The final installment of 1997 music. Join us Monday as we feature the start of 1998.
September 6 – Elton John performs “Candle in the Wind” at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales; John Tavener’s Song for Athene is performed at the same ceremony, with soprano Lynne Dawson singing the solo part.
After a tumultuous divorce from her first husband, Mariah Carey releases the album “Butterfly”, which moved her sound in a more Hip-Hop and R&B direction.
Aaliyah releases the single “Hot Like Fire”/”The One I Gave My Heart To”.
September 17 – The KLF return for 23 minutes with their performance of “Fuck the Millennium”.
September 19 – While on his way to a benefit concert in Kansas, USA, Rich Mullins loses control of his Jeep, flipping the automobile and throwing both Mullins and passenger Mitch McVicker out onto the road. A tractor-trailer approaching the scene swerves to miss McVicker, striking and killing Mullins instantly. McVicker survives, but suffers major injuries.
September 20 – U2 plays at Reggio Emilia during their PopMart Tour to over 150,000 people.
September 22 – Björk releases Homogenic, moving towards a darker sound and away from her ‘pixie’ image.
September 23 – U2 perform a concert in Sarajevo during their PopMart Tour.
September 27 – Bob Dylan performs for Pope John Paul II at a Catholic youth event in Bologna, Italy.
The Rolling Stones release Bridges to Babylon.
The Verve release Urban Hymns. Ironically, in a controversial legal dispute, the majority of their royalties and songwriting credit for their single “Bittersweet Symphony” go to The Rolling Stones.
October 7 – Everclear release their multi-platinum third album So Much for the Afterglow, containing “Father of Mine” and “I Will Buy You a New Life”.
October 13 – The “Prince Igor” single, jointly performed by The Rhapsody, Warren G and Sissel Kyrkjebø is released.
October 15 – Michael Jackson ends the History World Tour, which included an attendance record of 4,500,000 fans.
October 22 – Namie Amuro shocks her fans when she announces that she has recently married and is three months pregnant. She subsequently begins a one-year hiatus from the music industry.
October 23 – R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry announces his departure from the group.
November 3 – The Spice Girls release Spiceworld, their second number one album, making the group the first British band since The Beatles to have two albums in the US chart at the same time. Spice and Spiceworld have amassed enough sales for one out of every two people in Britain to own a Spice Girls album.
November 4 – Shania Twain releases her album Come on Over which goes on to sell over 40 million copies worldwide to date and later became the biggest selling album in country music history and the biggest selling album by a female music artist.
November 6 – The Spice Girls make the decision to take over the running of the group and drop Simon Fuller as their manager.
November 18 – American indie rock band Modest Mouse release their second full-length album, The Lonesome Crowded West.
November 19 – Gary Glitter is arrested after images of child pornography are found on a laptop computer that he had taken in for repairs.
November 22 – INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence is found dead in a Sydney, Australia hotel room, aged 37.
November 25 – Will Smith releases his debut solo studio album Big Willie Style.
November 26 – In a performance billed as the “highest” gig on Earth, Spiritualized play in the deck of the CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for an audience of 150 people.
November 27 – Namie Amuro releases her 9th single under Avex Trax “Dreaming I Was Dreaming.”
December 1 – Aaron Carter bursts onto the music scene at the age of 10 with the release of his debut album Aaron Carter, making him the youngest male artist in the world since Michael Jackson in 1969.
December 4-5 – Black Sabbath perform a pair of reunion shows in their hometown of Birmingham, England. They are the first full-length concerts by the original lineup of the band since 1978.
December 26 – The Spice Girls release their big screen debut Spiceworld: The Movie, starring Richard E. Grant, Roger Moore, Elton John and Stephen Fry. The movie makes £6.8m in its first week of release.
The Home of Country Music, the Opryland USA theme park, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA closes and is subsequently demolished.
Namie Amuro performs on NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen for the last time before beginning her maternal hiatus.
Also in 1997
Mikael Åkerfeldt and Peter Lindgren fire Johan De Farfalla from Opeth; then Anders Nordin quits the band. To replace the ex-members, Mike and Pete hire Martin Lopez and Martin Mendez.
The companies Memorex, Maxell, and TDK introduce blank recordable CDs.
The first John Lennon Songwriting Contest is held.
Rob Gommerman leaves Finger Eleven due to extensive touring.
Derrick Green replaces Max Cavalera in Sepultura.
Glenn Ljungström and Johan Larsson leave In Flames.
Big Audio Dynamite’s final album Entering a New Ride, which features Ranking Roger from The Beat, gets rejected for release by their record label, so is released independently as one of the first ever well known musical downloads, for free on their website.