Minor British Institutions: Now That's What I Call Music

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The Independent Online

Can you believe that we're up to Now 71? Seems only yesterday that Woolies were selling Now 23. Ah, nostalgia. With the iPod, the idea of compilation has become universal; but we should pay tribute to the pioneers. Once upon a time, the idea of the compilation album was anathema to the true music fan.

The "concept album" was what it was supposed to be all about. Lying in your bedsit indulging in whatever narcotics happened to be fashionable, listening to The Dark Side of the Moon was the modern equivalent of suffering your way through TS Eliot or Proust. The chaps at NTWICM had no time for that sort of nonsense, and, 75 million albums later, they have easily outsold most "proper" bands.

Now that "Now" is in its 25th year, they've taken the opportunity to re-release Now 1, and release a silver jubilee compilation of their compilations, embracing everything from Duran Duran to Sugababes: Now that's how the British like their music.