Multiple entries by Third Eye Blind, Beyoncé when she was just a child of destiny, Notorious B.I.G., Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes, and Kurt Cobain? Welcome to the 90s, dude.
- SUSAN EGAN (AS MEGARA) — “I Won’t Say (I’m In Love)” — as described by som-mai nguyen
- PULP — “Babies” — as described by frederick robson
- TRACY CHAPMAN— “Give Me One Reason” —as described by lindsay mewes
- THIRD EYE BLIND — “Never Let You Go” — as described by kelsey dayton, benina stern, and nora tjossem
- NIRVANA — “Come As You Are” — as described by siena streiber
- DESTINY’S CHILD — “Say My Name” — as described by elisabeth dee
- THIRD EYE BLIND — “Semi-Charmed Life” — as described by rachel grau
- PLUMTREE — “Scott Pilgrim” — as described by jackson wiley roach
- BOYZ II MEN — “Water Runs Dry” — as described by katie straub
- NOTORIOUS B.I.G. ft. MA$E & PUFF DADDY — “Mo Money Mo Problems” — as described by tiffany lam
- COCTEAU TWINS – “Cherry Coloured Funk” – as described by editor britty newell
- TLC — “No Scrubs” — as described by editor bojan srb
- OUTKAST — ¨Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik¨ — as described by editor lawrence neil
- OASIS — “Wonderwall” — as described by e.i.c. katharine schwab
STREAM IT HERE
SUSAN EGAN (AS MEGARA) — “I Won’t Say (I’m In Love)” — as described by som-mai nguyen
One of the most underrated musical monologues sung by one of the most underrated female leads in one of the most underrated Disney movies—ever. If you haven’t already, check out the European French and Cantonese versions for bonus points. (But full disclosure: it did take a lot of resolve to not choose “Reflection.” Sorry, Mulan. You’re still my hero. <3)
PULP — “Babies” — as described by frederick robson
In England, the mid-nineties meant britpop. Though Pulp were part of britpop, they always seemed slightly at the fringe; Suede started it all and the infamous chart showdown was between Oasis and Blur, not Pulp. In retrospect, that doesn’t really matter. Jarvis Cocker’s awkward lanky dancing is still beguiling, as are the lightly strummed guitars. Best of all are Jarvis’ seedy tales of teenage sexuality: “I wanted to see as well as hear, so I hid inside her wardrobe.” Over twenty years on, Pulp still delight.
TRACY CHAPMAN— “Give Me One Reason” —as described by lindsay mewes
Question: What’s better—90s music or 90s music videos?
Answer: I don’t know. Ask the guy in the “crowd” at the beginning of this gem.
Tracy Chapman, always and forever.
THIRD EYE BLIND — “Never Let You Go” — as described by kelsey dayton, benina stern & nora tjossem (ed note: usually we only accept a submission once, but it’s a 90s playlist and there’s no such thing as too much Third Eye Blind on a 90s playlist.)
KD — This song is being pleasantly sunburnt and squinting outside, knowing in the back of your head that both these things are bad for your long-term health but also not caring enough to change anything because it’s so nice. And it just perfectly captures that happy-restlessness-bordering-on-angst that I associate with the nineties, which is pretty silly cuz I was barely six when that whole decade ended (I didn’t want purple popsicles, Mom! UGH the existential agony!). Maybe this means I watch too much Friends.
BS & NT — The 1990s: a time of the stupid things, the mood rings, the bracelets, and the beads (thank you, Third Eye Blind). Here is a list of things that our 1999 selves never caught in “Never Let You Go” because we were too busy trying not to die of dysentery while braving that cyber Oregon Trail.
the problematically kitschy (or kitchschily problematic?) music video
the line “turn around your back on each other” and its grammatical construction. seriously, what does that line mean (counterargument: could it be “turn around, you’re back on each other”?)
the similes “pulsing like a sonar” and “the girl is like a sunburn” seriously, what does this mean?
finishing the song on a spur of the moment rap (or maybe spoken word?) verse with a fade-out → bold move
the band’s hairstyles
- the year 1999 and our lives. before the brave new world of the 2000s and when things began to have consequences.
NIRVANA — “Come As You Are” — as described by siena streiber
As I lay in bed with a fever, I vaguely remember having a dream in which I performed an acoustic cover of this song at a concert. Why this song? Not really sure. But I took it as a sign that it was time to listen to some more Nirvana. I have always loved the brilliance and simplicity of this song, and for those of you who don’t listen to Nirvana or never have, please enjoy.
DESTINY’S CHILD — “Say My Name” — as described by elisabeth dee
At the top of my “Angsty 90s Sleepover” playlist is Destiny’s Child, otherwise known as Beyoncé and Those Other People *insert 20-somethings booing me here* (Ed: Boooo). This song is my favorite to listen to when I’m dreaming of satin cami belly shirts, music videos shot solely from the perspective of an ant, and a no bras in sight.
THIRD EYE BLIND — “Semi-Charmed Life” — as described by rachel grau
You saw the title of this song and you already caught yourself singing the zesty “doo doo doo’s” that bring you back to angstier middle school/high school days when you discovered this song about a decade late. Hopefully those were the only words you knew, seeing as this seemingly upbeat alternative rock anthem is actually about a horrible descent into meth addiction and… other stuff. Thankfully, rapidly sung lyrics and a catchy, distracting melody hide the song’s darker meaning and make it probably the most explicit song that you got away with putting in your class’s spirit week video.
Here’s to the songs whose lyrics we put on our myspace pages (*the sky it was gold, it was rose*).
PLUMTREE — “Scott Pilgrim” — as described by jackson wiley roach
This is the song the comic books / movie are based on. It’s repetitive in a way that is both sort of meditative and also rock and roll. I feel pretty weird having just typed “rock and roll.” Should I have spelled it with an ’n’ ?
BOYZ II MEN — “Water Runs Dry” — as described by katie straub
In 1994, if ever my father tucked me into the car seat of his Ford Windstar mini-van, he continuously looped Boyz II Men’s evidently timeless album II as we cruised – arguably the greatest imparting of music wisdom this 90s kid could ever have received. That seamless, three-octave-reaching verse from Shawn Stockman at 1:58? Yeah – water may run dry, but mmm! I’ve got tears in my eyes.
NOTORIOUS B.I.G. ft. MA$E & PUFF DADDY — “Mo Money Mo Problems” — as described by tiffany lam
This goes out to my fellow Stanfordians struggling to find a financially stable job. It’s okay because MO MONEY MO PROBLEMS!!!!$$!!!
COCTEAU TWINS – “Cherry Coloured Funk” – as described by editor britty newell
Do not let the name deceive you. This is a swirly girly dip in a cosmic hot tub full of cloves (and dead mosquitos), a velvet elevator straight from hell, funky only in terms of the way your mouth feels after gagging on this sonic jawbreaker. Prepare your nail beds for this tingler, galz.
TLC — “No Scrubs” — as described by editor bojan srb
No Scrubs never stopped giving me life, so I can’t really think of it as retro-chic. One of my earliest memories as a child is me trying to stage the video in my room when I was seven (barring the gigantic swing, I succeeded) and I’d bet good money that is when my folks started to realize I would grow up to want to be… in show business.
OUTKAST — ¨Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik¨ — as described by editor lawrence neil
This rich, complex, ¨South got something to say¨ album marked both the beginning of then-teenage Outkast’s ten year reign over the gangstafunk world, and the first of six consecutive Christmases that I asked Santa for a white Kangol hat. The 90s, man.
OASIS — “Wonderwall” — as described by e.i.c. katharine schwab
Throwback to standing in line at Disneyland with your best friend, sharing headphones, to your six grade crush who kissed you in his bedroom to Oasis’s wailing lyrics, to the middle school dances where slow dancing was chaperoned by adults brandishing balloons.