1997 in British music

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Number-one singles
Number-one albums
Best-selling singles
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Summaries and charts
1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
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1989 2000
Top 10 singles
1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
1989 2000

This is a summary of 1997 in music in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year.

Summary[edit]

Oasis released their highly anticipated third album, Be Here Now, on 21 August (in the UK). It sold 695,761 copies in its first three days to become the fastest selling album in UK history until 2015, when the record was surpassed by Adele's third studio album 25. Radiohead's third album, OK Computer, was released in May and topped the UK Albums Chart for two weeks. Met with widespread critical acclaim, it was voted the greatest album of all time by Q Magazine readers barely months after its release.[1]

Compared to just five years earlier, singles sales were very high this year. From 22 June right through to the end of the year, every single #1 sold at least 100,000 copies a week. Like the previous year, 24 singles topped the chart, double as many as 1992.

The Spice Girls continued their success from 1996, once again getting three number ones. The first was the double A-side songs "Mama" and "Who Do You Think You Are"; the latter of which was the Comic Relief single for 1997. This ensured the group became the first act to have their first four singles all reach number 1. This was followed by "Spice Up Your Life" in October, and "Too Much" in December, which once again gave them the Christmas number one single. They had now become the first act to have their first six singles reach number 1, but this run would be broken in 1998, with "Stop" only reaching #2. Spice Girls also had great success on the album charts as 'Spice and 'Spiceworld' were two of the top five best sellers of 1997.

The Backstreet Boys released their second international album Backstreet's Back. The album was a massive success reaching number 2 and selling over 800,000 copies in the U.K. The three singles released from the album were massive hits with Everybody (Backstreet's Back) reaching number 3 and "As Long As You Love Me" also reaching 3 and staying in the charts for 19 weeks.

Six singles released this year went on to sell over a million. The first to do so was Puff Daddy & Faith Evans' "I'll Be Missing You", a tribute to the late rapper The Notorious B.I.G.. In November and December, three consecutive number ones all sold over a million, for only the third time in UK chart history (it had previously happened in 1984 and 1995/6). These were Aqua's "Barbie Girl", the Children in Need charity single "Perfect Day", and Teletubbies say "Eh-oh!", the theme tune to the popular children's television series Teletubbies. In addition, All Saints' "Never Ever" was released in November and also sold over a million, though it wouldn't reach number 1 until January 1998.

In November, The Prodigy released "Smack My Bitch Up", which received huge international media attention, due to the fact that many people believed it to be misogynistic and / or that it promotes violence against women. Some stores refused to stock the single and / or album from which it came, and some radio stations refused to play it. A graphic video showing bad behaviour on the part of the protagonist in the music video lead to its showing on television being greatly restricted.

By far the biggest-selling single of the year, though, came from Elton John. In August, Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash. At her funeral, John played a rewritten version of "Candle in the Wind" known as "Candle in the Wind 1997", a song originally written about Marilyn Monroe (made #11 in 1974, with a live version reaching #5 in 1988). When released this year, it quickly overtook 1984's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" to become the biggest selling UK single ever, selling 4.86 million copies, and the biggest selling in the world, selling 37 million. It continues to hold the record to this day.

Andrew Glover's string quartet The Fickle Virgin of Seventeen Summers was one of several new classical works by British composers. Others included Geoffrey Burgon's City Adventures, a percussion concerto written for Scottish virtuoso Evelyn Glennie and premièred by her during the 1997 Proms season. One of the UK's most prolific classical composers, Wilfred Josephs, died on 17 November. In April, Nigel Kennedy, now calling himself simply Kennedy, returned to the stage at the Royal Festival Hall after a five-year absence from the concert stage resulting from neck surgery.[2] Towards the end of the year, veteran composer Sir Michael Tippett developed pneumonia while visiting Sweden, which would lead to his death early in 1998.

Events[edit]

Charts[edit]

Number-one singles[edit]

Chart date
(week ending)
Song Artist(s) Sales
4 January "2 Become 1" Spice Girls 300,000
11 January 95,000
18 January "Professional Widow" Tori Amos 80,000
25 January "Your Woman" White Town 119,500
1 February "Beetlebum" Blur 120,000
8 February "Ain't Nobody" LL Cool J 80,000
15 February "Discothèque" U2 125,000
22 February "Don't Speak" No Doubt 195,000
1 March 140,000
8 March 85,000
15 March "Mama" / "Who Do You Think You Are" Spice Girls 248,000
22 March 152,000
29 March 85,000
5 April "Block Rockin' Beats" The Chemical Brothers 84,700
12 April "I Believe I Can Fly" R. Kelly 51,000
19 April 76,000
26 April 87,000
3 May "Blood on the Dance Floor" Michael Jackson 85,000
10 May "Love Won't Wait" Gary Barlow 92,000
17 May "You're Not Alone" Olive 75,000
24 May 74,000
31 May "I Wanna Be the Only One" Eternal featuring Bebe Winans 150,000
7 June "MMMBop" Hanson 260,000
14 June 120,000
21 June 86,000
28 June "I'll Be Missing You" Puff Daddy & Faith Evans featuring 112 109,000
5 July 156,000
12 July 167,000
19 July "D'You Know What I Mean?" Oasis 377,000
26 July "I'll Be Missing You" Puff Daddy & Faith Evans featuring 112 124,000
2 August 127,000
9 August 100,000
16 August "Men In Black" Will Smith 182,000
23 August 133,000
30 August 122,000
6 September 105,000
13 September "The Drugs Don't Work" The Verve 105,000
20 September "Candle in the Wind 1997" / "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" Elton John 658,000
27 September 1,546,688
4 October 1,067,000
11 October 572,000
18 October 274,000
25 October "Spice Up Your Life" Spice Girls 321,000
1 November "Barbie Girl" Aqua 190,000
8 November 239,000
15 November 190,000
22 November 165,000
29 November "Perfect Day" Various Artists 385,082
6 December 274,706
13 December "Teletubbies say "Eh-oh!"" Teletubbies 317,000
20 December 230,000
27 December "Too Much" Spice Girls 252,000

Number-one albums[edit]

Chart date
(week ending)
Album Artist Sales
4 January Spice Spice Girls
11 January 119,000
18 January 65,000
25 January
1 February Evita Madonna
8 February Glow Reef 55,000
15 February White on Blonde Texas 47,000
22 February Blur Blur 92,000
1 March Attack of the Grey Lantern Mansun 48,000
8 March Spice Spice Girls
15 March Pop U2 152,000
22 March Spice Spice Girls 60,000
29 March 65,000
5 April 85,000
12 April 43,000
19 April Dig Your Own Hole The Chemical Brothers 62,793
26 April Ultra Depeche Mode 43,000
3 May Tellin' Stories The Charlatans 68,000
10 May
17 May Spice Spice Girls 23,700
24 May Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix Michael Jackson 37,000
31 May 30,000
7 June Open Road Gary Barlow 58,000
14 June Wu-Tang Forever Wu-Tang Clan 26,000
21 June Middle of Nowhere Hanson 24,000
28 June OK Computer Radiohead 136,500
5 July 48,200
12 July The Fat of the Land The Prodigy 316,951
19 July 98,000
26 July 66,000
2 August
9 August
16 August 30,500
23 August White on Blonde Texas 30,000
30 August Be Here Now Oasis 696,000
6 September 235,000
13 September 95,000
20 September 64,000
27 September Marchin' Already Ocean Colour Scene 64,000
4 October Be Here Now Oasis 48,000
11 October Urban Hymns The Verve 250,054
18 October 97,000
25 October 63,500
1 November 56,000
8 November 61,000
15 November Spiceworld Spice Girls 192,000
22 November 91,228
29 November Let's Talk About Love Céline Dion 91,000
6 December 91,000
13 December Spiceworld Spice Girls 121,000
20 December Let's Talk About Love Céline Dion
27 December 219,918

Number-one compilation albums[edit]

Chart date
(week ending)
Album
4 January Now 35
11 January
18 January The Annual II Mixed by Judge Jules & Boy George
25 January
1 February
8 February
15 February In the Mix 97
22 February The Annual II Mixed by Judge Jules & Boy George
1 March Club Mix 97 2
8 March
15 March The Soul Album
22 March The Best Album in the World...Ever! 5
29 March Dance Nation 3 – Pete Tong & Judge Jules
5 April Now 36
12 April
19 April
26 April New Hits 1997
3 May
10 May
17 May
24 May Big Mix 97
31 May
7 June Smash Hits Summer 97
14 June The Best Club Anthems Classics
21 June
28 June
5 July
12 July The Best Disco Album in the World...Ever!
19 July
26 July Now 37
2 August
9 August
16 August
23 August Fresh Hits 1997
30 August
6 September
13 September Ibiza Uncovered
20 September
27 September
4 October Kiss in Ibiza 97
11 October Ibiza Uncovered
18 October Big Mix 97 – Volume 2
25 October The Best Anthems...Ever!
1 November Now Dance 97
8 November Huge Hits 1997
15 November The Annual III Mixed by Pete Tong & Boy George
22 November
29 November Now 38
6 December
13 December Diana Princess of Wales – Tribute
20 December
27 December

Top 50 singles[edit]

Position Song Title Artist(s) Sales Highest Position
1 Candle In The Wind 1997 / Something About The Way You Look Tonight Elton John 4,770,000 1
2 Barbie Girl Aqua 1,590,000 1
3 I'll Be Missing You Puff Daddy & Faith Evans featuring 112 1,360,000 1
4 Perfect Day Various Artists 1,270,000 1
5 Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh! Teletubbies 900,000 1
6 Men in Black Will Smith 880,000 1
7 Don't Speak No Doubt 830,000 1
8 Torn Natalie Imbruglia 810,000 2
9 Spice Up Your Life Spice Girls 780,000 1
10 Tubthumping Chumbawamba 780,000 2
11 MMMBop Hanson 710,000 1
12 D'You Know What I Mean? Oasis 700,000 1
13 "Never Ever" All Saints 690,000 1
14 I Believe I Can Fly R. Kelly 670,000 1
15 Mama / Who Do You Think You Are Spice Girls 660,000 1
16 I Wanna Be The Only One Eternal featuring Bebe Winans 600,000 1
17 Freed From Desire Gala 560,000 2
18 "Where Do You Go" No Mercy 540,000 2
19 Sunchyme Dario G 500,000 2
20 Free Ultra Naté 480,000 4
21 Encore Une Fois Sash! 470,000 2
22 Too Much Spice Girls 470,000 1
23 Time To Say Goodbye Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman 470,000 2
24 Bellissima DJ Quicksilver 440,000 4
25 As Long As You Love Me Backstreet Boys 430,000 3
26 Baby Can I Hold You / Shooting Star Boyzone 420,000 2
27 Ecuador Sash! featuring Adrian Rodriguez 420,000 2
28 Wind Beneath My Wings Steven Houghton 410,000 3
29 Don't Let Go (Love) En Vogue 400,000 5
30 Stay Sash! featuring La Trec 400,000 2
31 Lovefool The Cardigans 370,000 2
32 The Drugs Don't Work The Verve 370,000 1
33 Tell Him Barbra Streisand & Celine Dion 360,000 3
34 Together Again Janet Jackson 360,000 4
35 2 Become 1 Spice Girls 350,000 1
36 You Might Need Somebody Shola Ama 340,000 4
37 You're Not Alone Olive 340,000 1
38 Everybody (Backstreet's Back) Backstreet Boys 340,000 3
39 Angels Robbie Williams 340,000 4
40 C U When U Get There Coolio featuring 40 Thevz 340,000 3
41 Your Woman White Town 1
42 Never Gonna Let You Go Tina Moore 3
43 Bitter Sweet Symphony The Verve 2
44 Remember Me The Blueboy 8
45 Closer Than Close Rosie Gaines 4
46 Stand By Me Oasis 2
47 Professional Widow (It's Got To Be Big) Tori Amos 1
48 Picture of You Boyzone 2
49 Say What You Want Texas 3
50 I'll Be There For You The Rembrandts 5 (No. 3 in 1995)

Top 10 Albums[edit]

Issue Date Album Title Artist Sales Highest Position
1 Be Here Now Oasis 1,740,000 1
2 Urban Hymns The Verve 1,690,000 1
3 Spice Spice Girls 1,320,000 1
4 Spiceworld Spice Girls 1,300,000 1
5 White on Blonde Texas 1,280,000 1
6 The Fat of the Land The Prodigy 1,100,000 1
7 Let's Talk About Love Celine Dion 1,090,000 1
8 OK Computer Radiohead 980,000 1
9 Greatest Hits Eternal 955,000 2
10 Ocean Drive Lighthouse Family 940,000 3

Classical music[edit]

Opera[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

Music awards[edit]

BRIT Awards[edit]

The 1997 BRIT Awards winners were:

Mercury Music Prize[edit]

The 1997 Mercury Music Prize was awarded to Roni Size/ReprazentNew Forms.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "OK Computer". 1 May 1997 – via Amazon. 
  2. ^ a b "Nigel Kennedy Biography". 
  3. ^ Pareles, John (January 11, 1997). "Once More the Outsider, David Bowie Turns 50". The New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2008. 
  4. ^ Guinness World Records (PDF). 2007. p. 187. Retrieved 3 March 2011.  White Christmas was the first.
  5. ^ Dalton, Stephen (2 April 2007). "Billy Mackenzie Tribute". London: The Times. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 
  6. ^ Obituary[permanent dead link]; accessed 22 September 2014.

External links[edit]