01.(NE) U2 - Pop(Spotify)
The last album of their experimental phase, before they embarked on trying very hard to sound like U2 at the turn of the century. They admit that this album was rushed to fit in with a planned tour and it seems a bit written out of their history. Not that this apparent dissatisfaction stopped them releasing singles from it at the time, but they all seem to appear in reworked versions on later compilations.
02. (1) Spice Girls - Spice
03. (2) Manic Street Preachers - Everything Must Go
04.(NE) Ocean Colour Scene - B-sides Seasides and Freerides
Actually, it's just B-sides really. But in those days of multi-format releases, the offcuts from one album easily yielded enough material for a full album, which catches them in a more relaxed mood than the A-sides. I loved this at the time and still like some of it now, including the opener 'Huckleberry Grove' which has one of the best trombone solos ever on a B-side.
05. (3) Lighthouse Family - Ocean Drive
06.(30) The Bee Gees - The Very Best Of
07.(14) Original Soundtrack - Evita
08.(11) Robert Miles - Dreamland
09. (8) George Michael - Older
10.(NE) Van Morrison - The Healing Game
One of his 90s albums where Brian Kennedy repeats everything Van sings. Don't know about you but I like him even less than I like Van himself.
11.(10) Kula Shaker - K
12. (7) No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
13.(15) The Beautiful South - Blue Is The Colour
14.(12) Jamiroquai - Travelling Without Moving
15. (4) Mansun - Attack of the Grey Lantern
16. (6) The Smurfs - The Smurfs Hits 97 Vol 1
17. (5) Eels - Beautiful Freak
18.(22) Celine Dion - Falling into you
19.(29) Beck - Odelay
20.(16) Texas - White On Blonde
21.(18) Fugees - The Score
22.(NE) Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Boatman's Call (Spotify)
Released after a relative commercial breakthrough, this is a relatively sombre and reflective collection, with the famous opening lyric "I don't believe in an interventionist God." As with Van Morrison, I've never been interested enough in Cave to bother listening to one of his albums.
23.(NE) Elkie Brooks - The Very Best of Elkie Brooks 1997
24.(31) Crowded House - Recurring Dream: The Very Best of
25.(24) Toni Braxton - Secrets
26. (9) James - Whiplash
27.(21) Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow
28.(25) Gabrielle - Gabrielle
29.(17) Blur - Blur
30.(NE) Ben Folds Five - Whatever And Ever Amen (Spotify)
Another big favourite of mine at the time and just in time for my birthday. Easily the best work in Folds' long career with a good balance between well-observed serious lyrics and the more humorous songs he's better known for. Unsurprisingly, some students have made videos for the album tracks, but it's nice to see some ducks in this one:
Incidentally, buying this album the week it came out means I have an original pressing with some studio dialogue between tracks and a hidden track at the end. Apparently that was all dropped from later copies.;
31.(NE) Republica - Republica
A whole album of Essex techno-rock. It was the mid 1990s alright.
32.(26) Skunk Anansie - Stoosh
33.(42) Simply Red - Greatest Hits
34.(NE) Hypnosis - Voices Of Tranquility Vol 2
35.(23) Space - Spiders
36.(20) Warren G - Take A Look Over Your Shoulder (Reality)
37.(27) Reef - Glow
38.(32) Adiemus - Adiemus II Cantata Mundi
39.(13) 911 - The Journey
40.(39) Mark Morrison - Return of the Mack
49.(NE) Celine Dion - C'est Pour Vivre
A collection of early French-language recordings.
60.(RE) Tina Turner - Simply The Best
61.(RE) Robson And Jerome - Take Two
62.(NE) Apollo Four Forty - Electro Glide In Blue (Spotify)
Not a band I'd generally have much time for, but this does feature one of the last performances by the late Billy MacKenzie, who'd died a couple of months earlier. It also features a track that became rather better known a few months later.
68.(RE) Queen - Greatest Hits II
69.(NE) Anthony Way - Wings Of A Dove
Reality TV has been around a bit longer than people remember.
70.(RE) Massive Attack - Blue Lines
72.(37) Gene - Drawn To The Deep End
One of favourite albums lives down to its title, in its third and last chart week.
75.(NE) Entombed - To Ride Shoot Straight And Speak The Truth