My favorite songs of 1998

Posted: February 8, 2019 in Rankings

At the start of 1998, at the turn of the New Year, I had moved to London and returned to school. This time it was college. Some close friends and family were in this city so it was an easy transition. My mind and heart were still reeling from the breakup that was a good 14 months prior. In London things were much better, because instead of being alone and depressed with no close friends around and few acquaintances, I had plenty around. Plus I made more, including a couple of good ones in college and a couple of good ones who lived next door (one of whom eventually became my brother-in-law). But all this meant was that I had a different friend or group of friends to hit the bar with every night. Three or four times a week, in fact.

I went to school for marketing, but in the summer I found a job as a retail manager and stopped going to class. I showed up for exams and got the credits, because I found it easy. But then I focused on making money, still unsure about what I wanted to do. Only that I wanted to make money and be comfortable. I was heavily in debt ($40 thousand) and thanks to returning to school, it reset the clock as to how quickly I had to pay it back.

In the retail stores we played music, so I was still on top of the latest songs. Not many great ones came out in 1998, though plenty of “not bad” ones. Perhaps it was the rough couple of years I was going through. I did love Fly Away though. It brought me straight back to being a huge Kravitz fan. I thought Uninvited and You Should Come Over were both very underrated songs (and both from Canadian artists). And Pearl Jam Yield came out and the best song on that CD was a song they never released – No Way. The song Money City Maniacs (another Canadian band) will always remind me of GT’s.

In the summer of ’98 I remember being on a rooftop patio when we caught word that the Hip was the ‘secret band’ that would perform in London the next night. We all got up, went home and gathered our things, and we got in line, staying up all night. We got the tickets and I watched the Hip for my second and final time.

The Tragically Hip’s album that summer, Phantom Menace, was the first of what would be a steady string of weak albums for what was an elite band. And Poets was the last of their truly great songs. Everyone loves Bobcaygeon – love love loves it – but it never caught on with me. I bought the Hip’s Live Between Us album after that one, but that would be it for me and buying albums from this band.

Unlike most rankings, I haven’t been simply tossing these up in a numerical order. Because we can all agree that on some days, certain songs kick more ass than other songs – yet other days they do not. It all depends on mood and situation. A song that is ranked 14th today could very well rank 1st tomorrow – if it suddenly comes on the radio during the perfect moment and I start singing along. So I group them instead of presenting a hard-and-fast order:

Pretty Good
Not Bad
…with some inter-group splitting.


1 Uninvited Alanis Morissette
1 Fly Away Lenny Kravitz
5 You Should Come Over 54-40
5 Cowboy Kid Rock
5 No Way Pearl Jam
5 Money City Maniacs Sloan
5 Poets Tragicallly Hip
10 Celebrity Skin Hole
10 Malibu Hole
10 All Those Yesterdays Pearl Jam
10 Meet Virginia Train
20 Closing Time Semisonic
20 Slide The Goo Goo Dolls
20 Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) The Offspring
30 Thank U Alanis Morissette
30 That Song Big Wreck
30 The Way Fastball
30 Shine Junkhouse
30 American Woman Lenny Kravitz
30 Gasoline Moist
30 In Hiding Pearl Jam
30 Wishlist Pearl Jam
30 Pure Morning Placebo
30 Luv Me, Luv Me Shaggy
30 My Favorite Mistake Sheryl Crow
30 Can’t Get Enough of You Baby Smash Mouth
30 Ava Adore Smashing Pumpkins
30 Black Balloon The Goo Goo Dolls
30 Broadway The Goo Goo Dolls
30 Iris The Goo Goo Dolls
30 Fireworks Tragicallly Hip
40 Since When 54-40
40 One Week Barenaked Ladies
40 Intergalactic Beastie Boys
40 The Oaf Big Wreck
40 Never There Cake
40 What It’s Like Everlast
40 Out Of My Head Fastball
40 He Got Game Public Enemy
40 Come With Me Puff Daddy
40 The Kids Aren’t Alright The Offspring
50 I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing Aerosmith
50 Spaceman Bif Naked
50 The Scene Big Sugar
50 Blown Wide Open Big Wreck
50 …Baby One More Time Britney Spears
50 Wide Open Spaces Dixie Chicks
50 Save Tonight Eagle-Eye Cherry
50 Fire Escape Fastball
50 Shimmer Fuel
50 Heaven Tonight Hole
50 The Dope Show Marilyn Manson
50 Space Lord Monster Magnet
50 Given To Fly Pearl Jam
50 Adia Sarah McLachlan
50 Lullaby Shawn Mullins
50 My Favourite Game The Cardigans
50 We Like To Party (The Vengabus) Vengaboys
60 It’s All Been Done Barenaked Ladies
60 Forest Fire David Usher
60 Together Again Janet Jackson
60 Hands Jewel
60 Ray Of Light Madonna
60 Kind & Generous Natalie Merchant
60 Do The Evolution Pearl Jam
60 Dragula Rob Zombie
60 The Spirit of Radio Rush
60 Bobcaygeon Tragicallly Hip
60 Membership Tragicallly Hip
70 Leaving On a Jet Plan Chantal Kreviazuk
70 Don’t Drink The Water Dave Matthews Band
70 I’ll Be Edwin McCain
70 Perfect Smashing Pumpkins
70 The Rules Tragicallly Hip
80 The Boy Is Mine Brandy & Monica
80 This Means War! Busta Rhymes
80 My Heart Will Go On Celine Dion
80 You Were Mine Dixie Chicks
80 Summer Long Emm Gryner
80 Everything Is Automatic Matthew Good Band
80 Faithfull Pearl Jam
80 Pilate Pearl Jam
80 Something On Tragicallly Hip
80 Thompson Girl Tragicallly Hip
90 Under the Lighthouse Big Wreck
90 When You’re Gone Bryan Adams
90 Back to You Bryan Adams
90 Whippin’ Piccadilly Gomez
90 It’s the End of the World Great Big Sea
90 London Rain Heather Nova
90 Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) Jay-Z
90 Freak on a Leash Korn
90 Mountain Hare Krishna Krishna Das
90 Rico Matthew Good Band
90 MFC Pearl Jam
90 In My Head Queens of the Stone Age
90 You Get What You Give The New Radicals
90 Graduate Third Eye Blind
90 Vapour Trails Tragicallly Hip
90 Any Day Now Watchmen
90 This Mourning Wide Mouth Mason



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