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Top 5 Duplicate Digit Years

February 25, 2015

Otis B. Driftwood: Don’t you know what duplicates are?
Fiorello: Sure, those five kids up in Canada.
– Groucho & Chico, A Night at the Opera

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When I was growing up (like those 5 kids up in Canada), many star athletes wore duplicate digit jersey numbers (66, 77, 88, 99, and somewhat less frequently, 00).

It appears these particular repeated digits also represented some good years for popular music.  Here they are, ranked no less!

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5. ’99
My recent purchases from ’99 (Slipknot and Beth Orton) have reminded me it wasn’t all Britney, all the time as Y2K approached.

4. ’00
The albums that worked in 2000, such as Stankonia and Heartbreaker, really worked.

3. ’77
Any single calendar year featuring two Bowie records (Low & Heroes) is easily Top 5 material.

2. ’88
A great year for chatty album titles, including If I Should Fall from Grace with God, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, and Buenos Noches from a Lonely Room.  Fortunately, each backed up its verbosity with solid music.

1. ’66
Pet Sounds? Face to Face? Revolver? Yes please.

I think I’ll spend a week in each of the duplicate digit years listed above.  Might as well go in countdown order to see if the rankings should change after further exploration.

Therefore to start this time-travel-series within a time-travel-series, and to modify a Prince lyric beyond recognition, this week I’m gonna party/listen to music analytically like it’s 1999!

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17 Comments
  1. 88 = And Justice for All!

  2. ’77 was the explosion of punk and new wave for sure: Marquee Moon, The Clash, Leave Home, Rocket to Russia, Never Mind the Bollocks, Pink Flag, My Aim Is True, The Talking Heads and so on, plus the two Bowies you mentioned. But perhaps my two absolute favourite albums from that year come from an unexpected place, the Beach Boys world. ‘Love You’ sounds like lobotomized new-wave/synth-pop on first listen, but Brian’s sincerity and quirkiness wins the listener in the end – it’s perhaps the most unpretentious album ever recorded by a big rock star and that should be reason enough to love it. But the songs are really great too once you get used to the production and vocals. Then there’s Pacific Ocean Blue, in many ways the opposite, but just as unique and representative for its artist, the underrated Dennis Wilson.

    • I have no knowledge of that Beach Boys record – that sounds like one I’d enjoy. Pacific Ocean Blue is on the 1001 list, haven’t heard it yet. As are most of those punk/new wave ones, I have a few but surprisingly haven’t reviewed any of them yet!

  3. Phillip Helbig permalink

    77: A Farewell to Kings and Songs from the Wood. Who cares about punk?

  4. 77 – one of the best years ever in the history of years. Fact.

  5. Thanks for the clip. I don’t like the party of the 8th part either. But who says there ain’t no Sanity Claus?

    • I haven’t been up in Canad-er in years!
      Can you single out a favourite Marx Brothers film? For me, this was my gateway, so would be tough to top.

  6. I know I do this every time, but I have to be consistent:

    66 needs Aftermath.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. (My) Top 5 Tapes from ’88 | 1001albumsin10years
  2. Top 5 Albums from ’66 | 1001albumsin10years

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