The Story of Pop: 1999 (Chapter 33)


This is The Story of Pop: 1999. Every Thursday, it’s your trip back in time to the UK chart movers and shakers from twenty years ago. This week: a one hit wonder from Canada that charted twice before becoming a late summer time smash…

Formed in 1994, and taking their name from the Swedish liqueur Brännvin, Canadian alternative electronica collective Bran Van 3000 had first released their ambient yet slightly trippy ‘Drinking In L.A’ as their first release in their native homeland in 1997.

A worldwide release of the track and its parent album, ‘Glee’ duly followed a year later, but proved to be a harder sell internationally at first. In fact, on its original UK release in May 1998, it had only just troubled the bottom end of the UK top 40.

But help – or rather, an advertising agency – was at hand, as the track was chosen just over a year later in the summer of 1999 as the backing music for a slightly risque TV ad campaign for the newly launched Rolling Rock beers in the UK.

And just like Mr Oizo and Lenny Kravitz we met earlier in this series, soon public demand was heavily pent up and a reissue was all but inevitable. The reactivated track thus zoomed into the UK charts at #3 on this very week twenty years ago. It would prove to be their only dalliance with the British music scene, but ‘Drinking In L.A’ remains a refreshing and laidback summer jam to this day.

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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