The Story of Pop: 1999 (Chapter 22)

It’s Thursday, and time once again to throw things back to the UK charts twenty years ago, with The Story of Pop: 1999. And if you were in your teens and paying attention to what was on the box or big screen back in 1999, then boy do we have a song that you’ll instantly recognise this week…

Nearly halfway through this series of blogs, and there are some records still to come that we’ll be covering that could only have been tied to the charts at the dawn of the new millennium – and this week’s retro hit is undoubtedly one of them.

The fact they’re kind of one hit wonders (at least in this country) certainly helps the cause, but US pop rock band Sixpence None the Richer, fronted by wispy voiced Leigh Nash, could’ve made their breakthrough at any point in the preceding ten years. What made 1999 the year they went big was where their debut hit, the jangly, sing along sweetness of ‘Kiss Me’, found its platform to success.

Aired on the newly launched T4 slot on Sunday mornings on Channel 4 here in Blighty, American teen drama Dawson’s Creek was the first show to use ‘Kiss Me’ on its soundtrack during its first couple of series. Usually in the scenes Joey and Pacey were being all poetic ‘n shit from a picket fenced window ledge where Savage Garden weren’t getting royalty payola for the umpteenth time.

But it was when it became the title theme for the teen romantic comedy blockbuster She’s All That, starring the then much in demand new Hollywood star Freddie Prinze Jr, that it promptly went stellar, reaching #2 on the Billboard charts in the States in January 1999.

The UK followed four months later, with ‘Kiss Me’ entering and peaking at #4 in the charts that May. It was never off the radio for all that summer, leading it to be one of the most played songs on UK radio during 1999. It was also reportedly the song Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones had their first dance to at the Royal wedding in June. Alas, it seems as though one Sixpence None The Richer single was all the British record buying public needed.

That September, they followed it up with a much-berated cover of the early Britpop classic ‘There She Goes’ by The La’s, only managing a top 20 peak before falling away fast. But if you want to revisit one record from this series as a marker of how long ago 1999 was and go ‘Blimey, this was two whole decades ago?’ and not feel bad about it, then ‘Kiss Me’ does the job so very nicely.

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.

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