Natalie Imbruglia Torn

20 Songs From 1997

Songs Released In 1997

1997 was a very big year for me – it was the first year I started living away from home while I went to University.

This is me in 1997, before University and then just after starting University. Cringe…

There have always been songs that when I hear, instantly take me back to those times. However, in 2017 – these songs are turning 20 and although that does make me feel super old it’s a good chance to properly reminisce about some of them to see if they have stood the test of time. In no particular order, here are my favourites…

‘Torn’ – Natalie Imbruglia

Released: October 27, 1997

UK Chart Position: 2

I remember buying this song before I had even heard it. It was ‘Beth from Neighbours’ and that was good enough for me. I loved it instantly and it is now one of my all time favourite songs. I played it constantly and still have the original CD which I have rather embarrasingly put into a frame!

All I need now is for Natalie to sign it…

Natalie Imbruglia Torn

‘Barbie Girl’ – Aqua

Released: 14 May 1997

UK Chart Position: 1

You can just imagine students loving this song. Well, I did. In fact, I think we all did whether we admit that or not. Although this song did keep ‘Torn’ from reaching Number One I won’t hold that against it. Aqua followed this song up with the equally as awesome ‘Dr Jones’ to which I remember dancing on an ironing board too – I know, right? Despite all their critics I am still a huge fan of Aqua as I discuss in ‘Aqua! A Cheesy Pop Band Or A Classic Of Our Time? Discuss!’

‘Never Ever’ – All Saints

Released: November 17, 1997

UK Chart Position: 1

I will forever think of this as a Christmas song since it was released in December and it was my first experience of the run up to Christmas away from home. By far my favourite song by All Saints.

‘Suncyhme’ – Dario G

Released: 5 September 1997

UK Chart Position: 2

This, to me, is an ‘Amadeus Anthem’. Amadeus was the biggest nightclub in Scotland at the time and the one that most students in Aberdeen would go to. ‘Sunchyme’ was just one of the classic dance anthems that were popular at the time.

The reason I picked this one is because my flatmate at the time played in constantly and every time I hear it now I can still hear him saying ‘this is savage, wait for the hi-hats to kick in’.

‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ – The Verve

Released: 1 September 1997

UK Chart Position: 1

Britpop was at it’s peak in the mid 90s and I was caught up in it all. I think every student in my halls had a copy of ‘Urban Hymns’ by The Verve and this was probably the best track on it.

‘Brimful Of Asha’ – Cornershop

Released: 18 August 1997

UK Chart Position: 1

This song didn’t really make a huge impact until the superstar DJ of the time got his hands on it. Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim turned this into a regular song being played in the indie clubs I would frequent and well, just basically yell ’45’ quite a lot.

‘Bitch’ – Meredith Brooks

Released: July 21, 1997

UK Chart Position: 6

This was released prior to my leaving for University and I loved that Meredith was just kind of sticking two fingers up to the world and saying ‘this is who I am if you don’t like it fuck off’.

It sort of made me decide that I needed to stop worrying what people thought of me and when I finally did get to University to just be myself and have fun (oh, and study hard obviously).

‘MMMBop’ – Hanson

Released: April 15, 1997

UK Chart Position: 1

With a chorus so catchy which at the same time doesn’t make that much sense – how could this not be a hit?

‘D’you Know What I Mean‘ – Oasis

Released: 7 July 1997

UK Chart Position: 1

Oasis were my Britpop band of choice and I had been looking forward to this song being released for ages. It was the first song from their ‘Be Here Now’ album which didn’t really get the same praise as their previous albums but it’s still my favourite.

‘Angels‘ – Robbie Williams

Released: 1 December 1997

UK Chart Position: 4

Robbie’s comeback song. Put some sleigh bells on it and release it around Christmas – what a great idea. Well, it worked since it’s still going strong 20 years later even though Robbie isn’t.

‘Love Shine A Light‘ – Katrina And The Waves

Released: 3 May 1997

UK Chart Position: 3

It wouldn’t be a Talk About Pop Music list without a Eurovision song – and what a song! The last UK winner in the contest…possibly EVER?

‘5,6,7,8‘ – Steps

Released: 17 November 1997

UK Chart Position: 14

I was gutted when Steps split up! Fear not – they are planning a reunion for their 20th anniversary – yay!

‘My Heart Will Go On‘ – Celine Dion

Released: 8 December 1997

UK Chart Position: 1

The ‘love theme’ for the biggest movie ever at the time, Titanic and Celine nailed it! Despite always hearing the lyrics as ‘the hot dogs go on’ these days when I listen to it, I still love it.

‘Semi Charmed Life‘ – Third Eye Blind

Released: June 17, 1997

UK Chart Position: 33

Possibly a less well-known song but I loved this band and this song!

‘Song 2‘ – Blur

Released: 7 April 1997

UK Chart Position: 33

If you didn’t try to copy the high jumps that Blur done when this song came on at least once when you were a student in 1997 then you weren’t a proper student.

‘Tubthumping‘ – Chumbawumba

Released: 1 September 1997

UK Chart Position: 2

The ultimate drinking song? Yes or no? Sorry, what was the question again?

‘A Thousand Trees‘ – Stereophonics

Released: 11 August 1997

UK Chart Position: 22

The lyric in this song ‘But it only takes one tree to make a thousand matches, only takes one match to burn a thousand trees’ has always stayed with me for some reason.

It’s great to still see Stereophonics releasing good new material!

‘A Change Would Do You Good‘ – Sheryl Crow

Released: July 11, 1997

UK Chart Position: 8

The amazing Sheryl Crow. I was a fan before University, all the way through, still am and will forever be.

‘Did It Again‘ – Kylie Minogue

Released: 24 November 1997

UK Chart Position: 14

Our Pop Princess Kylie Minogue going through her indie phase. Not everyone loved it but she was experimenting in the late 90s – weren’t we all? Another track that accompanies me on ‘My Journey With Kylie Minogue’

‘Candle in the Wind 1997’ – Elton John

Released: 13 September 1997

UK Chart Position: 1

Moving on from a Pop Princess to a Princess that popped her clogs in 2017… The biggest selling song ever!

That’s my list of 20 and it was a tough call and if I had to do it again it would be different each time. You can see a list of all songs released in 1997 here, although I’m sure it’s not an exhaustive list…

I also started a discussion on the subreddit Popheads to share their favourites with me and here’s what they said…

Reddit Popheads

I’ve added all these songs AND MORE to a Spotify playlist and called it…

20 Songs That Will Be Turning 20 in 2017

What about you? What songs would you pick out from 1997?


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