NOW that’s what I call love

“It’s December 23rd. Dad’s got a lovely ruby port waiting for him, Sis has a book on astrophysics that I’ll regret getting her when I have to hear about everything she’s learned. But Mum, what does Mum have? That’s the problem, you see. Suddenly, a warm pink glow catches the corner of my eye. Its pseudo-neon aura invites me in. What happens in HMV, it says, stays in HMV. 2 for £10. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but find me a beholder not enticed by this phrase. NOW That’s What I Call 29472 sits there. Touché Amore’s Stage Four is in the same section, would it be bad if I get it for myself? Would it be worse to get two copies of NOW and give one to Nan? I pick up Stage Four, Nan can have Bailey’s. The cashier judges me. I ignore her.

The compilation album gives your mum a curated selection of the finest Christmas and/or pop hits, you see. She’ll play it over the festive period, and then never play it again. It’ll be forgotten about. Unlike every other bad gift you could have bought in the haze of a last-minute panic, there will never be any resentment or regret. It isn’t a good gift, but it isn’t a bad gift. It is precisely what is needed.” – Nick Mason

Compilation CDs are insults, not gifts

“A few years ago, I ran out of ideas for a Christmas present for my family members. In my defence, it’s not my fault that they’re hard to buy for. It is my fault, however, that I could not find something to show that I truly loved my mother. I committed the hideous sin of buying her the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, which I believed she very much enjoyed in the cinema. The problem is, that after a very short space of time, I do not believe she listened to it again.

I, therefore, recently realised compilation albums are a cop-out gift. If you cannot find an artist that your family member will enjoy, then you don’t know them very well. Music is possibly the most intimate form of artistic expression, and if you don’t know an actual artist your family member enjoys you must question if you even know them, let alone love them? In my opinion, this is even worse if it’s a NOW album, which is so basic you will get whiplash from the speed your mother will put it into a drawer never to be seen again.” – Dominic Clarke