Marty Preciado
March 23, 2017 12:25 pm

1997 was quite a year. Tony Blair became Prime Minister of the UK. Bill Clinton was US President. Mike Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear. Steve Jobs returned to Apple. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published in the UK. The Notorious B.I.G, Princess Diana, and Mother Teresa’s death. Jack and Rose were relationship goals. We cried with My Best Friend’s Wedding. We laughed with Seinfeld. We were obsessed with tamagotchis.

In order to understand 1997, it’s important to view every possible angle from a social, economic, and political stance. Right now, we are focusing on the sounds of 1997 — a year of music that has permeated in the social fabric of American pop culture history.

Yes, it was a year of changes — and it was also a year of great music. Here are 20 albums from 1997 that are turning 20 this year.

1Will Smith, Big Willie Style


Standout tracks: “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It,” “Miami”

2Buena Vista Social Club, Buena Vista Social Club

World Circuit, Nonesuch

Standout tracks: “Dos Gardenias,” “Chan Chan,” “El Cuarto de Tula”

3 Wu-Tang Clan, Wu-Tang Forever


Standout tracks: THE ENTIRE ALBUM

4 Sleater-Kinney, Dig Me Out 

Kill Rock Stars

Standout tracks: “Dig Me Out,” “One More Hour”

5 Blink-182, Dude Ranch 


Standout tracks: “Josie,” “Dammit”

6 Blur, Blur 


Standout tracks: “Song 2,” “Beetlebum,” “You’re So Great”

7 Radiohead, OK Computer

Parlophone / Capitol

Standout tracks: THE ENTIRE ALBUM

8 Foo Fighters, The Colour and the Shape 



Standout tracks: “Everlong,” “My Hero”

9 Control Machete, Mucho Barato… 

Mercury Records

Standout tracks: “Andamos Armados,” “Comprendes, Mendes?,” “Te aprovechas del Limite?,” “Así Son Mis Días”

10 Daft Punk, Homework 

Parlophone France

Standout tracks: “Around the World,” “Da Funk,” “Teachers”

11 Janet Jackson, The Velvet Rope 

Virgin Records

Standout tracks: “Velvet Rope,” “Together Again”

12 The Chemical Brothers, Dig Your Own Hole 

Virgin / Freestyle Dust

Standout tracks: “Dig Your Own Hole”

13 Moodymann, Silentintroduction

Planet E Communications

Standout tracks: “I Can’t Kick This Feeling When It Kicks”

14 The Prodigy, The Fat of the Land

XL Recordings

Standout tracks: “Breathe”

15 The Notorious B.I.G, Life After Death

Big Beat Records

Standout tracks: “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems,” “Hypnotize”

16 Primal Scream, Vanishing Point

Reprise Records

Standout tracks: “Kowalski,” “Star”

17 The Verve, Urban Hymns 


Standout tracks: “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” “Lucky Man”

18 Björk, Homogenic

Polydor K.K.

Standout tracks: “All Is Full of Love,” “Bachelorette”

19 Missy Elliot, Supa Dupa Fly

The Goldmind / Elektra

Standout tracks: “The Rain,” “Beep Me 911”

20 Mariah Carey, Butterfly


Standout tracks: “My All,” “Honey”

Time after time, we are still listening to the sounds of 1997!