Official Albums Chart Flashback 1999: Shania Twain beats S Club 7 to Number 1

Two of the albums involved in National Album Day 2023 had quite the chart battle in 1999.
Shania Twain in 1999 pictured on a blue background alongside the national album day  and official chart flashback logos

For this week's Official Chart Flashback, we're doing something a little different. As part of the celebrations of this weekend's National Album Day, we're taking you all the way back to 1999 - when two albums featured in the NAD 2023 line-up were actually part of a chart battle for Number 1!

This week 24 years ago, Shania Twain's blockbuster monolith Come On Over returned to Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart, beating S Club 7 and pushing their debut album, S Club, to a new entry at Number 2. 

Of course, this was not the first time that Shania's third album (which represented her deft handling of the crossover from country to pop with an ease that wouldn't be felt until Taylor Swift repeated the track in 2014 with 1989) had reached the top of the charts.

Originally released in 1998, Come On Over actually struggled to find a foothold in the upper echelons of the Official Chart at first, despite two of its single reaching the Top 10 that year; wedding dance classic You're Still The One peaked at Number 10, while From This Moment On reached Number 9.

But it was 1999 that proved to be the breakthrough year for Shania, commercial-wise (this was back in the halcyon days when album campaigns would stretch over a few years - in fact, promo for Come On Over wouldn't even end until well into the new millennium) as two of her biggest and most beloved hits finally arrived in the UK; That Don't Impress Me Much and Man! I Feel Like A Woman! both changed the trajectory of Shania's career, and both peaked at Number 3 on the Official Singles Chart. We know, we can't believe they didn't get to Number 1 either. 

MORE: Shania Twain's Official Top 20 biggest songs in the UK

So when Come On Over finally hit Number 1, it didn't give up that spot for very long. It first scaled to the top of the Official Albums Chart in September 1999, originally staying there for four weeks. It spent two weeks at Number 2, before finally re-ascending again this week 24 years ago, where it would stay for another three consecutive weeks, before falling down again...and then coming back again for five consecutive weeks, which actually made Come On Over the first UK Number 1 album of the 21st century too. 

But what about the act Shania beat to Number 1? S Club 7 were also having a very good year in 1999. In fact, they had kickstarted their career in the best way possible, with debut single Bring It All Back entering in at Number 1, while follow up singles S Club Party and One In A Million both reached Number 2. 

But sadly, their debut LP collection, S Club, just wasn't big enough to fight the Shania phenomenon. It would end up peaking at Number 2, but don't feel too bad for them, during their initial lifespan, S Club 7 scored 4 UK Number 1 singles (Bring It All Back, Never Had A Dream Come True, Don't Stop Movin, Have You Ever) and finally reached Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart with their second album, 7, in 2000.

But as we all know, pop music is a marathon, not a sprint. So how have these LPs done in the long run? According to Official Charts data, Shania's Come On Over is still the bigger of the two albums - bringing in over 3.5 million chart units to date. S Club, however, has totalled 824,000 chart units. 

MORE: S Club's Official Top 20 biggest songs in the UK

Other albums to impact the Official Albums Chart this week in 1999 include David Bowie's Hours... (5), Paul McCartney's Run Devil Run (12) and From Here To Eternity by The Clash (13). 

On this weekend's National Album Day 2023, both Shania Twain's Come On Over and S Club 7's S Club are going to be re-released with very special physical re-issues, since this year's National Album Day celebrates some of the most iconic albums of the 1990s.

As part of the NAD celebrations, Official Charts has revealed both the definitive list of every single UK Number 1 album of 1990s, and the regions of the UK that are still massive 90s music fans in 2023.

You can also check out the list of the most-streamed albums of the 1990s, as heard on BBC Radio 2, here.

View the Top 100 Official Albums Chart from this week in 1999 here.

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