Not all signs of the record biz's struggle for life are depressing. Thanks to EMI's $1.9 billion merger with Universal Music Group, a few things will get shaken up, including a chance the wretched informercial sludge Now That's What I Call Music! series will be put six feet under.
Can I get an amen? This reckoning is long overdue. Now! started in 1983 in the UK and there are currently 83 of these stupid records and counting. The 44th ear-bleeding edition of the US series is due out early November and could very well be the last in this vapid, dismal exercise.
That means no more Now That's What I Call Christmas!, no more Now That's What I Call Country!, or Now That's What I Call Faith! There's no more pandering to Latinos, either - no more Now Esto Es Musica!
Is it too much to ask for a little more? When will we see the demise of Kidz Bop? When will NME stop staining printing presses? When will Madonna's wrinkles be too deep to paint over with Maybelline?
As drama queen Nicki Minaj turns American Idol into an episode of Jerry Springer, maybe they'll fulfill those rumors that Simon Cowell's ridiculous musical charade will be zapped off the air. Music isn't a competition and shouldn't be trimmed down to nothing but who looks the best while lip-synching to a song they didn't even write as obese consumers Tweet their votes on their iPhones.
And music shouldn't be all about what singles you can pump out, just to get them rehashed into a mixtape from Hell and sold between episodes of Honey Boo Boo and Jersey Shore. Even if it's a dying art, concept albums and musical pieces that must be fully listened to in order to be fully understood give greater testament to musical history than living in the Now!.
History is written by the winners, as deftly pointed out by this AV Club piece that shreds the Now! timeline from beginning to the (hopefully soon) end. The loss of Now! is a sign that maybe good music is winning, as is the news that Mumford & Sons' latest record, Babel, outsold Justin Bieber, Madonna and Pink. Even if Sons is pretty generic and hardly innovative, you'll likely agree it's promising. Now that's what I call good news!
So goodbye Now! Don't let the door hit your sad, saggy ass on the way out.