One-Sentence Reviews: Top 40 Hits Of 1997

It’s dawned on me that trying to do a weekly post about the Top 50 on Spotify is ill-advised. There’s not enough movement to make it interesting. Bi-monthly may be the way to go. So, to fill in the gaps, I’ll be taking a look at some previous charts beginning with 20 years ago this week. All of these are on Spotify if you feel like taking a listen.

40. I’m Not Giving You Up by Gloria Estefan

Shout out for trying to keep Latin music cool before the US demographic demanded it!

39. Nothin’ But The Cavi Hit by Mack 10 & Tha Dogg Pound

I had no recollection of this song, and after taking a listen, it’s clear why.

38. I Like It by Blackout Allstars

A little more salsa flair in the Top 40-sadly Tito Puente himself couldn’t make these lyrics tolerable.

37. Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First) by John Mellencamp

Mellencamp’s last brush with the top 40 came on this sweet tune about a drunk crushing on a girl out of his league.

36. This Is For The Lover In You by Babyface

Ever the collaborator, Babyface brought in quite the crew for this hit.

35. In My Bed by Dru Hill

Literally never heard this song until just now-not the worst Dru Hill song.

34. Macarena (Bayside Boys Remix) by Los Del Rio

This is probably the version of the song you’re familiar with as it pushes the dance beat a bit more to the front.

33. On & On by Erykah Badu

Don’t remember if this was her first Top 40 song, but it is her best.

32. Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down by Puff Daddy feat Ma$e

I miss the days when Puff Daddy and Ma$e would just crush a track and look dope.

31. You Learn by Alanis Morissette

Lacking the bitter anger of “You Oughta Know” and the sweetness of “Head Over Feet”

30. Counting Blue Cars by Dishwalla

Hey it’s that song that blew Ted Mosby’s mind when they called God Her (God’s a woman!!!!?????)

29. Free To Decide by The Cranberries

The Cranberries fire burned bright but didn’t last too long in the States-pretty sure this song killed it.

28. You Must Love Me by Madonna

From the Evita soundtrack-it ain’t no Don’t Cry For Me

27. What Kind Of Man Would I Be by Mint Condition

There was a vacuum in the R&B world when Jodeci broke up and Mint Condotion took their shot-respect.

26. You’re Making Me High by Toni Braxton

That groove is infectious but could also be from a 70’s horror movie.

25. Change The World by Eric Clapton

Always liked this song for its simplicity in both music and message.

24. This Is Your Night by Amber

Holy cow this song is infuriating-I imagine this is what plays in Trump’s head on a loop.

23. Pony by Ginuwine

Perhaps the most recognizable beat of the 90’s, and certainly ’97.

22. Twisted by Keith Sweat

Keith Sweat’s run lasted way longer than I remember it being, so congrats on this one.

21. Last Night by Az Yet

Pretty boring vocals, like Michael Bolton trying to sing an Isley Brothers song.

20. I Finally Found Someone by Barbara Streisand and Bryan Adams

Two big red flags that should keep you away from this song at all costs-Streisand and Adams

19. Cold Rock A Party by MC Lyte

MC Lyte tried to keep early 90’s vibes alive with this one.

18. No Time by Lil’ Kim feat Puff Daddy

The intro to this song finds Puff Daddy dropping the “N” word about 20 times, which I imagine they cut out of the radio version.

17. Ooh Ahh…by Gina G

It’s 4-minute foam party inside your radio

16.I Love You Always Forever by Donna Lewis

This is the single most annoying song of the 90’s.

15. Fly Like An Eagle by Seal

Steve Miller Band did it first, and they did it better.

14. When You Love A Woman by Journey

This is the most Delilah song To ever be played on Delilah

13. You Were Meant For Me by Jewel

I bought Jewel’s album Pieces Of You with my own money after I heard this song about 100 times over the course of a week.

12. Where Do You Go by No Mercy

This is very much a reflection of where pop music was in ’97, stuck between a comfortable past and an uncertain future.

11. Wannabe by Spice Girls

Debuting this week 20 years ago is this insipid “song” from The Spice Girls that I never could stand

10. If It Makes You Happy by Sheryl Crow

Really great use of her scratchy voice on this one-maybe my favorite Crow song

9. It’s All Coming Back To Me Now by Celine Dion

Hard to believe Celine had this song at the beginning of ’97 and then finished with “My Heart Will Go On”-$$$$$$$$

8. I’m Still In Love With You by New Edition

New Edition got back together and proved they still had talent, but this one puts Michael Bivins, Johnny Gil and Bobby Brown in the background

7. Mouth by Merrill Bainbridge

It’s a little jazzy and a little Edie Brickell and a lot forgettable.

6. No Diggity by BLACKstreet feat Dr Dre

No Diggity might be the greatest song of the 90’s and somehow still it’s underrated.

5. I Believe In You And Me by Whitney Houston

At this point in her career Houston had nothing to prove and used that opportunity to coast through this song.

4. Nobody by Keith Sweat

Again, Keith Sweat???

3. I Believe I Can Fly by R Kelly

A simpler time, when R Kelly could sing with a choir and you wouldn’t think about him peeing on a teenage girl even once?

2. Don’t Let Go by En Vogue

For a few years En Vogue dominated the charts and then Destiny’s Child came along.

1. Un-Break My Heart by Toni Braxton

This songs run on popular radio cemented Braxton’s spot in the R&B Hall Of Fame, and she 100% deserves it.

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