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Spalding music fan has every single Now album ever released

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Darren Long with a few albums from his massive collection. Photo (TIM WILSON): 200718SG-2
Darren Long with a few albums from his massive collection. Photo (TIM WILSON): 200718SG-2

Music super-fan Darren Long downloaded the 100th edition of Now That's What I Call Music! after it was released at midnight on Thursday.

The download with be joined by a CD and that means DJ Darren will have every single album ever released in the 'Now series', including specials such as the millennium, dance, R& B and Ibiza editions.

"I have collected them all," said Darren. "The storage is immense."

The Spalding man has lost count of his grand total of Now albums on vinyl and CD but says his obsession was triggered when he was a lad.

Darren (37) said: "My grandad got the first one for me when I was about four or five, that's where it all comes from."

Launched in 1983, the early albums were on vinyl and cassette tape before compact disc came along.

"Now 18 was the first CD that I bought," said Darren.

The most he's ever paid for one album was £100 for Now 8 on CD while one of the most valuable in his collection is Now 4 on CD because it didn't sell so well on release.

"I have got a copy of that in the kitchen and it's worth £600," he said.

Music has been a life-long love for Darren, who recalls the first ever song that made him take notice as a boy of three was Billy Joel's Uptown Girl.

Next on the radar were Abba and The Electric Light Orchestra while his great heroes were Michael Jackson and Queen.

Yet there was nothing else quite like Now that had it all going on.

"The music compilations are a good mixture of music, the great pop hits of the time," said Darren. "I use them for DJ-ing, I use them for weddings, parties, absolutely everything, and my own pleasure as well."

Darren vows to go on collecting the Now series for as long as it is produced.

It was inevitable that someone who describes himself as "mad about music" should find himself on the DJ route after leaving Spalding's Gleed Boys' School.

Darren appeared at Spalding venues, such as Merlin's, Shooter's and Loaded, as well as being the DJ in residence at the Retro Room at the Heights, King's Lynn.

The meat factory worker usually spends a couple of nights a week as a DJ.

"I used to do four of five nights a week, but I had to calm it down it down a bit," he said.

His music collection isn't restricted to the Now series.

"I did love Michael Jackson, I collect all his stuff as well," said Darren. "I still like my house and dance music, the Ministry of Sound and all that. I still buy all that as well."

Darren, who has two children, is married to Sarah.

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