How “Now That’s What I Call Music” Became a Juggernaut

Launching 28 November 1983 in the UK (and 27 October 1998 in the US), “Now That’s What I Call Music” has become a bastion of record sales in an ever-changing industry. In its origin nation, the compilation series has now reached its 100th edition. Not to mention more than 120 million records have been sold (and the albums have spent 654 weeks at number one). Globally, it’s also the biggest-selling hits collection catalog. Born to showcase top talent of the day—or really recycle old (number one) hits in collections—the numbers are baffling but its impact (and how track selections ring as endorsements today) is even more so. To explore the concept deeper, the BBC spoke with Ashley Abram (the compiler of “Now” volumes two-81) and Simon Draper (co-founder, Virgin Records) on its unlikely rise. Head there for more.