Britney Spears – ...Baby One More Time - 1999 Synth Pop - Black Vinyl - Sealed LP
Britney Spears – ...Baby One More Time
Label: Jive – 88985399001, Legacy – 88985399001
Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue
Standard black pressing.
Barcode (String): 196587738419
Released: Mar 31, 2023
Genre: PopStyle: Ballad, Bubblegum, Vocal
A1 ... Baby One More Time 3:30
A2 (You Drive Me) Crazy 3:17
A3 Sometimes 4:05
A4 Soda Pop 3:20
A5 Born To Make You Happy 4:03
A6 From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart 5:11
B1 I Will Be There 3:53
B2 I Will Still Love You Feat. Don Philip 4:02
B3 Thinkin' About You 3:35
B4 E-Mail My Heart 3:41B5 The Beat Goes On 3:43
"To say Britney Jean Spears set the musical bar high for herself is a vast understatement. The Kentwood, Louisiana, native’s 1998 debut single, the hope-springs-eternal, gum-snapping “Baby One More Time,” topped the charts in well over a dozen countries and has been covered by artists such as Travis, Fountains Of Wayne, and Ariana Grande. The video, of course, has become one of the most iconic clips of all time —”Anyone who’s followed Spears’ career even in a cursory way (or spun her 2007 album Blackout on repeat) realizes how remarkably prescient that quote was, since she quickly became a pop pace-setter. But because there was no exact blueprint for an artist like her, …Baby One More Time took more liberties with material. The album sounds like Spears is trying on different sonic personas to see what she likes, akin to someone trying on different outfits before a date. “Thinkin’ About You” is a sunny soul tune; “Soda Pop” has a reggae vibe courtesy of breezy rhythms and vocal guest Mikey Bassie; and “I Will Be There” is an obvious cousin of Robyn’s kicky pop. Thanks to another one of Spears’ early collaborators, producer Eric Foster White (Whitney Houston, Bryan Adams) …Baby One More Time also nods to R&B-influenced adult contemporary pop, in the form of the the midtempo duet “I Will Still Love You” and syrupy ballad “From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart.”( StereoGum)
Yet this track is hardly the most interesting song on her 1999 debut album, …Baby One More Time, released 20 years ago this past Saturday. That honor goes to the album’s final track, a cover of Sonny & Cher’s swinging 1967 mod-rock hit “The Beat Goes On.” Spears’ version is basically her doing karaoke to the electro-swirled 1998 revamp of the song recorded by UK troupe The All Seeing I, who has a co-production credit on the song. That’s not a bad thing at all: The All Seeing I version of “Beat Goes On” cribbed the vampy vocals from Buddy Rich’s 1967 cover of the tune, and Spears stretches her own voice in a similar fashion above crashing drums and scratchy, syncopated chords. It’s understated but sophisticated, and feels like it would suit both the dancefloor of a jazz club and a nightclub.
Oddly enough, Spears’ “The Beat Goes On” also very transparently felt like a record label capitalizing on an existing hit and providing listeners with something familiar to cling to; in other words, the kind of gambit used when the powers-that-be are unsure if an album from a new artist can stand on its own. It’s a curiously insecure choice, since …Baby One More Time easily ended up a multiplatinum #1 smash, no doubt because the album dovetailed with multiple then-hot trends.
The teen-pop craze was already in full swing thanks to Hanson, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys and ‘N SYNC, and Billboard’s 1998 year-end singles chart was also dominated by solo female performers, including (to name a few) Brandy, Monica, LeAnn Rimes, Shania Twain, Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott, and Celine Dion. The collaborators behind …Baby One More Time’s music — especially the Swedish contingent led by Max Martin, who was enjoying hits with Backstreet Boys and Robyn — were also riding high.
Even more important, Spears emphasized that she was an ambitious teenager who knew what she wanted from her image, music and career. In an early Canadian interview, when talking about a stylist for an upcoming tour, she said, “We had someone come in, but I sort of took over, ‘This is what I want. I want to look like this.'” She told another interviewer that she was initially set to record music indebted to Natalie Imbruglia, and revealed to Rolling Stone her original direction was, “Sheryl Crow music, but younger — more adult contemporary.”
“When I started working with Max Martin in Sweden, he played the demo for ‘Baby One More Time’ for me, and I knew from the start it was one of those songs you want to hear again and again,” Spears told Billboard in October 1998. “It just felt really right. I went into the studio and did my own thing with it, trying to give it a little more attitude than the demo.” In other interviews, she asserted even more agency over her public persona. “I asked them to change the words to ‘Born To Make You Happy.’ It was a sexual song,” she told Rolling Stone. “I said, ‘This may be a little old for me.’ Because of the image thing, I don’t want to go over the top. If I come out being Miss Prima Donna, that wouldn’t be smart. I want to have a place to grow.”
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