Various Artists

Now: 1998

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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus

This installment of the Now series compiles some of 1998's biggest hits. But while there are favorites from the international stage -- U2's "Sweetest Thing," Fatboy Slim's unstoppable "Rockefeller Skank," the club sensation "Music Sounds Better With You" from Thomas Bangalter's Stardust -- this material will ring truer with U.K. audiences. For example, All Saints' "Never Never" made a dent domestically, but was a huge hit in the group's native England. The same goes for Melanie B.'s Missy Elliott collabo "I Want You Back." There are a few ringers here -- 1998: Millennium Edition might be the only comp to ever include both LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live" and Radiohead's "No Surprises." Also here are a few one-off singles from the year that was. Billie Myers' atmospheric, desperate "Kiss the Rain" continues to resonate, and the disposable bop of Vengaboys' "Up and Down" is at least as addicting as "We Like to Party," the group's bigger hit. This isn't surprising, as "Up and Down" (followed here by the similarly fun Euro-dance thrum of Aqua's "Doctor Jones") is nearly the same song. While the disposable quality and very frequency of the Now compilations makes this year-end version almost immediately dated, it is a concise packaging of the year's sounds.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Stardust 04:22 Amazon
2 Karen Ramirez 03:53 Amazon
3 The Face / David Morales 03:28 Amazon
4 Hot 'n' Juicy / Mousse T 03:05 Amazon
5 Vengaboys 03:45 Amazon
6 Aqua 03:22 Amazon
7 Maya / The Tamperer 03:14 Amazon
8 Tina Cousins / Sash! 03:32 Amazon
9 Bamboo 03:32 Amazon
10 Carl Douglas / Bus Stop 03:49 Amazon
11 Steps 03:04 Amazon
12 Billie Piper 03:46 Amazon
13 Louise 03:58 Amazon
14 911 03:12 Amazon
15 Lutricia McNeal 03:06 Amazon
16 Culture Club 03:52 Amazon
17 Melanie B / Missy Elliott 03:27 Amazon
18 Backstreet Boys 04:04 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick