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Back to NOW!

41 EpisodesProduced by Pop RamblerWebsite

Celebrating all things related to the variously compiled world of pop. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.


NOW 50 - Autumn ‘01: Lee Thompson

La, La, La.

Autumn 2001. In many ways, it has been a challenging year. 5ive and Steps split, Hearsay don’t.

Pop, just like the most boybandish of the latest boybands, Blue is (all) on the rise. The new millennium has most definitely set up its shiny new stall and is fully decked out in its cargo pants, vest tops - and that is just the boys. Mobile phone ringtones were being catapulted into polyphonic ringtones thanks to those boffins at Nokia (who?) so that our train journeys became even more annoying.

And a significant cultural milestone was met. No, not the 1000th episode of Family Affairs on Channel 5 or the return of Crossroads (really?). 

November 2001 saw the release of the 50th volume of NOW! A half century of celebrating the variously compiled world of pop since 1983 and showing no signs of slipping away. In fact, NOW 50 was positively flying out of your local supermarket as the wonderful UK music buying public couldn’t get enough of the year’s biggest hits (and Victoria Beckham) as the album rocketed its way to a six times platinum No1 position as the 2nd biggest selling NOW EVER!

And was it any wonder? 44 Top Chart Hits from Kylie, Westlife, Britney, Destiny’s Child. 8 Number Ones, pop, rock, dance, animated building contractors, Austrian Schlager - this had it all! 

The singles chart was moving faster than a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire audience coughing fit with artists catapulting into (and often back out of) the Top 40 within minutes. 31 number ones in 12 months, with Ms Minogue coming out on top with the years biggest track and FOUR whole weeks at the top. How did we cope?

Joining me for this rollercoaster return to 2001 is music compiler, curator and author Lee Thompson. As the head of The Box music channel in 2001 he was instrumental in making and breaking many of these hits - yes he is to BLAME for the likes of DJ Otzi amongst others and openly admits it here!

Along the way we discover what was really going on at the HQ of The Box/Smash Hits in 2001, whose Smash Hits award turned up on Lee’s desk, Halloween School Discos(!) with Allstars, how Geri and Robbie channelled Led Zeppelin (possibly), how to pronounce ‘iio’ (probably) and some of those dazzling sales figures from the latest chart war between Kylie and Victoria (you may want to look away now listeners!)

As the latest NOW Millennium Yearbook testifies, 2001 was quite a year - and this ‘flawless’ (you’re welcome) episode for NOW 50 is a wonderful reminder of some fabulous pop times.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

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