A few months ago Liv linked to a list of 29 albums that are now 20 years old. I instantly scrolled through and had mega flashbacks. I also had a slight panic attack because these memories feel like yesterday, not 20 years ago. Of course, the beginning of the post had this disclaimer: “Sorry if this makes you feel totally ancient.”
Liv retorted: “It makes me feel f*cking awesome and blessed beyond belief to have been
a teenager during this epic time in music.”
And I concur with Liv.
The mid-’90s were a good time for the teen with an identity crisis. Besides the epic and diverse music, there was a lot of fashion risk (what is T-Boz wearing in the first scene of this video, for example?) Among the mid-’90s trends I am guilty of: Adult-sized onesies aka bodysuits, crop tops, flannel, flame red hair, Dr. Martens boots, oversized starter jackets. I was Angela Chase meets Snoop Dogg.
Let’s go through a select few from the list so I can jump in my time machine back to the moment. Some of these memories are more involved than others; be patient with me!
Nirvana, “In Utero”
This album reminds me of newspaper class. We were allowed to leave campus on the premise of selling ads, but most of what I remember is listening to “All Apologies” on an upperclassman’s tape deck.
The Smashing Pumpkins, “Siamese Dream”
Sitting in my room in the middle of the night writing flow-of-consciousness poetry about a boy who was not my boyfriend. My boyfriend at the time was a clingy guy I only saw during lunch period, and my sole goal was to make it through that time without kissing him. I’m not even sure how we were dating since I avoided him at all costs; needless to say, it was short-lived.
The first time I ever heard Bjork I was in a friend of a friend’s house, hanging out with two cats in a black-lit room. Every time I think of Bjork I think of the little cat hairs on my sweater that glowed bright white in that room.
Radiohead, “Pablo Honey”
Staring at the video for “Creep” playing in the living room at a friend’s house, impatiently waiting for them to get ready so we could go out.
Janet Jackson, “Janet”
Summertime, all the time. On repeat in my Walkman all the way to our family vacation in the mountains.
Counting Crows, “August and Everything After”
Every party ever in high school. One of my best friends, in particular, who would lie on the ground with her head to the speaker of the stereo, belting out every lyric to every song.
The Breeders, “Last Splash”
Car full of girls, all older than me. Screaming at the top of our lungs even though we don’t know the words.
Salt N Pepa, “Very Necessary”
Pretty sure this was the soundtrack to pre-prom festivities. I was too young to go, but I helped my friends get ready.
Mariah Carey, “Musicbox”
Holed up in my room, getting ready for school in the morning, singing along with a hairbrush. Yes, I was that girl.
Pearl Jam, “Vs.”
The fall festival in my hometown. Pretty sure I was roaming around in my flannel and docs.
Snoop Dogg, “Doggystyle”
One memory of this album involved doing donuts in an empty parking lot with one of my friends. But the memory that will forever be stuck in my mind was me walking into the mall record store, buying this CD and trying to hide it from my dad’s eyes because, as he always said, “rap is crap!”
Sitting on my porch after school with a few friends. It was cold outside, but that’s what flannels are for.
Flaming Lips, “Transmissions From the Satellite Heart”
A sleepover at my best friend’s house. We called some older boys we knew and asked them to bring us burritos at 1 a.m. And they did.
The Cranberries, “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?”
A kiss from a crush, while sitting on a short fence post, actually. (Side note: This album is still amazing, front to end.)
Sheryl Crow, “Tuesday Night Music Club”
This album reminds me of my mom. During a period in my life when all she listened to was country music, our paths crossed with Sheryl Crow. I can still hear her singing “I like a good beer buzz early in the morning.”
Tag Team, “Whoomp! There It Is”
Practicing for high-school dance team tryouts. I didn’t make the squad. Sadness!
What about you? Do any of these albums hold special memories?