1998 in Rock & Roll History:

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) files suit to stop the release of the Rio PMP 300, a digital MP3 player, claiming the device encourages music piracy. The suit fails and the PMP 300 goes on to become the first commercially successful digital personal media player.  Movie soundtracks are huge in 1998 with hit songs and the albums for Titanic, Armageddon and City of Angels all going to #1 in the US. After working with the Backstreet Boys among others, Swedish songwriter and producer Max Martin brings his golden touch to Britney Spears, penning her #1 debut single "...Baby One More Time" and her third top ten single "You Drive Me Crazy".

Top 40 Singles of 1998
  1   Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On
  2   Cher - Believe
  3   Aerosmith - I Don't Want to Miss a              Thing
  4   Brandy & Monica - The Boy is Mine
  5   Savage Garden - Truly Madly Deeply
  6   The Goo Goo Dolls - Iris
  7   Madonna - Frozen
  8   Natalie Imbruglia - Torn
  9   Lauryn Hill - Doo Wop (That Thing)
10   Janet Jackson - Together Again
11   All Saints - Never Ever
12   Run DMC & Jason Nevins - It's Like              That
13   Madonna - Ray of Light
14   Jennifer Paige - Crush
15   Shania Twain - You're Still the One
16   Will Smith - Gettin' Jiggy Wit It
17   Pras Michel - Ghetto Supastar (That            is What You Are)
18   Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston -        When You Believe
19   K-Ci & JoJo - All My Life
20   Emilia - Big Big World
21   Next - Too Close
22   Spice Girls - Goodbye
23   Ricky Martin - La Copa De La Vida
24   Alanis Morissette - Thank U
25   Boyzone - No Matter What
26   U2 - The Sweetest Thing
27   Des'ree - Life
28   Spice Girls - Viva Forever
29   Barenaked Ladies - One Week
30   Green Day - Time of Your Life
31   B*Witched - C'est La Vie
32   The Beastie Boys - Intergalactic
33   Eagle-Eye Cherry - Save Tonight
34   Celine Dion & R Kelly - I'm Your                 Angel
35   The Lighthouse Family - High
36   Robbie Williams - Angels
37   Aqua - Doctor Jones
38   Jay-Z - Hard Knock Life
39   Faith Hill - This Kiss
40   Fastball - The Way

Top 50 Albums of 1998

  1   Shania Twain - Come On Over
  2   Celine Dion & James Horner -          Titanic
  3   Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation Of               Lauryn Hill
  4   Madonna - Ray Of Light
  5   The Beastie Boys - Hello Nasty
  6   Massive Attack - Mezzanine
  7   Alanis Morissette - Supposed                      Former Infatuation Junkie
  8   Mariah Carey - Number Ones
  9   U2 - The Best Of 1980-1990
10   Garbage - Version 2.0
11   Savage Garden - Savage Garden
12   Phil Collins - ... Hits
13   The Smashing Pumpkins - Adore
14   Celine Dion - These Are Special                  Times
15   Korn - Follow The Leader
16   Marilyn Manson - Mechanical Animal
17   REM - Up
18   Pearl Jam - Yield
19   Cher - Believe
20   Original Soundtrack - City Of Angels
21   Bee Gees - Live - One Night Only
22   George Michael - The Best Of...
23   Whitney Houston - My Love Is Your            Love
24   Air - Moon Safari
25   Natalie Imbruglia - Left Of The Middle
26   Original Soundtrack - Armageddon
27   Vonda Shepard - Songs from Ally               McBeal
28   Kid Rock - Devil Without A Cause
29   Garth Brooks - Double Live
30   R Kelly - R.
31   Metallica - Garage Inc
32   Eric Clapton - Pilgrim
33   The Manic Street Preachers -             This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours
34   The Dixie Chicks - Wide Open                     Spaces
35   Pulp - This Is Hardcore
36   Simply Red - Blue
37   Dave Matthews Band - Before These           Crowded Streets
38   Fatboy Slim - You've Come A Long             Way, Baby
39   Robbie Williams - I've Been                        Expecting You
40   Depeche Mode - The Singles 86-98
41   All Saints - All Saints
42   OutKast - Aquemini
43   Brandy - Never Say Never
44   Modern Talking - Back For Good
45   Sheryl Crow - The Globe Sessions
46   John Lennon - Lennon Legend: The             Very Best Of John Lennon
47   Tori Amos - From The Choirgirl Hotel
48   Lenny Kravitz - 5
49   Beck - Mutations
50   Celine Dion - S'il Suffisait D'aimer

All chart information above is from Tsort and uses a formula based on splitting the world into four regions based on sales, the USA (about 35%), other English speaking countries (about 20%), the rest of Europe (about 25%) and the rest of the world (about 20%).  We feel this is the best methodology available to show the global impact of a song or album. More detailed chart info is available on the Tsort website. Actual US & UK charts are linked at the bottom of each year timeline on this site.
Jan '98
Quincy, MA celtic punk band The Dropkick Murphys release their debut album Do or Die to good reviews, but limited sales. (more)
Feb '98
Jan '98
Jan '98
Seattle, WA band Pearl Jam release their fifth album Yield. The album debuts at #2 US, #7 UK before falling down the album charts. (more)
The Dixie Chicks, a Dallas, TX country/bluegrass band, release their debut album Wide Open Spaces and achieve crossover success peaking at #4 US. (more)
The debut album from French electronic duo Air goes Top Ten in the UK led by the pitch manipulated faux feminine vocals of the single "Sexy Boy". (more)
Feb '98
Feb '98
Houston, TX R&B band Destiny's Child release their debut album and score a Top Five hit single in the US & UK with the single "No, No, No". (more)
Cardiff, Wales band Catatonia score a number one UK album with International Velvet along with two Top Ten
UK hits including "Mulder & Scully". (more) 
Feb '98
Feb '98
San Francisco rock band Train find success with their self-financed debut album and the single "Meet Virginia" which rises to #20 US. (more)
Madonna's single "Frozen" and her seventh album Ray of Light both go to #1 UK, #2 US. Musically the album features a new more electonic/dance sound. (more)
A remix of the song "Brimful of Asha" by UK alternative band Cornershop hits #1 in the UK. (more)
Feb '98
Feb '98
Orlando, FL boyband
'N Sync release their self-titled debut album in the US with lead single "I Want You Back" which goes to #5 UK, #13 US. (more)
Mar '98
UK pop singer Jimmy Ray has a #13 US & UK single with "Are You Jimmy Ray?" from his debut album. (more)
Mar '98
DJ Jason Nevins' remix of Run DMC's 1983 song "It's Like That" goes to number one in the UK and ten other countries for six weeks. (more)
Mar '98
Sheffield, UK band Pulp go to #1 UK (#114 US) with their sixth album This Is Hardcore. The single of the same name goes to #12 UK. (more)
Apr '98
Apr '98
The Dave Matthews Band's third album - Before These Crowded Streets debuts at #1 in the US led by the single "Don't Drink The Water". (more)
Apr '98
Australian singer and actress Natalie Imbruglia releases her hit single "Torn" in the US #42. The single had previously reached #2 in the UK in late 1997. (more)
Apr '98
Irish boyband Boyzone top the UK charts with the single "All That I Need" from their number one album Where We Belong. (more)
Apr '98
English trip-hop group Massive Attack go to #1 UK with their third album Mezzanine led by the single "Teardrop". It was one of the first major
Apr '98
Robbie Williams, formerly of UK pop band Take That, goes to #1 UK with his solo debut album Life Thru A Lens. (more)
Led Zeppelin alumni Jimmy Page and Robert Plant release the album Walking Into Clarksdale which goes Top Ten in the US & UK. (more)
albums to be available free as an MP3 download prior to it's release. (more)
May '98
May '98
Former 10,000 Maniacs lead singer Natalie Merchant breaks into the US Top Ten with her second solo album Ophelia and single "Kind and Generous". (more)
May '98
Version 2.0, the second album from Madison, WI alternative band Garbage, goes to #1 UK, #13 US led by three UK Top Ten singles including "I Think I'm Paranoid". (more)
The debut album, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, from New York rapper DMX is released on Def Jam and goes to #1 in the US featuring the single "Get At Me Dog". (more)
Jun '98
Chicago alternative band Smashing Pumpkins release their fourth album Adore with a more electronic sound. Sales don't match previous albums but the album charts at #2 US, #4 UK. (more)
Jun '98
New Orleans rapper Master P debuts at US number one with his seventh album MP da Last Don. (more)
Jun '98
Movie soundtracks are huge in '98 with Titanic, City of Angels and Armageddon  all generating number one albums. (more)
Jun '98
Minneapolis, MN alternative band Semisonic have a #11 US hit single with "Closing Time" from their second album Feeling Strangely Fine. (more)
Jun '98
American singer/actress Brandy releases her second album Never Say Never which charts at #2 US, #19 UK led by the top ten single "The Boy Is Mine". (more)
Jun '98
Jun '98
Los Angeles alternative hip-hop band Black Eyed Peas release their debut album Behind The Front (#129 US) on Interscope Records featuring lead single "Joints & Jam". (more)
Jun '98
Southern California heavy metal band System of a Down release their self-titled debut album which eventually earns gold record status. (more)
Lake Charles, LA native, Lucinda Williams, releases the album Car Wheels On A Gravel Road which would peak at US #65, but would win a Grammy Award. (more)
Jul '98
Jul '98
The Beastie Boys fifth album Hello Nasty goes to #1 in the US and UK led by the hit single "Intergalactic". (more)
The fourth album by Romeo, Michigan native Kid Rock entitled Devil Without A Cause becomes his biggest seller at #4 US, #172 UK, led by singles "Cowboy" and "Bawitdaba".  (more)
Aug '98
Snoop Dogg leaves Death Row Records to release his third album Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told which tops the US charts, #28 UK. (more)
Aug '98
Former White Zombie lead singer Rob Zombie releases his debut solo album Hellbilly Deluxe featuring the single "Dragula". The albume charts at #5 US, #37 UK. (more)
Aug '98
California nu metal band Korn go to #1 US, #5 UK with their third album Follow The Leader. The single "Freak on a Leash" makes the US Top Ten. (more)
Aug '98
70's veterans Aerosmith have their biggest hit single ever when "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" from the Armageddon Soundtrack tops the US charts for 4 weeks. (more)
Aug '98
Aug '98
Former Fugees member Lauryn Hill releases her debut solo album The Miseducation of Lauryen Hill. The album goes to #1 US, #2 UK. (more)
Birmingham, AL alternative rock band Remy Zero tour with Radiohead and have a modern rock hit with the single "Prophecy" from their second album. (more)
Sep '98
Celebrity Skin is the third album from the american alternative band Hole. The album goes to #9 US and #11 UK led by the title track and second single "Malibu". (more)
Sep '98
Florida hard rock band Marilyn Manson top the US charts (#5 UK) with their third album Mechanical Animals. (more)
Sep '98
Sep '98
Brooklyn, NY rapper Jay-Z hits number one US with his third album Vol. 2 Hard Knock Life. (more)
The reunited hard rock band KISS release the album Psycho Circus #3 US, #47 UK. It is their first album with all the original band members since 1979. (more)
Sep '98
Welsh alternative band Manic Street Preachers top the UK charts with their fifth album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours. (more)
Sep '98
Sheryl Crow's third album The Globe Sessions charts at #5 US, #2 UK led by the singles "Anything but Down" and "My Favorite Mistake". (more)
Sep '98
Sep '98
The first commercially successful portable digital audio player, The Rio PMP300, is released despite a lawsuit from the RIAA trying to block the release. (more)
"Baby One More Time" is the debut single from 16 year old Kentwood, LA singer Britney Spears. After touring shopping malls and opening for 'N Sync the single reaches #1 in the US and UK. (more)
Sep '98
Sep '98
The self-titled debut album from Palm Desert, CA rock band Queens of the Stone Age is released to positive reviews. (more)
Aquamini is the third album from Atlanta hip hop duo Outkast. The album goes to #2 US led by the single "Rosa Parks". (more)
Sep '98
Sep '98
The Goo Goo Dolls, an alternative rock band
from Buffalo, NY find mainstream success with their sixth album Dizzy Up The Girl #15 US, #47 UK led by singles "Slide" and "Iris". (more)
Hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest release their fifth and final album The Love Movement which reaches #3 US, #38 UK with lead single "Find A Way". (more)
Sep '98
60's and 70's stalwarts The Bee Gees release a live album and DVD entitled One Night Only which covers all their hits and reaches #4 UK, #72 US. (more)
Oct '98
Oct '98
Oct '98
Swedish band The Cardigans have a #14 UK and #16 US Modern Rock hit with the single "My Favourite Game" from their fourth album. (more) 
Ontario, Canada band Barenaked Ladies hit #1 US, #5 UK for seven weeks with the single "One Week" from their fourth album Stunt. (more)
UK band The Beautiful South top the UK album charts for the third time with their sixth album Quench. (more)
Oct '98
Sacramento, CA alternative rock band Cake have a US #1 Modern Rock hit with the single "Never There" from their third album Prolonging The Magic. (more)
Nov '98
Whitney Houston's fourth album, My Love Is Your Love, her first studio album in eight years, reaches only #13 US, #4 UK even with three US Top Five singles including the title track. (more)
Nov '98
London, UK alternative band Placebo release their second album Without You I'm Nothing and go Top Ten in the UK led by single "Pure Morning". (more)
Nov '98
Los Angeles band the New Radicals release their debut single "You Get What You Give" and hit #5 UK, #36 US. (more)
Nov '98
Spirit is the second album from american singer/songwriter Jewel. The album charts at #3 US, #54 UK led by the hit single "Hands". (more)
Nov '98
Canadian singer songwriter Alannis Morissette releases the follow up to her 1995 smash album and goes to #1 US, #3 UK with the album Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. (more)
Nov '98
Former Wu-Tang member Method Man goes to #2 US with his second album Tical 2000: Judgement Day. (more)
Dec '98
American rocker Lenny Kravitz tops the UK charts and hits #12 US with his single "Fly Away" from his fifth album. (more)
Dec '98
Everlast, the former front man for rap group House of Pain, hits the US Top Forty (#13 US, #34 UK) with the single "What It's Like" from his album Whitey Ford Sings the Blues. (more)
Dec '98
Georgia native Shawn Mullins scores a Top Ten US single with "Lullaby" from his fourth album Soul's Core. (more)
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