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Now That's What I Call Compilations

As Now That's What I Call Music prepares to release its 100th album, Radio 2 asks what the future holds for compilation albums in the age of streaming.

Before November 1983, compilations were hit-and-miss affairs, with many relying on session musicians and uncredited singers to give fans copycat versions of the hits they'd heard on the radio. When Now That's What I Call Music launched, it was different. Not only did it have 30 of the year's best-selling songs - all by their original artists - the music was spread across two records, allowing the tracks to be heard in full, and in good quality. It was backed up by a national TV ad campaign, voiced by Tracey Ullman.

More than 2,000 artists and 120 million sales later, Now is one of the world's most successful music brands. But music - and the way we listen to music - has changed a lot over the last 35 years. With streaming services allowing us to create our own playlists, and with physical album sales in decline, has the role of the Various Artists record changed? When we can choose to listen to our favourite tracks from a choice of millions online, have hit-based compilations had their day? Or is there still a role for albums that have been carefully curated and programmed with the casual listener in mind?

Presented by Gary Davies, with contributions from Westlife's Markus Feehily, Nadine Coyle from Girls Aloud, Ali Campbell from UB40, Kylie, Heaven 17, Limahl, The Thompson Twins, Anne-Marie and Calum Scott, as well as compilation creators and compilers, music managers and journalists.

57 minutes

Last on

Wed 4 Jul 2018 21:00

Music Played

Add music you love and enjoy it with My Tracks
  • Phil Collins

    You Can't Hurry Love

    • Singles.
    • Rhino.
  • Robbie Williams

    Rock DJ

    • (CD Single).
    • Chrysalis.
  • Calvin Harris

    Acceptable In The 80s

    • ACCEPTABLE IN THE 80S.
    • Columbia.
  • Rihanna

    Don't Stop The Music

    • (CD Single).
    • Mercury.
    • 7.
  • Madonna

    Vogue

    • (Single).
    • Sire.
  • KC and The Sunshine Band

    Give It Up

    • The Best Summer Ever (Various Artist.
    • Virgin.
  • Rudimental

    These Days (feat. Jess Glynne, Macklemore & Dan Caplen)

    • (CD Single).
    • Atlantic.
  • Kylie Minogue

    I Should Be So Lucky

    • Fantastic 80's - 3 (Various Artists).
    • Sony Tv/Columbia.
  • Darts

    Duke Of Earl

    • Darts - Darts.
    • Object Enterprises.
  • Janet Kay

    Silly Games

    • Fantastic 70's (Various Artists).
    • Sony Tv/Columbia.
  • Argent

    Hold Your Head Up

    • (Single).
    • Epic.
    • 2.
  • Survivor

    Eye Of The Tiger

    • The No.1 Movies Album (Various Artist.
    • Polygram Tv.
  • Culture Club

    Karma Chameleon

    • Fantastic 80's Disc 1 (Various Artis.
    • Columbia.
  • Duran Duran

    Is There Something I Should Know?

    • Duran Duran - Decade.
    • EMI.
    • 1.
  • Tracey Ullman

    They Don't Know

    • You Broke My Heart In 17 Places.
    • Stiff.
  • Heaven 17

    Temptation

    • Now 1983 - The Millennium Series.
    • Now.
  • Anne-Marie

    Ciao Adios

    • (CD Single).
    • Asylum.
    • 001.
  • Wheatus

    Teenage Dirtbag

    • Now 49 (Various Artists).
    • Now.
  • Whigfield

    Saturday Night

    • The Best Summer Ever (Various Artist.
    • Virgin.
  • Pet Shop Boys

    Always On My Mind

    • Pet Shop Boys - Discography.
    • Parlophone.
  • Madonna

    Into The Groove

    • Celebration.
    • Warner Bros.
    • 8.
  • Bruce Springsteen

    Dancing In The Dark

    • Bruce Springsteen - Greatest Hits.
    • Columbia.
  • Queen

    Radio Ga Ga

    • Queen - Greatest Hits II.
    • Parlophone.
  • PSY

    Gangnam Style

    • Now That's What I Call Music! 44 (Various Artists).
    • Now.
  • Camila Cabello

    Havana (feat. Young Thug)

    • (CD Single).
    • Syco Music.
  • Snowy White

    Bird Of Paradise

    • Golden Love Songs Top 100 - Volume 2 (Various).
    • Arcade.
  • Sam Smith

    Money On My Mind

    • Now That's What I Call Music! 87 (Various Artists).
    • Now.
  • Nirvana

    Smells Like Teen Spirit

    • (CD Single).
    • DGC.
  • Pulp

    Disco 2000

    • (CD Single).
    • Island.
    • 6.
  • Girls Aloud

    Sound Of The Underground

    • (CD Single).
    • Polydor.
  • Richard Ashcroft

    Break The Night With Colour

    • (CD Single).
    • Parlophone.
  • Eddie Cochran

    C'Mon Everybody

    • That's Rock'n'Roll (Various Artists).
    • EMI.
    • 3.
  • Ed Sheeran

    Shape Of You

    • ÷ Divide.
    • Atlantic.
  • Chaka Khan

    I Feel For You

    • The Divas Of Dance (Various Artists).
    • Telstar.
  • Adele

    Rolling In The Deep

    • (CD Single).
    • XL.
    • 1.
  • Westlife

    You Raise Me Up

    • Greatest Hits.
    • RCA.
    • 11.
  • Thompson Twins

    You Take Me Up

    • Heartsearching (Various Artists).
    • Knight Records.
  • Nik Kershaw

    Wouldn't It Be Good

    • Now 1984 - The Millennium Series.
    • EMI.
    • 1.
  • Kajagoogoo

    Too Shy

    • Fantastic 80's Disc 2 (Various Artis.
    • Columbia.
  • Hozier

    Take Me To Church

    • (CD Single).
    • Island.
  • Calvin Harris

    Ready For The Weekend

    • Now That's What I Call Music 74.
    • Now.
  • Jess Glynne

    Hold My Hand

    • (CD Single).
    • Atlantic.
  • Clean Bandit

    Rockabye (feat. Sean Paul & Anne‐Marie)

    • (CD Single).
    • Atlantic.
  • Katy Perry

    Chained To The Rhythm (feat. Skip Marley)

    • (CD Single).
    • Capitol Records.

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