The History of Pop Music – 1999

Featured song:

Robbie Williams – She’s The One

This is the last of a series of articles looking at pop music from 1955 when in my opinion proper pop music began up to 1999 when they stopped making it.  One article for each year.  My word I have struggled with these articles covering the late 90’s, so many dire dirges and utter shite being produced with boyband overload and of course S Club 7 and Steps.

I am only going to select one featured song for each article, which makes it hard. I am going to try and select a different artist for each year.

For many people, and I include myself, you tend to still like the tunes you heard during childhood, which your parents often played. So rather than just pick the top 10 hits of each year, I shall let you know what they were, but also the tunes of that year not necessarily in the top 10 or so, what were in my view classics.  I also add a couple of events in history for that year, it helps bring back memories, and hopefully happy ones.

Not everyone will like my choices of course, and you may remember some from each particular year that you feel should have been included, so do please post a link to the song.

This is the last in the series, which covers 1955 to 1999, so 45 articles.  I think I shall start looking at albums over the years, selecting some of the best poptastic tunes from them.

So, on we go with memories from 1999: (Thank you Wiki)

This year was about:

What was I doing:  My first experience with SAP (complex software that helps run a big business)  I was quite excited and only after a few days realised that the mega expensive consultants we had, were no better than me really.  By the end of the first week on the project I knew I could be a consultant and earn stupid amounts of money.  I was fortunate and achieved that, not sure I would do so again if I had my time over though.


Prime Minister – Tony Blair (Labour)

1 January – The Euro currency is launched

22 February – Harold Shipman, the Hyde GP accused of murdering eight female patients last September, is charged with a further seven murders.

24 February – The report of the murder of black London teenager Stephen Lawrence, who was stabbed to death in 1993, condemns London’s police force as “institutionally racist”, as well as condemning its officers for “fundamental errors”.  It really was that long ago FFS.

2 March – Singer Dusty Springfield dies aged 59 after a five-year battle against breast cancer.  Wonderful singer.

21 March – Comedian Ernie Wise dies of a heart attack aged 73.  I was saddened by this a lot, one half of the best comedy duo ever.

1 April – A minimum wage is introduced throughout the UK – set at £3.60 an hour for workers over 21, and £3 for workers under 21.

26 April – TV presenter Jill Dando, 37, dies after being shot on the doorstep of her Fulham home.

8 June – Former cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken is sentenced to 18 months prison for perjury.

16 June – David Sutch, the founder of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, is found hanged at his home in Harrow. He was 58.

4 July – Rogue trader Nick Leeson returns home to England from Singapore, nearly four years after he was jailed there after his illegal dealings led to the collapse of Barings Bank with losses of £850 million.

9 July – Neil Kinnock, who was Labour Party leader from 1983 to 1992 while they were in opposition, is appointed vice-president of the European Commission.  Yes he really has been troughing that long.

22 August – Norfolk farmer Tony Martin, 54, is charged with the murder of a sixteen-year-old burglar who was shot dead at his home two days ago. He is also charged with wounding a 29-year-old man who was also present at the time of the burglary.  (was later convicted of murder, then later reduced to manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility, and served three years in prison, having been denied parole. He has since lived at a secret address.)

5 October – The Ladbroke Grove rail crash claims the lives of 31 people when two trains collide at Ladbroke Grove Junction, 2 miles west of Paddington station, London. Many more people are being treated in hospital for injuries.

11 November – House of Lords Act 1999 removes most hereditary peers from the House of Lords.

12 November – Former glam rock singer Gary Glitter, 54, is jailed for four months at Bristol Crown Court for downloading child pornography. He is cleared at this hearing of having unlawful sex with a teenage fan 20 years ago, but will subsequently be charged in several countries for sexual offences involving minors, culminating in 2015 with a 16-year sentence imposed in the UK.

31 December – Millennium celebrations are held across the country including the official opening of the Millennium Dome and the unveiling of the London Eye in London.

TV programmes included:

Al Roberts (Bryan Mosley) dies after 40 odd years in Corrors, then dies for real a month later.  Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? on 3 January was watched by 17 million viewers, making it the highest viewed television programme (excluding soaps and World Cup matches) since 1997.  The League of Gentlemen debuts on BBC Two.  Peggy Mitchell married Frank Butcher in Easters. Jerry Springer makes his UK TV debut.  BBC One announces that the short-lived The Vanessa Show, which was at the centre of a fake guests controversy earlier in the year, will be axed.  BBC One airs Two Ronnies Night, an evening of programmes paying tribute to The Two Ronnies—Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker. The evening sees the two comedians reunited on screen for the first time since Christmas Day 1987, I remember that well.

The Top 10 Singles with a You Tube hyperlink on the title:

Top Tip: Right-click and open in new tab

Top Hits of 1999
   1 Britney Spears Baby One More Time
   2 Eiffel 65 Blue (Da Ba Dee)
   3 Cliff Richard The Millennium Prayer
   4 Lou Bega Mambo no. 5 (A Little Bit Of…)
   5 ATB 9PM (Till I Come)
   6 Ricky Martin Livin’ La Vida Loca
   7 Shania Twain That Don’t Impress Me Much
   8 Shanks & Bigfoot Sweet Like Chocolate
   9 Boyzone When The Going Gets Tough
   10 S Club 7 Bring It All Back

 Another very poor year for music. In the top 100, Boyzone (3), Westlife (4), Steps (4), S Club 7 (2), B*Witched (4), Vengaboys (3) and Spice Girls or on their own make up a further  5 of these top 100.  Told you, they stopped making proper music a short while ago.  Nice to see Cliff back in the carts but what a dirge.

The only one in the top 10 that I really liked is Lou Bega, and could have been the featured song, but he has not done much really.  I think Robbie deserves a place.

My featured song: – “She’s the One”. Mired in controversy, The song’s producers, Guy Chambers and Steve Power used the drummer and bassist of World Party’s touring band (neither of whom played on the World Party version) to perform the backing track for Williams, resulting in a very similar-sounding cover. World Party’s frontman and songwriter Karl Wallinger was not made aware that a cover was going to be released using his own band. When the song became a hit, Wallinger stated that he experienced “ongoing bitterness”, going on to state, “The song had a much better time than me, popping off to the Brits while I was at home eating crackers dipped in water”.

When introducing the song in live performances, Williams often claims that it is one of the best songs he’s ever written, despite not actually having written the song. This culminated in a telephone outburst from the song’s actual writer, Wallinger, to Chambers, stating “Your fucking friend Robbie Williams. Tell him from me that he’s a cunt”.  Williams has never publicly acknowledged that “She’s the One” is a cover of a World Party track although 20 years later, in a 2019 commercial for his album The Christmas Present, Williams states that he wrote the song for Amazon Alexa. The device subsequently states that Williams did not write She’s the One, to which Robbie admits “no, I didn’t”.

Sasha Swift and Alex Thomas of Titles Mean Nothing suggest that Williams’ cover of “She’s the One” went on “boost and elevate” Williams’ post-Take That career, but had Williams acknowledged that his single was a cover of a World Party song, this would have substantially boosted the career of Wallinger too.

More writings on this song here:  She’s the One

In my view the best songs of the year, after the featured track:

Christina Aguilera – Genie In A Bottle

Martine McCutcheon – Perfect Moment I have put the one with lyrics.  I am sure some of you will have fond memories, so easier to singalong.

R. Kelly – If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time – Good cover this. Good singalong as well, so lyrics version linked,

New Radicals – You Get What You Give

Shania Twain – Man! I Feel Like A Woman  Great tune from Shania.

Cher – Believe – Always been a fan of Cher. Just never liked songs with these voice changers much.

Eminem – My Name Is – Not really one of my favourites, but I figured if I posted it, you lot would not need to.

Macy Gray – I Try – Strange voice, but really good tune.

Just 8 songs for 1999 in my favourites list.  I think they are all great (apart from Eminem), but the rest of the so called top 100 are even worse than all previous years.

Hat tips to:  these give the top 100 selling charts for each year   these give the top 10 songs for each year  you know them.

Next Time:  Albums over the years.  I need to do some research, so cannot guarantee the first instalment will be next #FF but I shall try very hard.

Featured image: Bondstudio at English Wikipedia / CC BY

© Phil the test manager 2020