The Princess of Pop’s Greatest and Most Influential Hit Yet

February 26, 2010 andaa1

When you think of and remember the past decade or so, and think of a musical act that has emerged and has been revolutionary in such a way that no other prior to this artist has been able to reach the equal amount of success, who comes to mind ? Oh yeah, and maybe I should mention the mere fact that this all happened at the sweet andtender age of sixteen and by a breakthrough female artist. Okay, well if you have not guessed by now that it is Miss Britney Spears that I am referring to then I have to ask the following question; have you been living under a rock ?  But I am sure that most of the world’s population knows this, simply because of the fact that she has been and continues to remain one of the most loved and timeless female pop artists in the music industry of all time. What started this phenomenal career for this young teenager was her debut song, which is considered one of best songs of all time, is none other than“…Baby One More Time”.

“…Baby One More Time” was first heard on radios all over the  United States back in 1998, and to be exact, its debut date was October 23rd. The bubblegum pop song was recorded in March of 1998 in Cheiron Studios in Sweden under the label, Jive Records. The song’s chart performance was unbelievably successful. Soon enough, thissingle was number seventeen on the Billboard Top 100 and soon after that came in at number one for two weeks. While all of this was going on, the song also came in at number one in Canada. Other charts that it dominated were, Hot 100 Airplay, Top 40 Radio, Top 40 Tracks, Rhythmic Top 40 and Mainstream Top 40. “…Baby One More Time” spent thirty two weeks on Hot 100, and was top five in Billboard magazine year-end chart. The United States and Canada were not the only countries which the single topped the charts. Other countries where it did extraordinarily well were countries in Europe such as France, Germany, England, Australia, and others. Thanks to all of the airplay and its popularity, “… Baby One More Time” was listed number twenty-five of the best pop songs since 1963 in a list put together by Rolling Stone magazine and Music Television (MTV) back at the beginning of the new millennium. Blender magazine listed it at number nine in The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born. It has topped other lists as well, but then again, it is no surprise. This single has also won Ms. Spears awards from ceremonies such as the Teen Choice Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards and a few others.  It is a platinum mega hit!

“… Baby One More Time” is a fun, upbeat kind of song that is about three and a half minutes long. It is considered a bubblegum pop song simply because its lyrics are about lost love. Ms. Spears said, “It is a song every girl can relate to. She regrets it. She wants him back.” The lyricist behind this musical text is a man named Max Martin. Musically, it is a song with a metronome of ninety-three beats per minute. Just in case you are wondering what a metronome is, it is a device which produces repetitive beats. The song starts with three piano notes. At the time when Britney Spears first hit the scene back in 1998, it was a boy’s world or shall I say, a boy’s music world. Boy bands were a huge success and a great selling point to a target audience of teenage girls. The boys of the time were the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, and 98 Degrees. It was time for a female artist to come onto the scene and who better than the most beautiful and talented girl by the name of Britney. Sweet and innocent, but all the same time seductive and powerful, she swept everyone off their feet. I remember being eleven years old, watching something on television back in my apartment at the time in New Jersey, and all of a sudden I see a commercial for the brand new CD entitled “… Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears marketed with her video for it. Ever since that day, I have been mesmerized by this superstar. Who would have guessed that even almost twelve years later, her song would remain one of the best singles in recorded music history?

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jamie Parganos  |  February 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    I have a love-hate relationship with Miss Britney who came out with some clever little ditties like “Toxic” by Cathy Dennis, who also wrote the theme song for American Idol and, more recently, “Womanizer.” “…baby one more time” was definitely a revolutionary song because it gave birth to the rise of the young female pop star with artists such as Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore, Jessica Simpson, etc. and contributed to the rise of our youth-obssessed culture

  • 2. ylok100  |  February 26, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Great song and post! What strike me as interesting about this song is that it uses both the harmonic and melodic minor of the key and the bassline uses an effective descending chromatic scale that makes it sound a bit dramatic (as you can hear from the use of piano in the song). Usually minor keys are associated with sad slow songs but when put with an upbeat pulse can create a nice pop sound. The fact that it IS a catchy song is because the 3 piano notes that you mentioned earlier falls on the middle of the 3rd to last beat.

  • 3. dseewald  |  February 27, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Interesting paper, I have a special bond with “Hit my baby one more time”. That song reminds me of being thirteen years old. Every time I hear it it takes me back to the cafeteria in school with all my friends in 7th grade. The beat is catchy and every time I hear it I sing it all day. I will always remember that song because it makes me feel young and free.

  • 4. Amy Herzog  |  March 1, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I love the challenge of engaging seriously with music that is often dismissed as excessively unserious! What I’m missing so far here, though, is a lengthy and detailed description of the song itself– musically. You begin to describe the three notes that launch the song, but then switch gears to talk about the historical context. Yung’s comment about the minor key is very perceptive and a great start. Even if you don’t have that kind of technical knowledge, try to concentrate on what is happening in this song that provides such an impact, starting with the sound itself.

    Some suggestions that I hope will be useful to everyone: Give yourself enough time and space to really describe the song, and what is happening sonically. The historical context is great, too, but the main focus should be the music. Think about how to structure your argument so that each paragraph has a distinct point. Back up each point with evidence– in this case, your close observation of the song. And connect each paragraph to the next so that they flow in a logical manner.

    One question you might want to consider: WHY did this song serve as the perfect vehicle for launching the career of such a young performer? Why did it resonate so deeply with so many young female fans?

  • 5. Anda Pielaru  |  March 2, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Professor Herzog, i would like to thank you for the feedback and advice on how to improve my paper. I initially figured that it was a bit too short as well as incomplete especially on the musical analysis part. I had difficulty finding material regarding this on the internet. I do wish to revise it and make it better, given that i have now read five other students’ essays and have a better understanding of what it is that i need to do. I do have one question though, and that is when do i need to post the final version by ?
    Thank you. :0))

  • 6. justina87  |  March 2, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Good song choice! Britney Spears is most defintely a well known pop artist who brightened up the lives of many young girls! I’d have to admit this song was definitely one of my favorites as a teen and I remember how I made it my karaoke song, I do feel like it was a very catchy teen song and whenever its played over the radio many girls are reminiscent of those days which makes it even more great!

  • 7. domesticated  |  February 12, 2014 at 1:54 am

    I want to to thank you for this good read!! I absolutely loved every little bit of it.
    I have got you book marked to look at new stuff you post…

    Here is my weblog; domesticated

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