The turn of the century – new millennium, even – was an uncertain time. Just when everyone thought computers would stop working or the sky would fall in because of the Millennium Bug, it turned out everything was going to be OK after all.
But if there was one thing you could count on during 1999 and 2000, it’s that Geri Halliwell would get a Number 1 single.
And here she was again, kicking off the year with her third consecutive chart-topper from her debut solo album Schizophonic.
Bag It Up was typical Geri, musing on the differences between men and women in her own cheeky style. In a way, Geri had made the third album the Spice Girls probably would have made had they stayed as a quintet. Try saying that at a dinner party and watch all hell break loose.
“I like chocolate and controversy,” she cooed in the energetic video for the track, riffing on her former Spice Girls’ personality as the saucy Ginger.
If the video was energetic, her BRITs performance was nuclear. Emerging from between a pair of glistening, splayed legs, Geri bumped and cavorted her way across the BRIT Awards stage with an array of oiled-up himbos. The birth of Venus this most certainly was not, but Geri’s spirited performance was not forgotten in a hurry.
Bag It Up went straight in at Number 1, meaning disappointment for Blink 182, who missed out on scoring their first chart-topper. They did, however, land their very first Top 10 in the process, when All The Small Things went in at Number 2.
They’d only hit the Top 40 once before, but thanks in part to the memorable video for All The Small Things, which parodied the boybands of the day, success was assured. This was the days when YouTube was years away, and the only way to see your favourite videos was to phone up a cable TV channel and request it using a special code. Imagine! These were dark days.
In the end it wasn’t even a particularly close race. Geri’s girl power also translated into sales power – she beat the Blink 182 boys by almost 50,000 copies, scoring first-week sales of 106,000. In total, Bag It Up has sold over 260,000 copies, while All The Small Things has shifted over 470,000, so they may have lost the battle, but you could say they won the war.
There was one more Number 1 to come from Geri, a cover of It’s Raining Men. This feat gave her a new chart record; she had the most solo Number 1s of any British female singer. Geri held on to this record until 2014, when Rita Ora matched her, before Cheryl Cole with matched and beat her when I Don’t Care romped home.
Geri has scored eight Top 10s on her own, to match the eight she enjoyed with the Spice Girls.
One more Top 10 awaited Blink 182, I Miss You in 2004. They’ve landed 10 UK Top 40 hits altogether.
So Geri had Number 1 in the bag and Blink 182 were settling for silver – what about the rest of the Top 10? Let’s do this!
3: Chicane FT Bryan Adams – Don’t Give Up
After a week at the top, it was a drop of two for dance outfit Chicane with our Bry on guest vox duties. This was a second chart-topper for Bryan – he’d previously been Number 1 for an entire summer in 1991 with (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. 16 weeks. Sixteen. he’s had 12 Top 10s, you know.
4: ATB – Killer
A third Top 10 for German DJ André Tanneberger, who had a summer smash in 1999 with dance anthem 9PM (Till I Come). There’d be no more Top 10s for ATB, sadly – his last hit was 2001’s Let U Go.
5: Madonna – American Pie
This cover of the Don McLean classic was Madonna’s ninth chart-topper, and the first of two Number 1s she’d score in 2000 – Music would follow in August.
6: Dr Dre FT Snoop Dogg – Still Dre
7: All Saints – Pure Shores
8: Lene Marlin – Sitting Down Here
9: Tom Jones & Stereophonics – Mama Told Me Not To Come
10: Vengaboys – Shalala Lala
This time last year…
Dvbbs & Bourgeous FT Tinie Tempah went straight in at Number with Tsunami (Jump). See the full chart from this week in 2014 for new entries from Enrique Iglesias, Flo Rida, Pixie Lott, Kylie Minogue and One Direction.
Main image: Richard Young/REX