A History of Pop Music Albums – 1998

A History of Pop Music Albums – 1998

Featured Album:  Life Thru a lens – Robbie Williams

This is a series of articles looking at albums from 1960 to 1999.  Just cannot go on that much longer with the drivel that is the 90’s with worse to come from 2000 onwards!

I will select a featured album for each year and the link for the whole album, Plus list the songs on it.

As before, it is not just about the songs and tunes, it is very much about memories, and good ones, I hope.

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.

1998 was a weird year.  Millennium dome being constructed at enormous cost and pretty much a total waste of money, just another Liebour vanity project.  The Two Pound coin came out. Human Rights act also came out; basically, bad people were. and still are. treated like victims.  Driving to work was all about me singing some quite decent songs (the songs, not the me singing bit).

The featured album for 1998: Life Thru a Lens Life thru a Lens is the debut solo studio album by English singer-songwriter Robbie Williams. It was Williams’ first solo album following his departure from Take That. Released on 29 September 1997 through Chrysalis Records, it is influenced by Britpop, a departure from the poppier tone of music Take That employed.

The album’s first three singles, “Old Before I Die”, “Lazy Days” and “South of the Border” (the only single to miss the top 10), were all moderate successes, but it was the fourth single “Angels” which catapulted Williams to international fame as a solo artist. Peaking at number 4, it has sold over 1 million copies in the UK and is his biggest-selling single to date.  Fifth and final single “Let Me Entertain You” reached number three, becoming the album’s third top-5 hit.

Life thru a Lens debuted at number 11 on the UK Albums Chart and initially remained in the lower regions, but, upon the chart success of “Angels”, it began steadily climbing and finally reached number one in April 1998, five months after its release.

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. Lazy Days 3:54
2. “Life thru a Lens”
  • Williams
  • Chambers
3. “Ego a Go Go”
  • Williams
  • Chambers
4. Angels
  • Williams
  • Chambers
5. South of the Border
  • Williams
  • Chambers
6. Old Before I Die 3:53
7. “One of God’s Better People”
  • Williams
  • Chambers
8. Let Me Entertain You
  • Williams
  • Chambers
9. “Killing Me”
  • Williams
  • Chambers
10. “Clean” 3:55
11. “Baby Girl Window”
  • Williams
  • Chambers
12. “Hello Sir” (hidden track) Williams 1:26

More writings on this album here:  Life Thru a Lens

I had both this and Robbie’s other top 10 album I’ve Been Expecting You, very good they are too.

So, on we go with 1998:

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

Top Tip: Right-click and open in new tab

Top Albums of 1998
   1 The Corrs Talk On Corners
   2 George Michael Ladies And Gentlemen – The Best Of George Michael
   3 Boyzone Where We Belong
   4 Robbie Williams Life Thru A Lens
   5 Robbie Williams I’ve Been Expecting You
   6 Verve Urban Hymns
   7 Madonna Ray Of Light
   8 Celine Dion Let’s Talk About Love
   9 James Horner Titanic (OST)
   10 All Saints All Saints

Great stuff from The Corrs.  I must admit to liking some good tunes with George Michael, still gives me the creeps though.  Boyzone doing well, if you are a fan, you will love this.  Verve still there again.  Madonna also gives me the creeps, no idea why. Celine Dion doing well, I just find her songs mainly boring though. Another film soundtrack with Titanic, boring.

Special mention to All Saints.  This has the phenomenal track “Never Ever” on it.  For me, the second-best song of the decade.  Sadly, most of their other tunes whilst OK were not that exceptional at all.

Most notable albums for my liking for 1998 though are below:

The Mavericks – Trampoline – Includes my most favourite song of the decade, “Dance the Night Away”.  I heard this and bought the album once it came out, awesome band, well worth a listen.  Could easily have been the featured album, but I do like a bit of Robbie.

Chris Rea – The Blue Café – I am a big Chris Rea fan.

The Charlatans – Melting Pot – Much underrated.

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant – Walking into Clarksdale – Not my usual stuff, but quite like this.

Catatonia – International Velvet – I really enjoy her voice, especially on “Mulder & Scully” and the awesome “Road rage”.


As you know I like to review your “tunes” that you post.

*Note. Anyone scoring a Morrissey (lowest score possible) will be reported and blocked.

Hat tips to these sites:

http://www.everyhit.com/chart1.html   these give the top 10 songs for each year.

https://www.youtube.com/  you know them.

Next Time: 1999.  Will it get better?  Forecast: (Nope).

Featured Image: “Robbie Williams” by Fraser Mummery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

© Phil the ex test manager 2021