Saturday, January 30, 1999

Britney Spears topped the charts with “Baby One More Time”

Baby One More Time

Britney Spears

Writer(s): Max Martin (see lyrics here)

Released: October 23, 1998

First Charted: October 9, 1998

Peak: 12 US, 2 GR, 15 RR, 25 A40, 12 UK, 11 CN, 19 AU, 5 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.51 US, 1.8 UK, 10.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 785.1 video, 556.25 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Britney Spears was 16 years old when she recorded “Baby One More Time,” a dance-pop hit which hit #1 in more than a dozen countries. AB40 The song established her as “the most iconic popular music star of the turn of the century.” TB It has been called “Backstreet Boys meets Abba” LW and been compared to classics like Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and The Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” in that it “makes its presence known in exactly one second.” WK

Spears built her image on contradictions. She was “a fresh-faced teen from the Mickey Mouse show who acted like a porn star” TC selling her “highly sexualized chastity” TC as “a modern-day Lolita in [a] skimpy school uniform.” TB The “decidedly sexual tone” AB40 of “One More Time” was largely presented via an iconic video directed by Nigel Dick in which Spears is portrayed as Catholic high school student in a “bare-midriff package.” TC

Max Martin, who worked with the Backstreet Boys and N Sync, wrote the song, originally submitting it to the R&B group TLC. After they rejected it, Spears’ management heard the song and, according to Spears, she knew it would be a hit saying it is a song “every girl can relate to. She regrets it. She wants him back.” WK

However, the line “hit me baby one more time” caused some concern by people who interpreted the lyrics as encouraging domestic violence or sadomasochism. Spears explained, perhaps naively, that the line “doesn’t mean physically hit me…It means just give me a sign.” WK It has also been explained as a Southern term referring to getting a call from someone via mobile phone. LW


  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Max Martin
  • AB40 (2007?) Top 40 Pop Songs: The Best of the Best. By Bill Lamb.
  • TC Toby Creswell (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Thunder’s Mouth Press: New York, NY. Pages 175-6.
  • JA David A. Jasen. (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 15.
  • LW Alan Lewens (2001). Popular Song – Soundtrack of the Century. Billboard Books: New York, NY. Pages 180-1.
  • TB Thunder Bay Press (2006). Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits & Classic Cuts. Outline Press Ltd.: San Diego, CA. Page 280.
  • WK

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First posted 1/30/2012; last updated 11/21/2022.

Friday, January 8, 1999

On This Day (1949): John Lee Hooker “Boogie Chillen” charted

Boogie Chillen

John Lee Hooker

Writer(s): John Lee Hooker (see lyrics here)

Recorded: November 3, 1948

First Charted: January 8, 1949

Peak: 11 RB, 4 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 36.9 video, 20.57 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

John Lee Hooker “was born in 1917 at ground zero of the blues, Clarksdale, Mississippi.” TC Will Moore, his stepfather, occasionally played with Charley Patton SS and was considered “one of the pioneering blues players in the Delta at that time.” TC Hooker said, “What I’m playing now, that’s what he taught me to play, his style.” TC

Hooker left the Delta and headed for Detroit in 1943. He started as a janitor and played music on the side. It took five years, but he eventually met a local record distributor named Bernie Besman who decided to record him. He employed some unusual techniques such as putting a speaker in a toilet bowl to get an echo effect and putting a microphone by a plank board where Hooker’s foot tapped in time. SS

“Boogie Chillen” was recorded at the end of that demo session. Hooker explained the inspiration for the song, saying he’d been walking down Hastings Street in Deroit and dropped into Henry’s Swing Club. He liked what he heard and shouted, “Boogie, chillen!” SS He said the resulting song was was a guitar boogie like what his father played down south. BH It was the first “down-home electric blues record” to top the R&B charts, which inspired record companies to find more of “the new electric generation of country bluesmen.” BH

The music was characterized by “heavily syncopated guitar that just sits in a groove while John Lee growls over the top.” TC It “was closer to rock & roll than blues; it had the pronounced beat of the hormonally pumped white music.” TC Hooker became a favorite of British bands like the Animals in the 1960s. In America, bands like “Canned Heat and ZZ Top made careers out of essentially recycling Hooker’s boogie.” TC


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First posted 9/10/2023.