Now that's what I call a tracklist: how the compilation's 100th edition sells its history short

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Now That’s What I Call Music’s 100th edition includes a greatest hits disc that favours the arena titans – overlooking the pleasure of rediscovering the one-hit wonders and sub-genres buried in these pop time capsules

Released on 20 July, the 100th edition of Now That’s What I Call Music shifts from its regular programming: instead of summarising the last quarter in pop, the second disc condenses 35 years of Now into 80 minutes. It uses the biggest names – UB40, Phil Collins, Wet Wet Wet, Kylie, the Justins (Timberlake and Bieber), Coldplay – to tell its story, which rather misses the point. Now compilations are tamper-proof time capsules, where the most pleasure is found in one-hit wonders and sub-genres that were genuinely – but only briefly – popular. They are proof that history isn’t always written by the winners.

Here is how it could have looked. (Listen along below.)

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