The original 1983 compilation! Genesis, The Cure, Simple Minds, Kajagoogoo, Duran Duran, The Human League and more. Also available on vinyl.
The idea for the series was conceived by Steven Navin and Jon Webster, who both worked for Virgin Records at the time. They took this to Simon Draper the managing director of Virgin who also tapped up the managing director of EMI - Peter Jamieson who had a similar idea. Virgin joined forces with EMI and the deal was signed off on Richard Branson’s houseboat. The series took its name from a 1920s advertising poster for Danish bacon featuring a pig saying “Now. That’s What I Call Music” as it listened to a chicken singing. Richard Branson had bought the poster for his cousin, Simon Draper, to hang behind Draper’s desk at the Virgin Records office. Branson wrote “He was notoriously grumpy before breakfast and loved his eggs in the morning, so I bought him the poster, framed it and had it hung behind his desk.”
The first ‘Now’ album was released in November 1983 and it’s combination of the biggest hits of the year alongside recent and in some cases up and coming songs along with the marketing muscle of EMI & Virgin, the double album became a huge hit and was the biggest seller in the Xmas ‘83 market. The second volume appeared in time for Easter 1984 and the third for the summer. Both these albums sold like hot cakes too and the series was up and running. Despite strong competition from CBS and Warners rival compilation series: ‘Hits’, the ‘Now’ brand was bolstered with Polygram joining forces in the joint venture in 1986. By the turn of the 1990s, the Now series had become part of the fabric of the record industry, so much so that various artist compilations were banned from the charts.