Tower Records 1999, Hong Kong
Photo: GARRIGE HO/South China Morning Post/Getty Images
Poll: Which 1999 Album Have You Had On Repeat This Year?
If you miss the days of going to Tower Records, browsing through the new releases rack and leaving with a stack of shiny CDs to pop into your indestructible Discman, this is the poll for you! Even if you born too late to truly understand the extreme wave of 1999 music nostalgia currently taking place, 20 years later, perhaps you've attempted to relive the '90s through your own musical streaming journey.
Either way, we want to know which classic 1999 album you still can't get enough of, which you can tell us by taking our poll below. Make sure to read on to travel with us back to 1999, with an overview of the albums and a selection of their songs to listen to.
Let's take a quick trip back to the turn of the 21st century, when crop tops and ringer tees were having a major moment and iMacs came in five fun candy colors. On Nov. 16, 1999, West Coast hip-hop king Dr. Dre released 2001, his long-anticipated follow-up to his 1992 debut album, The Chronic. His 68-minute opus brought us classic G-funk records like "Still D.R.E." and "Next Episode," both featuring Snoop Dogg and "Forgot About Dre" with Eminem, the Compton icon's then newly signed protégée. The latter song would earn the pair a GRAMMY win for Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group at the 43rd GRAMMY Awards.
Over on the East Coast side of hip-hop, in Philadelphia, The Roots released their breakout third album, Things Fall Apart earlier in the year, on Feb. 23. The dynamic LP earned the group widespread acclaim and their first two GRAMMY nominations, including for Best Rap Album. The memorable, ultra-smooth "You Got Me" featuring Erykah Badu and Eve, earned The Roots their second nomination and first-ever GRAMMY win, for Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group.
Elsewhere in Los Angeles, the Red Hot Chili Peppers returned with their seventh studio album, Californication. The Rick Rubin-produced 15-track LP included classics like "Otherside," "Californication" and "Scar Tissue." The last song, still an alt-rock radio staple, earned the group the second of two nods at the 42nd GRAMMY Awards, where they also received a nomination for Best Rock Album.
Making our way over from pop-rock to bubblegum pop, America's sweetheart Britney Spears started 1999 right with the release of her debut album, …Baby One More Time on Jan. 12. The choreography, fashion and lyrics of both the videos for the title track and "(You Drive Me) Crazy" will live on in our '90s time capsules. If you forgot to "E-Mail My Heart," don't worry, the AOL inbox is still up and running somehow.
Fellow pop icons Backstreet Boys were ready to take us boldly into Y2K with their all-white getups and fierce poses/dance moves, as immortalized in the iconic "I Want It That Way" video and on the Millennium cover art. "Larger Than Life" was an appropriate opening track for the their third LP, the best-selling album of 1999. The beloved boy band earned four GRAMMY nominations that year, including for Album Of The Year and Record Of The Year, for "I Want It That Way."
Over in Atlanta, three powerful women known as TLC were also channeling a big Y2K mood on their GRAMMY-winning third studio album, FanMail. It featured the eternally empowering anthems "No Scrubs" and "Unpretty," and earned the trio two GRAMMYs and six total nominations.
A year and a half after releasing their self-titled debut, another powerful squad, Houston's Destiny's Child, followed up with the sophomore album, The Writing's on the Wall. With catchy-as-hell hooks on "Bills, Bills, Bills," "Jumpin', Jumpin'" and "Say My Name," the album is still one that can still turn the club up. The former track earned the group their first GRAMMY nod in 1999. The latter track, released as the album's third single, earned them two more nominations at the 43rd Annual GRAMMY Awards, along with their first win, for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal.
Over in the New York rave scene, DJ/producer/singer Moby moved from the underground to the global spotlight with his fifth studio album, Play. The eclectic GRAMMY-nominated LP became the best-selling electronica album with instant-classic moody house tracks like "Porcelain," "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?" and "South Side."
Puerto Rican heartthrob Ricky Martin led another major music moment in 1999 with his GRAMMY-nominated self-titled fifth studio album, his first LP sung primarily in English. The album offers both English and Spanish versions of "Livin' la Vida Loca," while two of the other singles, "María and "The Cup Of Life," are offered as singular Spanglish versions. "Livin' la Vida Loca" earned Martin his first No. 1 hit on the Hot 100, as well as nominations for Record Of The Year at both the 42nd GRAMMY Awards and the inaugural Latin GRAMMYs in 2000. Along with him came the first major boom of Spanish-language artists, like Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, into the U.S. pop landscape.
Don't forget to let us know which 1999 album you still love the most in the poll above, and to share it with your friends as well. As you finish watching the videos below we're only left to wonder, which 2019 bops will still slap in—gasp—2039?