1. So visiting the CD store was always a little scary at first.
There were just so many choices. So. Many. CHOICES.
2. You could never remember a single thing that you wanted to buy.
“Why can’t I come up with one artist that I’m into? Wait, do I even LIKE music? What is going on?!”
3. Then, all of a sudden, it came to you.
The Now That’s What I Call Music! series did the choosing for you, and it had EVERYTHING you wanted (plus some other weird songs by, like, Adema, but that was cool by you too).
4. All you needed to do was add one of these babies to your collection in order to have it all.
Because who wants to make actual choices? Like, ew, no thanks.
5. Where else were you going to get 3LW…
7. and Shaggy all in one place?
Like you could on 2001’s Now That’s What I Call Music! 6? NOWHERE, that’s where.
8. A new one came out just about every six months in the 2000s, so the jams never stopped.
You never had to go without B2K or Christina Milan, which is to say that life ruled.
9. And the clean versions of songs you loved were simultaneously hilarious and awesome.
Oh, the edited cut of Mystikal’s “Shake Ya Ass,” now entitled “Shake It Fast?” IT WAS ONLY THE BEST THING EVER.
10. You could always skip the rando U2 track that didn’t really fit in but somehow made it onto every single CD.
No thank you, “Stuck in a Moment That You Can’t Get Out Of,” what are you even doing here? Put on the censored mix of Ludacris’s “Roll Out” again!!
11. But the truth was, the first one was really the best one of all.
Janet Jackson! Radiohead! C-Cherry Poppin’ Daddies? Whatever — Aqua!
12. Combined with this, it made every bus ride to school something you actually looked forward to.
“God, shut up and turn back around, Trevor, I’m bumping BSB.”
13. No wonder they can’t seem to stop making them.
The series is on its 84th release in the UK and its 46th in the United States, where the first 19 went platinum or higher. And for good reason, because these were basically the best part of growing up.