Backwards Bullets: This Week In Charts 1997

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REMINISCE SOME TIME: On the Billboard Hot 100 dated June 14, 1997, a tribute to the late Notorious B.I.G., whose "Hypnotize" had reigned for three weeks that May following his death in March 1997, debuted at No. 1, as "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans, featuring 112, opened at the summit.

The song became the fifth of 17 titles to-date to arrive in the Hot 100's top spot, following Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone," Mariah Carey's "Fantasy," Whitney Houston's "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" and Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day," all in 1995.

"I'll Be Missing You," built upon the melody of the Police's 1983 eight-week Hot 100 No. 1 "Every Breath You Take," outshined the chart performance of the original version, spending 11 weeks in the chart's penthouse.

Puff Daddy and Evans' ode to the latter artist's late husband stands as the rap song with the second-longest rule in the Hot 100's 52-year history. Having led for 12 weeks in 2002-03, only Eminem's "Lose Yourself" has spent more time at No. 1 among rap titles.

'BUILDING' DEVELOPMENT: While Sarah McLachlan releases her seventh studio album, "Laws of Illusion," today (June 15), the singer/songwriter was introducing her fourth set, "Surfacing," 13 years ago this week.

The release of "Surfacing" accompanied McLachlan's founding of the landmark Lilith Fair, which returns to North American stages after 11 years beginning June 27 in Calgary, Alberta.

In the June 14, 1997, issue, Billboard reviewed "Building a Mystery," the first single from "Surfacing," praising the "bare-bones rocker that beautifully illuminates (McLachlan's) voice and the intense sensitivity of her lyrics. Fans of sweet melodies will also have reason to celebrate."

"Building a Mystery" became McLachlan's first top 40 entry on the Hot 100, reaching No. 13 in October 1997. "Surfacing" went on to yield three additional hits: "Sweet Surrender" (No. 28), "Adia" (No. 3) and "Angel" (No. 4).

PREVIEWS WITHIN A FLASHBACK: Billboard's Singles Reviews section heralded three other then-future smashes 13 years ago this week:

"Men in Black," Will Smith: "Smith has never been a hardcore lyricist, but he also has never been anything less than clever, charming and shrewdly aware of what the masses will dig." The theme from his summer blockbuster film of the same name spent four weeks atop Radio Songs beginning in August 1997.

"Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)," Backstreet Boys: "After selling more than 10 million records worldwide, the Backstreet Boys deserve a fair listen stateside. The group's music is engaging pop/R&B fare that could easily stretch beyond teenage girls." The group's first of 12 top 40 hits on the Hot 100 remains its highest-charting (two weeks at No. 2).

"Criminal," Fiona Apple: "The remarkably aged and worldly tone of this young woman's voice confounds the ears - but it also pleases beyond articulation. Factor in her intense, often poetic words, and you have a recording that is essential listening." "Criminal" reached No. 2 on Alternative Songs, No. 4 on Triple A and No. 21 on the Hot 100.

JUST DUET: While Puff Daddy and Faith Evans led the June 14, 1997, Hot 100, another star pairing populated the top 10. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (then married less than a year) rose 9-8 with "It's Your Love." The ballad concurrently spent its second of six weeks atop Country Songs.

Here is the top 10 on the Hot 100 13 years ago this week:

Position, Title, Artist(s)
No. 1, "I'll Be Missing You," Puff Daddy & Faith Evans (featuring 112)
No. 2, "MMMBop," Hanson
No. 3, "Say You'll Be There," Spice Girls
No. 4, "Return of the Mack," Mark Morrison
No. 5, "Hypnotize," the Notorious B.I.G.
No. 6, "The Freshmen," the Verve Pipe
No. 7, "I Belong to You (Every Time I See Your Face)," Rome
No. 8, "It's Your Love," Tim McGraw (with Faith Hill)
No. 9, "G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T.," Changing Faces
No. 10, "Bitch," Meredith Brooks