When the second half of the 90’s arrived I began to experience a gradual sense of deja vu. The first half had been rather dull, dreary, almost lifeless compared to the 80’s. But now a new energy, innovativeness, and excitement was once again becoming evident on Top 40 radio and its alternative radio cousins. By 1996 and 1997 there was no question … and no doubt (pardon the pun) … that something as big as the late 70’s and early 80’s was once again underway. It would be the last gasp for pop and rock music as we knew it, because once the party was over in 2000, all this great music would suddenly disappear leaving us with only Rap and Britney. At least that would be the case in the good old USA.
I always felt that if Deborah Harry and Blondie had a successor in the late 90’s it was Gwen Stefani and No Doubt. In songs like “Just A Girl” the sound was so similar to Blondie’s and, oddly enough, even The Cars instrumentally (listen to the guitar solo in this song and try not to think of The Cars). “Just A Girl” would begin a run of hits for the blonde female fronted new wave band that would endure for the remainder of the decade and into the early 2000’s. The song debuted at #84 on the Billboard Hot 100 on December 16, 1995 peaking at #23 on May 4, 1996. When “Just A Girl” was re-released as a single in Europe in July 1997, many local stations in the US and Canada began giving it extensive air play all over again. Thus I have fond recollections of both 1996 and 1997 thanks to this sizzling, sensational single.
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