30 Years of Albums in My Wheelhouse: 1998

While President Clinton was impeached after he obstructed justice and perjured himself during his testimony concerning a sexual relationship he had with a White House intern in the Oval Office, I was completing my final year of teaching at Alexandria Monroe High School in Alexandria, Indiana. Back when I was in high school, Alexandria was a 4-A football sized school. But after the mass exodus of General Motors from the county, Alexandria began an unfortunate death march. By the time I arrived in 1994, the school had half the student population it had just 15 years earlier. Yet, the concentration of academic and athletic students still remained exceptionally high.

New Radicals

As the 1997-98 school year ended, our small school became the first school in state history to win 2-A state championships in two of the three biggest sports, basketball and baseball. But, those athletic teams were not the only powerhouse teams in the building at the time. The cross country teams both finished second in the conference. The softball, volleyball and girls basketball teams were all highly successful. While most of these teams were expected to succeed that year, one team achieved something that no other did that year. The boys track & field team won the school’s only team conference championship, before or since.

The (Dixie) Chicks

In Indiana, track & field is a single-class sport, so we competed with the big schools, some of which are upwards of seven times bigger than we were. While some of these bigger schools had 120 boys on their team, we actually had a record 35 boys on that track team. Still, those guys went down to the Regional meet where nearly half of the state’s Top 20 ranked teams were competing and finished 13th behind some outstanding efforts.

DMX

If those kids only had the resources that my team at Hamilton Southeastern had in the early 2000s, my Alex kids would have been a Top 20 team themselves. However, they did win that conference championship meet by one over the second place team, two points over third, three points over fourth, six points over fifth and seventh over sixth. That finish remains the closest conference final standings in conference history.

Pulp

The cool thing about coaching is after all the wins and losses, the arguments, motivational speeches, the hugs and tears, and all the other forms of life that take place during an athletic career, you end up with a group of adopted sons and daughters. I have great relationships with so many of those people, who are either in their 40s or pushing it, from all of my educational stops.

98 Degrees

The one thing I truly remember about 1998 was hearing a song on the radio while driving to a basketball practice around Christmas time called “You Get What You Give.” At first, I thought Todd Rundgren had a new song out. Finally, upon the conclusion of the song, the on-air personality said the band’s name was New Radicals. Immediately, I went to a department store to purchase the CD. This CD became the last long playing record that I ever got emotional about.

Rob Zombie

So, while others were praising the hell out of Lauryn Hill, and my boys were bombarding the house with the sounds of Beastie Boys, DMX, Lenny Kravitz and Kid Rock, I was pushing play on New Radicals. I kept hearing all the things that I loved about Seventies music: power pop, blue-eyed soul, punk anger all filtered through a Gen X sense of cynicism.

Myracle Brah

With that said, let’s see who’s playing for #2 through 50 on my countdown for 1998.

50. Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

49. Air – Moon Safari

48. 98 Degrees – 98 Degrees and Rising

47. System of a Down – System of a Down

46. Massive Attack – Mezzanine

45. Monica – The Boy Is Mine

44. Brandy – Never Say Never

43. Faith Evans – Keep the Faith

42. Marilyn Manson – Mechanical Animals

41. Goo Goo Dolls – Dizzy Up the Girl

40. Elliott Smith – XO

39. Queens of the Stone Age – Queens of the Stone Age

38. Rufus Wainwright – Rufus Wainwright

37. Semisonic – Feeling Strangely Fine

36. Cher – Believe

35. Dru Hill – Enter the Dru

34. Sheryl Crow – The Globe Sessions

33. Rob Zombie – Hellbilly Deluxe

32. Beck – Mutations

31. Tori Amos – From the Choirgirl Hotel

30. Garbage – Version 2.0

29. Whitney Houston – My Love Is Your Love

28. Jay-Z – Hard Knock Life, Vol. 2

27. Smashing Pumpkins – Adore

26. The Offspring – Americana

25. Metallica – Garage Inc.

24. Fatboy Slim – You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

23. The (Dixie) Chicks – Wide Open Spaces

22. DMX – Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood

21. Everlast – Whitey Ford Sings the Blues

20. Billy Bragg & Wilco – Mermaid Avenue

19. Natalie Merchant – Ophelia

18. DMX – It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot

17. Alanis Morissette – Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie

16. Bob Dylan – The Bootleg Series Vol. 4 – Live 1966: The “Royal Albert Hall” Concert

15. Pearl Jam – Yield

14. R.E.M. – Up

13. Myracle Brah – Life on Planet Eartsnop

12. Kid Rock – Devil Without a Cause

11. Barenaked Ladies – Stunt

10. Korn – Follow the Leader

9. Lenny Kravitz – 5

8. OutKast – Aquemini

7. Pulp – This Is Hardcore

6. Madonna – Ray of Light

5. Elvis Costello with Burt Bacharach – Painted from Memory

4. Beastie Boys – Hello Nasty

3. Hole – Celebrity Skin

2. Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

1. New Radicals – Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

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