To: EMI contact
Subject: Issue with NOW albums
I have a concern. It may take a short while to explain, as it is quite in depth, but please bear with me.
Along with releasing music for the vast array of artists you have signed to your record label, you’re also well known for releasing sequentially numbered NOW (Thats What I Call Music) albums. I still have a few very early NOW (twicm) double albums on vinyl featuring, oddly, a pig on the cover. What was all that about?!?
Since their release in 1983 all was going well with you releasing the numbered albums in order; Now 13, for example, was followed by Now 14, then Now 15… etc. Last time I checked you were up to NOW 79 which is a great ratio of 3.2 albums per year!
But….. A few years ago you released special compilation albums, like NOW 1980. The first time I saw Now 1980 I was a bit confused. I thought that either I had been transported into the future and missed a huge block of numbers, or you had forgotten how to count. However after looking at the tracks on the CD, I realised that you meant the year 1980, and you hadn’t actually released NOW 1,980.
After releasing these special compilations, you reverted to the original numberings continuing to release NOW albums in sequential numerical order.
Now, something has occurred to me that you have maybe not considered. In 590 years time, when the sequential numbers actually reach NOW 1,979, what are you going to call the next album? You can’t call it NOW 1980, because you’ve already used that number. I know I’m talking about something 587 years in the future, (or 472.5 years if you get a crack on and release 4 per year rather than your current ratio of 3.2 per year,) but it concerns me that you haven’t thought this thorough properly.
You’ll have the same problem of duplicate numbers for each special compilation you have released, if NOW #### has already been used.
Obviously it won’t directly affect you as a person, as human life has an average lifespan of far less than 590 years, but it is very likely to affect your descendants.
You may be thinking that it is so far in the future that it won’t affect you, but it is this kind of slapdash thinking that leaves many businesses paddle-less in a certain type of dirty creek, if you know what I mean.
I have, therefore, thought about a few ideas that will help avoid the issue. You are free to implement any of them, and I’m confident they will help your company avoid any confusion.
- You could suffix all duplicate numbers with v2, so people wouldn’t get confused between the two. NOW 1980 would remain the original and NOW 1980 v2 would be version 2 of the same number.
- You could prefix all duplicate numbers with #, the international symbol for “number”, differentiating it from the “year” one, as in NOW #1980.
- Maybe you could add the words “New and Improved” to the front of the word NOW, so it would become “New and Improved NOW 1980”
- Adding a comma to all numbers over 999 would also be a great idea, however it may still confuse search engines.
I hope I have given you ideas-a-plenty on how to avoid the inevitable confusion, and please let me know which, if any, you decide to use.
*Sorry if “albums” isn’t the right word – I’m 37 and thats what they were called when I was young.
From: EMI contact
Subject: re: Issue with NOW albums
>>I have a concern. It may take a short while to explain, as it is quite in depth, but please bear with me.
>>Along with releasing music for the vast array of artists you have signed to your record label, you’re also well…
To: EMI contact
Subject: re: re: Issue with NOW albums
Hi again EMI.
I emailed you in the middle of November with a query relating to the way your NOW albums are numbered. In reply to my query, you seem to have just forwarded my query back to me.
I’m unsure how to interpret your reply. What I am supposed to do with my own query? Are you returning it to me in some sort of Mr. Miyagi way, posing some sort of philosophical quandary in which I think about the problem myself along with its consequences and hone my morals?
Maybe, like Daniel-san, if we were to meet in real life you’d ask that I wax your car or paint your fence. I’d do it, obviously, but I wouldn’t know WHY I was doing it. Well, not until you came at me a few days later with fists ablazing and I’d realise that, along with giving your Ford Fiesta a crispy sheen, I’d actually been learning self defence.
Maybe you would prefer me to sort the issue out myself? It is something I queried and so obviously something that affects me. Is the fact that you’ve given it back to me a good thing or a bad thing? Have you returned it to me because, maybe, I’M a good person or a bad person? I never knew that the decision on how to number NOW albums was based so much in the “absurd” branch of existentialism.
I’ve considered all the potential reasons why you have posed my question to me, and I can only assume that you are making me in charge of sorting it out. Excellent!
I’ve always wanted to get my foot in the door with some big music corporate, and so I thank you for giving me this opportunity. How many staff do I have? When do I get paid? What perks of the job are there? Am I now exempt from prosecution if I download copyrighted EMI music now? Brilliant!
I await further information relating to my new employment, and I’ve amended my email signature accordingly in preparation for this new venture.
Head of Now (twicm) renumbering