If there’s a top list of Britney tracks to be compiled… leave it to the gays
It came as a shock. Especially for those of us who pretend to still be in our twenties (even if it’s only late twenties) when we were clearly old enough to go clubbing when Britney Spears‘ first hit soared up the charts.
The shock is that song, “Baby One More Time” recently turned 20… that, as Patsy Stone says, make us “how old”?
So here are our top 10 Britney hits – to make it on to this list we only used songs that reached at least top three in the UK charts.
10) Born To Make You Happy 1999 / …Baby One More Time
Weirdly this doesn’t even come close to the strongest ballad on her debut album, but it still made number 1 in the UK charts – this song? Huh? and not “Sometimes” which was arguably the summer song of 99.
“Born to Make You Happy” is a typically 90s produced song with not a real instrument in sight and drum loops galore and a reminder that wah wah guitar doesn’t just belong in the 70s. The accompanying video is a proper piece of 90’s music video nostalgia. No real storyline, but the singer looking pretty is key – in at least three costume changes. They could be scenes from three separate songs really.
9) Piece Of Me 2007 / Black Out
We love the self-confessional vibe of the lyrics in this song, detailing all the things that had happened to her during her runaway years. Remember the marriages, the hair shaving, the babies, not controlling her own finances? She may seem to have shiz altogether now, but there was a time during the 00s when Brit Brit went Kray Kray. Afterall she was, as she says in the song, “been on the scene since I was 17”.
8) Opps!… I Did It Again 2000 / Opps!… I Did It Again
More of the same really after her epic hit, “…Baby One More Time”, but we in the UK lapped it up nonetheless, as it became her third number 1. The American’s didn’t like it as much and the song peaked at 9. “Opps!… I Did It Again” was more meaty than”…Baby One More Time” in terms of production but had an epically camp midsection in which she has a conversation with one of the song’s writer Max Martin about a piece of jewellery. The song is so similar to…Baby One More Time you can pretty much sing the lyrics in the chorus of “Opps!… I Did It Again”
7) Me Against The Music 2004 / In The Zone
Britney’s fourth album In the Zone brought an entirely new sound for Spears. “Me Against The Music” was her call to fans, press and the industry to take her seriously as a pop artist rather than just a bubblegum princess. The song saw her team up with Pop Queen Madonna and had a mad bridge to the chorus with so so many words.
6) Everytime 2004 / In The Zone
Britney does pop music. She does it very well – not so much the ballads which can come off a bit cheesy – just listen to “Dear Diary” on her first album if you need any proof, but “Everytime” is beautiful. It is also one of the rare songs that Brit herself has written. Apparently, the song is an answer to Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River”. The two had been pop’s biggest power couple, but split in 2002. The breakup was used by their respective labels to push album sales.
5) Womanizer 2008 / Circus
By 2008 Britney was back on track throwing out albums again after a short break. She released Blackout in 2007, Circus in 2008 and single’s collection in 2009. Womanizer is a catchy girl anthem against cheating womanizing men. The song was deemed by many critics as her definitive comeback single.
4) Gimme More 2007 / Blackout
When Britney had her meltdown in the middle of the 00s, fans weren’t sure whether she’d actually pull through. Everyday brought more news about her antics and the break down of her mental health. So when it was announced that she was working on new material fans were gifted with “Gimme More” with the now legendary saying “It’s Britney Bitch” cemented into pop consciousness forever. However, her first outting of the song on the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards was panned by critics.
The video looked incredibly cheap, almost as though her label had given up hope on Britney’s staying power at the top, how wrong were they were. The song reached number three in the UK and the US. The album went on to sell over 3,000,000 copies worldwide.
3) My Prerogative 2004 / Greatest Hits: My Prerogative
It was Britney second single that wasn’t originally hers (the first was “I Love Rock and Roll” in 2002)- it was a Bobby Brown hit before Britney had it. I’m going to say something controversial here. Hers was better. Soz not soz. It reached number 3 in the UK, but failed to chart in the US. The song starts with Britney breathing the lyrics “People can take everything away from you / But they can never take away your truth / But the question is, can you handle mine?” Little did we know that Britney’s truth was going to become tabloid fodder for years after this track.
2) Toxic 2004 / In The Zone
Did you know this iconic pop song was originally offered to Kylie Minogue? But she rejected it… For Brit it went on to become one her biggest selling singles of all time. It even won her a Grammy, her only Grammy. Accompanying the song was video, which is a calling for every gay boy to pretend to be a flight attendant… okay maybe that’s just me.
1) …Baby One More Time 1998 / …Baby One More Time
Well, it’s the song that launched her career and there’s no other song in the world that can fill a dance floor in just three notes. The album it came from, released in January 1999 went to sell over 25,000,000 copies worldwide, making Britney a somewhat overnight success.