Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week I’m hopping into my time machine again, this time setting the coordinates for 18 years ago this week. Stepping out I see … I see many bands that are still successfully touring today!
On the charts, Smash Mouth is at #5 with “All Star,” Sugar Ray is at #12 with “Someday,” and Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas are at #26, inching their way closer to the top spot, where “Smooth” will eventually land, and stay for an incredible 12 weeks.
Yes, the Billboard Hot 100 from this week back in 1999 was filled with summer anthems we still have in rotation today.
So let’s get into this exploration in chart history! Of course, since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
1. Christina Aguilera – Genie In A Bottle
Nearly as quickly as Britney Spears debuted, her longtime friend Christina Aguilera made her voice heard, as well, and she did so in a big way with her oh-so-suggestive debut single, “Genie In A Bottle.” While both made great pop music, for a little while Christina was the less innocent alternative to Britney, and “Genie” had listeners wanting to rub her the right way.
Random thought: I really hope a DJ out there mixed "Genie In A Bottle" with Johnny Gill's "Rub You The Right Way."
4. LFO – Summer Girls
No song better represents the summers of the era of frosted tips than LFO’s “Summer Girls.” With it’s breezy feel, and borderline nonsense lyrics that many of us can still recite today, the song has worked its way to becoming a classic. Ironically, “Summer Girls” will likely be around long after the clothing store it name drops eventually closes its doors, although because of “Summer Girls” there will always be a soft spot in our hearts for “girls who wear Abercrombie & Fitch.”
6. Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way
The ultimate boy band song. No matter which boy band was your favorite, nobody could argue that “I Want It That Way” wasn’t the best, most addictive, song of the era. In fact, it’s so addictive that you can’t even hear the opening guitar, and “Yeeeaah,” without getting the entire song stuck in your head. Forget about hearing “You are, my fiiiire.” You’ll be singing “I Want It That Way” for the next week and a half (not that that’s a bad thing)!
23. Vitamin C w/ Lady Saw – Smile
One of the most underrated pop songs of the ‘90s, with “Smile,” two hit wonder Vitamin C – “Graduation (Friends Forever)” was her other hit – joined forces with reggae artist Lady Saw to give everyone some timeless advice – “Put a smile on your face / make the world a better place.” “Smile” openly admits that life is hard, and suggests creating your own happiness, and happiness for others, as a way of both getting through difficult times, and creating future happiness. Who can’t get into that?
49. Juvenile w/ Mannie Fresh – Back That Azz Up
Eighteen years after its release, “Back That Azz Up” is still the ace up every hip-hop DJ’s sleeve when they want to get the party started. When you hear the strings, you know sh*t’s about to get crazy. Then when Juvenile says “Cash Money Records taking over for the ’99 and the 2000,” any bit of refinement people thought they had goes straight out the window, and everyone within hearing distance goes nuts. Don’t believe me? Crank the volume up, click play, and see what happens. It’s truly a beautiful thing.
62. Len – Steal My Sunshine
The backstory of Len is actually really fascinating, as they worked with some hip-hop heavyweights – including Biz Markie and Moka Only – for their 1999 album You Can't Stop The Bum Rush. The brother-sister duo, however, will forever be remembered for their sole, ridiculously amazing, feel good hit “Steal My Sunshine.” It’s yet another summer anthem from this week back in 1999 that we still spin today.
And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.