Apr 14

Popular ’97

Popular66 comments • 4,384 views

I give every entry a mark out of 10. Here’s your opportunity to tick the ones you’d have given 6 or more to.

My highest score of 1997 turns out to have been a solitary 8, for Hanson’s “MMMBop”. U2 and Elton both got 2s. Use the comments box to talk about the year in general!

Which Of The Number One Hits Of 1997 Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

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Poll closes: No Expiry

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  1. 1
    Tom on 10 Apr 2014 #

    Popular (Not Popular): Most weeks in the Top 10 without hitting #1

    1=. Chumbawamba – “Tubthumping” (11 weeks)
    1=. Natalie Imbruglia – “Torn” (11 weeks)
    3. Janet Jackson – “Together Again” (10 weeks)
    4. No Mercy – “Where Do You Go?” (9 weeks)
    5. Gala – “Freed From Desire” (8 weeks, peak #2)
    6=. Ultra Nate – “Free” (8 weeks, peak #4)
    6=. DJ Quicksilver – “Bellissima” (8 weeks, peak #4)
    8. En Vogue – “Don’t Let Go (Love)” (8 weeks, peak #5)
    9=. Dario G – “Sunchyme” (7 weeks, peak #2)
    9=. Sash – “Encore Une Fois” (7 weeks, peak #2)

    I don’t remember the No Mercy track at all. A lot of the rest sheds useful light on what was going on “in the clubs”.

  2. 2
    Cumbrian on 10 Apr 2014 #

    NME Albums of 1997:

    1. Spiritualized – Ladies And Gentleman We Are Floating In Space
    2. Radiohead – Ok Computer
    3. The Verve – Urban Hymns
    4. Primal Scream – Vanishing Point
    5. Super Furry Animals – Radiator
    6. Cornershop – When I Was Born For The 7th Time
    7. Mogwai – Mogwai Young Team
    8. Teenage Fanclub – Songs From Northern Britain
    9. Bentley Rhythm Ace – Bentley Rhythm Ace
    10. Supergrass – In It For The Money
    11. Daft Punk – Homework
    12. The Chemical Brothers – Dig Your Own Hole
    13. Blur – Blur
    14. The Charlatans – Tellin’ Stories
    15. Bjork – Homogenic
    16. Death In Vegas – Dead Elvis
    17. Prodigy – The Fat Of The Land
    18. Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang Forever
    19. Yo La Tengo – I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One
    20. Gravediggaz – The Pick, The Sickle And The Shovel
    21. Black Grape – Stupid Stupid Stupid
    22. The Divine Comedy – A Short Album About Love
    23. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – The Boatman’s Call
    24. Pavement – Brighten In The Corners
    25. Oasis – Be Here Now
    26. Stereolab – Dots And Loops
    27. Grandaddy – Under The Western Freeway
    28. Roni Size & Reprazent – New Forms
    29. Travis – Good Feeling
    30. Mick Head Introducing The Strands – The Magical World Of The Strands
    31. Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Barafundle
    32. Portishead – Portishead
    33. Eels – Beautiful Freak
    34. Squarepusher – Hard Normal Daddy
    35. Jonathan Fire Eater – Tremble Under Boom Lights
    36. Prolapse – The Italian Flag
    37. Wilco – Being There
    38. Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliot – Supa Dupa Fly
    39. Photek – Modus Operandi
    40. David Holmes – Lets Get Killed
    41. Echo And The Bunnymen – Evergreen
    42. Finley Quaye – Maverick A Strike
    43. Tindersticks – Curtains
    44. Manson – Attack Of They Grey Lantern
    45. Scarfo – Luxury Plane Crash
    46. Foo Fighters – The Colour And The Shape
    47. Howie B – Turn The Dark Off
    48. Robert Wyatt – Shleep
    49. Silver Sun – Silver Sun
    50. The Wannadies – Bagsy Me

  3. 3
    Cumbrian on 10 Apr 2014 #

    NME Singles of 1997:

    1. The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony
    2. Blur – Song 2
    3. The Verve – The Drugs Don’t Work
    4. Embrace – All You Good Good People
    5. Primal Scream – Kowalski
    6. Radiohead – Paranoid Android
    7. The Blueboy – Remember Me
    8. Spiritualized – Electricity
    9. Massive Attack – Risingson
    10. The Chemical Brothers – Block Rockin’ Beats
    11. Daft Punk – Da Funk
    12. Echo And The Bunnyman – Nothing Lasts Forever
    13. Arab Strap – The Girls Of Summer E.P.
    14. Mogwai – New Paths To Helicon
    15. Pavement – Stereo
    16. Cornershop – Brimful Of Asha
    17. Teenage Fanclub – Ain’t That Enough
    18. Daft Punk – Around The World
    19. The Beta Band – Champion Versions EP
    20. Goldie Featuring Krs-One – Digital
    21. Embrace – Fireworks EP
    22. Belle & Sebastian – The Lazy Line Painter Jane
    23. Blur – Beetlebum
    24. DJ Shadow – High Noon
    25. The Chemical Brothers – The Private Psychedlic Reel
    26. Black Grape – Get Higher
    27. Primal Scream – Star
    28. Six By Seven – European Me
    29. Oasis – D’you Know What I Mean
    30. Lo-Fidelelity Allstars – Kool Rock Bass
    31. Bentley Rhythm Ace – Bentley’s Gonna Sort You Out
    32. Roni Size – Brown Paper Bag
    33. Wu-Tang Clan – Triumph
    34. Aphex Twin – Come To Daddy
    35. Belle And Sebastian – 3.. 6.. 9.. Seconds Of Light
    36. The Charlatans – North Country Boy
    37. The Wannadies – Hit
    38. Add N To X – King Wasp
    39. Beck – Deadweight
    40. Fatboy Slim – Everybody Needs
    41. Pulp – Help The Aged
    42. Orbital – Satan
    43. Missy ‘ Misdemeanoe’ Elliott – The Rain
    44. Eels – Novocain For The Soul
    45. Death In Vegas – Rocco
    46. Dinosaur Jr – Take A Run At The Sun
    47. Travis – All I Wanna Do Is Rock
    48. Kirk Lake – Five Finger Discount
    49. Nick Cave – Into My Arms
    50. Supergrass – Late In The Day

  4. 4
    Cumbrian on 10 Apr 2014 #

    The Wire (by way of contrast):

    1.Robert Wyatt – Shleep
    2.Jim O’rourke – Bad Timing
    3.Wabi Sabi – Wabi Sabi
    4.Arto Lindsay – Mundo Civilizado
    5.Mouse On Mars – Autoditacker
    6.Tomasz Stanko Septet – Litania: Music Of Krzysztof Komeda
    7.Gyorgy Ligeti – Ligeti Edition Vols. 1-6
    8.Roni Size And Reprazent – New Forms
    9.John Wall – Fractuur
    10.Porter Ricks – Biokinetics
    11.Henry Threadgill & Make A Move – Where’s Your Cup?
    12.Autechre – Chiastic Slide
    13.Gravediggaz – The Pick, The Sickle And The Shovel
    14.Bjork -Homogenic
    15.Farmers Manual – Fsck
    16.Squarepusher – Hard Normal Daddy
    17.Vinicius Cantuaria – Sol Na Cara
    18.Toru Takemitsu – Film Music
    19.Various Artists – Driftworks
    20.Fushitsusha – A Death Never To Be Complete
    21.Company Flow – Funcrusher Plus
    22.Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – The Boatman’s Call
    23.Spiritualized – Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space
    24.The Fall – Levitate
    25.Fushitsusha – The Time Is Nigh
    26.Tom Recchion – Chaotica
    27.Stereolab – Dots And Loops
    28.Iannis Xenakis – Kraanerg
    29.Joe Maneri Quartet – In Full Cry
    30.Ground Zero -Consume Red
    31.Paul Schutze – Second Site
    32.Evan Parker Electroacoustic Ensemble – Towards The Margins
    33.General Magic – Frantz!
    34.Porter Ricks- Porter Ricks
    35.John Zorn – Duras: Duchamp
    36.Yo La Tengo – I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One
    37.Bisk – Strange Or Funny Ha Ha?
    38.Portishead- Portishead
    39.Kaffe Matthews – Cdann
    40.George Crumb – Quest
    41.Metheny/Bailey/Bendian/Wertico – The Sign Of 4
    42.Guschwachs – Guschwachs
    43.Jeff Mills – The Other Day
    44.Maurizio – M
    45.Giya Kancheli- Caris Mere
    46.Patti Smith – Peace And Noise
    47.Ornette Coleman & Joachim Kuhn – Colors
    48.Buena Vista Social Club – Buena Vista Social Club
    49.Arcana – Arc Of The Testimony
    50.Hariprasad Chaurasia – Four Drums

  5. 5
    Cumbrian on 10 Apr 2014 #

    Obviously a lot of these lists are at rocklist.net so I won’t dump all of them in; seems rather spammy.

    The Melody Maker list is particularly hilarious; somehow Hurricane #1’s debut album is in their top albums of the year (and that’s meant to be a critics’ list as far as I can tell). I was young, I believed, I was foolish, I repent. H#1’s album is, with the benefit of hindsight, possibly the worst record I have forked money over for.

  6. 6
    James BC on 10 Apr 2014 #

    Where Do You Go by No Mercy was great. They were a vaguely Latin looking, probably American boyband trio. I think the song was inspired by that “Where Do You Go To My Lovely” song but it sounds nothing like it. It has an unbelievably cheesy Spanish guitar lick in it… come on, you must remember!

  7. 7
    Tom on 10 Apr 2014 #

    Yes within about 1 second of the YouTube it all came flooding back! “oh-oh-ay-oh” – excellent boyband/holiday market hit crossover, good work lads. This sort of goofy, affable cornball pop is what I think boybands should always be doing, pretty much.

  8. 8
    Mark M on 10 Apr 2014 #

    Intrigued by the high placings on The Wire and NME lists for the second Gravediggaz album, which I remember as being disappointing after the excellent first one. Might see whether I actually have it on CD rather than just on white-label tape (my tape deck has finally died) and give it a listen.

    There’s a whole bunch of stuff on those end-of-year lists that I like, probably more than I would expected at the time. But the good stuff is very disparate, not pointing to any movement you could get a grip on.

  9. 9
    Tom on 10 Apr 2014 #

    This was probably the first year my tastes were more “Wire” than “NME”. Jim O Rourke’s “Bad Timing” is still the 1997 LP I play most, though it’s very accessible, lovely even.

    I spent the first half of the year suffering from depression and playing a lot of Bunnied Welsh Band’s third album, and the second half taking medicine and delightedly exploring the previous 35 years of soul music. I was distantly engaged with current music but a lot more critical of it than I had ever been before – I disliked OK Computer a lot more than it deserved and The Boatman’s Call exactly as much as it deserved. I did like the Spiritualized record though and (whispers) Primal Scream’s album. Dare I find out how that ‘holds up’ I wonder…

  10. 10
    Cumbrian on 10 Apr 2014 #

    #9: I thought and still think that Vanishing Point is good – Mani provides something extra on bass and it rumbles along pretty well as a result. Low point as ever is Bobby’s vocals/lyrics. At least on Kowalski, he doesn’t raise himself above a whisper.

    Radiohead seem, from comments on other threads, to be exactly the sort of band that commenters here don’t seem to like. I still play OKC from time to time though and have a lot of time for it.

    Can’t quite believe Buena Vista Social Club is 17 years old – feels like I saw that in the cinema only a couple of years ago. I am obviously getting up in years.

    Checking some of the other lists, H#1 also in the Top 50 from Q. WTF was everybody snorting in the critical community in 1997?

  11. 11
    lonepilgrim on 10 Apr 2014 #

    1997 saw the return of Bob Dylan with the release of ‘Time out of Mind’. His critical stock hasn’t seriously fallen in the subsequent 16+ years, which is some kind of achievement and due in part to some canny management as well as a realisation that he was best served by sticking to the country/blues hybrid that has characterised his subsequent work since.

  12. 12
    sükråt tanned rested unlogged and awesome on 10 Apr 2014 #

    The Wire’s approach to hiphop was always a bit “beyond the valley of the backpack” — the review column was called “critical beats”: not sure if they ever quite defined what they meant by “uncritical beats”, so obviously i can’t PROVE that they meant “the good stuff that people like” :)

    ^^^affectionately meant!: i am v fond of many of the ppl at the wire and may actually be writing for them a bit more soon *writes 300,000 words on the teletubbies*

  13. 13
    James BC on 10 Apr 2014 #

    The emergence of Belle and Sebastian!

    They were a watershed moment for me. I heard that they were great, bought the 3, 6, 9 Seconds EP without hearing it, listened to it, confirmed that it was great, played it to my brother, he confirmed that it was great, excitedly played it to some other people and… nothing. How could they miss what I was hearing? Lesson learned: some people just have no taste.

  14. 14
    Rory on 10 Apr 2014 #

    Wow, I wasn’t expecting to tick as many as 14 out of 24, and there were a few near-misses in there as well. Tori Amos, White Town, Blur, U2, No Doubt, Chem Bros, Olive, Hanson, Oasis, the Verve, Spice Girls x 2 (“Spice Up Your Life” and “Too Much”), Aqua, and “Perfect Day”. “Beetlebum” got my highest score, which is still fine by me.

    Popular (Not Popular) has a lot I don’t remember, but I’d rate the first two.

    #9: “(whispers) Primal Scream’s album”

    It’s great! More listenable than Screamadelica for me. That, Xtrmntr and the Dixie-Narco EP constitute my essential Scream.

    #10: “Radiohead seem, from comments on other threads, to be exactly the sort of band that commenters here don’t seem to like”

    Some commenters. The NME’s top two albums of the year were mine too.

  15. 15
    Tom on 10 Apr 2014 #

    I can’t stand XTRMNTR, which I think soured me on Vanishing Point too (and the vocals, as ever, are a sticking point).

    The first three songs on OK Computer are tremendous – after that I get bored very quickly.

  16. 16
    Rory on 10 Apr 2014 #

    Australia’s number ones in 1997 were like selected highlights of the UK’s, thanks to some long stays at the top:

    Savage Garden*, “To the Moon and Back”, 1 week
    Silverchair*, “Freak”, 2 weeks
    No Doubt, “Don’t Speak”, 8 weeks
    Savage Garden*, “Truly Madly Deeply”, 8 weeks
    Hanson, “MMMBop”, 9 weeks
    Puff Daddy and Faith Evans featuring 112, “I’ll Be Missing You”, 5 weeks
    Will Smith, “Men in Black”, 4 weeks
    Elton John, “Something About the Way You Look Tonight”/”Candle in the Wind 1997”, 6 weeks
    Aqua, “Barbie Girl”, 3 weeks
    Chumbawamba, “Tubthumping”, 3 weeks
    [Bunnied], 1 week and 6 weeks in 1998

    *Australian artist

    Only 11 compared with 24 here. That difference in turnover becomes even more noticeable over the next couple of years: 13 vs 29 in 1998, and 8 vs 36 in 1999.

  17. 17
    Rory on 10 Apr 2014 #

    #15: XTRMNTR is a lot noisier than Vanishing Point, but by then I was well into the Prodigy and other noise exponents and so liked it. Haven’t listened to it for a while, I must admit, so it might just be my fuzzy memories talking.

  18. 18
    Cumbrian on 10 Apr 2014 #

    Another feature of these lists, looking at them, is the high placing of a bunny a bit before they got to #1 (primarily due to a remix), which is cool I think, as I thought that they hit big due to that remix. Seems they were actually highly thought of beforehand too.

    I doubt you got to it, Tom, since you can’t stand the album and it’s the last track, but Shoot Speed Kill Light off XTRMNTR might well be the best Primal Scream have ever been (minimal Bobby, guest guitar spot from New Order’s Barney, motorik goodness). Anyway, that is 3 years hence, by my count.

  19. 19
    Tom on 10 Apr 2014 #

    #17 I was probably at my snootiest about noisy stuff – PRML SCRM felt like the same old Gillespie shit, a checklist of rebel/outsider poses and sounds done just well enough to not even be funny. But it’s very hard for me to argue “Kowalski” etc WEREN’T doing this, so I must just have been more annoyed by it in 1999 than in 1997.

    (The vocal sample on “Kill All Hippos” is good tho)

  20. 20
    weej on 10 Apr 2014 #

    My interest in Primal Scream starts with XTRMNTR and finishes with Evil Heat and the only Radiohead I ever really listen to much now is Kid A / Amnesiac, not sure if I can be taken as an example of a popular commenter though (there – thankfully – isn’t anything like a standard set of accepted tastes on here and people are generally able to articulate their opinions well without attacking others)

    Surprised at how much good stuff there is in those lists (Young Team / Dots & Loops / Come To Daddy / 3…6…9 / Portishead’s second / Shleep / Add N To X / Homogenic…) as I don’t think of 97 as a classic year generally.

  21. 21
    Tommy Mack on 10 Apr 2014 #

    I dug XTRMNTR for years after seeing a blinding set at Reading in 2000 though its maelstrom of noise and beats is starting to date a little for me now. Mani’s rubbery funk still raises the spirits. Keep Your Dreams and Blood Money still sound great. Shoot Speed, Kill Light too. I even like Pills – Bobby master rather than victim of the unpleasantness of his voice for once.

    Vanishing Point is listenable (except that f*ck awful cover of Motorhead) although Star, great as the melodica is, has to be Bobby’s cheesiest Keeper Of The Flame moment “Sister Rosa, Dr King…” indeed.

    OK Computer has some great tracks but to me is patchier than either The Bends or Kid A as an album. I’m bemused and repelled by the reverence afforded Radiohead though.

    Gravediggaz and Wu Tang got a lot of play in our sixth form common room thanks to the stoner contingent, it was probably that as much as anything that got me listening to more hip hop.

  22. 22
    mapman132 on 10 Apr 2014 #

    Here’s the US Billboard Hot 100 list of number ones, with brief comment on each:

    “Unbreak My Heart”, Toni Braxton
    – carry over from 1996

    “Wannabe”, Spice Girls
    – already discussed

    “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down”, Puff Daddy feat. Mase
    – barely remember it, typical Puffy piece

    “Hypnotize”, Notorious BIG
    – his first number one, but he wasn’t around to enjoy it

    “Mmmbop”, Hanson
    – already discussed

    “I’ll Be Missing You”, Puff Daddy, etc.
    – already discussed, more than the usual UK/US overlap this year…

    “Mo Money Mo Problems”, Notorious BIG
    – it was certainly true for him. Biggie’s the only person ever to have two posthumous #1’s on the Hot 100

    “Honey”, Mariah Carey
    – we couldn’t have a year in the 90’s without Mariah, could we? This is the one with the secret agent/swimming pool/boat chase video.

    “4 Seasons of Loneliness”, Boyz II Men
    – their last #1. Seemed to barely get noticed, as all eyes were on what was coming next…

    “Candle in the Wind 97/Something About…”, Elton John
    – never heard of it ;)

    So that’s that. Interesting note: “Missing You” ended up only as the 3rd biggest hit of the year. Controversially slipping into #2 was Jewel’s double sided “You Were Meant For Me/Foolish Games”. The first song had peaked at #2 and was falling down the chart when the second song started gaining airplay causing the single to rise back up into the top 5. End result: two hits counting as one, and spending a then-record 65 weeks on the chart. Chart geeks like myself were quite annoyed by this.

    Best UK #1 of the year: “Your Woman” – a 10 from me!

    Best US #1 of the year: either “Wannabe” or “Mmmbop”

    Best song of the year period: “Tubthumping” – too bad it didn’t hit #1!

    So onto 1998, a year which would see only the second ever visit to the UK by yours truly, but not until near the end….

  23. 23
    swanstep on 10 Apr 2014 #

    11 for me – a pretty good year for #1s (hell, even ‘Love Can’t Wait’ wore me down!).

    NZ #1s for 1997 were:
    No Doubt “Don’t Speak”
    R. Kelly “I Believe I Can Fly”
    U2 “Discothèque”
    The Cardigans “Lovefool”
    MC Lyte (ft Missy Elliott) “Cold Rock a Party”
    Unique II “Break My Stride”
    Warren G “I Shot The Sheriff”
    Az Yet “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”
    Blackstreet “Don’t Leave Me”
    Michael Jackson “Blood on the Dance Floor”
    Joose “If Tomorrow Never Comes”
    SWV “Can We?”
    Hanson “MMMBop”
    Puff Daddy “I’ll Be Missing You”
    Will Smith “Men In Black”
    Aqua “Barbie Girl”
    Chumbawamba “Tubthumping”
    Elton John “Candle In The Wind 97”
    N-Trance “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”
    Backstreet Boys “As Long As You Love Me”

    Another couple of mega-sample #1s. One wants to groan, but I can’t resist either the N-trance (Do you think I’m sexy) or the MC Lyte (Upside Down) tracks. Given further Mo Money Mo Problems topping the US charts, It’s clear that mega-sampling was the music trend of the year.

  24. 24
    lartsaegis on 10 Apr 2014 #

    Imbruglia’s Torn should have been number one over there, but I’m biased. Zero 7’s Binns and Hardaker had a role in crafting that track as I learned recently, and I was surprised to find they didn’t have a UK number 1 during their Simple Things/Destiny cycle.

  25. 25
    Billy Hicks on 10 Apr 2014 #

    White Town, Chems, No Doubt, Tori Amos/Armand, Verve, Olive, and disappointingly low down for what I think is an utter classic of the decade, Eternal.

    10s would have gone to the likes of Freed From Desire (#2), Torn (#2), Paranoid Android (#3) and You Got The Love (#4) had they charted just a little higher.

  26. 26
    nixon on 10 Apr 2014 #

    I’d have the Eternal over Torn any day. I don’t get the love – it’s a good, rather pretty pop single and I’d probably give it a 6 or 7, although it reminds me a lot of She’s A Star by James (which I’m not sure isn’t actually a better record), but it seems to have become a truth universally acknowledged that Torn was in fact the Best Single of 1997, certainly for the discerning hipster. Buh?

  27. 27
    Tom on 10 Apr 2014 #

    Yeah I don’t really ‘get’ Torn either, as I said on one of the threads I think. For me it’s one of those consensus pop classics like “Back For Good” and a bunch of others (including many a bunny) – a well-crafted, respectable song, the kind of thing that ends up getting a 7 or 8 from everyone, quite deservedly. But in a straight “what am I going to listen to right now?” shoot-out I’d end up with N-Trance every time.

  28. 28
    nixon on 11 Apr 2014 #

    Consensus Pop Classics is a good title for something.

  29. 29
    swanstep on 11 Apr 2014 #

    ‘Torn”s just OK according to me too. I think it’s in large part a video hit: winsome lovely stares pleadingly into camera for 4 minutes (see also Lisa Loeb’s Stay, Jewel’s You were meant for me, Vanessa Carlton’s 1000 Miles, frickin’ Dido, and so on) ; there are worse things … And related but better things: Fiona Apple’s wunderkind act and underage porn Criminal vid. from 1997 still shocks and mesmerizes I find.

  30. 30
    mapman132 on 11 Apr 2014 #

    “Torn” is a classic example of a song I’d think was OK, except the fact that I never understood why everyone seemed to love it so much made me dislike it, even hate it for a while. And it was so overplayed – back in 1998, I used to wonder what would make a DJ say “you know, we haven’t heard ‘Torn’ for 20 minutes: I think I’ll play it again!”

    That being said, there are Consensus Pop Classics I do like. In fact, I’m going to go on record right now with the prediction that the highest group-rated #1 of the period 1990-present will be a specific bunny from the spring of 2006. I guess we’ll see in a couple years…

  31. 31
    lartsaegis on 11 Apr 2014 #

    I think part of why I like Torn so much is that I had no idea that it was even a song in existence until I was much older and it wasn’t being played incessantly. I’d have been like 7 when it came out and I was a kid in New York who went to bed to whatever the people across the street were blasting out of their windows. Good times, really. Anyway, I don’t even know how I chanced into hearing it, but it did take a space in my life, sentimentally. Even then it seems like everything is immaculately played to me, even in a route one pop ballad. Imbruglia is on a tear vocally, everything sounds refreshing, especially the end when she’s like “Oh…” and then the guitar line soars into the fade out. One of the better times a fade out’s been used in my opinion.

    Now that I look back though, and look at the context of the time I see that it’s had company, Loeb and Fiona, as was said earlier, and I can see why they were favored heavily, especially Fiona.

  32. 32
    glue_factory on 11 Apr 2014 #

    Re: 23 I’m guessing Unique II *aren’t* Sheffield bleep pioneers Unique 3 minus a member.

  33. 33
    swanstep on 11 Apr 2014 #

    @32, GlueFact. You guess correctly. They’re from Austria apparently. The track’s an undistinguished euro-disco cover of the odious Matthew Wilder more-advertizing-jingle-than-pop-song original.

  34. 34
    thefatgit on 11 Apr 2014 #

    John Peel’s 1997 Festive 31*

    1. C*******p – B****** O* A*** (bunny)
    2. Mogwai – New Paths To Helicon
    3. Helen Love – Does Your Heart Go Boom?
    4. Period Pains – Spice Girls (Who Do You Think You Are?)
    5. Belle & Sebastian – Lazy Line Painted Jane
    6. Novac – Rapunzel
    7. The Fall – 4 1/2 Inch
    8. Daft Punk – Rollin’ & Scratchin’
    9. Clinic – IPC Sub-editors Dictate Our Youth
    10. David Holmes – Don’t Die Yet (Arab Strap Mix)
    11. Blur – Song 2
    12. Belle & Sebastian – Dog On Wheels
    13. Hydroplane – Cross The Atlantic
    14. Stereolab & Nurse With Wound – Simple Headphone Mind
    15. Betty Davies & The Balconettes – Shergar
    16. Arab Strap – Hey! Fever
    17. The Fall – I’m A Mummy
    18. Spiritualized – Ladies & Gentlemen You Are Floating In Space
    19. AC Acoustics – I Messiah Am Jailer
    20. Stereolab – Fluorescences
    21. Hitchers – Strachan
    22. bis – Sweetshop Avenger
    23. Synchro Goldfish – Dandelion Milk Summer
    24. Prolapse – Autocade
    25. Dream City Film Club – If I Die I Die
    26. Stereolab – Mismodular
    27. The Delgados- Pull The Wires From The Wall
    28. Propellerheads – Velvet Pants
    29. Highbirds – Seventeen
    30. Prolapse – Slash/Oblique
    31. Angelica – Teenage Girl Crush

    * I have no idea exactly why the full 50 wasn’t available on the BBC’s Peel site. Bad BBC. Looking at the music on display here, chimes pretty well with the other EOY polls. As has been mentioned before, the significance of the F50 was in decline, compared to say, The Wire. Only die-hard Peelites would have said this list was where it’s at.

  35. 35
    Steve Williams on 11 Apr 2014 #

    May I be the first atrocious pedant to dive in and point out that the Festive 50 that year was, indeed, a Festive 31, because apparently John didn’t have enough time to play fifteen records.

  36. 36
    weej on 11 Apr 2014 #

    The full (lack of a) story is here – http://peel.wikia.com/wiki/1997_Festive_Fifty
    Incidentally I think this is one of the strongest festive fifty lists – though of course it’s out of step with what was in the charts or the critic lists, that doesn’t reflect badly on it at all.

  37. 37
    Steve Mannion on 11 Apr 2014 #

    32. NO MERCY

  38. 38
    wichita lineman on 11 Apr 2014 #

    Re 31: Maybe not the best place to mention it, but the art of the fade-out was rapidly becoming a lost art in the late 90s. Introducing a new element on the fade hadn’t been common since the 60s but still persisted (Pet Shop Boys knew how to deploy a good fade); this is a good indicator of how crafted a record Torn was, like the song or not.

    A bunnied Swedish producer seemed (to me) to really kill off the art of the fade – but maybe there’s an earlier clunky Popular example I can’t think of.

  39. 39
    Steve Mannion on 11 Apr 2014 #

    The most infuriating fade-out of the 80 has to be Oran Juice Jones ‘The Rain’. And not even a longer 12″ mix (that I’m aware of) to compensate.

    Worst example I’ve encountered recently is on ‘Rooting For My Baby’ by Miley Cyrus where it seems like she is really not done singing the (actually v good) song yet but it just ends anyway.

  40. 40
    weej on 12 Apr 2014 #

    A good example of a clunky fade souring a decent song is coming up very soon indeed. (exit pursued by bunny)

  41. 41
    Mark M on 12 Apr 2014 #

    Re: 10 etc – for me, OK Computer was when Radiohead went from ‘I don’t like this, but I understand why people do’ to ‘this is actively unpleasant.’ Obviously, people loved it, though, not least the readers of Q, where I had fetched up in the autumn of 1997. That, almost but not quite, marked the point at which I stopped offering opinions on music for print. Although I wrote for Q on and off up until 2010, I did exactly one music review in all that time. My initial role at Q, the best-paid job pro-rata I have ever had, was putting together the gig listings pages. It was a lovely arrangement designed to leave me free to write for Neon the rest of the time, an unofficial bit of cross-subsidisation between two Emap Metro magazines.
    After five years clinging on at Select, it was a huge relief. I felt I had written all I had to say about the music of the ’90s. That’s why I’m surprised at how much I like on those end of the year lists.
    Turned out I had a lot more to say about films… Still do.

  42. 42
    Lazarus on 12 Apr 2014 #

    The fade on ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’ is pretty dire too, as if they didn’t really know how to end it. Brooker launches into a new chorus, but barely makes it to the end of the first line.

    I voted for ten here, and as ever there were a few near-misses. I appear to be one of only four who liked the Gary Barlow record. And it’s amusing to see the Tubbies outscoring Elt by eight to one. The thing is, I really like ‘Something About …’ – I reckon it’s a stronger song than his two other solo number ones (one of which is a bunny) – if it hadn’t played second fiddle to CITW97 I’d have voted for that too.

  43. 43
    tm on 12 Apr 2014 #

    Re: 41. Radiohead fandom seems like an aspect of Tom’s teenage Smiths fandom he mentioned in an old FT essay (correct me if I’m wrong here because I searched for the piece to quote when I wrote my Oasis essay for Louder Than War but couldn’t find it) where he said a part of the reason he loved The Smiths was empaphising with the sadness and awkwardness but he’d never admit that to his friends so he’d use critic-speak when saying why he liked them: The Smiths were witty, literate, innovative etc. Same seems to go with Radiohead: friends who into them will always down play the melancholia “I don’t think of them as miserable” etc and talk about innovation and creative momentum.

    I think they’re a gateway to the avant garde for a generation of (mostly) boys raised on the pomp rock of Oasis, Welsh Bunnies etc: spiky and nonlinear enough to sound new and different but loud brash and grandiose enough to sit comfortably alongside those sort of bands on the indie side of a Now album. Also grunge for wimps or at least post Brit pop heads put off by US Rawk vocals.

  44. 44
    Tommy Mack on 12 Apr 2014 #

    I should have said ‘an aspect of Radiohead fandom’ – I’m not suggesting that’s the only reason people are listening to them but I think it does go some way to explain the protectiveness a lot of fans seem to display toward the band’s critical reputation.

  45. 45
    Ed on 13 Apr 2014 #

    @2 That is a pretty dismal albums list, I think.

    We really were into the dog days of the post-Britpop comedown here, weren’t we? The hangover after the Last Party.

    I started counting the acts whose best days were behind them: Spiritualized, Primal Scream, Teenage Fanclub, Stereolab, (The) Prodigy, the Wu-Tang, Gravediggaz, Portishead, Stereolab, Nick Cave, Pavement, and – of course – Oasis. And actually – even more of course – Echo and the Bunnymen.

    There are some saving graces. Dig Your Own Hole is a belter, as is Homework, and I like Homogenic even if it is a bit, er, homogenous. But you have to look all the way down to #38 for the real portent of better days ahead: Supa Dupa Fly.

    And sure enough, for albums at least, 1998 turned out to be a vastly superior year.

  46. 46
    weej on 13 Apr 2014 #

    #45 – I’d say those are the best albums Spiritualized, Stereolab and Portishead ever made, and I don’t think that’s a controversial opinion at all.

  47. 47
    Garry on 13 Apr 2014 #

    #45 and #46 I agree that is the best album Spiritualized released. I first heard it a year or two after release. It was given to me with great reverence by the new radio station manager and it blew my mind. To me it has always felt like it’s core idea was stronger than the other albums – the downest of downer break-up albums.

  48. 48
    Garry on 13 Apr 2014 #

    On OK Computer – in the early-to-mid 90s I listened to a lot of 70s progressive rock: Oldfield, King Crimson etc. (We had limited media. My school never got Nirvana as in we barely heard of it. The other kids prefered Guns N Roses, who to this day I detest from over–exposure.)

    I’ve always heard OK Computer as doing to prog rock as Amnesiac did to the Warp record back catalogue – selectively mining these sources and intricately piecing together new music. Here was a Fripp guitar, there a certain proggy organ sound or whatever. It’s been too long since I’ve heard it to remember all the sources I could identify.

    This isn’t to knock the album – I like it – but at the time I never understood the esteem in which it was held. That said I also kept forgetting I was the only kid I knew who heard a lot of progressive rock.

  49. 49
    Garry on 13 Apr 2014 #

    On a final note – my favourite album from that year is Prolapse’s The Italian Flag. It’s a pretty fierce album. I’ve always loved the interlocking but seperate vocal lines from Linda Steelyard and Mick Dennis. They are one of th few bands I’ve heard who have made this kind of things work. And while Mick is the angrier singer, Linda’s lyrics are darker even when she sings in a child-like coo.

    I heard of the band from a compilation from a Leicester-based record label I got sent the old University Radio Network which provided overnight (or day time my time) programming to a lot of UK Uni Radio stations. I then found The Italian Flag in a pawnbrokers in Casino, NSW.

  50. 50
    Tommy Mack on 13 Apr 2014 #

    Re 48 – part of what Radiohead were doing was a very 90s thing: pilfering sounds from the past and recontextualising them for an indie-rock audience: Most 90s indie fans would probably find 70s prog too ponderous and nonlinear but dug some of the ideas when slotted into a more guitar and shortish song centred format.

  51. 51
    Ed on 13 Apr 2014 #

    @46, @47 I wonder if maybe it depends on how you encountered Spiritualized first.

    I first heard Lazer Guided Melodies, and love it still. And I saw them in concert around that time and they blew me away. After that, Ladies and Gentlemen felt like an over-inflated retread of the same ideas, with diminishing returns.

    @46 Not trying to argue with your taste, but I would have guessed the consensus canonical albums from the other two were Emperor Tomato Ketchup and Dummy.

  52. 52
    flahr on 13 Apr 2014 #

    Third is also far better than Portishead, which has some interesting ideas but feels too much like a stumbling retread of Dummy. Also: Helen Love! Wonderful, in a sort of shit way. They then of course go on to have one of their frequent collaborators top the 1999 Festive 50, sadly unbunniedly (with first single I ever bought, I believe, and which an enthusiastic write-up of utterly failed to get me a job at the Official Charts Company earlier this year).

  53. 53
    Garry on 14 Apr 2014 #

    #51 – definitely, Ladies and Gentlemen was my introduction. And having heard a lot of prog this album never felt over-inflated to me.

    #50 I agree. In the 90s the artists had the structures of Indie-Rock and tracks were built around these. What to hand no these structures – soaring strings or prog guitars or Farfisa organs gives the differentiations between the bands. In the 70s it feels like a new music for a new audience using new structures – though in reality the new structures were often pilfered from classical or folk genres.

  54. 54
    lonepilgrim on 14 Apr 2014 #

    another highlight for me (and probably only a few others) in 1997 was the release of Rickie Lee Jones’ Ghostyhead – her response to/take on trip hop.

    1997 number 1s seem to represent a more diverse range of styles than we’ve seen for a while. No one type of music seems particularly dominant and there’s little sense of anything dramatically new. The visual arts in recent years have seen the rise of the ‘Curator’ to a more visible and powerful status – framing and reframing work in new constellations – and perhaps something similar has happened (and may very well have happened before) with producers and artists in the musical sphere. One such example that was compelling for me was the 1996 release of David Toop’s compilations ‘Ocean of Sound’ and ‘Crooning on Venus’ that drew connections between the music of Debussy, Aphex Twin, Beach Boys and Amazonian natives amongst others.

  55. 55
    ciaran on 14 Apr 2014 #

    12 out of 24. Of the 6 or above awarded by Tom I left out R Kelly and SG ‘Too Much’ but included Blur, Olive, and Will Smith of the records that received below 6.

    Not as good (or interesting in a lot of cases) as 1996 and the year as a whole had a 5 to 6 feel in a way!

  56. 56
    Garry on 15 Apr 2014 #

    #Myself It’s Mick Derrick – co-lead singer/shouter of Prolapse. Not Mick Dennis the entirely readable Norwich fan.

  57. 57
    Tom on 15 Apr 2014 #

    Here are the year poll winners to date (and the current % they’ve got)

    1997. White Town – “Your Woman (73%)
    1996: The Prodigy – “Firestarter” (71%)
    1995: Coolio – “Gangsta’s Paradise” (62%)
    1994: Baby D – “Let Me Be Your Fantasy” (48%)
    1993: Ace Of Base – “All That She Wants” (53%)
    1992: Shakespear’s Sister – “Stay” (58%)
    1991: The KLF – “3AM Eternal” (68%)
    1990: Sinead O’Connor – “Nothing Compares 2 U” (78%)
    1989: Madonna – “Like A Prayer” (79%)
    1988: S’Express – “Theme From S’Express” (57%)
    1987: Pet Shop Boys – “Always On My Mind” (72%)
    1986: Pet Shop Boys – “West End Girls” (82%)
    1985: Madonna – “Into The Groove” (72%)
    1984: Frankie Goes To Hollywood – “Relax” (74%)
    1983: Michael Jackson – “Billie Jean” (79%)
    1982: Dexys Midnight Runners – “Come On Eileen” (74%)
    1981: The Human League – “Don’t You Want Me” (81%)
    1980: David Bowie – “Ashes To Ashes” (78%)
    1979: Blondie – “Heart Of Glass” (85%)
    1978: Kate Bush – “Wuthering Heights” (80%)
    1977: Donna Summer – “I Feel Love” (76%)
    1976: ABBA – “Dancing Queen” (77%)
    1975: David Bowie – “Space Oddity” (82%)
    1974: ABBA – “Waterloo” (76%)
    1973: Slade – “Cum On Feel The Noize” (78%)
    1972: Alice Cooper – “School’s Out” (72%)
    1971: T Rex – “Get It On” (83%)
    1970: Smokey Robinson And The Miracles – “Tears Of A Clown” (81%)
    1969: Marvin Gaye – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (84%)
    1968: The Rolling Stones – “Jumping Jack Flash” (78%)
    1967: The Monkees – “I’m A Believer” (84%)
    1966: The Beach Boys – “Good Vibrations” (89%)
    1965: The Rolling Stones – “Satisfaction” (84%)
    1964: The Kinks – “You Really Got Me” (84%)
    1963: The Beatles – “She Loves You” (86%)
    1962: The Tornados – “Telstar” (78%)
    1961: Del Shannon – “Runaway” (79%)
    1960: NO POLL YET
    1959: NO POLL YET
    1958: Jerry Lee Lewis – “Great Balls Of Fire” (87%)
    1957 and earlier: NO POLL YET

  58. 58
    Tom on 15 Apr 2014 #

    And the worst (by vote):

    1997. Elton John – “Candle In The Wind 97” (2%)
    1996: Peter Andre – “I Feel You” (0%)
    1995: Robson And Jerome – “Unchained Melody” (0%)
    1994: Manchester United Football Squad – “Come On You Reds” (5%)
    1993: Mr Blobby – “Mr Blobby” (3%)
    1992: KWS – “Please Don’t Go”/”Game Boy” (7%)
    1991: Hale And Pace – “The Stonk” (1%)
    1990: Bombalurina – “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” (2%)
    1989: Jive Bunny – “Let’s Party” (1%)
    1988: Glenn Medeiros – “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You” (4%)
    1987: Ferry Aid – “Let It Be” (1%)
    1986: Nick Berry – “Every Loser Wins” (1%)
    1985: The Crowd – “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (2%)
    1984: Jim Diamond – “I Should Have Known Better” (6%)
    1983: Rod Stewart – “Baby Jane” (10%)
    1982: Renee And Renato – “Save Your Love” (2%)
    1981: Joe Dolce Music Theatre – “Shaddup Your Face” (7%)
    1980: St Winifreds School Choir – “There’s No One Quite Like Grandma” (1%)
    1979: Lena Martell – “One Day At A Time” (1%)
    1978: Brotherhood Of Man – “Figaro” (2%)
    1977: Brotherhood Of Man – “Angelo” (3%)
    1976: JJ Barrie – “No Charge” (1%)
    1975: Telly Savalas – “If” (2%)
    1974: Gary Glitter – “Always Yours” (6%)
    1973: Donny Osmond – “Young Love” (2%)
    1972: Little Jimmy Osmond – “Long Haired Lover From Liverpool” (2%)
    1971: Clive Dunn – “Grandad” (3%)
    1970: Dana – “All Kinds Of Everything” (7%)
    1969: Marmalade – “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” (8%)
    1968: Des O’Connor – “I Pretend” (1%)
    1967: Engelbert Humperdinck – “The Last Waltz” (5%)
    1966: Jim Reeves – “Distant Drums” (5%)
    1965: Ken Dodd – “Tears” (2%)
    1964: The Bachelors – “Diane” (4%)
    1963: Frank Ifield – “I’m Confessin” (4%)
    1962: Frank Ifield – “Lovesick Blues” (3%)
    1961: Eden Kane – “Well I Ask You” (3%)
    1960: NO POLL YET
    1959: NO POLL YET
    1958: Marvin Rainwater – “Whole Lotta Woman” (8%)
    1957 and earlier: NO POLL YET

  59. 59
    Rory on 15 Apr 2014 #

    Very interesting indeed. As I was reading the Poll Winners from bottom up, my sense that “these are all classics” only went awry when I reached S’Express in 1988, then recovered in 1989-91, then went off again 1992-94, and then recovered from 1995 onwards. Sure enough, those off years are the only ones where under 60% of voters thought the winner was a 6 or more. A 70% threshold would add 1991 and 1995 to the off years. Helps explain why the early ’90s were a slow patch for Popular.

    It Was The Best Of Times (Highest Poll Winner Percentages—Above 75%)
    89%: 1966
    87%: 1958
    86%: 1963
    85%: 1979
    84%: 1964, 1965, 1967, 1969
    83%: 1971
    82%: 1975, 1986
    81%: 1970, 1981
    80%: 1978
    79%: 1961, 1989, 1983
    78%: 1962, 1968, 1973, 1980, 1990
    77%: 1976
    76%: 1974, 1977

    It Was The Worst Of Times (Lowest Poll Percentages)
    0%: 1995, 1996
    1%: 1968, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991
    2%: 1965, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1978, 1982, 1985, 1990, 1997
    3%: 1961, 1962, 1977, 1993
    4%: 1963, 1964, 1988
    5%: 1966, 1967, 1994
    6%: 1974, 1984
    7%: 1970, 1981, 1992
    8%: 1958, 1969
    9%: —
    10%: 1983

    It Was The Best Of Times, It Wasn’t The Worst Of Times: mean of poll winner percentages and lowest percentages to give rough ranking of years

    1. 1958 (47.5%)
    2. 1966 (47%)
    3. 1969 (46%)
    4. 1963 (45%)
    5. 1967 (44.5%)
    6. 1983 (44.5%)
    7. 1964 (44%)
    8. 1970 (44%)
    9. 1981 (44%)
    10. 1979 (43%)
    11. 1965 (43%)
    12. 1971 (43%)
    13. 1975 (42%)
    14. 1986 (41.5%)
    15. 1978 (41%)
    16. 1961 (41%)
    17. 1974 (41%)
    18. 1962 (40.5%)
    19. 1989 (40%)
    20. 1973 (40%)
    21. 1990 (40%)
    22. 1984 (40%)
    23. 1968 (39.5%)
    24. 1980 (39.5%)
    25. 1977 (39.5%)
    26. 1976 (39%)
    27. 1982 (38%)
    28. 1997 (37.5%)
    29. 1972 (37%)
    30. 1985 (37%)
    31. 1987 (36.5%)
    32. 1996 (35.5%)
    33. 1991 (34.5%)
    34. 1992 (32.5%)
    35. 1995 (31%)
    36. 1988 (30.5%)
    37. 1993 (28%)
    38. 1994 (26.5%)

    A bit of extra number-crunching per year could give a more precise ranking (i.e. finding the mean of all user vote percentages in each year).

  60. 60
    Rory on 15 Apr 2014 #

    Sorry, I wasn’t paying close enough attention to how Excel was sorting that last list. Revised version to show years sharing a ranking:

    It Was The Best Of Times, It Wasn’t The Worst Of Times: mean of poll winner percentages and lowest percentages to give rough ranking of years

    1. 1958 (47.5%)
    2. 1966 (47%)
    3. 1969 (46%)
    4. 1963 (45%)
    =5. 1967, 1983 (44.5%)
    =7. 1964, 1970, 1981 (44%)
    =10. 1965, 1971, 1979 (43%)
    13. 1975 (42%)
    14. 1986 (41.5%)
    =15. 1961, 1974,1978 (41%)
    18. 1962 (40.5%)
    =19. 1973, 1984, 1989, 1990 (40%)
    =23. 1968, 1977, 1980 (39.5%)
    26. 1976 (39%)
    27. 1982 (38%)
    28. 1997 (37.5%)
    =29. 1972, 1985 (37%)
    31. 1987 (36.5%)
    32. 1996 (35.5%)
    33. 1991 (34.5%)
    34. 1992 (32.5%)
    35. 1995 (31%)
    36. 1988 (30.5%)
    37. 1993 (28%)
    38. 1994 (26.5%)

  61. 61
    tm on 15 Apr 2014 #

    Re: worst #1s @ 58: Please Don’t Go seems the only mildly controversial choice: all the others are either widely acknowledged ‘bad records’ or flotsam. I don’t see PDG as a record of the year but I’m surprised only 7% thought it worth a 6. (That said I can’t swear I voted for it either so maybe it’s an ignored record rather than a hated one.)

  62. 62
    Ed on 13 Aug 2014 #

    This seems like the best place to post the NME’s list of the “Top 100 Most Influential Artists”, which I started off harrumphing at like a retired colonel reading the Daily Telegraph, and ended up rather enjoying.

    Numbers 100-51 here:

    And the top 50 here:

    Topping the table, it’s the ‘Idioteque’ hitmakers, who had their biggest success so far this year, with ‘Paranoid Android’.

  63. 63
    Chelovek na lune on 1 Mar 2015 #

    Scottish/UK chart no 1 differences

    No 1 in Scotland but not UK :
    1) QFX – Freedom 2
    2) Texas – Say What You Want
    3) No Mercy – Where Do You Go
    4) Charlatans – North Country Boy
    5) DJ Quicksilver – Bellissimma
    6) Blur – Song 2
    7) Robbie Williams – Old Before I Die
    8) 911 – Bodyshakin’
    9) Seahorses – Love Is The Law
    10) Cardigans – Lovefool
    11) Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony
    12) Sash! ft Rodriguez – Ecuador
    13) Boyzone – Picture Of You
    14) Chumbawamba – Tubthumping

    No 1 in UK but not Scotland
    1) Tori Amos – Professional Widow
    2) White Town – Your Woman
    3) LL Cool J – Ain’t Nobody
    4) Chemical Brothers – Block Rockin’ Beats
    5) R Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly
    6) Michael Jackson – Blood On The Dancefloor
    7) Gary Barlow – Love Won’t Wait

    QFX notable for only making no 21 UK-wide: bouncy house from the borders with a Braveheart mix to go…. Otherwise, the enduring popularity of Britpop in Scotland (or at any rate that it is less rivalled by other genres) is evident. Texas feel like a group who “deserve” a number 1, so it is fitting they have one, at least in their native land, while the inclusion of another single by 911 on the list leaves me cold….

    No Mercy is a nice addition to the Scottish list, but White Town (kept off the top in Scotland by Texas) are a sad loss…. The relatively lesser degree of chart success enjoyed by Michael Jackson in Scotland, compared with UK-wide, which has been evident over the previous couple of years, continues.

  64. 64
    Cumbrian on 1 Mar 2015 #

    Love Is The Law by Seahorses?!

  65. 65
    Izzy on 1 Mar 2015 #

    Scotland also demonstrating the much-rumoured stronger commitment to social justice by giving Sash! a number one.

    Well either that or it’s the less-welcome legacy of sectarianism.

  66. 66
    Rory on 1 Mar 2015 #

    #64: A UK number 3 in May 1997, says Everyhit. Not the only triumphant return to be followed by disillusionment that month.

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