For reasons known only to the people who coordinate schedules, I was in a sixth grade homeroom chock full of…interesting types. It seemed to me that we had more than our fair share of behavioral problem cases and underachievers, but that could just be junior high in general. In any case, I tried to impress a guy in homeroom with my knowledge of both hip hop and Smashing Pumpkins, failed miserably, and ended up a longtime fan as a result. The rest was born out of the Top 40, my desire to seem cool, summer camp and sneaking MTV and VH1 videos after school, contained in a “featuring Dr. Dre” sandwich.
“No Diggity” by Blackstreet feat. Dr. Dre. Um, obviously this was going to be on here. No doubt.
“Lovefool” by The Cardigans. Best known for it’s appearance in the Baz Lurhmann screamy angstfest version of Romeo and Juliet, it was also in the soundtrack of another seminal 90s classic: Cruel Intentions. Anyone else like how Selma Blair was supposed to be, like, 13 or AT MOST 14 in that movie? Felony funday!
“I Love You Always Forever” by Donna Lewis. Heard this in the grocery store the other day and thought it sounded familiar; further research led me to recall watching the video and getting motion sick. So…there’s that.
“Stupid Girl” by Garbage. Not going to lie, I kind of wanted to be Shirley. She just seemed badass in every way that my bespectacled dorky self was not.
“Virtual Insanity” by Jamiroquai. Does anyone else remember that brief big-hat period? Was that at anyone else’s school? Was that even at my school? Weigh in, former classmates; the enormous hat may be causing me to hallucinate.
“Doin’ It” by LL Cool J. The first single to which I heard the phrase “that rap crap” applied to the musical genre by an elder adult of my acquaintance. Naturally, I had to get it immediately. On cassette, because I had no cash.
“Naked Eye” by Luscious Jackson. This had a fun beat to it. Still does, actually. Plus my husband does a nice falsetto of the chorus so the fun is built right in for me.
“The Beautiful People” by Marilyn Manson. My parents weren’t conservative politically but they definitely had conservative standards for correct behavior and appropriate artistic content. Ergo, I always marveled at kids who were not only allowed to listen to Manson but who wore Antichrist Superstar t-shirts to school. I imagined they also got to eat brownies for breakfast to gear up for a hard day of mouthing off and killing puppies.
“Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?” by Paula Cole. Hey! She says “beeeeeer.” With a sneeeeeeer. Poetry in motion, baby. (Not really.)
“Peaches” by Presidents of the United States of America. I actually prefer the beat of “Lump” but I think this has a better sing-along quality.
“If I Run” by Semisonic. There was no way we were going to make it through this list without a mention of Semisonic so I decided to include their one song that I liked instead of “Closing Time.” You forgot they HAD another song, didn’t you?
“Sunny Came Home” by Shawn Colvin. My morning school bus route driver played the same radio station every morning, and at some point on the 45-minute ride “Sunny Came Home” would play. If you think playing this song and subliminally suggesting “Strike a match go on and do it” to a bunch of junior high and high school kids riding to public school is a bad idea, you would be smarter than our bus driver.
“1979” by Smashing Pumpkins. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, I knew owned a copy of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Incidentally, my 2002 high school yearbook quote was from “Tonight Tonight” and I walked down the aisle at my wedding to the instrumental intro to that album, so my Pumpkin love endured well into the aughts.
“What I Got” by Sublime. The other song that 94.3FM played constantly. I wholeheartedly adored it then, though I like pretty much every other song of theirs better now.
“Mother Mother” by Tracy Bonham. This one is on here just for the “Holy hell, I forgot all about this one” factor.
“California Love” by 2Pac feat. Dr. Dre. Remember that scenario with “Gangsta’s Paradise”? Imagine that except with “California Love.” It was no less absurd 8 years later when I went to a club while home for the summer and the house lost their minds to this song…in a hick bar in Rochester, New Hampshire. Plum Crazy 4 Life, Y’all (omg, that review is so on the money). Seriously, it was jealousy. Why would you live in NH when you could live in California? The only upside is the taxes and maybe getting all the jokes in Granite State of Mind. (That last is totally worth it, actually.)