in the United States in 1998, Now! began as a spin-off of the original British version, which is now in its seventy-fourth installment. While the initial series has proved successful across the pond, in the United States, Now! has succeeded with flying colors. Featuring many of the most popular songs from the last twelve years, the series’ first twenty-nine installments achieved platinum certification, and a number of special edition albums have been released, including Now That’s What I Call Country, Now That’s What I Call Motown, and Now Esto Es Musica! Latino.
The latest release, Now! 33, features such current hits as Owl City’s “Fireflies,” Iyaz’s “Replay” and Ke$ha “Tik Tok.” While Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and the Ke$ha’s love of Mick Jagger seem obvious grounds for another platinum record, the only problem that might still arise for the fledgling album is its lack of one key artist. Over its storied run in the United States, no singer has appeared on more of its albums than Britney Spears, who has graced Now!’s track list 14 times. With songs ranging from “…Baby One More Time” on Now! 2 to “If U Seek Amy” on Now! 31, she has been a franchise player through this Yankee-esque musical dynasty. When you take the best players from every other team, how can you not hit a home run?
By Matt Butler