The second year-end Hits collection was released in November 1997. In common with Huge Hits 1996, many of the tracks had already been included on previous volumes. However the ratio of already on: new-to-Hits songs was now much improved – 24 vs 18.
To recap, 24 tracks had already been released on the last two Hits albums:
New Hits 1997: No Mercy – Where Do You Go, Gina G – Fresh, Mark Owen – Clementine, Tori Amos – Professional Widow, The Blueboy – Remember Me, Republica – Ready To Go, Apollo 440 – Ain’t Talkin’ About Dub, Smoke City – Underwater Love, Michelle Gayle – Do You Know, Lisa Stansfield – The Real Thing.
Fresh Hits 1997: Gala – Freed From Desire, Backstreet Boys – Everybody, Dannii – All I Wanna Do, Boyzone – Isn’t It A Wonder, Gary Barlow – Love Won’t Wait, Mr President – Coco Jamboo, Katrina and The Waves – Love Shine A Light, R Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly, Lightning Seeds – You Showed Me, Jamiroquai – Alright, Olive – You’re Not Alone, Rosie Gaines – Closer Than Close, Toni Braxton – I Don’t Want To, Notorious BIG – Hypnotise.
And then there were the songs that had already been snared by their rival compilation Now That’s What I Call Music 37: Texas – Halo, Ultra Nate – Free, Sash! – Ecuador. And we must not forget its sidekick Now Dance ’97 where you can find N-Trance – Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?, Coolio – Oh La La. Meanwhile you can go right back to the start of the year for Now That’s What I Call Music 36 which showcased No Doubt – Don’t Speak.
We start with some recent hits. I’ll Be Missing You features Puff Daddy, Faith Evans and R&B group 112. Dedicated to the memory of fellow Bad Boy Records artist The Notorious B.I.G. who was murdered on March 9, 1997. It samples The Police’s Every Breath You Take, with an interpolation chorus sung by Evans. 8,000,000 people can’t be wrong. Next comes the dreamy trance of Dario G, a debut named Sunchyme which samples The Dream Academy’s Life In A Northern Town. A #2 smash, stalled behind Candle In The Wind. Leading into M People’s slow strummer Just For You, the first fruit of Fresco and Shola Ama’s hard-wired You’re The One I Love. Tina Moore’s Never Gonna Let You Go is a jerky dancefloor slammer originally recorded in 1995 but remixed to enhance its danceability.
Hey ho, let’s go! Ricky Martin’s Maria. Uptempo worldwide appeal. Slick ballad time: OTT, Ireland’s forgotten boyband give it their best shot on a soulful rendition of Air Supply’s All Out Of Love. Certainly beats Westlife / Delta Goodrem. Elsewhere Sly and Robbie join forces with Simply Red on a classy cover of Gregory Isaac’s Night Nurse. And jack to the Mack: Mark Morrison’s hot dubby platter, Who’s The Mack! For all the girls he’s loved before, thrill to the sound of Finley Quaye’s laidback stoner picnic tune Even After All. Relax to the slow Philly that is Az Yet’s Hard To Say I’m Sorry before dropping out to En Vogue’s solemn cut-loose bullet Too Gone Too Long.
Finley Quaye – Even After All
M People – Just For You
Puff Daddy, Faith Evans featuring 112 and The Lox – I’ll Be Missing You
Dario G – Sunchyme
Mark Owen – Clementine
Lest we forget
OTT – All Out Of Love
Missing tracks and other thoughts
A decent mash-up but there’s a dearth of guitar music. Nice to see you:
Blink 182 – Dammit. Wise beyond their years.
Jewel – Foolish Games. Haunting relic from the Batman and Robin soundtrack.