Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Hits of 1997

What I'm Listening To

Another month, another list of my top ten tracks...

Tubthumping - Chumbawumba

In a world of lad / ladette culture this, as far as 1997 me was concerned, was simply the coolest thing I had ever encountered. It even had a clearly audible swear word!! The video was full of ambiguously gendered people too which blew my tiny mind. The future was going to be label free! (Note: 1997 me was no Nostradamus...)

Coco Jambo - Mr President

I don't remember actually hearing this eurodance hit in '97 at all, but in the years since it has become one of my favourite summer songs.

As Long As You Love Me - Backstreet Boys

In the Boyzone vs. Backstreet Boys stakes my preferences were clear.

Torn - Natalie Imbruglia

I was genuinely shocked to just find out that this was a cover of a song that had been doing the rounds since 1993, with releases by Ednaswap, Lis Sørensen, and Trine Rein. (Check out the Ednaswap version, it's seriously amazing.)

I found it really haunting at the time and, because of the lyric 'I'm cold and I am shamed, lying naked on the floor', I was privately convinced the whole song was an oblique reference to rape. I was at an age where I was starting to be more aware of the news and things, reading copies of the women's weeklies left around, etc, and so this song about a guy who went from 'that man that I adored' to someone who 'showed me what it was to cry' came to embody my fears of this new awareness of the then prevalent 'all men are potential rapists' rhetoric. Just, yeah, it had a big impact on me.

MMMBop - Hanson

This has got to be one of the happiest songs ever created, it is impossible to be completely miserable while it is playing. Fact.

Spice Up Your Life - Spice Girls

I was a nine year old girl, what can I say?

Just a Girl - No Doubt

Gwen Stefani was the closest thing I had to an icon as a teenager and it all began with this track. My wish is that girls today don't find the lyrics particularly relatable, to be honest, but they certainly resonated with me growing up:
Take this pink ribbon off my eyes,
I'm exposed and it's no big surprise,
Don't you think I know exactly where I stand?
This world is forcing me to hold your hand.

Men In Black - Will Smith

1997 was the year I really became aware of aliens as a concept. Not only did the film hit cinemas, sometimes I was allowed to be up late enough to catch The X-Files theme tune, and then Governor of Arizona Fife Symington's infamous Phoenix Lights press conference made the evening news. The truth was out there.

Save Tonight - Eagle-Eye Cherry

Perfectly executed song with a perfectly executed video, for me it's one of the highlights of the entire decade.

Barbie Girl - Aqua

Aqua spent four weeks at the UK #1 with this and it's still enthralling kids today. Marianna thinks it's the best thing since sliced bread. :)

What was your favourite hit of 1997? Let me know in the comments. :)

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What I'm Listening To

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