Various Artists

Now That's What I Call Music [UK]

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The U.K.'s Now series features timely selections of pop hits and provides a convenient way for casual pop fans to stay on top of the most popular singles. The sets are almost always naturally well-rounded, encompassing dance music, R&B, hip-hop, teen pop, and rock. And though they might expire, in a sense, since they're based on trends in pop music, they work as more than adequate snapshots of specific points in time. This is the one that started it all, in 1983, just as new wave was on its last legs. Some of the more notable picks include Malcolm McLaren's "Double Dutch," Duran Duran's "Is There Something I Should Know," Men at Work's "Down Under," Roberta Flack & Peabo Bryson's "Tonight I Celebrate My Love," and the Human League's "(Keep Feeling) Fascination." There's no stylistic focus, of course, but the fact that this functions as a small, all-encompassing time capsule makes the point moot.

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