Times of our Lives: 1999 – So Long, Farewell and Goodbye

Prince didn’t get it right. Partying like it was 1999 proved remarkably similar to partying in ’98, ’97 and every year before that. I’m not sure if this is the curmudgeon in me now surfacing, or if my younger self was equally curmudgeonly when it comes to New Year’s Eve.

1999 was a little different, I suppose, in that we were awaiting the birth of our first son early the following year. Having suffered at wedding fayres before we were married, I found traipsing around Mothercare equally as tedious. Yes, it’s a cot. Oooh, we looked at green baby-gros yesterday, what a change to see white ones today.

Pushchairs and prams were OK; I turned into a four-wheeled psychopath for a while with a view that Volvo-style three-wheeler pushchair meant you were onto the road when push came to shove. Pavement etiquette just went out of the way. It’s a jungle out there people, and only the fittest survive. God knows how I got this far in life.

Suffice to say, 1999 was one of those lean years record-wise. Not just in production but also in purchases. It’s a backwards year when I looked back and embraced a diverse past rather than the present which didn’t intrigue me.

Album of the Year was undoubtedly The Charlatans Us and Us Only. To date, they are the only band I’ve seen live who haven’t played a bad gig. Indeed, they provided a gig-going highlight when we convinced a lad at the Brixton Academy that we had seen Elvis in Vegas, the Sex Pistols at Golders Green and Echo & the Bunnymen at Erics, while being at Spike Island. The latter was true but he never twigged that in order for all of that to be true, we would have been musical Forrest Gumps.

Anyway, in 1999, we said “Hi, hugs, how you doin'” to a generation of IT people who claimed Y2K was a real thing and not a clever marketing ruse by Microsoft. Auspicious beginnings too for:

  • the euro
  • The Sopranos
  • Family Guy
  • The Matrix and fliptop phones
  • Austin Powers
  • The League of Gentlemen
  • Futurama

while being lukewarm about The Phantom Menace.

“Adios, hombres” to:

  • Noel’s House Party (thank god),
  • Rod Hull got a better reception than he was expecting,
  • Ernie Wise proved to be a little Urn after all,
  • Derek Nimmo,
  • Derek Guyler,
  • Quentin Crisp who is now camped out in heaven,
  • Jill Dando,
  • Helen Rollason,
  • Bob Peck really did find the Edge of Darkness,
  • Compo, Uncle Albert, Fred Gee and Alf Roberts,
  • Lena Zavaroni found a new audience to make eyes at her
  • and finally, Glenn Hoddle as England manager, his comments about disabled people and past lives giving rise to this classic Private Eye cover:

All of which leaves us with the small matter of today’s playlist:


Title Band
Dolphins Were Monkeys Ian Brown
Surrender The Chemical Brothers
Bruce Lee Underworld
Race for the Prize The Flaming Lips
The Bartender And The Thief Stereophonics
Pumping On Your Stereo Supergrass
Natalie’s Party Shack
Can’t You See That He’s Mine The Bristols
Suzy Lee The White Stripes
Looking Out My Window Tom Jones, James Taylor Quartet
Mixed Bizness Beck
Forever – Full Length Version The Charlatans
Major Leagues Pavement
Profit In Peace Ocean Colour Scene
Wherever I Lay My Phone (That’s My Home) Super Furry Animals
Baby You’re Phrasing is Bad The Bristols
Love Like A Fountain Ian Brown
I Want You Shack
Jesus Came From Outta Space Supergrass
Half The Lies You Tell Ain’t True Stereophonics
What Is the Light? The Flaming Lips
One More Cup Of Coffee The White Stripes
Maria Blondie
Sexx Laws Beck
July Ocean Colour Scene
Burn To Shine Ben Harper And The Innocent Criminals
A House Is Not A Home The Charlatans
Midnight Sun David Sylvian
Moving Supergrass
Extreme Ways (Bourne’s Ultimatum) Moby

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