Throwback Thursday playlist

Aditi Bhandari, Blogger

I have always considered myself a ’90s kid. Granted, I was born right in the middle of the decade and was too young to remember the cultural scene at the time when it actually happened, but since I heard the songs in the early 2000s and watched the TV shows by 2007, I can safely say I grew up in pretty similar circumstances as “real” ’90s kids! This Thursday, The Current gives a shout-out to all the pop icons, one-hit wonders and shows that shaped our childhood and helped us become the cool kids we are today.

1. Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) — Backstreet Boys
It appears the only reason this song appeared on their second album was because the president of their record label thought that saying they were “back” on their first album would be weird because they didn’t really go anywhere. I understand the reasoning behind this decision, but trying to withhold the Boys’ songs from their adoring audience should be a punishable crime.

2. … Baby One More Time — Britney Spears
This, my friends, is it. Britney Spears’ debut single. Not only was it one of the most iconic videos of our generation, but it was also a perfect segue of the ’90s into the early 2000s that basically reinvented the concept of bubblegum pop. Britney also managed to do the previously unimaginable and made a school uniform seem somewhat fashionable.

3. (You Drive Me) Crazy — Britney Spears
True to the tradition followed by all major Britney songs, “(You Drive Me) Crazy” has its own special choreography that even the most amateur of dancers would attempt to do because it’s impossible to listen to it without dancing around. The video also features a cameo from Melissa Joan Hart, who went on to play Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

4. Call Me, Beep Me — “Kim Possible” Soundtrack
Kim Possible was one of the strongest female characters I watched as a child, and she was, therefore, a role model. I may or may not have said things like, “So, what’s the sitch?” and “Soooo not the drama” throughout elementary and middle school. And the distinctive ring of her pager (how quaint!) may or may not have been my message tone for several years.

5. Stacy’s Mom — Fountains Of Wayne
Let’s face it, even though this song is hugely inappropriate for kids, it’s catchy enough to be included in this playlist. I guess it’s just one of those songs that you hear years after your childhood, finally realize what the lyrics mean and go, “Oh. OH.”

6. What Is Love — Haddaway
This is the kind of song that can unite generations, evident by the fact that the moment it plays, everyone and I mean everyone bursts out into song. I found that out the awesome way when it played before the Two Door Cinema Club concert last month!

7. Voulez-Vous — ABBA
Though it’s not regarded as one of ABBA’s most famous songs, “Voulez-Vous is definitely one of themost danceable ones. You don’t even have to know any of the lyrics; just shouting “VOULEZ VOUS? AHA!” at the appropriate times is perfectly acceptable. But I must say the sheer number of metal covers of this song is a bit concerning.

8. “What Dreams Are Made Of — Hilary Duff
If you didn’t know both the lyrics and the choreography to this song, you were a loser. I mean that in the nicest way possible. “Lizzie McGuire” was a cultural phenomenon like no other and continues to appeal to all generations; I mean, who wouldn’t want a cartoon version of themselves narrating their life?! And who wouldn’t want a Gordo? Watch the exceptionally-flawed-yet-absolutely-flawless movie for more context.

9. Juliet — LMNT
I hadn’t heard of this song until very recently (two weeks ago), but I’ve been repeatedly told that it was a huge deal here when people were growing up. For all of you who, like me, have no idea who these people are, their name is pronounced as the word “element” and not “L-M-N-T.”

10. Macarena — Los Del Río
Following its release in 1994, “Macarena” has been played at almost every dance party ever, owing its success not only to its catchy hook but also to its unique choreography. Although the Spanish pop band that made it didn’t follow up the hit with anything as popular as this, the musicians continued to reap its benefits by featuring the original version and various remixes in five of the six albums they released.

11. Mambo No. 5 — Lou Bega
As proof of the fact that you learn something new every day, I just found out that the tune of this song was actually written in 1949 by the Cuban artist Damaso Perez Prado. Bega simply added his own lyrics, and it became an instant hit, also spawning child-friendly covers by Bob The Builder and Radio Disney (which replaced the female names with characters from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse).

12. Dragostea Din Tei — O-Zone
Also known to the world as the “Numa Numa” song, this Romanian pop hit went viral soon after its release in the mid-2000s. Even though it’s probably the most recently-released song on this playlist, it’s also one of the most recognizable. Keep in mind the best way to listen to this song is to sing along with it, especially if it means making garbled phonetic noises that just barely resemble the original lyrics.

13. Pokemon Theme Song — “Pokemon” Soundtrack
Even though my parents never let me buy the trading cards, I did have a poster of all 150 original Pokemon that I stuck on my bedroom wall so that it was the first and last thing I saw everyday. I also know the whole theme song … in 2.5 languages. Although I eventually stopped watching it after the third or fourth season, it’s definitely remained one of my favorite franchises in the world by far.

14. I’ll Be There For You — The Rembrandts
Where are The Rembrandts now? That’s a good question that very few know the answer to. It seems that after the release of the theme song for the smash-hit sitcom “Friends,” they continued making songs, released a Greatest Hits album in 2006 and now write and produce songs for a host of other artists. Despite their success, most people view them as a one-hit wonder; guess no one told them life was going to be this way.

15. Wannabe — Spice Girls
Despite the fact that their thick accents cover up a significant portion of the lyrics, “Wannabe” remains one of the best songs of its time. Another debut hit that catapulted its singers to international acclaim, even with silly made-up lyrics such as “zigazig-AH,”  it managed to become an anthem for female empowerment everywhere.

— Aditi Bhandari