The 1998 Brit Awards were the 18th edition of the biggest UK pop ceremony and took place on 19 February at the London Arena. The host was Ben Elton. The accompanying album contained a record 40 tracks and was the 10th in the series.
Many of its songs have already been covered on this blog. You’ll find them on:
New Hits ’96: The Wannadies – You And Me Song.
Now That’s What I Call Music 36: Blur – Beetlebum.
New Hits 1997: Lisa Stansfield – The Real Thing.
Now That’s What I Call Music 37: Robbie Williams – Old Before I Die, No Doubt – Just A Girl, Eternal – I Wanna Be The Only One, Sash featuring Rodriguez – Ecuador.
Pure Hits ’97: Conner Reeves – My Father’s Son.
Fresh Hits 1997: Republica – Drop Dead Gorgeous.
Now Dance ’97: Chumbawamba – Tubthumping, PF Project featuring Ewan McGregor – Choose Life.
The Greatest Hits Of 1997: Erykah Badu – On and On.
Huge Hits 1997: Finley Quaye – Even After All, Shola Ama – You’re The One I Love, Coolio – Ooh La La, Dario G – Sunchyme.
Now That’s What I Call Music 38: Oasis – Stand By Me, Radiohead – Karma Police, Texas – Black Eyed Boy, Meredith Brooks – Bitch, Louise – Arms Around The World (Remix on Now Dance ’97), All Saints – I Know Where It’s At, LL Cool J – Phenomenon.
Bachelorette was the second single from Homogenic, Bjork’s third album. She previously won Best International Female Artist in 1994 and 1998. The song was originally intended for a Bernardo Bertolucci film which never went ahead. A tune worthy of a Bond film and its video, directed by Michel Gondry is a surreal masterpiece. We get the radio edit – the full length video version is linked below. Next is Paul Weller with the heavy soulful rock of Brushed from an era when it seemed like all the music snobs were ganging up against him. Slacker time: Eels with their gorgeous stop / start delight Novacaine For The Soul. From inbetweeners to where? Sleeper’s last lap gives us the understated She’s A Good Girl which turned out to be the first single purchased by actor Joe Thomas. Producer Stephen Street.
Newcomers: Stereophonics’ Traffic, the fourth 45 from Word Gets Around. I it like a lot more now than 1997, whiskey vocals a gogo. Nice to see the 7″ version too. Then we get the somewhat overlooked Best Bit, title track of Beth Orton’s EP released between Trailer Park and Central Reservation. Totally blissed out folktronica. Also getting started in 1997 were Travis whose upbeat Tied To The ’90s sounds a lot like Thom Yorke fronting a looser rhythm section. The first disc ends with Des’ree and I’m Kissing You which is taken from the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. Producer Nellee Hooper. A gorgeous, emotional and lulling ballad using only piano and string instrumentation. From the throat.
CD2 immediately drops some block rockin’ beats with the searing assault of The Prodigy’s Diesel Power which features a rap by Kool Keith. Volkswagen tune. Now for the zenith of drum ‘n’ bass, Roni Size / Reprazent in the house with the genre masterpiece Brown Paper Bag. I step to the rhythm every time I hear this. New Forms: Mercury Music Prize winner and decade champion. Elsewhere: Jamiroquai’s futuristic funk, the switched-on High Times, another classic from Travelling With Moving. Also blowing up the joint are the Brand New Heavies with the loaded groove that is Shelter. To the end: Outlaw Records was my main source of 12″s in ’97, Olive’s aptly-named Outlaw a long-buried space jam.
Roni Size / Reprazent – Brown Paper Bag
Des’ree – I’m Kissing You
Eels – Novacaine For The Soul
Bjork – Bachelorette
Paul Weller – Brushed
Lest we forget
Beth Orton – Best Bit
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