Numbers are an interesting subject for songs. They can represent all kinds of things, and as such, can be used as a lyrical device to give significance without over speaking. Here at the Radish we've already done playlists on the numbers 666, 3 and 7. Most of us are aware of the significance these three numbers have, mostly because of their religious or spiritual context.
For this playlist I have chosen songs that use the number 99 to get their points across. The most obvious use of 99 is to convey a sense of impending change as in Prince's 1999, which looked forward to the year 1999 as an event that would spur serious celebration. 99 can also be used to convey a sense of being close to perfection. If 100% is a perfect score than 99% is just a hair shy of perfect. If someone is 99% sure, they are conveying certain odds while leaving themselves room to be incorrect.
It's also interesting because it's a palindromic number, a repdigit and a Kaprekar number. However, finding these characteristics as the focus of a songwriter are few and far between.
Sadly, 80's one-hit-wonder Nena's classic song "99 Luftballoons" was not available when I created this list, so I had included two different cover versions of it in this 30 song playlist. After re-checking today I discovered that Nena's English version of the song is now available on the compilation Club Epic Vol. 5. You can hear it here.
Some other interesting trivia around the number 99 includes:
- 99 is the only jersey number retired across the entire National Hockey League in honor of the great Wayne Gretzky
- 99 is the number of Hershey's kisses in one pound
- 99 is the number of tracks available to be recorded on a music compact disc
- 99 is the atomic number of einsteinium
4. 99 Red Balloons - Van Nuys
6. 99 - Toto
9. 99 - Sloane
11. 99 - Londonbeat
12. 99 - Oranges
21. The Ninety And Nine - Tennessee Ernie Ford
27. Keep On '99 - Redman
30. 99 Ways To Die - Megadeth