‘It was a bit of a blur’: Britney Spears on the making of …Baby One More Time

As the smash hit that changed the musical landscape turns 20, Britney, along with her collaborators, discuss the creation of a pop masterpiece DUN DUN DUN. “Oh baby, baby ... ”. In just three seconds ...Baby One More Time, which turns 20 this year, announced the arrival of a new superstar: the then 16-year-old ex-Mouseketeer from Kentwood, Louisiana, Britney Jean Spears. Along with its equally iconic high school-set music video it re-turfed pop, kickstarting an entire sound (think funk-tinged R&B grooves mixed with Abba melodies), sweeping aside the dregs of grunge (sorry, Bush) and US heartland rock (bye, Hootie & the Blowfish), revitalising pop radio and MTV in the process, before cementing its songwriter and co-producer Max Martin as one of modern music’s most influential exponents. In the space of just three minutes and 31 seconds, Spears launched millennial teen pop, fusing family-friendly, girl-next-door fun with good old fashioned controversy, forging a template for those who followed. Without it, there would by no Christina Aguilera, no Katy Perry, no Charli XCX; Taylor Swift would probably still be singing country songs, and Eminem – who arrived in 1999 – would not have had as much to rail against. Released in the wake of Alanis Morissette’s hugely successful 1995 album Jagged Little Pill and its litany of imitators, it presented a different angle to the prevalent idea of female angst; this was gloriously OTT teen girl longing, encapsulated by a lyric – “My loneliness is killing me” – that feels depressingly evergreen. “The whole song is about that stress that we all go through as teens,” Spears tells me. “I knew it was a great song. It was different and I loved it, [but] I don’t think you can anticipate how a song is going to be received.” Continue reading...

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