Top Ten Summer Hits of 1998: A Look Back

Each summer on the blog, I recount the top 10 summer hits from 30, 20, and 10 years ago. Last week was 1988 and the sounds of three decades ago. If you missed it, you can find it here:

Today we move to 1998 and the tunes burning up our CD players (if we were lucky enough to have one in our car) 20 years ago. As with previous posts, I rank each track from 1 (summer bummer) to 10 (summer smash) and reveal the most important truth: is said song on my Apple Music?

Let’s get to it!

10. “All My Life” by K-Ci & JoJo

We start off quite well with this ballad from K-Ci and JoJo, who originally rose to fame with the R&B group Jodeci. It’s schmaltzy, yes, but in the best way and it gets the job done with the singers expert vocal performances.

My Ranking: 9 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: Yes

9. “Crush” by Jennifer Paige

I must confess to having no recollection of this track when I saw it was #9. Listening to it again, it’s a pleasant enough ditty from the one-hit wonder. That said, it’s also rather forgettable.

My Ranking: 6

It Is On My Apple Music?: No

8. “Make It Hot” by Nicole featuring Missy Elliot and Mocha

Timbaland was mostly busy around this time stirring up classics for Aaliyah and Missy Elliot. Yet he concocted this gem for Nicole with assists from Elliot and Mocha. It was her only major hit, but it’s a terrific example of its producer’s wizardry behind the boards.

My Rating: 9

Is It On My Apple Music?: Yes

7. “Come with Me” by Puff Daddy featuring Jimmy Page

Combine Puff’s love of sampling with the guitar riffs of Jimmy Page’s “Kashmir” and promoting the summer’s unfortunate Godzilla reboot? You get a hit… albeit one that is just as ultimately disappointing as the film in which it appeared on the soundtrack.

My Rating: 5

Is It On My Apple Music? No

6. “My All” by Mariah Carey

Ms. Carey has certainly had her share of powerful ballads. “My All” is an effective one, though I don’t rank it among her most memorable.

My Rating: 7

Is It On My Apple Music?: Yes (but mostly because I have her greatest hits and don’t listen to this one hardly at all)

5. “Adia” by Sarah MacLachlan

The Canadian singer is now mostly known for causing you tear up during commercials to help dogs, but she had a string of hits including this one. I’ve never been a big fan and this track does little for me, despite her lovely voice.

My Rating: 5 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

4. “My Way” by Usher

The title track from Usher’s multi-platinum album is a Jermaine Dupri produced banger that spent lots of time being played loudly in my 1987 Ford Thunderbird 20 years ago. Check out Tyrese in the video as well.

My Rating: 9

It Is On My Apple Music?: Yes

3. “Too Close” by Next

An incredibly catchy R&B song from a band that didn’t produce many more hits. This one, however, could still be a massive hit today.

My Rating: 9 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: Yes

2. “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain

Another Canadian crooner had her first major crossover hit with this ballad. It moved Twain out of just being known as a country act to one with serious pop appeal.

My Rating: 8

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

1. “The Boy is Mine” by Brandy & Monica

It’s no “The Girl is Mine” by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, but this mid-tempo pop track paired two of the era’s most successful R&B singers to hugely successful results on the charts. Looking back now, I don’t love it (I could list stronger tracks by both Brandy and Monica) but it’s decent.

My Rating: 7 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

And there you have it! The sounds of 1998 in the summertime…

I’ll return soon with 2008.

Top 90 R&B Songs of the 1990s: Nos. 30-21

We are a week into my Top 90 R&B Songs of the 1990s and that means part seven and numbers 30-21!

Please click the Music category of the blog to review previous entries. Let’s get to it:

30. “Doo Wop” (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill (1998)

Hill left the Fugees to start a solo career and hit it big with her first album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and this great first single that marks her only #1 solo hit.

29. “You Make Me Wanna…” by Usher (1997)

The lead single from Usher’s My Way album is among his finest tracks with production from Jermaine Dupri.

28. “I’m So Into You” by SWV (1992)

The female trio had their first top ten hit with this terrific uptempo groove.

27. “Don’t Walk Away” by Jade (1993)

The New Jack swing club anthem gave this girl group their signature hit.

26. “Cream” by Prince (1991)

The Purple One has joked that he wrote this song in the mirror. At least I think he was joking.

**Blogger’s Note: Prince doesn’t allow his videos on YouTube

25. “Not Gon Cry” by Mary J. Blige (1996)

Ms. Mary’s ballad from the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack is among her top career highlights.

24. “Rub You the Right Way” by Johnny Gill (1990)

The New Edition singer had the biggest hit of his solo career with this banger from producers Jam and Lewis.

23. “Too Close” by Next (1997)

The male trio had a monster hit on their hands with its infectious beat and highly suggestive lyrical content.

22. “I Wanna Sex You Up” by Color Me Badd (1991)

The group’s biggest hit came from the New Jack City soundtrack and has certainly stood the test of time.

21. “Fantasy” by Mariah Carey (1995)

Carey’s lead single from her Daydream album is a classic among her staple of #1 hits. It also has an awesome Puff Daddy remix featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

Tomorrow – we’ll get into the Top 20!