The Greatest Hits Of 1998 (Telstar, 1998)

Greatest Hits Of 1998

Greatest Hits Of 1998 r

The Greatest Hits Of 1998 is notable for its packaging – the (slight) return of the fatbox. Last seen on a UK compilation sometime around late 1994. This allows the reverse of the front inlay to carry an advertisement for The Best Of Dance ’98 (which I’ll review on 9 September). The booklet has the customary credits in a larger font and we get six number ones: Never Ever, Doctor Jones, Brimful Of Asha, Three Lions ’98, Feel It, It’s Like That.

I’ve already written about the bulk of the tracks (33). See these:
Big Hits: Natalie Imbruglia – Torn.
New Hits ’98: Cornershop – Brimful Of Asha (Norman Cook Remix), Backstreet Boys – All I Have To Give, Run DMC and Jason Nevins – It’s Like That, Five – When The Lights Go Out.
Now That’s What I Call Music 39: Robbie Williams – Let Me Entertain You, Spice Girls – Stop, All Saints – Never Ever, LeeAnn Rimes – How Do I Live, Space with Cerys – The Ballad Of Tom Jones, Lighthouse Family – High, Billie Myers – Kiss The Rain.
Smash Hits Summer ’98: Aqua – Doctor Jones, The Tamperer featuring Maya – Feel It.
Fresh Hits ’98: The Corrs – Dreams (Tee’s Radio), Simply Red – Say You Love Me, Lutricia McNeal – Stranded, Baddiel and Skinner and Lightning Seeds – Three Lions ’98, Bus Stop featuring Carl Douglas – Kung Fu Fighting.
Now That’s What I Call Music 40: The Mavericks – Dance The Night Away, Fatboy Slim – The Rockafeller Skank, Fat Les – Vindaloo, Embrace – Come Back To What You Know, Mousse T vs Hot ‘N’ Juicy – Horny, K-Ci & Jo-Jo – All My Life, Sparkle featuring R Kelly – Be Careful
Big Hits ’98: Steps – One For Sorrow.
Now Dance ’98: Jennifer Paige – Crush (Dance Mix), Touch & Go – Would You?, Sash featuring Tina Cousins – Mysterious Times, Ace Of Base – Life Is A Flower, Fatboy Slim – Gangster Trippin’, T-Spoon – Sex On The Beach.

“They shaved their heads, and had tattoos, and were a lot, lot cooler than the nancy boys of Take That. In the great five-year battle that dominated British pop, East 17 were also on the winning side. Their music was sharper and more streetwise. It was infused with hip hop and sold by the bucketload: 18 million records across Europe, compared with Take That’s paltry 17 million.” (Guy Adams)
East 17 had gone through a turbulent 1997. Brian Harvey was sacked after praising the taking of ecstasy while Tony Mortimer left a few months later. Harvey was re-instated and the band – now calling themselves E-17 – landed a deal with Telstar. So that means Each Time is the first “exclusive” on The Greatest Hits Of 1998; it’s a slow jam, not one that immediately grabs you.

CD2 throws up Alda’s Real Good Time, uptempo positive Icelandic pop while its final five tracks are fresh. What do I get? Will Mellor’s cover of I Need You is predictably bland. Better is Lutricia McNeal’s reggae-flavoured Someone Loves You Honey. Sash! makes a second appearance and churns out another trance bomb but unfortunately Move Mania is a bit of damp squib. There’s a double from T-Spoon too; Tom’s Party is a bastardised attempt at mashing up Suzanne Vega’s Tom’s Diner into bad Euro house. Stick with DNA. And finally this uninspiring stretch concludes with the garish wedding disco nightmare Tell Me Ma which is brought to you by the abysmal fake folk sound of Sham Rock.

Favourite tracks
All Saints – Never Ever

Spice Girls – Stop

Cornershop – Brimful Of Asha (Norman Cook Remix)

Fatboy Slim – The Rockafeller Skank

Space with Cerys of Catatonia – The Ballad Of Tom Jones

Lest we forget
Fat Les – Vindaloo

Missing tracks and other thoughts
A disappointing entry in The Greatest Hits Of series. As an annual event, it invariably struggles against predictable inclusions. However, in this instance the compilers would have been better sticking to established hits rather than the anaemic “new” tunes. It’s clear that the budget wasn’t there to follow the Huge Hits 1998 template and drop in a couple of monster hits.

This entry was posted in Greatest Hits Of. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to The Greatest Hits Of 1998 (Telstar, 1998)

  1. Ben Cook says:

    Dance Tip: A Decade Of Dance from ’97 was a fat box, though that had 3 discs!

  2. andynoax says:

    I’ll stick up for Sash! if only for the Shannon vocal which I really love. Also, surprisingly given how much I detested ‘Sex On The Beach’, I didn’t have a problem with ‘Tom’s Party’ at the time really. Not sure I’d want to hear it again mind you.

    You are absolutely bang on with Sham Rock though – unspeakably bad. And I still occasionally hear it at bloody weddings.

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      I’d forgotten Move Mania featured Shannon. She’s not even credited here. I was at a wedding earlier this summer and they played Sham Rock and the diabolical Hermes House Band’s version of Country Roads.

  3. Feel the Quality says:

    I’ve never quite understood Vindaloo. It’s utter shite and yes, it’s easy to sing to but what’s the point of it? Keith Allen is a colossal bell-end too who seems to be given a free pass for co-writing (the admittedly fantastic) World in Motion, so him gurning his way through everything brings my piss to a boil! I get the feeling he’s the type of guy who would go out for a curry with his friends and order a Vindaloo to try and appear hard. Then eat the whole thing even though he’s not enjoying it and cry his way through the exit process the following day.

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      LOL “the exit process”. Always found the Vindaloo video funny. Keith Allen I can take or leave – he was surprisingly good in that Inspector Morse episode that Danny Boyle wrote. Also enjoyed his cameo in Spaced.

      • Feel the Quality says:

        Oh yeah, his acting isn’t bad at all and his work with The Comic Strip is very good. It’s his antics elsewhere that annoy me. Like telling an Indian that he hasn’t got a chip on his shoulder, he’s got a poppadom. Or getting his cock out at every opportunity.

  4. Pingback: Now That’s What I Call Music 41 (EMI / Virgin / Polygram, 1998) | A Pop Fan's Dream

  5. Pingback: Smash Hits ’99 (Virgin, 1998) | A Pop Fan's Dream

  6. Pingback: Hits ’99 (Global Television / Sony / Warner ESP, 1998) | A Pop Fan's Dream

  7. Pingback: The Best Of Dance ’98 (Telstar, 1998) | A Pop Fan's Dream

  8. Andrew Chinnock says:

    Hi Paul, Telstar released Box Hits 99 about a month after this and that used good old fat boxes. That Box Hits compilation was a steaming pile of crap which failed to reach the top 20, despite the lure of a 1999 pop star calender on the reverse of the folded inlay! How could anyone resist? From the same Telstar stable, it sold less copies than Chris Tarrant’s Ultimate Party Megamix!!

    It contained two cover versions of Last Christmas, a double Wham-my I suppose you could say (sorry). Most of the tracks appeared elsewhere on earlier Hits and Now albums, those that appeared for the first time were mainly guff, though nice to have a David Morales mix of Crush.

    The Box relinquished its association with Telstar not long after this and the Telstar/Univeral alliance also vanished soon after.

  9. Andrew Chinnock says:

    Hi Paul, I’ve revisited this album this evening. One thing that has struck me is how similar it is to other hits albums of that year. We had Nows, Hits and Telstar’s new Box Hits series, all sharing too many similar tracks.

    It is noticeable that there are no non-top 10 tracks on here at the time of compilation, first time since 1994.

    Any chance of a review of the Box Hits (and dance) series? For me the Box Hits series in 1998 was a gem, not quite as chart friendly as the others but good for picking up some lesser tracks. Volume 3 in particular was my favourite.

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      Hi Andrew – yes, not much to choose between those annual round-ups. I like the Box Hits series but – not sure if you have seen this – I have stopped writing new reviews. The final one was published on 31 July.

      • Andrew Chinnock says:

        Hi Paul, I have just seen it.

        May I offer a massive thank you for all of your reviews, your tolerance of my replies and your friendship as a fellow compilation lover.

        It’s been about 3 years (I think) since I first discovered this site. It’s been a fantastic read and a great source of information, debate and chat. You’ve been an amazing host.

        Thank you again. Andrew

        • nlgbbbblth says:

          Hi Andrew, very much appreciate your words, you’re too kind. Thanks for all the comments & feedback – has certainly put a new light on things & great to get someone else’s views – your knowledge and ability to spot the differences & sources for the ’90s dance tracks was really useful. The site is not just about reviews, the comments are all part of it and give further insight so your contribution there has been fantastic. For the future, hard to know – the Words & Mixes sections will get the occasional update & I am still active on Twitter.

  10. Martin Davis says:

    This is one album I’ve never had any experience of at all.

    Interesting that “Tell Me Ma” ended up as the closing track just as it did on Now 41. Did this compilation come out before or after Now 41 out of interest?

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      Beforehand – The Greatest Hits Of compilations always emerged before the last Now of the year.

      • Martin Davis says:

        As usual, thanks for explaining Paul.

        It really says something if that Sham Rock track turned up as the closing to two compilations around the same time.

        Must admit I quite liked it when I heard it for the first time on Now 41 but have no memory of it being in the charts and have no memories of hearing it being played at a party or a disco.

        Remember a track by a group called “Barn Dance Boys” in late 2003 which used the same tune. The video used to constantly get played on the children’s channel POP around that time. Now that track was terrible.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s