With Lilith Fair returning next year, perhaps it's time for Fiona Apple to make a comeback. The feisty singer-songwriter whose debut album became a smash on the back of big singles "Criminal," "Sleep to Dream" and "Shadowboxer" proved that young women didn't have to be overly sexy or buttoned-down to make it big in pop music. Tidal sold over three million copies in this country, an astounding number for any album but especially incredible considering the content of the album. Apple's combination of jazzbo grooves, edgy art rock and openly hostile persona made her a favorite both among fans and media. On this day in 1999 (that's a decade ago, homes), Apple dropped her second album, which at the time contained the longest title in the history of pop music. Known commonly as When the Pawn, the actual full name of the record is (deep breath): When the pawn hits the conflicts he thinks like a king/ What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight/ And he'll win the whole thing 'fore he enters the ring/ There's no body to batter when your mind is your might/ So when you go solo, you hold your own hand/ And remember that depth is the greatest of heights/ And if you know where you stand, then you know where to land/ And if you fall it won't matter, cuz you'll know that you're right.
The album pushed the boundaries of Apple's sound, delving deeper into experimental dance music and progressive rock. Though it didn't quite live up to the big numbers of Tidal, it still went platinum mostly with a boost from the well-received single "Fast as You Can," which had a video directed by then-boyfriend Paul Thomas Anderson (director of Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood). Their breakup set Apple on a sort of downward spiral, as she struggled with personal problems and ran into label trouble on the way to releasing her third album (which was supposed to be released in 2003 but was delayed until 2005). Still, the music world needs somebody like Apple who will write personal songs, wear her anguish on her sleeve and not bow to the status quo.