On 29 May 1999 - nearly 20 years ago to the day - something pretty exciting happened in the world of music. In short, there was a new UK Number 1 Hit Single. There was nothing particularly revolutionary about that. However, the genre of music from which the new Number 1 was spawned would go on to help dictate mainstream dance music tastes and trends. The genre was UK Garage. That's the exciting bit!
The three previous UK Number 1 hit singles had something in common ... they were all boybands. Here is the list in chronological order:
Westlife secured the top spot on 1 May 1999 with 'Swear It Again'. They were superseded by the Backstreet Boys on 15 May 1999 with the sing-along classic 'I Want It That Way'. Surprisingly, that karaoke classic only survived for one week, before being budged by Boyzone's 'You Needed Me' on 22 May 1999.
The new UK Garage Number One Hit Single was - similarly - also by an all-male cohort called 'Shanks and Bigfoot'. The title was 'Sweet Like Chocolate'. More UK Garage Number One singles would follow, from the likes of the So Solid Crew, Oxide and Neutrino and Pied Piper and the Masters of Ceremonies. In truth, the nightclub banger 'Sweet Like Chocolate' had peaked on the UK Garage underground circuit towards the end of 1998 and early 1999. As a result, the tune had long since stopped being a key feature of DJ sets on the UK Garage underground circuit by the time it achieved mainstream success. Indeed, it had almost become toxic by association with its chart success. However, this Number One started something - it brought UK Garage to the attention of the mainstream audiences up and down the country. For that fact alone, it deserves recognition.