Clive's Album of the Year 1999

In Summer 1999 I met a girl. We hooked up for a bit and it didn’t really work out. But then in Autumn I met another girl. We hooked up and 15 years later I’m proud to call her my wife. :)

The Sopranos and Family Guy both debuted on US television, Melissa "attacked the internet", the Columbine massacre happened, Jill Dando was shot dead on her doorstep, The Phantom Menace um… happened, Napster debuted, we had a total solar eclipse which I peered at through the clouds on a rooftop in Soho, having landed my first London job, Apple released the G4 and Sega released the Dreamcast.

It was thank you and goodnight to (among, as always, many others) Dusty Springfield, Stanley Kubrick, Yehudi Menuhin, Little Ern, Dirk Bogarde, Bones, Q, Screaming Lord Sutch and the mighty, mighty Oliver Reed.

On millennium night I played a covers gig in Hastings, where for the first half we partied like it was 1999, because it was. And then it wasn't. But we carried on anyway.

Honourable mentions

Buckcherry - Buckcherry

I've written much about Buckcherry as it is, but this was their debut album. I missed it at the time and came to it later, and still to this day prefer the followup Time Bomb, but this is still a righteous rocking album. Proper raw rock and roll. Top track: "Lawless And Lulu"

Ludovico Einaudi - Eden Roc

I've only quite recently discovered the minimalist stylings of Ludo, but when I heard him on Classic FM I rushed out and bought just about everything of his I could find. Minimal classical, nothing too challenging, perhaps a little anodyne for some, but I love it. Top track: "Due Tramonti"

Powerman 5000 - Tonight The Stars Revolt!

No idea where I first heard "Nobody's Real" but when I did it made me want more, and this is such a cracking album. Snarly punk-industrial-metal (nu, perhaps… shudder…) and great fun throughout. Top track: "Nobody's Real"

Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Californication

This was the Chillis' first studio album in four years, and marked the return of John Frusciante on the six-string twangplank. It remains their best-selling album ever, though for my money it's slightly bettered by 2002's By The Way. Still great though. Top track: "Scar Tissue"

Stereophonics - Performance And Cocktails

The 'phonics were everywhere in 1999. You couldn't move for "The Bartender and the Thief", "Just Looking" and "Pick a Part That's New", and that was because they're ace songs. The rest of the album is just as great, if not greater. Top track: "Pick A Part That's New"

And the winner is…

Underworld - Beaucoup Fish

Underworld - Beaucoup Fish

King of Snake, King of Snake.

Tina lives in Berlin, her voice so seldom on my machine.

Etc.

Again, I was late to the Underworld party, but my mate trying hard to get me to listen to something that didn't at least feature a fast lead guitarist must have finally broken through because one day I saw the light. I won't lie to you, drugs probably played a part. This is splendid music to get at least partially out of your face to. In fact I think I'd been listening to this album for a number of years before I realised that the lyrics to "Push Upstairs" and "Push Downstairs" are the same, and that one is a downtempo moody version of the other. Which is quite clever, though I obviously wasn't.

Intelligent, dancey electronica that isn't afraid to go dark occasionally all carried along by Karl Hyde's swirling stream-of-consciousness lyrics.

And, to quote Rufus (from Bill & Ted), it's excellent for dancing.

Top tracks: "Push Upstairs", "King Of Snake", "Cups"

Turkey of the Year

Mr. Big - Get Over It

Oh dear. For me Mr. Big needed Paul Gilbert's sense of humour running through their music to make it listenable, and his replacement Richie Kotzen - while an absolutely incredible musician - is pretty po-faced, and the band lost something vital at this point.