Huh. Popular music was really, really good a decade ago.
I happen to be digging through Wikipedia for some ideas for my Music Class paper, and I just happened to click through the entry for White Town's "Your Woman." The UK #1 song preceding its reign on the charts in late January, 1997? Tori Amos, "Professional Widow." What bumped it from its top spot? Blur, "Beetlebum."
Sigh. I loved, loved, LOVED radio back then. LOVED it. (With the possible exception of Primitive Radio Gods' "Standing Outside a Broken Phonebooth with Money in My Hand." I HATED that one.) The Boy and I will sometimes play "Remember when...?" and trade band names and song titles that captivated us back in the mid-to-late 90s, which was really when I started to come of age as a music aficionado. I remember getting ready for school listening to Cake's "The Distance" and No Doubt's "Just a Girl," or doing trig homework with Ben Folds Five or Radiohead. Or Bush. Or Soul Coughing. Oasis, the Wallflowers, K's Choice, Smashing Pumpkins, the Verve, Sarah McLachlan, Liz Phair, Tonic... yeah. There was a lot of really good stuff on alternative rock radio, and even though I certainly don't lack for new music nowadays, there's just not that collective sense of, "This is what an entire city is listening to, and damnit, it's great."
Then again, maybe I'm waxing poetic too soon: the song that preceeded "Professional Widow" on the UK charts? That would be the Spice Girls' "2 Become 1."
Forget I said anything. Back to the paper.