Single Of The Week 08/02/99

Single Of The Week is where I review a single I'm particularly enamoured of at the moment. It might be a brand spanking new release, or a classic from decades past that I just feel like going on about.

. . . Baby One More Time
Britney Spears

Remember Tiffany? Yes, you do, don't lie. Tiffany was at the top of the charts more than a decade ago with a series of teen-friendly hits ('I Saw Him Standing There', 'Could've Been', 'Radio Romance' and, of course, 'I Think We're Alone Now'). Then she got pregnant to her manager and dropped out of the scene. Tiffany's other major claim to fame was that she built up an audience by touring suburban shopping malls in the US, which seems like a really obvious strategy now but hadn't been done extensively before.

We mention this because Britney Spears, who has just topped the US charts with '. . . Baby One More Time', used exactly the same strategy to build her audience. We're guessing she isn't wearing the same sweaters and denim look that Tiffany used, though. Just to ensure she hit with the teen market, her first track is also produced by a man better known for his work with the Backstreet Boys.

Does this, then, make Britney a manufactured star of the first order? Well, yes -- but as Gusworld has argued before, there's not anything wrong with that. Britney also gets bonus points for actually having a real B-side on her single, and even an instrumental version of the track (something I haven't seen since the glory days of SAW, numerous hideous dub versions nothwithstanding).

Incidentally, it's pure coincidence that Gusworld has had two Single of the Weeks in a row which are current chart hits. We promise to do some archive plundering next time.

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