What happened in 1998?
What happened in the year 1998? A year that may stand out in a lot of people's mind as an excellent year but many can't explain why. 1998 was a time before the almighty internet widespread availability. I mean it was there but no one knew what to do with it. Music, TV, film and books had shown a great stride and showed us what could be done. Miramax was in full swing and we were only 2 years away from the dreaded Millennium bug that would kill us all according to Nostradamus.
Well here is a brief look at what did happen and to show it was indeed, a big year.
In 1998 we saw an incredible amount of great movies that have greatly stood the test of time.
Armageddon - Broke boundaries and sent Aerosmith - I Don't Want to Miss a Thing to the charts at number 1 for 4 weeks, almost the month of September when it came out. And marked their first #1 for 28 years. Go Jerry Bruckheimer! Armageddon also grossed more money than the next movie..
Saving Private Ryan- The Steven Spielberg war epic made millions of people's jaws drop as war had never been portrayed so well. A tremendous cast including Tom Hanks, Matt Damon and Giovanni Ribisis and cameos from Ted Danson, Paul Giamatti and future stars Vin Dielsel and Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels- Guy Richie's directorial debut and the birth of a bright young star with a good eye for detail and a great sense for dialogue. Lock Stock is a British institution already and can be looked at fondly for the weird and wonderful world of gangsters.
Rush Hour- Our first taste of China meets Chris Tucker. The mix of cultures is one that works so well but add Tucker in the mix and this is easily one of the funniest buddy comedies ever made. Action and comedy worked anyway. But this is Jackie Chan action/comedy. Beat that!
The Truman Show- Jim Carey goes serious in this very unique independent story of a man who has been on TV since birth. Until one day he realizes his life is a tv show, he wants out! Great stuff here.
Blade- The ultra violent and ultra cool Blade is brought to life by ultra tax savvy Wesley Snipes. Awesome fun with swords, vampires and rave music. It's dark as hell, mean and unforgettable.
American History X- The most amazing part about this one is that Ed Norton could actually gain some muscle! That deserves an Oscar right there. But seriously, AHX is definitively 1998 in it's essence, tone, feel, impact and message it conveyed. Beautiful struggle between good and evil in a world where no one deserves to tell another person who belongs. Awesome!
These movies and more such as There's Something About Mary, Godzilla, The Big Lebowski, Ronin, A Bug's Life, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Shakespear in Love all hit either number one, or are to this day a cult classic from that year.
Moments from 1998
The WWF debuts the Hardcore belt - Big moment in time this. What? It is...Ok moving on.
Gary Coleman- Is charged for assaulting a female bus driver in a mall. Imagine this little guy attacking you though. I personally don't see any problem here. But either way he shouldn't have done it blah blah blah.
Discovery Channel is born!- Well there's no need for a description now is there? Em, yippee?
Hurricane Mitch- This devastating monster claimed over 19,000 lives and cost over $6 billion of damage. Wow. This isn't good, but certainly unforgettable to those affected.
Viagra is born- This only means that scientists finally "found" it and made it available to the public. I can just imagine that board meeting. "So we're ready for launch so where is all the Viagra? Guys? Oh great."
Deaths: Sadly we lost two great people in 98. Linda McCartney and Frank Sinatra. Both hugely influential in their chosen field. Linda of course married to Paul McCartney was a part of the band Wings with Paul, became a professional business woman with vegetarian cookbooks, photography and writing her autobiography. She passed away sadly of breast cancer and remains in our hearts as someone who stood up for what she believed in. Frank died of a heart attack at 82 years of age so he lived a good life! He showed signs of dementia in his later years but old blue eyes could never be forgotten. What a talent.
Bill Clinton- Got caught with his pants down and his .... out. This was apparently caught on camera but yet hasn't surfaced on Youtube yet? Hmm. Conspiracy?
Remember this was all when the Nuclear bombing clusters that had been proposed by Iraq, India and Pakistan (again apparently) that would cause a doomsday domino effect. All the leaders of the world banded together for peace and there was Clinton, getting his rocks off.
Stressful times I suppose.
George Michael- Caught in a public restroom with a police officer of the law having what can only be described as not allowed relations given the location, the profession and the most disgusting thing of all, the pee everywhere!
Phil Hartman- Voice of Simpson's characters Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure was killed by his wife in a tragic murder suicide with no real motive. Assumptions were that Phil's wife felt shadowed by her husband's career who starred in movies such as Jumping Jack Flash, Three Amigo's! and sgt. Bilko, (also 98), decided to kill him, regretted it then killed herself. Either way it's a poor judgment call.
World Cup- After 60 years, France return the World Cup home after France 98.
Will and Grace- One of the biggest shows in the world from 98 onwards. Will and Grace were joined by Jack and Karen to make it last for 8 seasons, making it the top 25 show in America and winning 16 Emmy Awards.
Becker- Ted Danson finishes off with Cheers in 1993 and he went off to make movies like Made in America, Getting Even With Dad, Pontiac Moon and Loch Ness, until he returned to the sitcom stage as the ultra cynical doctor Becker.
Pokemon- This odd little show that came out of nowhere and suddenly grown adults are stopped in their tracks before work in their underwear whilst they get fixated on the colorful weird world of Pokemon. Kids had to have the toys, and the show aired their first movie in 1998 and spawned an unbelievable 14 sequels.
King of Queens- The last 90's to show to end in the 2000's, King of Queens was a pretty successful show starting before Ray. Some say that's why they had good ratings but hey, I liked it.
Spice Girls- Geri Halliwell from the Spice Girls leaves due to differences within the band. Ah well. She did well for herself anyway....
Britney Spears- Debuts and explodes young men's pants all over the world. Her song "Hit Me Baby One More Time" was technically released in 1999, but her album was out in 98 therefore responsible HA! Ok maybe I'm slightly out but that song sold over 10 million copies in a year and went double platinum in a month!
Goo Goo Dolls- Released Iris and set a new record for 18 weeks at number 1. Shame it's the only good song they have come out with.
Semi Sonic- Release their excellent album "Feeling Strangely Fine".
Hanson- 3 Car Garage is released and thankfully we hear "Mmmmbopp" for the first time!
Westlife are formed- Ah man I did it again. Need to work on my titles.
Coldplay- Renamed Colplay from "Starfish" believe it or not, released their first ever album named "Safety".
The Verve- Bittersweet Symphony/ Sonnet
Offspring- Pretty Fly for a White GUY
Eagle Eye Cherry- Save Tonight
New Radicals- You Get What You Give
Creed- What's This Life For?
Sheryl Crow- My Favorite Mistake
Spice Girls- Too Much/ Spice up Your World
Garbage- Push It/ I Think I'm Paranoid
Madonna- Frozen/ Ray of Light
Will Smith- Gettin' Jiggy Wit It
Backstreet Boys- Everybody
Alannis Morrisette- Thank you
Celine Dion- My Heart Will Go On
Savage Garden- Truly Madly Deeply
Natalie Imbruglia- Torn
Shania Twain- Still the One
Ok, I know this isn't the biggest list ever but it was an eventful year. What did you think of this feature and the year of 1998? What do you remember most? Stone Cold Steve Austin? The Simpsons? South Park? And no I checked, South Park was created in 1997. I felt I couldn't get away with 2 out of year choices so I opted for Britney? Oh I don't know why.
Anyway, let me know your thoughts on 1998.