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For fifty weeks this year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, John Vettese is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1997.

There were hits aplenty in 1997, no doubt — Mariah Carey’s “Honey,” Smash Mouth’s “Walking on the Sun,” Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping,” just about all the singles from Puff Daddy and the Family’s No Way Out album.

But it was also a year filled with albums that defined artists as well as scenes and genres. The Chemical Brothers’ big beat masterpiece Dig Your Own Hole. Sarah McLachlan’s massive singer-songwriter success Surfacing and the Lilith Fair world it begat. Bjork’s serene, sublime Homogenic. And a little album from Radiohead called OK Computer.

On the big screen, we thrilled to the sci-fi fun of The Fifth Element and the dystopian action of Face/Off, immersed ourselves in the heady Good Will Hunting, laughed to the curmudgeonly comedy As Good As It Gets, and swooned to Leo and Kate In James Cameron’s Titanic.

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On TV, it was all about animated sitcoms like The Simpsons and King of the Hill, but let’s not forget the haunting drama The X-Files or the incredibly cool serial spinoff of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a rare case of a TV show having a more profound legacy than the movie it was based on.

https://giphy.com/gifs/buffy-pop-culture-XYOcUeqIQf8Wc

Below, listen to a playlist of music from 1997.

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