Sunday, 6 October 2013

The Best Of 1997 - part 4

JUMP TO: 100-76 II 75-51 II 50-26 II 25-1


We've reached my top 25 singles from 1997 - and even though there were plenty of good songs released that year, my number 1 for 1997 is my lowest ranking annual chart-topper of all time (remember, that means post-1979).

Dannii Minogue debuted her new look in 1997

I might post that all-time list at some point, but suffice it to say: other years were, on average, better years for music overall. Now I've completely lowered your expectations, let's continue the journey to number 1.


Number 25 "Spice Up Your Life" by Spice Girls
Mentioned below

Number 24 "Show Me Love" by Robyn
Before there was Britney, there was Robyn - the blonde Swedish pop star (real name: Robin Carlsson) who gave Max Martin and Denniz Pop a couple of international hits with "Do You Know (What It Takes)" (number 55 on this list) and this track - both of which hit the US top 10. Unlike Britney, Robyn had a hand in co-writing her songs from the start and bristled at comparisons to Ms Spears in the '00s - going on to prove herself all over again in the latter half of the decade with a series of acclaimed synthpop albums.




Number 23 "Rain" by Erasure
At this point in their career, Erasure weren't even trying to have hits in Britain anymore, with this third single from the Cowboy album released with so many remixes, the CD single ran for too long to be eligible for the UK chart and was classed as an EP instead. It followed earlier singles "In My Arms" (number 69 on this list) and "Don't Say Your Love Is Killing Me" (number 30) - and I got to see all three songs performed when I caught Erasure on their Australian tour that year. For me, it was the end of Erasure's classic era, during which time I'd loved everything they released, and I would struggle to be excited by many of their singles from here on.




Number 22 "I Say A Little Prayer (Love To Infinity mix)" by Diana King
She'd had a massive worldwide hit in 1995 with "Shy Guy" from the Bad Boys soundtrack, and it was another movie that gave Jamaican singer Diana a second hit in 1997. The Julia Roberts romantic comedy My Best Friend's Wedding featured a memorable scene in which the cast sang along with the Bacharach & David classic (previously performed by Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin) at a restaurant - and Diana's reggae version was on the film's soundtrack. For the single, production team Love To Infinity turned the track into a pop/dance smash - and it's that version I prefer, mostly because it helps disguise Diana's annoying "me say a little prayer" lyric adaptation.




Number 21 "This Time I'm Not Wrong" by Sub Sub with Bernard Sumner
After a string of dance tracks earlier in the decade, Sub Sub started their transition to becoming indie faves The Doves with this track featuring the New Order vocalist. "This Time I'm Not Wrong" went pretty much unnoticed by most of the world, but I'd liked Sub Sub's less successful singles and obviously am a huge New Order fan, so I snapped it up on first listen. Bernard also appeared back in Part 2 with "Second Nature" (number 53 on this list), the final official single from Electronic's Raise The Pressure album, and in Part 3 with "Until The End Of Time" (number 49), a promotional single from the same album.




Number 20 "Your Woman" by White Town
In the UK, White Town (aka musician Jyoti Prakash Mishra) was the very definition of a one-hit wonder. One number 1 hit with this track, which sampled the Al Bowlly version of Bing Crosby's "My Woman", and no other top 50 entries. "Your Woman" was novel for apparently being written from a woman's perspective but sung by a man (although Jyoti would suggest that's not the only reading that could be made of the lyrics). In Australia, the song almost topped the chart, peaking at number 2 and, soon after, White Town was never heard of again.




Number 19 "Sometimes" by Brand New Heavies
One of my favourite groups of the decade went through a major change for their 1997 album, Shelter. Departed vocalist N'Dea Davenport was replaced by Siedah Garrett, best known for her duet with Michael Jackson on "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" and for co-writing his single "Man In The Mirror". Lead single "Sometimes" was my favourite release from Shelter, but all the other singles make my top 100: "You Are The Universe" (number 40 on this list), "Shelter" (number 87) and a cover of the James Taylor/Carole King classic, "You've Got A Friend" (number 99).




Number 18 "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" by Backstreet Boys
Mentioned below

Number 17 "Don't Say Goodbye" by Human Nature
It's funny that Aussie boy band Human Nature should be right alongside BSB, since in 1997, Sony Music stopped trying to make the quartet into a local version of the pop juggernaut and allowed them to be the barbershop balladeers they so clearly wanted to be. A similar thing would happen half a decade later when Sony stopped trying to make Delta Goodrem into an Australian version of Christina Aguilera and let her sing at the piano and belt out self-penned ballads - and we all know how that turned out. Anyway, on the back of songs like "Don't Say Goodbye" and "Wishes", Human Nature's debut album became a big seller and set the band up for years to come.




Number 16 "From This Moment On" by Peach
A second single from Peach which would wind up on their excellent album, Audiopeach. The album didn't surface until 1998, by which time another single, "Sorrow Town" (number 149 on this list) had been released, and the band consisting of singer Lisa Lamb, producer Pascal Gabriel and songwriter Paul Statham split not long after.




Number 15 "It's No Good" by Depeche Mode
Mentioned in Part 1 and previously featured here

Number 14 "Everything I Wanted" by Dannii Minogue
Mentioned below

Number 13 "You Got The Love (Rhythm Masters remix)" by The Source featuring Candi Staton
Here's a song with a complicated history - and one that has been remixed, re-released and remade numerous times over the years, most recently becoming a chart hit for Florence & The Machine. Originally recorded by Candi Staton in 1986, the song's vocal was mashed up with the Frankie Knuckles / Jamie Principle track "Your Love" by The Source (aka John Truelove), and that bootleg received an official release (and became a UK top 5 hit) in 1991. I wasn't a fan of that version, but the 1997 Now Voyager remix took the song in a new direction - and became a UK top 5 hit all over again, besting the number 4 peak of the '91 release by one spot.




Number 12 "Love Won't Wait (Junior Vasquez mix)" by Gary Barlow
The dancier version of this second solo single by the Take That frontman isn't on YouTube, but it breathed more life into what was already a decent pop hit. "Love Won't Wait" became Gary's second UK number 1 on the trot and, after a promo visit to Australia, entered our top 20. Two more singles would follow from his debut album - a cover of US country hit "So Help Me Girl" by Joe Diffie and the album's title track, "Open Road" - but Gary's UK chart positions took a bit of a dive as backlash against him gripped the country and Robbie Williams became that nation's favoured ex-Take That singer... for the time being.




Number 11 "Je Te Donne" by Worlds Apart
After discovering the revamped Worlds Apart in 1996, I really got into them in 1997 (as you may have noticed from the way their singles are littered throughout this top 100). Bilingual track "Je Te Donne", a 1985 number 1 in France for Jean-Jacques Goldman and Michael Jones, was the perfect cover version for the group which featured members from the UK but was now based in France. Other singles from their Everybody album included a remix of earlier cover version "Everlasting Love" (number 46 on this list) and "You Said" (number 56). Also out in 1997: a remake of Freddie Mercury's "I Was Born To Love You" (number 90) for a Queen tribute album featuring Eurodance acts and "Don't Change" (number 89), a single from the album of the same name.




Number 10 "Together Again" by Janet Jackson
While brother Michael might have come to an end of his run of great singles, sister Janet proved she still had what it took when it came to pop brilliance. Following the rather disappointing "Got Till It's Gone" (well, I was disappointed with it), she released the best track from her Velvet Rope album and had a fun new hairstyle to go with it.




Number 9 "Home" by Depeche Mode
Mentioned in Part 1 and previously featured here

Number 8 "As Long As You Love Me" by Backstreet Boys
Worlds Apart might have had a good 1997, but that was nothing compared to what fellow boy band Backstreet Boys achieved the same year - managing to break out of Europe and into the American top 10. It all started with "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" (number 18 on this list), but with the tracks from second album Backstreet's Back, things went into overdrive. "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" (number 29) and "As Long As You Love Me" also saw them hit the Australian top 3 - by which point they were unstoppable pretty much everywhere in the world.




Number 7 "What Do You Want From Me?" by Monaco
Anything his band-mate Bernard Sumner could do, New Order bassist Peter Hook could do, too. This debut single by side project Monaco did better than recent Electronic singles (or that Sub Sub collaboration), only narrowly missing the UK top 10. Second single "Sweet Lips" (number 26 on this list) was another top 20 hit there, but that was pretty much it for the duo chart-wise. A second album followed for Peter and David Potts (who'd also been a member of Peter's previous non-New Order band, Revenge), but it flew very much under the radar.




Number 6 "Mama / Who Do You Think You Are" by Spice Girls
A fourth single from Spice combined ballad "Mama" and upbeat track "Who Do You Think You Are" (my preferred choice of the two) into a double-A side which was that year's Comic Relief single in the UK. The March release date also coincided nicely with Mother's Day in the UK (or Mothering Sunday, as it's called there). Before the year was out, the girl group moved on to album number two, with "Spice Up Your Life" (number 25 on this list) continuing their string of UK number 1s and "Too Much" (number 110) giving them back-to-back UK Christmas number 1s.




Number 5 "Give Me Love 97" by Diddy
Nothing to do with the artist at that time known as Puff Daddy, Diddy was DJ Richard Dearlove, who ended up successfully suing the rapper over his later name change. "Give Me Love 97" was a remix of an earlier single - and it came in two versions: a mostly instrumental track, which can be heard by following the link in the song title, and the vocal version I preferred, which is below.




Number 4 "All I Wanna Do" by Dannii Minogue
What does one do after a marriage breakdown? If you're Dannii Minogue, you dye your hair, pose for Playboy to show off your new assets and, by the sounds of her comeback album, Girl, you go clubbing a lot. After stumbling around in the musical wilderness, "All I Wanna Do" was the sound of Dannii finding her musical niche - and the club-friendly pop sound was one she'd maintain for the rest of her career (to date). One of her biggest hits, "All I Wanna Do" was followed by the almost as good "Everything I Wanted" (number 14 on this list), which unfortunately didn't perform quite as well.




Number 3 "Gimme Some Love (Eurobeat mix)" by Gina G
Four more singles came from Gina's Fresh album in 1997 - with this remixed track far and away my favourite. Although, long-forgotten songs like "Fresh" (number 52 on this list), "Ti Amo" (number 71) and "Every Time I Fall" (number 146) were all pop gems. Pity she never got the chance to release a second album.




Number 2 "100% (Motiv8 mix)" by Mary Kiani
Following 1996's successful pairing of the Scottish singer and the remix heavyweights, another track from Mary's oddly titled album, Long Hard Funky Dreams, received the Motiv8 magic touch - and, hey presto, here it is up near my number 1 spot again. A U2 cover ("With Or Without You") later, and that was pretty much it for the singer's recording career.




Number 1 "Happiness" by Wand
I'm not sure if this high-energy dance track ended up receiving a proper release in the UK (it certainly didn't in Australia), but I was able to pick up a CD single of it in London in 1998, so that qualifies it for my chart as far as I'm concerned. I heard it in clubs all year long and there was no other song guaranteed to get me on the dance floor. So, even though it is my least favourite year-end chart-topper, it's still a pretty great song.




My top 200 for 1997 in full:

1        HAPPINESS Wand
2        100% / MOTIV8 MIX Mary Kiani
3        GIMME SOME LOVE / EUROBEAT MIX Gina G
4        ALL I WANNA DO / TROUSER ENTHUSIASTS MIX Dannii Minogue
5        GIVE ME LOVE 97 Diddy
6        MAMA / WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE Spice Girls
7        WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? Monaco
8        AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME Backstreet Boys
9        HOME Depeche Mode
10      TOGETHER AGAIN Janet Jackson
11      JE TE DONNE Worlds Apart
12      LOVE WON'T WAIT / JUNIOR VASQUEZ MIX Gary Barlow
13      YOU GOT THE LOVE (RHYTHM MASTERS REMIX) The Source featuring Candi Staton
14      EVERYTHING I WANTED / TROUSER ENTHUSIASTS MIX Dannii Minogue
15      IT'S NO GOOD Depeche Mode
16      FROM THIS MOMENT ON / MATT DAREY MIX Peach
17      DON'T SAY GOODBYE Human Nature
18      QUIT PLAYING GAMES (WITH MY HEART) Backstreet Boys
19      SOMETIMES Brand New Heavies
20      YOUR WOMAN White Town
21      THIS TIME I'M NOT WRONG Sub Sub with Bernard Sumner
22      I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER / LOVE TO INFINITY MIX Diana King
23      RAIN Erasure
24      SHOW ME LOVE Robyn
25      SPICE UP YOUR LIFE Spice Girls
26      SWEET LIPS Monaco
27      SATURDAY East 57th St featuring Donna Allen
28      A RED LETTER DAY Pet Shop Boys
29      EVERYBODY (BACKSTREET'S BACK) Backstreet Boys
30      DON'T SAY YOUR LOVE IS KILLING ME Erasure
31      SOMEWHERE Pet Shop Boys
32      CLOSE TO YOUR HEART JX
33      SOME KIND OF BLISS Kylie Minogue
34      YOU'RE NOT ALONE Olive
35      BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR / TONY MORAN MIX Michael Jackson
36      ANSWER MY PRAYER (SHIVA MIX) Danny Campbell
37      PICTURE OF YOU Boyzone
38      IT'S OVER LOVE Todd Terry featuring Shannon
39      SIMPLE THINGS Alex Party
40      YOU ARE THE UNIVERSE Brand New Heavies
41      ADDICTED Plutonic
42      SUNCHYME Dario G
43      WANT LOVE Hysteric Ego
44      NO SURRENDER (ACE REMIX) Deuce
45      SHINE Obsession
46      EVERLASTING LOVE (REMIX) Worlds Apart
47      SEARCHIN' 97 Hazell Dean
48      ENCORE UNE FOIS Sash!
49      UNTIL THE END OF TIME Electronic
50      ECUADOR Sash! featuring Rodriguez
51      BLACK EYED BOY Texas
52      FRESH Gina G
53      PROFESSIONAL WIDOW (IT'S GOT TO BE BIG) / HEY JUPITER Tori Amos
54      SECOND NATURE Electronic
55      DO YOU KNOW (WHAT IT TAKES) Robyn
56      YOU SAID Worlds Apart
57      DON'T GIVE UP Michelle Weeks
58      STAR PEOPLE 97 / FORTHRIGHT MIX George Michael
59      BARBIE GIRL Aqua
60      OUTLAW / SPACE BROTHERS MIX Olive
61      ALL THIS LOVE THAT I'M GIVING United State
62      LOVE COMMANDMENTS Gisele Jackson
63      SOMETHING GOIN' ON Todd Terry featuring Martha Wash & Jocelyn Brown
64      SLAM DUNK DA FUNK Five
65      NEVER GONNA LET YOU GO Tina Moore
66      DID IT AGAIN / TROUSER ENTHUSIASTS MIX Kylie Minogue
67      REMEMBER ME The Blue Boy
68      ANGELS Robbie Williams
69      IN MY ARMS Erasure
70      YOU MIGHT NEED SOMEBODY Shola Ama
71      TI AMO / BASSTOWN MIX Gina G
72      JOY (MONDO'S PUSSYCAT REMIX) Staxx featuring Carol Leeming
73      YOUNG HEARTS RUN FREE Kym Mazelle
74      I KNOW WHERE IT'S AT All Saints
75      OFFSHORE 97 Chicane featuring Power Circle
76      STAY Sash! featuring La Trec
77      I WILL BE RELEASED Up Yer Ronson featuring Mary Pearce
78      I HAVE NO FEAR Le Monde
79      ALRIGHT Jamiroquai
80      HOLD YOUR HEAD UP HIGH Boris Dlugosch presents BOOOM!
81      I'M KISSING YOU Des'ree
82      THE REAL THING Lisa Stansfield
83      YOU MAKE ME WANNA... Usher
84      GOTTA LOVE FOR YOU Serial Diva
85      DO YOU WANNA FUNK / HI-LUX REMIX Siona
86      ARMS AROUND THE WORLD Louise
87      SHELTER Brand New Heavies
88      DON'T SPEAK No Doubt
89      DON'T CHANGE Worlds Apart
90      I WAS BORN TO LOVE YOU Worlds Apart
91      SHINE The Space Brothers
92      HOME Chakra
93      BARREL OF A GUN Depeche Mode
94      MOMENT OF MY LIFE Bobby D'Ambrosio featuring Michelle Weeks
95      ALL CRIED OUT / HEX HECTOR MIX Allure featuring 112
96      GIMME GIMME Whigfield
97      I'M A MAN NOT A BOY North & South
98      NEVER EVER All Saints
99      YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND Brand New Heavies
100    FREE Ultra Naté
101    MY LOVE IS DEEP Sara Parker
102    I CAN MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD Kavana
103    I WANNA BE THE ONLY ONE Eternal / Be Be Winans
104    DANCE WITH ME Tin Tin Out featuring Tony Hadley
105    FREED FROM DESIRE Gala
106    GYPSY BOY, GYPSY GIRL Sharada House Gang
107    I NEED A MIRACLE Coco
108    SUMMERLOVE 97 S-Connection featuring Annabelle
109    LIKE A FOOL Nylon Beat
110    TOO MUCH Spice Girls
111    NO MORE TALK Dubstar
112    SHOULDER HOLSTER Morcheeba
113    FANTASY ISLAND M-People
114    OPEN ROAD Gary Barlow
115    TOO GONE, TOO LONG En Vogue
116    SICK WITH LOVE Robyn Laou
117    HISTORY / GHOSTS Michael Jackson
118    LIVE YOUR LIFE Clubhands
119    BREAK ME SHAKE ME Savage Garden
120    WHAT IF... Lightning Seeds
121    HIGH TIMES Jamiroquai
122    WHISPER YOUR NAME Human Nature
123    SPIN SPIN SUGAR Sneaker Pimps
124    LOVEFOOL The Cardigans
125    OUT OF MY MIND Duran Duran
126    WHEN DOVES CRY Quindon Tarver
127    PASSION Amen! UK
128    LOVE OF A LIFETIME Denine with Collage
129    CASANOVA / REMIX Ultimate Kaos
130    I HAVE PEACE / FORTHRIGHT MIX Strike
131    SOUND OF EDEN Ca$ino
132    NUMBER ONE Alexia
133    THE SUMMER OF LOVE Catalana
134    PEOPLE OF LOVE A-men! UK
135    CAN YOU FEEL IT London Fiesta featuring Norma Jean
136    INFERNO Souvlaki
137    CELEBRATE Elli Mac
138    THE RAIN Samira
139    SAY MY NAME Zee
140    USELESS Depeche Mode
141    POST-MODERN SLEAZE Sneaker Pimps
142    COMA Pendulum
143    YOUR CARESS (ALL I NEED) DJ Flavours
144    FIRED UP Funky Green Dogs
145    CLOSER THAN CLOSE Rosie Gaines
146    EVERY TIME I FALL / METRO MIX Gina G
147    QUAND JE REVE DE TOI Worlds Apart
148    BEACHBALL Burnette
149    SORROW TOWN / TROUSER ENTHUSIASTS MIX Peach
150    PEOPLE HOLD ON (THE BOOTLEG REMIXES) Lisa Stansfield vs Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
151    SUGAR COATED ICEBURG Lightning Seeds
152    DROP DEAD GORGEOUS Republica
153    MUSIC IS THE POWER Eddy Two Face
154    MORNING LIGHT Team Deep
155    RHYTHM OF LOVE DJ Company
156    AIN'T THAT JUST THE WAY Lutricia McNeal
157    BACK TO WHERE WE STARTED Worlds Apart
158    EARTHBOUND Conner Reeves
159    BODYSHAKIN' 911
160    ONE MORE TIME Real McCoy
161    WATCHING ME WATCHING YOU 4-2 The Floor
162    YOU'RE THE ONE I LOVE Shola Ama
163    WHERE CAN I FIND LOVE Livin' Joy
164    NIGHTMARE Brainbug
165    COME WITH ME Qattara
166    I AM Chakra
167    BREAKING ALL THE RULES She Moves
168    DO YOU KNOW Michelle Gayle
169    I BELIEVE The Absolute featuring Suzanne Palmer
170    PARTAY FEELING B-Crew featuring Barbara Tucker, Ultra Naté, Dajae, Mone
171    DON'T BE AFRAID Edison Project featuring Susie Ahern
172    BLOCK ROCKIN' BEATS Chemical Brothers
173    IT'S ALRIGHT, I FEEL IT! Nuyorican Soul
174    I NEVER LOVED YOU ANYWAY The Corrs
175    MAGIC D'Influence
176    MFEO Kavana
177    YOU HAVE BEEN LOVED / THE STRANGEST THING 97 George Michael
178    JUST FOR YOU M-People
179    DON'T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA / MIAMI MIX Madonna
180    GET UP (EVERYBODY) Byron Stingily
181    I THOUGHT IT WAS YOU Sex-o-sonique
182    TO STEP ASIDE Pet Shop Boys
183    BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY The Verve
184    SONG 2 Blur
185    ANGEL OF MINE Eternal
186    ONLY WHEN I SLEEP The Corrs
187    SO HELP ME GIRL Gary Barlow
188    DR JONES Aqua
189    YOU READY NOW X-Odus
190    PLEASE DON’T GO No Mercy
191    MO MONEY MO PROBLEMS The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Puff Daddy & Mase
192    MY OH MY Aqua
193    THE AGE OF LOVE (JAM & SPOON REMIX) Age Of Love
194    STEP BY STEP Whitney Houston
195    WITH OR WITHOUT YOU Mary Kiani
196    NEVER, NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP Lisa Stansfield
197    LET'S GO ROUND AGAIN Louise
198    WALK ON BY Gabrielle
199    SENSATIONAL Michelle Gayle
200    DON'T YOU LOVE ME Eternal


MY YEAR-END CHARTS
1979 II 1980 II 1981 II 1982 II 1983 II 1984 II 1985 II 1986 II 1987 II 1988 II 1989
1990 II 1991 II 1992 II 1993 II 1994 II 1995 II 1996 II 1997 II 1998 II 1999
2000 II 2001 II 2002 II 2003 II 2004 II 2005 II 2006 II 2007 II 2008 II 2009
2010 II 2011 II 2012 II 2013 II 2014 II 2015 II 2016

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