As I drifted off to sleep last night I listened to the latest episode of the This American Life podcast. This particular episode was about camp. At the end of the podcast, the host said that the last audio recording was taken from a camp in the summer of 1998. And then, MMMBop by Hanson started playing. But MMMBop was a song that was released here in 1997. How do I know that? Because it knocked Truly Madly Deeply from number one on the ARIA charts. I was pretty devastated about this conquest. For many years in fact. But now I am coming out. I actually like MMMBop.
And it was then I realised, the music I’ve been missing is the songs I heard and loved in 1997.
1997 is one of my favourite years in music. I was in quite a happy place at school too. I went to my first proper concert since Girlfriend. I had a best friend. I did two lots of work experience – once at the TV station and the other at the radio station. I was only in hospital once or twice and I think that was the last time for a few years. Life was good.
Here are some of my favourite songs from 1997. I still love (most of) them now.
The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony
The Verve, Bitter Sweet Symphony
Could this song get any more perfect? I love the way Richard Ashcroft walks through thes grey streets, not really giving a fuck about who’s in his way. Urban Hymns is a great album.
Matchbox Twenty – Push
I remember hearing this song on the radio and I thought, that’s a band I’m going to love for a long time. And I have. Some say they are boring and mainstream, but I concur that Yourself or Someone Like You is a timeless album. I always go back to it and listen to it with fondness. It was actually another one of those albums that I thought was ‘too heavy’ for my precious ears. If I recall that trait about myself one more time I am going to vomit.
Smash Mouth – Walking on the Sun
Hmmm…dubious. I thought this song was so catchy in ’97. I recall it being on high rotation at B1049 when I did work experience. (FYI – not even Google recalls B1049! You may know it as Star FM.) I can’t believe I just included this song. But I heard it on the radio the other day and smiled.
Tonic – If You Could Only See
Where did Tonic go? I really liked this song and wanted more.
Third Eye Blind – Semi Charmed Life
This was such a risque song back in the day when I was 15. Sex and drugs. And I knew and sang all the words. Take that, Alanis Morissette and Dolly magazine!
Leonardo’s Bride – Even When I’m Sleeping
This was a powerful song. I remember seeing it live on TV when Hey Hey it’s Saturday was actually on a Saturday. I saw Abby Dobson play live once – I think before a Joe Jackson (‘look over there! Where?’) concert and thought she was a little dull – I guess because Even When I’m Sleeping was so amazing I expected every song to be amazing. Great lyricist though. If it’s any consolation, Abby, Joe Jackson was BORING!
silverchair – Freak
Back in 1997 when the s was not capitalised, I was not keen on silverchair. Again. Heavy. Precious. Ears. Whatevs. I love this video. And I really enjoy the song. Ears aren’t so precious now.
Savage Garden – To the Moon and Back
Wow. The original version of that song is amazing, but the ARIAs version is magic. I loved that version of To the Moon and Back. Savage Garden was another band that I saw on TV and thought, ‘that band is going to be mine’. I remember having my best friend at the time over at my place for the ARIAs in 1997. There was such hype. They had been nominated 13 times, and could take home a potential 12 awards (they were nominated for two songs in the song of the year category). They took home 10 awards. My friend and I sat on the floor crossing the awards off the list as they won them. All through 1997 we knew Darren Hayes to have long hair. And when we saw him on the ARIAs with short hair, we were beside ourselves. We didn’t think Darren could look any better, but he did! The next day we bought all the newspapers that featured the ARIAs. I stuck all the articles in my scrapbook.
This picture epitomises the style of Savage Garden in 1997. Classic.
1997. Why can’t music now be as great as you were?