A few weeks ago, Pru did a fantastic meme that piqued my interest.
Here's how it works. You visit the Billboard charts and for each year you were in high school, you list the songs that correspond to the following categories: Favorite at the Time, Actual Best, Worst, Zeitgeist, and WTF.
I graduated from high school in 1994, 14 long years ago, so I decided to complete this meme for 1991, 92, 93, and 94. Like Pru, my musical tastes often deviated from Top 40, especially in my later high school years, but plenty of the popular songs resonated with me as well.
Favorite at the Time: Losing My Religion by R.E.M
Out of Time was one of my favorite albums in high school. My sister and I were obsessed with MTV music videos and going through a particularly cruel phase when we jokingly asked our mom to show us how to dance like Michael Stipe in this song's video. Here's a refresher, in case you need it. She took us seriously, and demonstrated it with reckless abandon.
Actual Best: Wicked Game by Chris Issak
I will confess to liking this song. His voice was hot. And the video was hawter.
But honestly, the best song for this year is "Smells Like Teen Spirit." No suprise, but it's not on the Billboard list.
Worst: Rico Suave by Gerardo
"That's the price you pay for being a gigilo."
Zeitgeist: Shiny Happy People by R.E.M
Gas was $1.14/gallon and Roseanne was still on tv. Good times.
WTF: I Touch Myself by Divinyls
A song about mas*turbation? Awesome. But also, seriously?
Favorite at the Time: Stay by Shakespeare's Sister
I was heavy into teen-angst music in 1992, and while this song pre-dates my goth stage, its morose vibe intrigued me: "I'll go anywhere with you. Just wrap me up in chains."
Actual Best: All I Want by Toad The Wet Sprocket
I didn't discover the Toad until college, but something about their music really appealed to me. Are they even together anymore? Anyone? Anyone?
Worst: Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus
I bought this album. I am not proud. Not.Proud.At.All.
Zeitgeist: Baby Got Back by Sir Mix A-lot
Men everywhere were made to reassess the quality of their woman's behind. The year's most important work, by far.
WTF: Warm it Up by Kriss Kross
They wore their clothes backwards. WTF, indeed.
Favorite at the Time: I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston
I really stopped listening to Top 40 this year, as my interests began to move left of center (NIN, Sisters of Mercy, The Smiths), so this pick was a closet favorite. Please do not tell anyone I loved this song. You will ruin my street cred and I will hunt you down.
Actual Best: Ordinary World by Duran Duran
Second only to "Rio" in my book of favorite Duran Duran tunes.
Worst: Nothin' My Love Can't Fix by Joey Lawrence
Can someone please tell me why "Whoa!" Joey Lawrence tried to launch a singing career?
Zeitgeist: Whoomp! (There It Is) by Tag Team
This song had staying power long beyond 1993. Tell me you haven't heard this played at just about every sporting event you've attended. Who knew?
WTF: Informer by Snow
Does anyone honestly know any of the words beyond "InforMER"? If so, email me!
Favorite at the Time: Stay (I Missed You) by Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories
This song pretty much personified my summer between high school and college. My boyfriend had just dumped me. I rocked this tune from my car's in-trunk 10-disc CD player in the wee hours of the night as I drove past his house sobbing my brokenhearted brains out. But we all did that in high school, right? What do you mean, not you?
Actual Best: Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm by Crash Test Dummies
Loved them because I had absolutely no idea what they were singing about half the time. They had the same appeal that Tori Amos has.
Worst: I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) by Meat Loaf
Meatloaf = ick. I will admit to singing "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" at my wedding reception though. I was drunk. That's my story, anyway.
Zeitgeist: Loser by Beck
Although my relatives will attribute my anti-establishment ways to my having graduated from a "liberal" college, my roots actually formed during my later high school years. This song was one of my favorites from the 90s.
WTF: Said I Loved You...But I Lied by Michael Bolton
Is this a love song? I was never quite able to figure this out, even after many a lonely hour holed up in my blacklight-lit bedroom pouring over the lyrics.
If anyone decides to do this meme, please let me know so I can read your responses.