Y2K. Do y’all remember that craze? Everyone thinking the world was going to end, or at least, that electronic life as we knew it was going to implode, given a programming shortcoming that meant that computer systems everywhere wouldn’t know what to do with a different figure at the start of the year. It all turned out to be a whole lot of fear-mongering for nothing since most bugs were worked out well ahead of time. I’ll never forget that New Years’ eve, however, when the countdown reached midnight and my wife’s uncle momentarily flipped off the light switch, giving us all a pause to think perhaps this was the end of everything.
It wasn’t, as we all know, of course. Instead, it was the beginning of many things. For instance, it was the year Vladimir Putin was first elected, the first resident crew arrived at the International Space Station, and it was also when popular kids TV show, Dora the Explorer debuted. The Summer Olympics were held in the Spring in Sydney, Australia, the population in India reached a billion, Israel withdrew its forces from Lebanon, and of course, George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in that year’s US presidential election amidst questions and recounts of Florida’s ballots. Penny Oleksiak (Canadian swimming phenom), Willow Smith (daughter of Will), and Sophie Nélisse (actress, “The Book Thief”) were all born and we were forced to say farewell to Charles M Schultz (Peanuts creator), Jim Varney (Ernest), Sir Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Pierre Elliott Trudeau (ex-Prime Minister of Canada, father of Justin), and the lovely, Kirsty MacColl.
For me, the year 2000 marked the last full year that I lived in Toronto and only my second full year in the workforce after university. I was still heavily indebted with student loans but I had my own place in Ronces. And though I saw a handful of good shows and discovered some new bands, it wasn’t such a great year for music for me. It was as if everyone was just so happy that they survived Y2K that they were content in writing and listening to pop music. I’ve never been one of those. This is why this particular list is only a top 15 as opposed to the usual 30. However, the few represented here are hardy indeed. Enjoy!
#15 Badly Drawn Boy “Once around the block” (from The hour of the bewilderbeast)
#14 The New Pornographers “The slow descent into alcoholism” (from Mass romantic)
#13 Oasis “Go let it out” (from Standing on the shoulders of giants)
#12 Radiohead “Optimistic” (from Kid A)
#11 U2 “Beautiful day” (from All that you can’t leave behind)
#10 Doves “Catch the sun” (from Lost souls)
#9 Björk “I’ve seen it all” (from Selmasongs)
#8 The Clientele “Rain” (from Suburban light)
#7 Teenage Fanclub “I need direction” (from Howdy!)
#6 Mojave 3 “Return to sender” (from Excuses for travellers)
#5 Richard Ashcroft “A song for the lovers” (from Alone with everybody)