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    It's Time To Recognize That 1997 Is The Most Underrated Year In Music History

    Underrated is an UNDERstatement.

    Long, long ago, before EDM, tropical house, or Macklemore, there was a truly great year in music.

    We've talked about 1999, 2004, and even 2007...but those years pale in comparison to the GREAT YEAR of 1997.

    We don't talk about this enough: 1997 is the most underrated year in music HISTORY.

    Here's why ✍✍✍✍

    1997 was the year Toni Braxton shaved Tyson Beckford's face in one of the greatest power ballads of all time, "Un-Break My Heart."

    Sony Music / Via

    Before he was the worst, R. Kelly made us believe we could fly in the middle of a cornfield.

    Before that basic-ass "Happy" song by Pharrell, Sheryl Crow had the ORIGINAL song about happiness, "If It Makes You Happy."

    WMG / Via

    "Everyday Is a Winding Road" also came out that year. PEAK SHERYL CROW, PEOPLE.

    And you haven't lived until you've totally fucked up your voice screaming the lyrics to Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now," which ALSO came out in 1997.



    Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life," En Vogue's "Don't Let Go," Erykah Badu's "On & On," and Blackstreet's "No Diggity" all topped the charts in 1997.


    Gems...all of you.

    1997 was also the year Paula Cole "yippie-i yippi yay'd" in "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?"


    Most iconic line:

    "I will wash the dishes

    While you go have a beeeeeeer"

    Backstreet Boys had their low-key best song (besides "I Want It That Way), "Quit Playing Games With My Heart."

    Sony Music / Via

    And if that wasn't more your speed...their eerie video for "Everybody" came out in 1997, too.

    On a sad note, 1997 brought out some real tears. "Candle in the Wind" by Elton John, "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy feat. Faith Evans and 112, and "Change the World" by Eric Clapton came out that year.

    Bad Boy

    But enough with the sad stuff — 1997 also brought us America's blonde angels. I'm talking about Hanson, of course.


    "MMMBop" came out that year.

    One of the most cryptic songs of all time, "Building a Mystery," by Sarah McLachlan, came out in '97.


    "You wear sandals in the snow

    And a smile that won't wash away

    Can you look out the window

    Without your shadow getting in the way?"


    1997 was one of the last great years of '90s dance music, with No Mercy's "Where Do You Go?," Gina G's "Ooh Aah... Just A Little Bit," Mark Morrison's "Return of the Mack"...

    Sony Music / Via

    ...AND "Around the World" by Daft Punk!!!

    UMG / Via

    "Hypnotize" AND "Mo Money Mo Problems" came out in 1997.

    Bad Boy

    It was also the year that the U.S. was introduced to legendary Swedish icon Robyn, with her smash hits "Do You Know (What It Takes)" and "Show Me Love."

    Sony Music

    1997 was also the year of "chic-a-cherry cola." Don't know what that is? THEN WHY ARE YOU EVEN HERE?!

    Savage Garden's "I Want You" came out that year.

    ALSO, a little song called "Tubthumping" came out in 1997.


    Speaking of one-hit wonders, 1997 had some of the most iconic of all time!!!

    Like "Lovefool"...

    ..."Barbie Girl"...

    ..."Legend of a Cowgirl"...

    Sony Music / Via

    ...AND every tween's angsty anthem they secretly blasted in the privacy of their rooms because of the word "bitch," "Bitch," came out that year.

    There was also...

    "Barely Breathing" by Duncan Sheik

    "The Freshman" by the Verve Pipe

    "Da Dip" by Freak Nasty

    "All for You" by Sister Hazel

    "Your Woman" by White Town


    "Sunny Came Home" by Shawn Colvin

    It was also the year everyone was into the whole ska/swing revival thing. Remember singing along to "The Impression That I Get" by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "Sunday Morning" by No Doubt, and "Hell" by the Squirrel Nut Zippers?

    UMG / Via

    ANNNNND "Santeria" by Sublime came out in 1997, too!



    Mariah Carey's low-key best music video, "Honey," came out this year.

    Sony Music

    Jamiroquai's music video for "Virtual Insanity" totally had you scratching your head and wondering how the fuck they filmed it!

    Sony Music

    While Fiona Apple's video for "Criminal" made you want to get down with your bad self in a rando hot tub. 😳

    Sony Music

    One of Usher's best songs, "U Make Me Wanna," was also a thing in 1997.

    Sony Music

    And one of the best songs ever, "Bitter Sweet Symphony" by the Verve, was also released that year.

    Hut Records

    Jewel was at her PEAK and released an ethereal version of "Foolish Games" as part of the Batman & Robin soundtrack.


    And. LBH, it was 1,000 times better than the movie.

    The Wallflowers' "One Headlight" made the case for celebrity offspring to follow in their famous parents' footsteps.


    Sugar Ray gave us one of the greatest summer bops ever with their catchy hit single "Fly."


    While Lil' Kim delivered a BANGER with her "Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)," which featured Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez, Da Brat, and Left Eye!!!

    WMG / Via


    LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live?" was the perfect breakup song to lip-synch/cry along to in our rooms.


    After two weeks of dating, he dumped you, and you needed a song that understood your pain.

    Shania Twain released the sixth-best-selling studio album of ALL TIME in 1997.


    AND LASTLY, if you're not convinced yet, 1997 was PEAK SPICE GIRLS. We're talking ALL THE GOODS: "Wannabe," "Say You'll Be There," and low-key safe sex anthem "2 Become 1."

    And there you have it — 1997 is the most underrated year in music.