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Songs of the Year

Songs of the Year: 1997

Grunge is toast, the last gasp of Brit Rock, nu-metal is on the horizon. It sucks to be a rock fan in 1997.



It’s a weird year for the Billboard charts. Elton John’s reworking of Candle in the Wind was the runaway winner of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while the rest of the entries went to female singer-songwriters and R&B stars. Jewel, Puff Daddy (x2), Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, En Vogue, Mark Morrison, LeAnn Rimes and Spice Girls all made the top 10, while future chart toppers Backstreet Boys’ Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) foretells of a dark future where boy (and girl) bands dominate the charts.

Rock still had a few shining lights including The Verve Pipe, Duncan Sheik, Third Eye Blind, Journey, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Bolton?… Sarah McLaughlin? Uh, slim pickings, to say the least.

Fortunately, Radiohead, Supergrass and The Verve brought enough fire from Britain for the rest of us rock lovers.

The Spice Girls’ Spice was the top album seller with just over 5,000,000 copies sold in 1997 alone.

Hey, there’s always 1998, right?

THE RULES: It’s a simple concept. We pick five of our favorite songs that made the Billboard Top 100 (established in 1958) during any time that year. We also select five “wildcards” that can be any songs released as a single or on an album or EP that year. Finally, we also pick our “worst” song of the year, just for fun.

We started in 1958 and we’re going until we run out of years.

Standings So Far …

Kramzer’s winning streak continues with another win, this time for Tonight, Tonight by Smashing Pumpkins, which took out Fiona Apple’s Criminal and Jason’s Wilco pick, Sunken Treasure. In 97 we have another band vs. band moment for Joe and Kramzer, while Jason goes with an alternative favorite of his that has no chance of winning.

Joe: 17
Jason: 15.5
Kramzer: 12.5


Which Was the Best Song of 1997?

  • Karma Police by Radiohead (43%, 85 Votes)
  • Let Down by Radiohead (39%, 77 Votes)
  • Alone by Dinosaur Jr. (17%, 34 Votes)

Total Voters: 196

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Best Songs of the Year Playlist

Best Songs of the Year | 1997 | Spotify Edition

Best Songs of the Year | 1997 | YouTube edition

Worst Songs of the Year Playlist

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