When it comes to the music that topped the charts in 1997, there was a lot of bad to go with the good. For many artists, such as Matchbox 20 and The Wallflowers, it was a breakthrough year. However, it was also the same year that saw “Mmmbop” and “Return of the Mack” top the charts. It was tough to cut the list down to ten, and there are several good songs that failed to make the list, but still deserve some recognition. “Walking On the Sun” (Smash Mouth), “One Headlight” (The Wallflowers), and “Triumph” (Wu-Tang Clan), all made their marks on the charts, but will have to settle for the honorable mention award.
10. “Lovefool” The Cardigans
It”s okay if you don”t want to admit in front of your friends that you like this song, but you know you do. It was the fourth most played song in America in 1997, and it seemed to go right to the Cardigans” head. In a recent interview, they said that because of the success of “Lovefool,” they no longer feel obligated to impress the music industry. If you”ve been unlucky enough to hear any of their new stuff, you know that”s an understatement.
9. “Crash”/”Tripping Billies”/”Lie In Our Graves”/Anything else off of Dave Matthews Band”s Crash
This album was so good, it was impossible to single out any one song. It topped the charts for all of “96 and “97, and was knocked off in “98 only because they released Before These Crowded Streets. Although Everyday is tearing up the charts now, in four years it will be collecting dust in the back of your CD book while Crash is still playing on your stereo.
8. “Brick” Ben Folds Five
This trio (no, there”s not five of them) hit gold with this song, but apparently their success was too much for them to handle. Because of problems ranging from disputes with their record label to personal differences, Ben Folds Five broke up in 2000. But Ben Folds fans shouldn”t worry. It is rumored that Hanson is trying to get Folds to co-write some tracks with them for their next album. In addition, Folds is currently wrapping up his solo debut, slated for a July release.
7. “Can”t Nobody Hold Me Down” Puff Daddy
Puffy”s breakthrough hit, “Can”t Nobody Hold Me Down,” marked the beginning of a successful career in sampling. An obvious rip-off of the “80s song “Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder, Puffy followed it up with “I”ll Be Missing You” (any Police fans out there?), which also spent most of “97 at the top of the charts.
6. “Karma Police” Radiohead
This is what you get when you mess with the karma police. According to many Radiohead fans, the big record labels are finally getting what they deserve. They believe that the karma police are getting revenge on the record companies through Napster. Who exactly are the karma police you ask? While there are many conflicting answers, one thing is for sure. Beware the karma police, because they will catch up with you sooner or later.
5. “Dangerous” Busta Ryhmes
For all of you hardcore Busta Rhymes fans out there, here is a fact you should enjoy. The chorus to “Dangerous” is actually from a 1983 public service announcement made for local New York TV by a local poison control center. For all of those people who think rap is detrimental to society, it should be refreshing to know that someone is trying to help people understand that poison is bad. You should have a healthy fear of us, cause too much of us is dangerous. Thanks for the tip Busta.
4. “Devil”s Haircut” Beck
After winning a Grammy in 1997 for best alternative music performance Odelay, Beck proved that he is not a loser baby, so you don”t have to kill him. Although “Devil”s Haircut” wasn”t as big of a hit as “Loser,” it certainly stopped critics from calling Beck a one hit wonder. No one knows for sure what Beck is talking about in this song, but does it really matter?
3. “Virtual Insanity” Jamiroquai
There”s nothing worse than living in a virtual insanity. Hands down, “Virtual Insanity” was the coolest song of 1997. For anyone who can remember, the video for this song was unbelievable and won best music video at the 1997 MTV music video awards. However, Jamiroquai needs to take their own advice. If they think that they can sit back, relax and simply ride out this hit for years to come, then they”re the ones living in a virtual insanity.
2. “Bittersweet Symphony” The Verve
This song was truly bittersweet for The Verve. While “Bittersweet Symphony” looked like it was going to be the hit that would launch them into stardom, it sent them straight into a downward spiral. Because of a small background sample taken from a Rolling Stones related track, the Verve had to give up 100% of the royalties from the song. Two years later, they broke up.
1. “Hypnotize” Notorious B.I.G.
Since it seemed unfair to put two Biggie songs in the top ten, it was a close call between “Hypnotize” and “Mo Money Mo Problems.” However, “Hypnotize” edged it out based on the fact that it had a much better video. The first single released off this double disc album, “Hypnotize” propelled Life After Death to the top of the charts for most of the year. Biggie, Biggie, Biggie, can”t you see, sometimes your words just hypnotize me. Couldn”t have said it better myself.