Good Day, my dearest reader. This fine Wednesday I have quite the treat for you! Lover Fo’ Life, my tonsil hockey partner of over 11 years and world-class curmudgeon, has written a post! I think it goes without being said that I, the Crib Keeper do not endorse any of the views expressed below. (Well, maybe the R.E.M dig…)
The Decade That Music Died
This post is in response to a request from Mad Dad to guest post an elaboration of a comment I made on Cribsy’s post here.
My comment was simple: “Music = the worst part of the 90s”
I’ll start by saying the “high school years” are an important time when most young people in the western world start to develop opinions that follow them into adulthood. It’s when we start to have “tastes” that last a lifetime. It’s also a time when we fetch around for different styles and influences from month to month and change our labels with little consequence. I’ve known more than a few “jock” turned “redneck” turned “goth” types. I can only assume everyone’s had the same experience. I am spectacularly un-special. By College age most of this has settled down and you are who you are or at least there’s a rough outline of who you’ll be. To my mind, a big part of this metamorphosis has got to be music. Sure there are other factors like family, social status, geography, etc….but music is definitely a big influence.
When my mother was in high school she could look forward to new albums from the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and other, now legendary, bands whose influence and consequence for modern popular music are without question. Other generations have also had bands that could serve as cultural touchstones for the mood and attitude of their shared experience.
I attended high school from the fall of 1991 through the spring of 1995. Idealistic, passionate, and ready to groove to sweet tunes my parents just didn’t “get”. What did I find to inspire me to greatness? A giant sucking sound…coming from the radio. It wasn’t only the radio…my prom theme was “Hakuna Matata”. But the focus here is music…so we’ll stick to that. Because of my un-specialness my assumption is naturally that most people will agree with me on what follows, but you never know. I don’t generally ever see it referred to in popular media so maybe I’m all alone here. If so, I apologize in advance for wasting your time.
I’ll also say I have blocked most of this garbage from my memory. It comes really easy for me…I’m a natural “sluffer” as Cribsy calls it. She can name every teacher from pre-school on, my wife recalls every Christmas gift, and can sing or hum almost every TV theme song for the last 25 years.
On the other hand, I can barely name the schools I went to and none of the friends or teachers, up through and including college. I just can’t keep that stuff in my brain. As a result, I’ve used the good old Billboard 100 from each year to serve as a crutch.
Now, on with the point-proving!
1991 brought you these gems:
- Color Me Badd – “I wanna sex you up”
- Extreme – “More than words”
- Bette Midler – “From a distance”
And before you think I’m just cherry picking the crap these were all in the top 15 songs of the year. Talk about make me want to fall “from a distance” above the earth to a violent death. This time period saw a juxtaposition of crappy dance music, sappy power ballads, and unsophisticated hip-hop sprinkled with a little douche-rock for good measure. R.E.M, I’m lookin at you.
1992 the (s)hits kept coming:
- Kris Kross – “Jump”
- Jon Secada – “Just another day”
- Right Said Fred – “I’m too sexy”
- Billy Ray Cyrus – “Achy Breaky Heart”
Same deal…these were all TOP songs people. Lame kiddie hiphop, fem Latin ballads, and two “joke” songs. Good job proving my point, 1992.
1993 despair sets in:
- Tag Team – “Whoomp! (There it is)”
- Wreckx-N-Effect – “Rump Shaker”
- Snow – “Informer”
- Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle – “A Whole New World”
Yes you have it right…that song from Aladdin was in the top for the year. If you’ll recall Disney was cranking the hits for a few years back then. They have since wrung every dime out of these movies, made 684 sequels and build numerous terrible rides dedicated to them. And of course they trot them out every couple of years with some sort of digitally re-mastered “super idiot” version. I was not amused in high school….hell, I’m still not amused.
1994 Ace of Base in your face:
- Ace of Base – “The Sign”
- Ace of Base – “All that she wants”
- Ace of Base – “Dont turn around”
FYI: I didn’t leave the top 10 songs to create that short list of…whatever you’d call that.
1995 its all over and never got better:
- TLC – “Waterfalls”
- Boyz II Men – “On Bended Knee”
- Hootie & the Blowfish – “Hold My Hand”
So what did I listen to? Well mostly the sound track of Apocalypse Now, Pink Floyd, Best of Janis Joplin, and Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge over Trouble Waters. I made it through and feel like I’m fairly well adjusted….but its definitely not because the 90’s did me any favors.