The 1990s and very early 2000s was a great time for pop music. It was a great time for a lot of things actually, but that’s another blog post. After experiencing quite a ‘sexed-up’ period in the ’80s, with Madonna and her ilk prancing about in wedding dresses, pop music clearly decided that it needed a break. To go to rehab, if you will, and reform itself.
Pop music throughout the ’90s was like a big bowl of sunshine. Everyone smiled a lot. Everyone wore a lot of orange. Everyone carefully maintained a squeaky-clean image.
Rock and roll? No sir. I mean, who could ever accuse this lot of dirty business? It would be like kicking a puppy. Or something. Then in 2001 Britney decided she was a Slave 4 Us, put her thong on over her trousers and got sweaty with a bunch of people in a music video. She was not a girl, not yet a woman (whatever that meant) and the world needed to know.
Here are some of my old favourites:
1) Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) – Backstreet Boys
Every time I hear this song I am compelled to do the weird typewriter-style dance move they do in the video. The Backstreet Boys also taught me that every time the word “fire” is mentioned in a pop song, the word “desire” will soon follow. See also: “Relight My Fire” by Take That, “Venus” by Bananarama, and a host of other classics (I use the term “classics” extremely lightly.)
2) C’est La Vie – B*Witched (The asterisk is VERY IMPORTANT)
“Some people say I look like me da.” “Are you SEEEERIOUS?!” I really can’t stress how much these words changed my life. First album I ever bought was B*Witched’s debut, with the orange cover. I loved how they all had their own little symbols: this wan had a cat, and that wan had a shamrock, and so on. Don’t ask me to name the two that weren’t Adele and Keavey though.
3) Crazy – Britney Spears
This was Britney at her best. The video even featured Melissa Joan Hart, of Sabrina the Teenage Witch fame! How amazingly cool! It’s like everything a tweenage girl ever loved in the early naughties rolled into one. The bit in the middle where she shouts “STOP!” was always my favourite part. Wish Britney would shout “STOP!” now too. The girl needs a break, and if you don’t believe me you need to see this video. Heartbreaking.
4) Love Me For A Reason – Boyzone
You may notice that the video I have linked is not the song it is labelled as. That is because this video is the greatest piece of comedy our nation has ever known. But on another note, nobody does cheesy ballads like the Irish. “Love Me For A Reason” may or may not have started a mild obsession for me with all things Boyzone. I may or may not have attended one of their farewell concerts, and I may or may not have cried when I realised I would never meet them. May or may not.
5) Wannabe – The Spice Girls
I don’t think I even need to explain why this is included. Mel B’s rap in the bridge is lyrical genius: “We got Em in the place who likes it in your face/We got G like MC she likes it on an easy”.