The Story of Pop: 2002 (Chapter 13)

Bringing you the biggest hits of the UK charts from the year Arsenal won the FA Cup, and when 007 hit the screens again in Die Another Day, this is The Story of Pop: 2002. This week: the UK debut of one of Canada’s biggest rock bands…

  • Artist: Nickelback
  • Song: How You Remind Me
  • Released: 25/02/2002
  • Writers / Producers: Chad Kroeger / Rick Parashar / Nickelback
  • Highest UK Chart Position: #4
  • Weeks on Chart: 42

Formed in Hanna, Alberta in 1995, Canadian rockers Nickelback – featuring brothers Chad and Mike Kroeger, their cousin Brandon Kroeger and Ryan Peake, were so called because of Mike’s commonly used expression “Here’s your nickel back” when customers recieved change for the coffees he was serving in his job at Starbucks.

They had already released two albums; 1996’s Curb and 2000’s The State through the well renowned Roadrunner record label. But it wasn’t until the release of their third album, Silver Side Up, that they finally broke through in a big way and became almost as ubiquitous worldwide as the coffee chain that had given them their name – starting with that album’s first single.

Written by Chad about an argument he had had with his girlfriend at the time in their apartment they shared in Vancouver, the genesis of “How You Remind Me” was a fairly swift one too by his account: ‘Somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour, I had the whole thing fleshed out: lyrics, melody, chords, the whole nine yards.’

Released over in Canada and the States first in July 2001, it topped the Billboard charts at Christmas, and its success was enough to convince Roadrunner to licence the track for a UK release. What followed next was something quite phenomenal in what, as we’ve already seen, was an extraordinary year for singles here in Blighty.

Already charting on import sales at #65, on its full release at the end of February, “How You Remind Me” debuted the same week as both Will Young and Shakira we met recently in the series, entering at a respectable #5. Continued airplay success over the weeks that followed meant that, come the end of May – as the then new Big Brother housemates played air guitar to it in the garden – it had spent an incredible eleven of its 42 weeks on the chart inside the UK top 10 – almost a quarter of a year – reaching a peak of #4.

And with the Silver Side Up album also climbing to the top of the UK album chart and achieving double platinum sales, it thus made Nickelback one of the biggest success stories in rock music for 2002. More hits followed, not just for the band themselves – “Too Bad” hit #9 in September, and “Never Again” was a top 30 hit in December.

But Chad Kroeger also found time to record and release “Hero”, a duet with Josey Scott of fellow rockers Saliva, that was the main love theme from the first Spider-Man movie starring Tobey Maguire, that was one of the summer’s biggest box office smashes. That song entered at #4 in June and spent eleven weeks on the chart.

Of course, Nickelback would continue to release and tour for much of the 00s, and would surprisingly divide opinion the further into their career they got – the peak of which was the release of their chart slaying single “Rockstar” in 2008 – but “How You Remind Me” was, in the UK and Europe at least, where it all began for them, and it has still held up remarkably well two decades on.

Don’t forget to follow our brand new playlist on Spotify – updated weekly so you never miss a song from the story of pop in 2002. And you can leave your memories of the songs below in the comments, Tweet us or message us on Instagram, using the hashtag #StoryofPop2002.

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