Was 1998 the greatest year in music?
Well… probably not, but when I take a look at the ARIA end of year charts, listing the highest selling songs for 1998, it reads like a who’s who of my CD collection. At 13 I was the target age for up-beat pop tunes that lacked any real substance. So yes, deep in my CD collection, you will find an album by Aqua.
1998 was full of more than just bouncy bubble-gum pop-tunes though. The year saw the some of the greatest rock songs from the 90s sit high on the charts – Iris by Goo Goo Dolls, I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing by Aerosmith, Prisoner of Society by The Living End and Time of Your Life by Green Day. Then there was the re-release of Sweetest Thing from U2 with their awesome over the top “apology” music video. There are countless other awesome rock/alternative hits that charted in 1998 from artists like Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow, New Radicals, Metallica, Garbage, The Verve, the list goes on!
The year also saw the debut of great artists like Bachelor Girl (sadly no longer together) with their catchy song Buses & Trains and Bic Runga with her beautiful melodies singing Sway.
Then there was the debut of a girl who these days is best known as The Doctor’s companion.
In 1998 Billie Piper (or as she was known as back then just “Billie”) released her rather catchy/irritating pop track Because We Want To. It debuted at number one in the UK and reached number nineteen in Australia.
Perhaps the most significant debut on the Australian charts was that of Ricky Martin. He was of course already hugely successful elsewhere overseas before The Cup Of Life roared onto the ARIA Charts but this was the first time Australian audiences had really been introduced to the Latin singer. The Cup of Life was at number one for six weeks and coupled with the artists previous hit Maria as a double A-side. In 1998 we fell in love with Ricky Martin and havent looked back since.
Boybands were also having continued success in 1998. The charts were littered with hits from Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, Boyzone, Five and Australia’s own Human Nature – as a fan of the latter, I kind of feel like its important to point out they are the only ones still together.
Tongue-in-cheek tunes also had success in 1998. George Michael released the very brazen Outside which poked fun at his 1998 incident with an undercover police officer. And Pauline Pantsdown parodied fish-and-chip shop owner turned politician Pauline Hanson with I Don’t Like It, a catchy mix of soundbites from one of the most racist women to enter the political circle.
In 1997 Celine Dion started singing My Heart Will Go On and we thought it would go on forever because it still seemed to be playing throughout 1998. The theme from Titanic that went on longer than the movie.
This is of course just a small snapshot of music that was popular or debuted in 1998. There are a ton of great collection videos out there with music from the year, just like this one:
Hit the comments below and tell me what your favourite song from 1998.