I read a Rolling Stones‘ article recently about the best songs from 1998 and as I went through it I thought there were some obvious omissions. But then I realized I was looking at it from a mobile DJ’s point of view so I thought I’d make my own list. Here are (in my humble opinion) the Top 25 songs from 1998 that I still play at some of my events. This list is ballad-heavy but there are also some upbeat songs that still get my dance floors moving and shaking.
Enjoy this trip back to twenty years ago.
25 – Chumbawamba, “Tub Thumping” It’s gotta be the right crowd but when this works, it can still be a great last-hour song.
24 – Britney Spears, “…Baby One More Time” Her debut single in the US and it made her huge. Still works in a 90s pop set
23 – Jay-Z feat. Amil and Ja Rule, “Can I Get A…” I’ll mix this into a hip hop set from time to time and it still works with the right crowd
22 – K-Ci and JoJo, “All My Life” A beautiful R&B ballad
21 – Mark Wills, “I Do (Cherish You)” Before 98 Degrees covered it, this song was a big slow song and wedding song for Mark Wills
20 – Edwin McCain, “I’ll Be” A big wedding song from the year and a slow song I still get requests for.
19 – LeAnn Rimes, “How Do I Live” Like I said this list is ballad heavy. 1998 was a great year for slow songs, especially from the country genre
18 – Whitney Houston, “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” Played this very often in ’98 and ’99. Many times back to back with this next one
17 – Deborah Cox, “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” I played the heck out of the Hex Hector remix of this song. Still drop it from time to time.
16 – Savage Garden, “Truly Madly Deeply” Was a big wedding song and one I still play sometimes, either for slow dancing or during dinner.
15 – The Verve, “Bitter Sweet Symphony” Has been very useful for bridal party introductions and processionals at wedding ceremonies (specifically the instrumental version)
14 – Beastie Boys, “Intergalactic” Sure they have better songs but I still get asked for this from time to time and it works when I drop it
13 – Celine Dion, “My Heart Will Go On” The theme from Titanic became a huge wedding song in 1998. But not as huge as . . .
12 Shania Twain, “From This Moment On” Wow this was THE wedding song of the year! I don’t spin it as often but every once in a while it’s the perfect ballad
11 – Garth Brooks, “It’s Your Song” A great parent’s dance. Still used from time to time.
10 – Boyz II Men , “A Song For Mama” A highly requested Mother/Son dance to this day. And for good reason!
9- Pras Michel feat. Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Mya, “Ghetto Superstar” Still works in a hip hop set.
8 – Backstreet Boys, “Quit Playing Games (with My Heart)” The first of two Backstreet Boys songs (both in the Top 10) because that’s the kind of year 1998 was.
7 – Cher, “Believe” I’d argue that this is Cher’s best dance song. Heck I’d argue it’s her best song, period.
6- Spice Girls, “Spice Up Your Life” Not nearly as popular as “Wannabe” but I still play this from time to time and it usually rocks the floor.
5 – NSYNC, “Tearin’ Up My Heart” It’s funny that “I Want You Back” was a bigger hit off their debut than “Tearin’ Up My Heart” but I play this more often. It’s just a great sing along from that pop era.
4 – Aerosmith, “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” Still a very popular slow song. Requested occasionally and sometimes I just break it out to be different.
3 – Semisonic, “Closing Time” This might be a bit high on the list for most people but I just love this song and enjoy closing parties with it. You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here!
2 – Will Smith, “Getting Jiggy Wit It” I still drop this in many a hip-hop set and the response is usually great.
1 – Backstreet Boys, “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” – Great dance and sing along song from the Boy Band Era! This one works at almost every event these days