1998 Revisited, Part 2: The Corrs, Robbie, Sash…

September 21, 2008
Welcome then to the second part of our look back at 1998 here on Popcomments. Last week we brought you a varitable feast of pop from the year that brought us South Park, Eurovision’s first questionable winner in Dana International and also, as we’re about to see, the year that Irish influenced pop music experienced a resurgence of sorts in the UK charts, following the massive success of Riverdance/Lord of the Dance and the success of new material from U2, Boyzone and a reunited Clannad.





One of two new acts at the forefront of this movement were family based group the Corrs. Remaining a strictly underground success until this year with 1995 debut “Forgiven Not Forgotten” and their film debut in the independent 1991 production “The Commitments”, Jim, Sharon, Caroline and Andrea (who had a bit part in the 1996 movie version of “Evita”, fact fans) came to the attention of all present after their St. Patrick’s Day concert at the Royal Albert Hall in March of this year was televised on BBC One, attracting massive ratings. After much publicity generated for their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” on a tribute album, the track was then released as a single, remixed by Todd Terry (see Everything But The Girl’s “Missing” from two years previously) and reached a respectable UK #6 in early May 1998. After which, hits like “What Can I Do” (UK #3, August 1998) and “So Young” (video below, UK #8, November 1998) came off the back of the chart topping success of what would go on to be the year’s biggest selling album – “Talk On Corners”. It even managed to surge back to #1 in the spring of 1999 after their BRIT Award win for Best International Group, and has now sold something in the region of 8 million copies worldwide.


Another artist continuing to notch up the multi platinum albums in this year was Sheryl Crow. After the massive success of 1994’s debut “Tuesday Night Music Club” and it’s eponymous 1996 follow up with hits like “All I Wanna Do” and “If It Makes You Happy”, Sheryl’s third album, the Grammy nominated “Globe Sessions” was produced by the legendary Rick Rubin (who would go onto produce for the likes of Justin Timberlake, Shakira and Johnny Cash) and reached #2 in the album chart in September 1998, following the success of UK #9 hit “My Favourite Mistake” (video below). Another top 20 hit followed in “Anything But Down” (UK #19) the following January, and the album was then re-released as a tour edition in Australia, which included, amongst other things, her cover of Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine”.



Paving the way for Alice Deejay, Ian Van Dahl and erm, Scooter before him in 1998 was German DJ/producer Sash, who, after the success of hits like “Stay”, “Ecuador” and “Encore Une Fois” from his top 10 debut album “It’s My Life – The Album”, continued his success with his second album, “Life Goes On” (UK #5). It gave him three more top 10 hits – the first being “La Primavera” (UK #3, March 1998, video below), then followed by the track which launched the career of one Tina Cousins on “Mysterious Times” (UK #2, August 1998) and finally “Move Mania” (UK #8, November 1998). It was also in this year that he recieved a BRIT nomination for Best International Male, which he was beaten to by Jon Bon Jovi. I know what you’re thinking viewers – did Jon Bon Jovi even release a solo record? If he did, it obviously didn’t do very well, but there you go.



Though Gary Barlow didn’t release any new material in 1998, the ongoing solo career battle between him and Robbie Williams continued to roll on throughout the year, and the defence case for Gary wasn’t exactly helped by the fact that Robbie was well, doing pretty well for himself to say the least. After the roaring success of “Angels” and “Let Me Entertain You” from his Mercury Prize nominated top 10 debut album “Life Thru A Lens”, Take That’s showman and wild child finally got his first chart toppers in the autumn of 1998 with the release of the single, “Milennium” (UK #1, September 1998) and his second album, “I’ve Been Expecting You” (UK #1, September 1998), which seemed to be a concept album eluding to the sounds of the 60’s and old Bond movie themes. Indeed, it was the album that most proper pop fans agree would remain his best until the vastly underrated “Rudebox” album in 2006. The second single from it, “No Regrets” (UK #5, December 1998, video below) was actually to be the first time he collaborated with Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant – the next would be on the brilliant “She’s Madonna” some 9 years later.


Remember me saying last week how north eastern Europe enjoyed a string of successful acts in 1998? Well, one of them was Ace of Base, who returned with a third album “Flowers” in this year. After becoming the first Danish band to top the US Billboard chart with “The Sign” a few years previously, they returned to the UK top 5 in July 1998 with the summery “Life is a Flower” (video below), before then gaining two more top 20 hits with a cover of Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer” (UK #8, October 1998) and “Always Have, Always Will” (UK #12, December 1998). Strangely enough, ten years on from the release of this album they’ve now announced a reunion tour, which kicks off at the beginning of next year.

Next week, we enter the third part of our look back, looking at two Antipodeans that enjoyed a wealth of success in 1998. And it wasn’t the Minogues either, sadly.

N.B. If it seems a bit quiet round here of late then it’s because I’m very busy atm. I will get some posts up soon to compensate, so hold your horses, viewers. 🙂 My first retro album review of Matt Willis’ solo album is on it’s way soon.




One comment

  1. well… i really love it … I am a fan of the corrs…

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