The ISA (Individual Savings Account) is 20 years old on the 6th of April. A lot has changed in the last 20 years, we have seen the invention of smartphones, smart cars, smart washing machines and smart… just about everything else. These new inventions have completely transformed how we live our daily lives but through all this change the ISA has remained strong and is still a popular investment choice for investors both young, and old.
One of the biggest changes of the last 20 years is music and the way we consume it. Back in 1999 you would buy music in its physical form, from a high street shop like Woolworths (remember Woolies?) – I know, unthinkable! It was also a ritual to tune in to the top 40 chart show every Sunday to find out that week’s number 1- when you would also attempt to record your favourite songs onto a cassette (but it required a quick finger! If you don’t know see here). Even more unthinkable, pre the internet boom you would regularly have artists release songs in America before the UK and we would be forced to wait weeks or months longer than our American counterparts to hear our favourite artists’ new music. However in 1999 things were starting to change, the forward-thinking David Bowie released the first legally downloadable single online which was available around the world at the exact same time (and probably illegally on Limewire about 5 minutes after it was released).
Some other musical notes of 1999;
- Number one when the ISA was born was Flat beat by Mr Oizo (you may remember Flat Eric from the Levi’s ad),
- Destiny’s child was a 4 piece (Beyonce +3),
- And, Justin Timberlake had noodles for hair.
So this brings me onto the Top 20 songs of 1999. I bet you won’t believe some of them were two whole decades ago!
20. S Club 7 – S Club Party
19. The Cartoons – Witchdoctor
18. Bryan Adams, Mel C – When You’re Gone
17. Bran van 3000 – Drinking in LA
16. Travis – Why Does It Always Rain On Me
15. Robbie Williams – She’s The One
14. Foo Fighters – Learn To Fly
13. Macy Gray – I Try
12. Blur – Tender
11. Blondie – Maria
10.Elliott Smith – Baby Britain
The 2nd lowest charting (number 55 in the UK singles chart) song on the list is a bit of a personal choice… Elliott Smith didn’t release a bad song in my eyes but this Beatlesesqe pop song was one of his best.
9.Destiny’s Child – Say My Name
Back when Destiny’s Child were changing from a 4 piece without Michelle, to a 4 piece with Michelle (who knew Destiny’s Child went through so many line up changes), ‘Say My Name’ is arguably their best song (and sounds a lot better with headphones on).
8. The Offspring – Why Don’t You Get a Job?
Coming in at Number 8 is this song by veteran punk rockers, the Offspring, which has been accused of sounding very similar to The Beatles Ob La Di Ob La Da. This marks the 2nd mention of The Beatles on this 90s list…although this song is better than Ob La Di Ob La Da.
7.The Magnetic Fields – The Book of Love
The lowest charting track on this list because it didn’t chart at all. This haunting song is perhaps better known as a cover by Peter Gabriel which was used in the final scenes of the TV show Scrubs.
6. Sixpence None The Richer – Kiss Me
Originally recorded in 1997, this track grew over time and became the 6th bestselling single of 1999 thanks to appearances in Dawson’s Creek, She’s All That and, at the request of the Royal Family, the closing theme of Prince Edward’s wedding.
5. Blink 182 – What’s My Age Again?
A pop punk anthem which was originally created by songwriter Mark Hoppus based on personal experiences to amuse his friends.
4. Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way
The late 90s saw the height of the boybands, with Nsync, Westlife, Boyzone and Take That all still in the public’s consciousness. But how can anyone forget this perfect pop ballad written by pop song powerhouse Max Martin? One of the highlights of this song is the video which includes such iconic moments such as the Backstreet Boys dancing in front of a plane, and dancing in the airport departure lounge head-to-toe in white.
3. TLC – No Scrubs
Number 1 in the USA on the day the ISA was born and one of the biggest selling singles of 1999. The song is simply a love song about trying to find the perfect partner but deciding that one with no car is an undesirable quality, thus being a Scrub (also known as a buster).
2. Bloodhound Gang – The Bad Touch
Controversial cult song by the Bloodhound Gang reached number 4 in the UK when it was released, not much more to say about this song other than it is very good, catchy and you will probably end up wanting to dance
1. Blur – Coffee and TV
Finally at Number 1 in the list is Brit pop pioneers Blur, in the 90s everyone had an opinion on the Oasis Blur rivalry and thankfully due to the fact Oasis didn’t release a song in 1999 the rivalry hasn’t made it to this list. The song was written by guitarist Graham Coxon of his desire for a quiet life, something we can all aspire too. Side note, this song would have also been at Number 1 if the list was best music video of all-time.
That brings us to the end of the countdown, hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane in recognition of the ISA leaving its teenage years. Please comment your thoughts and favourite songs I may have missed out or placed too low, it might allow me to do more music countdowns with tenuous links to saving and investing in the future.