A Week’s Worth of Billboard Chart History

March 19, 2014
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BillboardHot1001998

What better way to start off your week – and your St. Patty’s Day – than with a throwback post that references some of the great hits that we all grew up listening to? I’ll give you a hint: there is no better way. Nostalgia always wins.

Our beloved Billboard magazine does a recurring column that throws us back to the good ole’ days, and gives a friendly reminder of the chart toppers from a different decade, but that occurred this same week. It’s called “This Week in Billboard Chart History”. Well, we decided to do our own version. We chose some songs that need to resurface, and some videos that need re-watching. Here is our week-spanning blast from the past featuring chart-toppers from the late ‘90s and early 2000’s.

March 16th, 1996 –  “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey & Boys II Men 

This R&B classic was the second single off Mariah’s fifth studio album Daydream. Sunday marked a record-breaking week for the ‘90s hit, as it spent its 16th consecutive week at No. 1 on the The Hot 100. Written by Mariah Carey and members of Boys II Men, “One Sweet Day” is a song that mourns a lost loved one and looks forward to seeing them again in heaven “one sweet day”. The song’s lyrical content is thought to be a reference (in part) to sufferers of the AIDS epidemic, which was still mysterious and prevalent at the time. Since the song had such personal meaning to the artists, it’s no wonder they kept the video feeling intimate with footage of the singers in the studio.

 

 

March 17, 2001 – “Stutter” by Joe feat. Mystikal      

A year ago from this St. Patty’s Day, Joe’s single “Stutter” – with the help of rapper Mystikal – was topping The Hot 100 for the fourth week in a row! And it’s no doubt why that is; the song is catchy as hell.

The single has a great vibe and is instantly infectious, but while re-watching the music video, I interpreted that the song’s lyrical content was almost entirely centered on male insecurity. The music video seems to verify this theory;  the narrative is that the girl wasn’t actually cheating on Joe after all. So maybe she actually does have a stutter? Well you wouldn’t know Joe, because you apparently didn’t even know that your girlfriend Natashia Williams (the featured girl in the music video) has a twin sister. Jeez!

 

 

March 18, 2000 – “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child 

On Tuesday it will be 14 years since Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. On the same date, the song was also made the top Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. It remained No. 1 on both charts for three consecutive weeks.

From their second album Writings On The Wall from 1999, the single features newly added group members Michelle Williams and Farah Franklin. Of the four releases from the album, “Say My Name” is the most successful and is considered one of the group’s signature songs.

Watch the music video below and be amazed at just how far Beyonce’s dance moves have come!

 

 

March 19, 2005  – “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” by Green Day 

Nine years ago on Wednesday Green Day spent its third consecutive week at the top of the Pop Songs chart. (Gosh, has it already been nine years since this happened? *shudders*) From their seventh album American Idiot, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” would keep its spot at No. 1 for one more week, and then get bumped for Kelly Clarkson’s own pop/rock hit, “Since U Been Gone”.

In 2006, the song was named Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards. While I may not be a punk rock fan per se, this single’s chorus and relentless guitar riff were irresistible and triumphant. Once I heard a few moments of it playing, I was signed on to see this song through to its end.

 

 

March 20th 1999 – “…Baby One More Time”  by Britney Spears 

How could we forget this gem? We would never! Britney Spears’ first single “…Baby One More Time” was appealing in so many ways to so many people. You don’t have to take my word for it; March 20th marked the fifth week that the breakthrough song stayed at No. 1 on the Pop Songs chart. The song and video were instrumental in defining pop music going into the 2000s.

March 21st 1998 – “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit it” by Will Smith

In my humble opinion, this song didn’t spend nearly enough time topping The Hot 100. The song did, however, spend three consecutive weeks there, and go on to win Will Smith a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1999. In an interview with Will Smith, he said he altered the meaning of the term for the purpose of the song, and that he originally  associated “jiggy”  with “jiggaboo,” a derogatory term for African Americans. The new word’s use was a reference to the false belief that African Americans have an innate sense of rhythm. The re-purposing of the word thus became empowering.

March 22nd 1997 – “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” by Puff Daddy Featuring Mase

Everything about this hip hop single makes me want to jump right back into 1997. Where can I put in a general request for this song to be played more on the radio…in the club…at parties… and everywhere!? “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” appears on Puff Daddy’s debut album No Way Out, and the song was the first chart appearance for rapper Mase. The single held the No. 1 spot for six consecutive weeks after this, and it was the beginning of Bad Boy Records’ chart domination of 1997. Sean “Puffy” Combs went on to produce the B.I.G. tribute “I’ll Be Missing You,” which topped the charts for eleven straight weeks, as well as “Mo Money Mo Problems,” and Mariah Carey’s “Honey”. 

If you remember listening to Hip Hop in the ’90s, this video is EVERYTHING. The weirdest part about revisiting this one is, the lyrics are relatively clean compared to hip hop songs today. *Sigh* It was a simpler time.

What are the best and worst throwback chart toppers from this week? Tweet us your vote on Twitter @weknowthedj!

– Jenni Moore (@JenniferKayMo)

 

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