Can you believe that today marks 20 years, yes 20 years since the release of the song “Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit” by the 90’s pop diva Gina G. The reason this is such a big landmark for me is that this was also the first ever CD single that I had ever bought, back in the day. I still remember going to the HMV in Dundee to go and buy it, and I remember I got home and played the whole thing on repeat, remixes and all. So, shall we discuss how this song has gone on to define my music tastes? Yes, let’s…
2016 marks a lot of 20 year anniversaries and this song is no exception. You may remember me discussing the album “Naked” by Louise back in January, which is also turning 20 this year. There is another big moment in pop which happened in 1996, i’m sure by reading that you will know what I am talking about, but there will be a completely different blog for that in the months to come.
So, back in 1996, Gina G burst on to the pop music scene with her debut single, the above mentioned “Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit”, it reached #1 straight away in the UK Top 40 and she could do no wrong. It was also going to be the entry which would represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1996, to be held in Oslo. The song was first presented on the BBC One show “A Song For Europe” and won all of the votes to go on to represent the UK. The song was a very popular winner and everybody at the time was saying how it was very modern and would turn the Eurovision contest on it’s head, up until that time in the 1990’s, the contest was swarming with many ballads and people wanted a change, more on that later though.
So, back in 1996 on this date, I was only 9 years old. I always knew I had a love for music, but it was not an active love at this stage, I just knew that I liked listening to catchy and upbeat music. I remember a few months prior, to loving the song “Fairground” by Simply Red and also listening to the radio and singing along to pretty much every song. This was the first time that I had actually used money to buy music, as I had received some pocket money from my parents, and I wanted to spend it on this song. So off we went, me and my Dad, on the bus up to Dundee and I wanted to go to the big new HMV which had opened (or it may have just been renovated, can’t really remember) in the main Dundee High Street. I must have played this CD numerous times, at least in the hundreds, annoying my family in the process. I was absolutely in love with the full on pop sound, and that the song had a really catchy hook.
The song went on to finish 8th at the Eurovision Song Contest, but you have to remember that this was back in the day when it was only National Juries voting, instead of the modern Televotes from the public audience. The song that did win, “The Voice” by Eimear Quinn for Ireland, was a traditional ballad which was doing well with the National Juries at the time. I can still remember Gina G’s performance at the contest though, and this would be my first memory of watching the Eurovision Song Contest, not knowing that I would become a huge fan in the upcoming decades. Shall we take a look at that performance?
Following on from the success of the single, Gina G went on to have a total of e further Top 10 singles in the UK, including another favourite of mine called “Fresh” which was released in the beginning of 1997. Gina then went on to release her debut solo album which was called “Fresh!” (emphasis on that extra !) later in 1997, which peaked at number 12 in the UK charts. Let’s take a look at her “Fresh” video.
Sadly for Gina, only one year after her Eurovision hit did well in the charts, her star seemed to dwindle a little bit, and was barely scraping the Top 40 with her follow up singles. The album, for me, is crammed full of pop hits which I still enjoy listening to now and again, mainly as it reminds me of my innocent youth in the late 1990’s. Whenever I hear “Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit”, it brings me back to the days of listening to it over and over on CD, and the day I went to Dundee High Street to buy the single. It was my first ever CD single purchase, but of course, not my last.
Later in the year, I will look back at what was my first ever CD album purchase. Let’s just say that the month was November 1996, any guesses? Until then, thank you for reading. Do you have a special memory about Gina G? Get in touch!