Time for that part of the week where we bring you the movers and shakers from the year that bought us Y2K bug fever, a solar eclipse and a whole lot of mad musical goings on – it’s The Story Of Pop: 1999. This week – another chart topper, and a long overdue one for the band in question at that…
It’s not unfair to say that pop music’s always operated on several rankings, and depending on your fanbase and profile it greatly alters where you are not just in the charts but in your genre as well. Put simply: everything has a B-list. And it’s true of the boybands too.
For whilst the likes of Boyzone and Backstreet Boys lapped up the global tours, sales and hysteric adulation left right and centre, others took on the more localised version of this. And no other boyband took on that role quite as well as 911 did in the late 90s.
Formed of vocalists and breakdancers Lee Brennan, Spike Dawbarn and Jimmy Constable, this diminutive trio had been steadily having hits and building a modest but loyal following not just in Britain but also Germany and South East Asia with each new single they released, from “Bodyshakin'” to “Party People…Friday Night”. But at the start of 1999, one crucial element still eluded them: namely, a number one single.
They had come agonisingly close to achieving it a couple of times – in fact, their single before this one in October 1998, a cover of The Bee Gees’ disco stomper ‘More Than A Woman’, had led the way midweek, but had to settle for a #2 debut instead.
They tried their luck again in the new year, this time with a cover of a song that originally had got as high as #2 for Dr. Hook back in 1977. This time it paid off, and ‘A Little Bit More’ saw off the challenge of fellow boyband Another Level to crown the boys with the UK chart topper they had waited five long years for.
They’ve since said in recent times that achieving it felt a bit anticlimactic, like they’d achieved all they could – and it certainly proved to be true, as just two singles later, they released their greatest hits and formally called it a day, announcing their split in January 2000 on Chris Moyles’ Radio 1 show. However, they reunited thirteen years later in 2013 for ITV2’s The Big Reunion, inspiring their fans the land over to start bodyshaking all over again.
Don’t forget to follow our playlist on Spotify – updated weekly so you never miss a song from the story of pop in 1999. And you can leave your memories of the songs below in the comments or Tweet us, using the hashtag #StoryofPop1999.