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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"WOW" is a series of annual compilation albums featuring contemporary Christian music dating from 1995. Comprising songs submitted by each partner label, the annual WOW Hits releases are usually double CD sets. The series was officially cancelled in 2019.[citation needed] Throughout its run, the WOW franchise evolved into the most successful collections of Christian music.

Background

The birth of the WOW record project can be traced to Grant Cunningham, A&R Director at Sparrow Records. In November 1994, Cunningham made a business trip to EMI Limited in London, which at the time was the parent company of Sparrow Records. There, he noticed that several British record labels were issuing an annual CD of top-rated songs, known as the NOW series, containing collections of pop songs. Cunningham brought the idea back to Sparrow. Sparrow executives suggested a similar project be developed for Christian pop music and he was assigned the task of getting the project off the ground.

Released in late 1995, WOW 1996 was the first in the WOW Series and the first recording put together by the three major Christian record companies of the time: Word Records (now Word Entertainment), Sparrow Records (formerly part of EMI Christian Music Group), and Reunion Records (now part of Sony's Provident Label Group). Still today, after each submitting label agrees to a reduced master royalty, the final decision on the tracks to be included is made by committee. Production, marketing, and distribution for the "WOW Hits" series was handled by EMI Christian Music Group, and from 2013, by Capitol Christian Music Group, which is now a Universal Music Group company.

In 1999, the annual WOW Worship series was launched. Rather than using the year, each release is identified by the color of the cover. The worship series and hits series are today among the best-selling members of the product brand. Beginning in 2008, WOW began releasing separate single-disc collections spread throughout each year, rather than a two-disc collection toward the end of each year. In addition to WOW Hits, which focuses on the most popular pop and pop-rock music, plans call for either single-disc WOW Rock Hits and WOW Pop Hits collections released twice a year.

Released annually

WOW Series

WOW Series was the first and most successful series of WOW collections,[1] and contains the following albums:

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
US
US Christ
WOW 1996
  • Release date: November 7, 1995
  • Label: Sparrow, EMI
  • Formats: CD, Cassette tape, Music download
144 7
WOW 1997
  • Release date: October 29, 1996
  • Label: Sparrow, EMI
  • Formats: CD, Cassette tape, Music download
71 1
  • US: Platinum[3]
WOW 1998
  • Release date: November 4, 1997
  • Label: EMI
  • Formats: CD, Cassette tape, Music download
52 2
WOW 1999
  • Release date: October 20, 1998
  • Label: EMI
  • Formats: CD, Cassette tape, Music download
51 2
  • US: 2× Platinum[6]
  • CAN: Gold[7]
WOW 2000
  • Release date: October 26, 1999
  • Label: Sparrow, EMI
  • Formats: CD, Cassette tape, Music download
29 1
  • US: 2× Platinum[8]
  • CAN: Gold[9]

Wow Hits

In 2000, the WOW Series was rebranded to WOW Hits, forming the second and also the most successful series of WOW collections.[1] In 2008, the WOW Series contemplated releasing three single discs per year instead of the annual double discs customers were used to. Only one single disc was ever released, WOW Hits 1. in the spring of 2008, before reverting back to the annual format. It is not known why the publishers decided to return to the annual format instead of the new format, which was inspired by the Now That's What I Call Music! series, which releases three discs annually.[citation needed] It contains the following albums:

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
Sales
US
US Christ
WOW Hits 2001 36 1
  • US: 2× Platinum[10]
WOW Hits 2002
  • Release date: October 23, 2001
  • Label: Sparrow
  • Formats: CD, digital download
52 2
WOW Hits 2003
  • Release date: October 1, 2002
  • Label: Chordant
  • Formats: CD, digital download
34 1
WOW Hits 2004
  • Release date: October 7, 2003
  • Label: EMI
  • Formats: CD, digital download
51 1
WOW Hits 2005
  • Release date: October 5, 2004
  • Label: EMI
  • Formats: CD, digital download
39 1
WOW Hits 2006
  • Release date: October 4, 2005
  • Label: Chordant
  • Formats: CD, digital download
42 1
WOW Hits 2007
  • Release date: October 3, 2006
  • Label: EMI
  • Formats: CD, digital download
38 1
WOW Hits 2008
  • Release date: October 2, 2007
  • Label: EMI
  • Formats: CD, digital download
56 2
WOW Hits 1 99 4
WOW Hits 2009
  • Release date: October 7, 2008
  • Label: Word
  • Formats: CD, Digital Download
31 1
WOW Hits 2010
  • Release date: October 6th, 2009
  • Label: Word
  • Formats: CD, Digital Download
33 1
WOW Hits 2011
  • Release date: October 5, 2010
  • Label: Word
  • Formats: CD, Digital Download
26 1
WOW Hits 2012
  • Release date: September 27, 2011
  • Label: Provident
  • Formats: CD, Digital Download
35 1
WOW Hits 2013
  • Release date: September 25, 2012
  • Label: EMI
  • Formats: CD, Digital Download
39 1
WOW Hits 2014
  • Release date: September 24, 2013
  • Label: Capitol CMG
  • Formats: CD, Digital Download
29 1
WOW Hits 2015
  • Release date: September 30, 2014
  • Label: Capitol CMG
  • Formats: CD, Digital Download
23 1
  • US: Gold
WOW Hits 2016
  • Release date: September 25, 2015
  • Label: Capitol CMG
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
55 1
WOW Hits 2017
  • Release date: September 23, 2016
  • Label: Capitol CMG
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
64 1
WOW Hits 2018
  • Release date: October 6, 2017
  • Label: Capitol CMG
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
113 3
WOW Hits 2019
  • Release Date: October 5, 2018
  • Label: Capitol CMG
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
5

WOW Gospel

WOW Gospel are released annually, beginning with WOW Gospel 1998. The focus of this series is gospel, and the compilation has been issued every year since 1998.[31] Since the release of WOW Gospel 2003, a major metropolitan city that has been influential in the field of gospel music has been honored on the album cover. For instance, New York, NY was honored due in part to the September 11, 2001 tragedy, and so on. The exception is WOW Gospel 2009 in which the United States of America was honored due to the previous year's election. Another exception was when Atlanta was honored twice - first in 2007 and 2013. However, for Wow Gospel 2014 and Wow Gospel 2015, they did not recognize a city, however used a different background for the cover. The series consists of the following albums:

WOW Worship

The WOW Worship series was released annually beginning with WOW Worship Blue in 1999. The focus on this series is praise and worship. The first album features songs performed by the worship leaders who wrote them, including Darlene Zschech's "Shout to the Lord". It is a partnership between Integrity Music, Maranatha Music and Vineyard Music.[32] After several years, it switched to a contemporary Christian music format, where CCM recording artists perform praise and worship songs in their style. The series features ten albums.

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
US
US Christ
US Gospel
WOW Worship: Blue
  • Release date: June 15, 1999
  • Formats: CD & Cassette
  • Label: Word (Christian Market) & Word/Epic (General Market)
144 1
WOW Worship: Orange
  • Release date: March 28, 2000
  • Formats: CD & Cassette
  • Label: Word (Christian Market) & Word/Epic (General Market)
65 1
WOW Worship: Green
  • Release date: March 20, 2001
  • Formats: CD & Cassette
  • Label: Word (Christian Market) & Word/Epic (General Market)
78 3
WOW Worship: The Platinum Collection
  • Release date: 2002
  • Formats: CD (6-discs)
  • Label: Word
WOW Worship: Yellow
  • Release date: March 18, 2003
  • Formats: CD
  • Label: Provident
1
WOW Worship: Red
  • Release date: March 9, 2004
  • Formats: CD
  • Label: Word
62 2
WOW Worship: Aqua
  • Release date: April 4, 2006
  • Formats: CD
  • Label: Provident
75 2
WOW Worship: Purple
  • Release date: March 2, 2010
  • Formats: CD
  • Label: Word
93 3
  • US: Gold
WOW Gospel Worship
  • Release date: August 23, 2011
  • Formats: CD
  • Label: Capital CMG
16
WOW Worship: Lime
  • Release date: March 11, 2014
  • Formats: CD, Digital Download
  • Versions: Regular and Deluxe Editions
  • Label: Provident
76 4

WOW Essentials

WOW Essentials was first released in August 2008. It contains twelve songs that are "essential to Christian music life." The first album features songs from Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns, and many others. The focus of this series was to showcase favorite and well-known songs picked from the most recent years, and consists of the following albums:

Title Details Peak chart positions
US Christ
WOW Essentials
  • Release date: August 5, 2008
  • Label: EMI
  • Formats: CD
13
WOW Essentials 2 24

Released occasionally

WOW Christmas

WOW Christmas is a series of compilation albums featuring Christmas music as recorded by contemporary Christian music artists.[38] The series is released sporadically, beginning in 2002, and consists of the following albums:

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
Sales
US
US Christ
US Holiday
WOW Christmas: Red
  • Release date: October 1, 2002
  • Label: Word
  • Formats: CD
45 1 3
WOW Christmas: Green
  • Release date: October 4, 2005
  • Label: Word
  • Formats: CD
54 2
WOW Christmas: White
  • Release date: September 27, 2011
  • Label: Word
  • Formats: CD
61 2 3
WOW Christmas: Blue
  • Release date: September 24, 2013
  • Label: Word
  • Formats: CD
49 2 3
WOW Christmas: Gold
  • Release date: October 13, 2017
  • Label: Word
  • Formats: CD
12

Released once

WOW #1s

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
US
US Christ
WOW #1s
  • Release date: April 5, 2005
  • Label: Provident
  • Formats: CD, Digital Download
58 1
WOW #1s: Yellow
  • Release date: March 1, 2011
  • Label: Word
  • Formats: CD, Digital Download
9

Other albums

  • WOW Gospel Smooth Jazz Tribute (2007)
  • WOW Gospel Worship
  • WOW Gospel the 90s
  • WOW Gospel the 2000s
  • WOW Next 2007 was a free ten-song CD given to anyone who bought any WOW compilation CD.
  • WOW New & Next (2010)
  • WOW New & Next 2011 (2011) - WOW New & Next (2010) and WOW New & Next (2011) were 12-song CDs showcasing new artists that was sold, or given free to anyone who bought any WOW compilation CD.
  • WOW Hits Party Mix - Released: March 10, 2015. This album features 30 (36 in the Deluxe Edition) remixed versions of some of the top Christian songs included in previous WOW albums.
  • WOW Hits 20th Anniversary - Street date: March 18, 2016. This special anniversary album features 30 of the top Christian songs included in previous WOW albums.

Home video

From 1997 to 2012, excluding 2008, the WOW Hits series was accompanied with home video releases. The first of these, WOW 1997 the VIDEO, was a videocassette with nine music videos released in 1996. The sequel, WOW 1998, featured 16 videos. The WOW Gospel series also received home video releases. The final videocassette release was WOW Hits 2004, released in 2003.

Beginning in 2002 with the release of WOW Hits 2003, home videos were released in the DVD format. Prior releases were also reissued on DVD in 2002, with a few modifications. For instance, the 2000 and 2001 releases each had a Raze music video on videocassette, due to a sexual abuse scandal involving Raze frontman Ja'Marc Davis, these were omitted from the DVD releases. Additionally, the 1997 and 1998 releases were

The final WOW Hits home video release was WOW Hits 2012 in 2011.[43] The final WOW Gospel home video release was WOW Gospel 2017 in 2017.

Spin-off DVDs include WOW British Gospel in 2004 and WOW Music Trivia Game in 2007.

References

  1. ^ a b "WOW Online". Archived from the original on February 26, 2007. Retrieved February 26, 2007.
  2. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW 1996". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  3. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW 1997". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  4. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW 1998". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  5. ^ "Canadian album   certifications – Various – WOW 1998". Music Canada.
  6. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW 1999". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  7. ^ "Canadian album   certifications – Various – WOW 1999". Music Canada.
  8. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW 2000". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  9. ^ "Canadian album   certifications – Various – WOW 2000". Music Canada.
  10. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Hits 2001". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  11. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Hits 2002". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  12. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Hits 2003". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  13. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Hits 2004". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  14. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Hits 2005". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  15. ^ "Canadian album   certifications – Various – WOW Hits 2005". Music Canada.
  16. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Hits 2006". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  17. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Hits 2007". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  18. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Hits 2008". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  19. ^ https://open.spotify.com/album/1TOmUiqNnCTO9Tlv2wvNUK
  20. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Hits 2009". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  21. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Hits 2010". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  22. ^ "WOW 2010 sales". USA Today. April 7, 2010.
  23. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Hits 2011". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  24. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Hits 2012". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  25. ^ Mansfield, Brian (June 6, 2012). "Carrie Underwood blows past 500,000". Idol Chatter. USA Today. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  26. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Hits 2013". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  27. ^ Mansfield, Brian (May 8, 2013). "'Idol' sales: Jessica Sanchez, David Cook, more". Idol Chatter. USA Today. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  28. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Hits 2014". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  29. ^ a b "Music in 2014: Taylor Takes the Year, Republic Records on Top, Streaming to the Rescue".
  30. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on August 29, 2016.
  31. ^ "WOW Gospel".
  32. ^ "WOW Online". Archived from the original on December 11, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2008.
  33. ^ a b "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Worship Blue". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  34. ^ a b "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Worship Orange". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  35. ^ a b "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Worship Green". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  36. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Worship Yellow". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  37. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Worship Aqua". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  38. ^ "17 amazing Christian Christmas albums for 2017 | Salt Of The Sound: Inspiration". saltofthesound.com. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  39. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Christmas Red". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  40. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Christmas Green". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  41. ^ Brian Mansfield (December 5, 2012). "'Idol' album sales: Phillip Phillips stays in the Top 5". Idol Chatter. USA Today. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  42. ^ "American album   certifications – Various – WOW Number 1s". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  43. ^ "WOW I Love Christian Music". Facebook. November 19, 2002. Retrieved February 15, 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 January 2021, at 01:05
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