Pick of the Year: 1999

‘They say two thousand zero zero party over, Oops out of time, So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999’ – Prince

1999

Dad’s ‘Pick of the Year’ tapes were always a firm family favourite where he would make a compilation cassette of his favourite songs form that year. He stopped in 1992 however, when music got a bit too modern for him. It’s something over the years I’ve tried to carry on, and did for a while but, no one listens to CDs anymore and they don’t have the same impact as mp3 playlists. I’ve often thought about restarting it all from 1982 on my blog though just so I have somewhere to put them all for prosperity sake.

The first rule of POTY is DON’T TALK ABOUT PICK OF THE YEAR, sorry, that’s the illegal underground fight club i’m part of.

The first rule of POTY is that you can only pick songs that charted in the top 75 in the UK. The second rule of POTY is that you can only pick enough songs that would fit onto an old C120 cassette (between 30-40 tracks). The final rule, one which I’ve imposed myself, is that you must include that year’s Christmas number 1 (highlighted in green)

  1. Fatboy Slim – Right Here Right Now
  2. Jordan Knight – Give it to You
  3. TLC – No Scrubs
  4. Vengaboys – We Like to Party
  5. Ricky Martin – Livin La Vida Loca
  6. Lou Bega – Mambo No. 5
  7. Enrique Eglesias – Bailamos
  8. Backstreet Boys – Larger than Life
  9. S Club 7 – S Club Party
  10. Will Smith – Wild, Wild, West
  11. Terrorvision – Tequila
  12. Madonna – Beautiful Stranger
  13. B*Witched – Blame it on the Weatherman
  14. Wandue Project – King of My Castle
  15. Robbie Williams – Strong
  16. Baz Luhrman – Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen)
  17. 5ive – Keep on Movin
  18. Geri Halliwell – Mi Chico Latino
  19. Cardigans – Erase/Rewind
  20. Moloko – Sing it Back
  21. ATB – 9pm (til i come)
  22. Eiffel 65 – Blue
  23. Bran Van 3000 – Drinking in LA
  24. Ann Lee – 2 Times
  25. Will Smith – Will2K
  26. Jennifer Lopez – If You Had My Love
  27. Eminem – My Name Is
  28. Semisonic – Secret Smile
  29. A+ – Enjoy Yourself
  30. Fierce – Dayz Like That
  31. Britney Spears – Baby One More Time
  32. Christina Aguilera – Genie in a Bottle
  33. Shaft – Mucho Mambo
  34. Beverley Knight – Greatest Day
  35. 5ive – If Ya Gettin Down
  36. Britney Spears – (You Drive Me) Crazy
  37. Sixpence None the Richer – Kiss Me
  38. New Radicals – You Get What You Give
  39. Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way
  40. Westlife – I Have a Dream/Seasons in the Sun
  41. Bloodhound Gang – The Bad Touch
  42. Len – Steal My Sunshine
  43. Dr Dre – Still DRE
  44. REM – The Great Beyond

Pick of the Year: 1998

‘From 1942 to 1998 I threw a rock ‘n’ roll party on my last birthday’ – Johnny Cash

1998

Dad’s ‘Pick of the Year’ tapes were always a firm family favourite where he would make a compilation cassette of his favourite songs form that year. He stopped in 1992 however, when music got a bit too modern for him. It’s something over the years I’ve tried to carry on, and did for a while but, no one listens to CDs anymore and they don’t have the same impact as mp3 playlists. I’ve often thought about restarting it all from 1982 on my blog though just so I have somewhere to put them all for prosperity sake.

The first rule of POTY is DON’T TALK ABOUT PICK OF THE YEAR, sorry, that’s the illegal underground fight club i’m part of.

The first rule of POTY is that you can only pick songs that charted in the top 75 in the UK. The second rule of POTY is that you can only pick enough songs that would fit onto an old C120 cassette (between 30-40 tracks). The final rule, one which I’ve imposed myself, is that you must include that year’s Christmas number 1 (highlighted in green)

  1. The Mavericks – Dance The Night Away
  2. All Saints – Bootie Call
  3. 5ive – Everybody Get Up
  4. Tin Tin Out – Here’s Where The Story Ends
  5. Jennifer Paige – Crush
  6. Usher – You Make Me Wanna
  7. Kci & JoJo – All My Life
  8. Billie – Because We Want To
  9. Spice Girls – Viva Forever
  10. Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)
  11. Sheryl Crow – My Favourite Mistake
  12. Pras Michel – Ghetto Superstar
  13. Brandy & Monica – The Boy Is Mine
  14. Run DMC vs Jason Nevins – It’s Like That
  15. Madonna – Ray of Light
  16. Billie Myers – Kiss The Rain
  17. Puff Daddy – Come With Me
  18. Cornershop – Brimful of Asha
  19. B*Witched – C’est La Vie
  20. Melanie B – I Want You Back
  21. R Kelly – Home Alone
  22. Natalie Imbruglia – Big Mistake
  23. All Saints – Lady Marmalade
  24. Eagle Eye Cherry – Save Tonight
  25. Spice Girls – Goodbye
  26. Verve – Sonnet
  27. Will Smith – Gettin Jiggy Wit It
  28. Savage Garden – Truly Madly Deeply
  29. Hanson – Weird
  30. 5ive – Got the Feelin
  31. Wyclef Jean – Gone til November
  32. Bamboo – Bamboogie
  33. Busta Rhymes – Turn it Up
  34. Stardust – Music Sounds Better
  35. Robbie Williams – No Regrets
  36. Fatboy Slim – The Rockafeller Skank
  37. Fastball – The Way
  38. Backstreet Boys – All I Have to Give
  39. Air – Sexy Boy
  40. Imani Coppola – Legend of a Cowgirl
  41. N-Tyce – Telefunkin
  42. Matchbox 20 – Push
  43. Garbage – Push It
  44. Hinda Hicks – You Think You Own Me
  45. Next – Too Close
  46. Beastie Boys – Intergalactic
  47. TQ – Westside

 

Pick of the Year: 1997

‘1997, Heaven only knows where this thing is gonna go’ – Kool and the Gang

1997

Dad’s ‘Pick of the Year’ tapes were always a firm family favourite where he would make a compilation cassette of his favourite songs form that year. He stopped in 1992 however, when music got a bit too modern for him. It’s something over the years I’ve tried to carry on, and did for a while but, no one listens to CDs anymore and they don’t have the same impact as mp3 playlists. I’ve often thought about restarting it all from 1982 on my blog though just so I have somewhere to put them all for prosperity sake.

The first rule of POTY is DON’T TALK ABOUT PICK OF THE YEAR, sorry, that’s the illegal underground fight club i’m part of.

The first rule of POTY is that you can only pick songs that charted in the top 75 in the UK. The second rule of POTY is that you can only pick enough songs that would fit onto an old C120 cassette (between 30-40 tracks). The final rule, one which I’ve imposed myself, is that you must include that year’s Christmas number 1 (highlighted in green)

  1. DJ Quicksilver – Bellisima
  2. Backstreet Boys – Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)
  3. Elton John – Something About The Way You Look Tonight
  4. Will Smith – Men in Black
  5. Spice Girls – Spice Up Your Life
  6. Hanson – Mmmbop
  7. LL Cool J – Phemonenon
  8. Gala – Freed From Desire
  9. Boyz II Men – 4 Seasons of Lonliness
  10. Spice Girls – Who Do You Think You Are
  11. En Vogue – Don’t Let Go (Love)
  12. No Doubt – Don’t Speak
  13. Oasis – D’You Know What I Mean
  14. Various – Perfect Day
  15. Todd Terry – Something Goin’ On
  16. Janet Jackson – Got Til It’s Gone
  17. Fun Lovin Criminals – Scooby Snacks
  18. Chumbawamba – Tubthumping
  19. Hanson – Where’s the Love
  20. R Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly
  21. Blur – On Your Own
  22. Robbie Williams – Angels
  23. Ulra Nate – Free
  24. Blackstreet – Don’t Leave Me
  25. Meredith Brooks – Bitch
  26. All Saints – I Know Where It’s At
  27. Peter Andre – All About Us
  28. Janet Jackson – Together Again
  29. All Saints – Never Ever
  30. Kula Shaker – Hush
  31. Michael Jackson – Blood on the Dance Floor
  32. Dario G – Sunchyme
  33. Puff Daddy – I’ll Be Missing You
  34. Verve – Bittersweet Symphony
  35. Texas – Black Eyed Boy
  36. PF Project – Choose Life
  37. Verve – The Drugs Don’t Work
  38. Notorious BIG – Mo Money Mo Problems
  39. Rosie Gaines – Closer than Close
  40. Texas – Say What You Want
  41. Pacebo – Nancy Boy
  42. Sash – Encore Une Fois
  43. Spice Girls – Too Much
  44. Blue Boy – Remember Me
  45. White Town – Your Woman
  46. Do Doubt – Just A Girl
  47. Verve – Lucjy Man

Pick of the Year: 1996

‘I had no cares in the 1990s, I knew of no downfalls, though war was breaking out all around me, my concerns were with prank calls’ – The Wombats

1996

Dad’s ‘Pick of the Year’ tapes were always a firm family favourite where he would make a compilation cassette of his favourite songs form that year. He stopped in 1992 however, when music got a bit too modern for him. It’s something over the years I’ve tried to carry on, and did for a while but, no one listens to CDs anymore and they don’t have the same impact as mp3 playlists. I’ve often thought about restarting it all from 1982 on my blog though just so I have somewhere to put them all for prosperity sake.

The first rule of POTY is DON’T TALK ABOUT PICK OF THE YEAR, sorry, that’s the illegal underground fight club i’m part of.

The first rule of POTY is that you can only pick songs that charted in the top 75 in the UK. The second rule of POTY is that you can only pick enough songs that would fit onto an old C120 cassette (between 30-40 tracks). The final rule, one which I’ve imposed myself, is that you must include that year’s Christmas number 1 (highlighted in green)

  1. Bluetones – Slight Return
  2. Oasis – Don’t Look Back in Anger
  3. Mark Morrison – Return of the Mack
  4. Bone Thugs N Harmony – The Crossroads
  5. OMC – How Bizarre
  6. Warren G (feat Adina Howard) – What’s Love Got to do With It
  7. The Fugees – Killing Me Softly
  8. Cher – One By One
  9. Suede – Beautiful Ones
  10. Terrorvision – Perseverance
  11. Toni Braxton – Un-break My Heart
  12. George Michael – Spinning The Wheel
  13. The Fugees – Ready or Not
  14. Saint Etienne – He’s On The Phone
  15. Ocean Colour Scene – The Day We Caught The Train
  16. Bon Jovi – Hey God
  17. Sheryl Crow – If It Makes You Happy
  18. Spice Girls – Wannabe
  19. Kula Shaker – Hey Dude
  20. Bryan Adams – The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me is You
  21. Alisha’a Attic – I Am, I Feel
  22. Gabrielle – Give Me A Little More Time
  23. Cast – Walkaway
  24. East 17 (feat. Gabrielle) – If You Ever
  25. The Prodigy – Breathe
  26. Gabrielle – Forget About the World
  27. Lighthouse Family – Ocean Drive
  28. Neneh Cherry – Woman
  29. Louise – Naked
  30. Alanis Morissette – Ironic
  31. George Michael – Fastlove
  32. Dodgy – Good Enough
  33. Faithless – Insomnia
  34. Manic Street Preachers – A Design for Life
  35. 2 Pac – California Love
  36. Prodigy – Firestarter
  37. Robbie Williams – Freedom
  38. Lisa Moorish – Mr Friday Night
  39. Kula Shaker – Tattva
  40. Celine Dion – Because You Loved Me
  41. Joan Osborne – One of Us
  42. Space – Neighbourhood
  43. Spice Girls – 2 Become 1

Pick of the Year: 1995

‘1995 is missing buses, It’s walking 15 miles to see your love’ – The Radio Dept. 

Dad’s ‘Pick of the Year’ tapes were always a firm family favourite where he would make a compilation cassette of his favourite songs form that year. He stopped in 1992 however, when music got a bit too modern for him. It’s something over the years I’ve tried to carry on, and did for a while but, no one listens to CDs anymore and they don’t have the same impact as mp3 playlists. I’ve often thought about restarting it all from 1982 on my blog though just so I have somewhere to put them all for prosperity sake.

1995

The first rule of POTY is DON’T TALK ABOUT PICK OF THE YEAR, sorry, that’s the illegal underground fight club i’m part of.

The first rule of POTY is that you can only pick songs that charted in the top 75 in the UK. The second rule of POTY is that you can only pick enough songs that would fit onto an old C120 cassette (between 30-40 tracks). The final rule, one which I’ve imposed myself, is that you must include that year’s Christmas number 1 (highlighted in green)

  1. Oasis – Wonderwall
  2. The Bucketheads – The Bomb
  3. Def Leppard – When Love and Hate Collide
  4. Take That – Back for Good
  5. Blur – Country House
  6. McAlmont & Butler – Yes
  7. Bon Jovi – This Ain’t a Love Song
  8. Everything But The Girl – Missing
  9. Pulp – Common People
  10. Coolio – Gangsta’s Paradise
  11. Human League – Tell Me When
  12. The Rembrandts – I’ll Be There For You
  13. Seal – Kiss From a  Rose
  14. Scarlet – Independent Love Song
  15. Bobby Brown – Two Can Play That Game
  16. Take That – Never Forget
  17. Michael Jackson – You Are Not Alone
  18. Ultimate Kaos – Hoochie Booty
  19. Diana King – Shy Guy
  20. Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know
  21. Montel Jordan – This Is How We Do It
  22. Madonna – You’ll See
  23. TLC – Waterfalls
  24. Brownstone – If You Love Me
  25. East 17 – Hold My Body Tight
  26. Alanis Morissette – Hand in my Pocket
  27. Janet Jackson – Whoops Now
  28.  MN8 – I’ve Got A Little Something For You
  29. Edwyn Collns – A Girl Like You
  30. Freak Power – Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out
  31. Wildchild – Renegade Master
  32. Mike & The Mechanics – Over My Shoulder
  33. Ali Campbell – That Look In Your Eyes
  34. Oasis – Roll With It
  35. Alex Party – Don’t Give Me Your Life
  36. Simply Red – Fairground
  37. Love City Groove – Love City Groove
  38. Shaggy – Mr Boombastic
  39. Dana Dawson – 3 is Family
  40. Livin Joy – Dreamer
  41. Michael Jackson – Earth Song

Pick of the Year: 1994

‘It’s better to burn out than to fade away’ – Kurt Cobain (1994)

Dad’s ‘Pick of the Year’ tapes were always a firm family favourite where he would make a compilation cassette of his favourite songs form that year. He stopped in 1992 however, when music got a bit too modern for him. It’s something over the years I’ve tried to carry on, and did for a while but, no one listens to CDs anymore and they don’t have the same impact as mp3 playlists. I’ve often thought about restarting it all from 1982 on my blog though just so I have somewhere to put them all for prosperity sake.

1994

The first rule of POTY is DON’T TALK ABOUT PICK OF THE YEAR, sorry, that’s the illegal underground fight club i’m part of.

The first rule of POTY is that you can only pick songs that charted in the top 75 in the UK. The second rule of POTY is that you can only pick enough songs that would fit onto an old C120 cassette (between 30-40 tracks). The final rule, one which I’ve imposed myself, is that you must include that year’s Christmas number 1 (highlighted in green)

  1. R Kelly – She’s Got That Vibe
  2. Michelle Gayle – Sweetness
  3. PJ & Duncan – Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble
  4. Doop – Doop
  5. Warren G – Regulate
  6. Ultimate Kaos – Some Girls
  7. Take That – Everything Changes
  8. Corona – Rhythm of the Night
  9. The Cranberries – Linger
  10. Sheryl Crow – All I Wanna Do
  11. Prodigy – No Good
  12. China Black – Searching
  13. East 17 – Stay Another Day
  14. Madonna – Secret
  15. Aswad – Shine
  16. Dawn Penn – No No No
  17. Eternal – Just A Step from Heaven
  18. Reel 2 Reel – I Like To Move It
  19. Celine Dion – Thin Twice
  20. Blur – Girls and Boys
  21. Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds
  22. Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl
  23. Crash Test Dummies – Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
  24. Lisa Loeb – Stay
  25. Whigfield – Saturday Night
  26. K7 – Come Baby Come
  27. Take That – Babe
  28.  Pato Banton – Baby Come Back
  29. EYC – The Way You Work It
  30. Enigma – Return to Innocence
  31. CJ Lewis – Sweets for me Sweet
  32. Shampoo – Trouble
  33. Bruce Springsteen – Streets of Philadelphia
  34. D:Ream – Things Can Only Get Better
  35. Stiltskin – Inside
  36. Bon Jovi – Always
  37. Kylie Minogue – Confide in Me
  38. East 17 – Steam
  39. Tina Arena – Chains
  40. Weezer – Buddy Holly

Helen’s brief history of Hip Hop

‘All of a sudden they came out and it was like party records but doing it with a conscience’ – Mike D (Beastie Boys)

You would never guess it from looking at me but one of my great loves in life, other than my friends and family and The Backstreet Boys is 80s and 90s rap music. I can only guess that my passion for pop music with a slightly urban edge was down to a Now That’s What I Call Music type compilation. In fact my first conscious memory of loving a rap song (or at least a song with a rap in it) was Buffalo Stance by Neneh Cherry which was on my Now 14 VHS video in 1988 when I was 6.

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Swiftly after that Salt N Pepa came out with their anthem Push It, which, going to a predominantly American Elementary school seemed to me what all the cool kids were listening to and I was obsessed with it. Inbetween my love for Bananarama and Madonna’s True Blue album in there were cracks in my musical taste that needed filling. We lived on an army base so access to any kind of new music was limited to Cliff Richard-tastic BFBS radio and Top of The Pops once a week. So thank god my parents realised that we needed more entertainment that BBC1 and the Super Channel (which was Belgian) and finally got Sky TV. With Sky TV came the greatest acronym in the world: MTV.

This of course was when MTV actually just played music videos all day but one of the few shows they did have on was Yo! MTV Raps. It was always on late at night but repeated an edited version at 7am on a Sunday morning which I would watch before Inspector Gadget. Bearing in mind I couldn’t have been more than 8 years old at the time I’m not trying to make up I was some rap and hip hop prodigy, I’m not saying I was into KRS One or NWA – most of the show would be of very little interest to me but one thing I was really drawn to was the happier, poppier, more positive rap like De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest and The Pharcyde.

A lot of my wardrobe pays homage to my love of all things 80s hip hop!

I loved the way they dressed (a precursor to geek chic if ever there was one) with their flat tops and brightly coloured shirts and music videos full of colour and silliness. The style of the songs were almost nursery rhyme like but with a way more positive message than just how much money they had or how many women they’d doinked.

I’ve clearly been a lyrics person since a young age as I quickly became really interested in the flow and learning how to sing along as best I could. I have vivid memories of a family holiday to Blankenberg where rain stopped play for the afternoon so I sat in my room with my walkman memorising the verses to Let’s Talk About Sex by Salt N Pepa and being proper chuffed with myself when I finally nailed it. Once those lyrics are in your head they never leave! I’ve always had an aptitude for retaining lyrics, in fact my mum always said if my times tables had been set to music  may not have had to resit my maths GCSE.

In more recent times my love for happy poppy rap has been reignited with Childish Gambino’s 2012 album Camp and Sway’s 2015 record Deliverence. So much so that it’s made me nostalgic for all the old stuff I used to listen to as a kid and remember a happier time when people weren’t trying to out do each other by being controversial, fornicating with their wives on motorbikes or shooting each other! I’m sure that true rap fans would probably think I’m just a little poptart who likes all the cheesy playschool stuff. But that’s fine. I can still recite Left Eyes’s rap from Waterfalls word perfectly. And that makes me cool.

My all time top 20 favourite rap songs (in no particular order):

Childish Gambino – Not Going Back

De La  Soul – Me, Myself and I

The Pharcyde – Drop

Will Smith – I Loved You

Run DMC – It’s Tricky

Kriss Kross – Jump

MC Lyte – Cold Rock Party

Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It

Salt n Pepa – None of Your Business

Sway – Saturday Night Hustle

Outkast – So Fresh, So Clean

Young MC – Principals Office

Tinie Tempah – Illusion

Rizzle Kicks – I Love You More Than You Think

Kanye West – Diamonds are Forever (Jay-Z Remix)

Eminem – Superman

Beastie Boys – Intergalatic

Notorious BIG – Hypnotize

Ludacris – Roll Out

Jungle Brothers – Black is Black