Playlist of the Month: Break Out The Cassettes, It’s 1995

We’re smack dab in the middle of Clueless Week, and to help you get more in the mood of 20 years ago – and get through hump day – today, we’re transporting you back two decades with the power of music.

Songs have this ability to bring you back to a certain time and event in your life, whether it be good or bad. As I was compiling this playlist, I realized that 1995 was one of the first years I became a *fan* of music and certain artists, as opposed to just singing along with songs on the radio. For better or worse, the songs I heard in 1995 helped form my musical tastes today, and help me reminisce about my younger years when my extent of my worries was weather Mrs. Green was going to be in a good mood in class that day or not.

So here are some of our favorite tunes to bring you back to the Clueless era, and get ready to play them on your new-fangled computers and streaming services.

Enjoy the entire playlist on Spotify HERE!

Traci’s Picks

Another Night by Real McCoy

Kids, dance music was big in the 90s. Not EDM music of today with your Calvin Harrises and Aviciis and Tiestos. But electronica, Euro-inspired dance music that The Night at the Roxbury guys would groove to in the clubs. It’s a sound that’s so specifically 90s, and I remember this legitimately being my favorite song that I would write down in personality tests.

This Is How We Do It by Montell Jordan

Although this was arguably Montell Jordan’s biggest hit in 1995, I would also argue that it’s a hip-hop classic, and also one of my go-to karaoke songs.

Switch by TLC

CrazySexyCool/Waterfalls was one of the biggest albums of the 90s, with the record over two years on the Billboard album charts. It was a career-defining CD for the ladies, and was basically a soundtrack to my life when I was a kid. In fifth grade, me and three of my friends decided to enter our school talent show, and we decided to do a dance to this B-Side track. As we were practicing in my friend’s basement, I suggested someone move forward during Left Eye’s rap and basically lip sync to it. Since it was my idea, I had to do it. We got like second or third place. I believe we lost to a male-cousin team who lip synced to Ike and Tina Turner’s Proud Mary. One of them was dressed in drag. This was 5th grade.

Always Be My Baby by Mariah Carey

I think I was first introduced to Mariah when I procured Music Box on cassette, and I subsequently got Daydream – I want to say by borrowing it from the library? Anyways, I listened to it non-stop, and Always Be My Baby was probably my fave jam out of hit after hit on that record. Can we just get this Mariah back, please?

Head Over Feet by Alanis Morissette

For a long period of time, I used to tell people the first CD I ever bought was Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill. It was a stock answer for anyone around my age, because that’s how big of an album it was. In reality, the first CD I ever bought was Weird Al Yankovic’s Bad Hair Day, strictly because of his parody of Coolio’s Gangster’s Paradise – Amish Paradise. I thought I was cool. Jagged Little Pill was actually a Christmas gift in ’95, and when I eventually got around to listening to it, turns out it wasn’t that bad.

Honorable Mentions: Peaches by The Presidents of the United States of America, Stay by Lisa LoebOne of Us by Joan Osborne

 Molly’s Picks

Wonderwall by Oasis

I was so young, I didn’t even know that none of this made sense.  Radio was more segmented in 1995 (before it was all, like, radio conglomerates?) so you had your station that strictly played “alternative” versus those that played pop. It was really tough for us fourth graders who were really into Mariah AND Oasis trying to hover in front of the radio with a cassette tape to record our favorite songs.

Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio

I was obsessed with this song. And like Traci, I was even MORE into Amish Paradise. I thought Weird Al was hilarious, and what can I say, I was going through a phase where I thought the Amish were awesome. But in real life, I lived in a city neighborhood. Some might even call it a Gangsta’s Paradise. By the way, watch Dangerous Minds – the movie this is from – for a very different perspective on 1995 teens than you get in Clueless.

Life, In A Nutshell by Barenaked Ladies

Barenaked Ladies were huge in our area, and with my sibs especially. I’m still jealous that one of my brothers got to hang out with them backstage, and it’s been 15 years. The 1994 album Maybe You Should Drive is filled with 90s nuggets like Alternative Girlfriend (referencing a girl in an all-girl band who has a second-hand futon), Jane (mentioning the fairytale romance between … Juliana Hatfield and Evan Dando, of course. What, you don’t remember that love story for the ages? Evan “Lemonheads” Dando!), and Life, In A Nutshell.

Big Poppa by Notorious B.I.G.

You can’t talk about mid-90s music without mentioning the big players in the rap game: Biggie and Tupac. You know what’s kind of amazing? How old-school 80s, early 90s rap had evolved to this by 1995, and it still sounds like it could be released today, maybe minus the synth.

Here Comes The Hotstepper by Ini Kamoze

I am including this strictly so that I can explain that I just learned last year that the lyrics are NOT “I’m the leprechaun gangster.” But for some cultural context, the horror movie Leprechaun was released in ’93 and leprechauns in general were much more intimidating in the ’90s.

Also, I just learned that this song is called Here Comes The Hotstepper now. Right now. While making this playlist.

Honorable Mentions: Don’t Take It Personal by Monica, Run-Around by Blues Traveler, I Believe by Blessid Union Of Souls, Roll To Me by Del Amitri (I just learned ~5 years ago that it’s not “the right time, the wrong me”), Waterfalls by TLC, Fantasy by Mariah  … I can’t stop. I could list every song from 1995. What a year.
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Playlist of the Month: Canadians We’re Thankful For

Our neighbor to the north. Our frigid-weather friends. The land of maple and honey. Ladies and gentlemen, today is all about Canada. Or more specifically, Canadian Thanksgiving.

Like most things, Thanksgiving is a situation where Canada looked at what the U.S. had done, considered it carefully, then did it more rationally and logically. An earlier Thanksgiving means that you don’t have to travel in a snowstorm, that you can play that post-dinner football game without your fingers turning blue, and that you have an entire extra month-and-a-half between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So today, when Canadians give thanks, we give thanks for Canadians.

Traci’s Picks

Nelly Furtado – Say It Right

Important: where is Nelly Furtado? In Canada? Am I missing something? I know she had a kid but like, that was a while ago, right? Am I just not hearing her new stuff? IS SHE JUST LIKE A BIRD AND JUST WANTED TO FLY AWAY?? Well she needs to come back and make more songs like Say It Right, because this song was my JAM  back in ’06.

soulDecision – Ooh It’s Kinda Crazy

If you’re not Canadian or a die hard TRL teenybopper like I was, you might not know who soulDecision was. The band made of boys (*not a boy band) had a – you guessed it – soul sound to their music, and it was more along that genre, despite the fact they were white dudes from Vancouver. Not gonna lie, I sometimes listen to this song and their other hit Faded, because I think they’re just that good.

Drake – Find Your Love

Ah, Aubrey. From wheelchair-bound Degrassi star to hip-hop superstar, you have done your country proud, sir. Can’t say the same for other current popular artists *cough*bieber*cough. It’s hard for people to take you seriously if they know you as the disabled kid from the most famous Canadian teen drama, so props to Drake for proving to everyone that a half-Jewish kid from Toronto can make it.

The Weeknd – Wicked Games

I had always categorized The Weeknd as an R&B singer, but according to Wikipedia, he’s a “PBR&B” artist, which is a term coined by music journalists to describe a new subgenre of R&B that uses more synth and indie beach rock sounds. Also, PBR stands for what you think it does – Pabst Blue Ribbon. Aka the beer of hipsters. Aka PBR&B is slang for hipster R&B (think Frank Ocean, Theophilus London, Jhene Aiko, Miguel, etc.). I’m learning so much! Anyways, it doesn’t matter what genre The Weeknd is, he is dope and has great music, including this song that sounds incredibly sexy but I’m pretty sure it has to do with drugs.

Robin Sparkles & Jessica Glitter – The Beaver Song

Let’s Go To The Mall? Played out. Sandcastles in the Sand? Overrated. The Beaver Song is where it’s at. You guys watched Space Teens as a kid, right? Starring Robin Sparkles, Jessica Glitter, and Canada’s favourite dad Alan Thicke? Of course you did. And what is better than a song aboot friendship? Absolutely nothing.

Molly’s Picks

Barenaked Ladies – Jane

In the 90s, BNL was a big favorite in our hometown – probably because we were right across the lake from Toronto.  I pondered over which BNL song would be the most Canadian, and settled on the one named after a girl named after a Toronto intersection. You can also listen to If I Had A Million Dollars, because they say “chesterfield.”

Alanis Morissette – Head Over Feet

I really could have kept going with the 90s artists: Bryan Adams, Sarah McLaughlin, Crash Test Dummies. The 90s, with all of their flannel, outdoor activewear, and left-leaning social policies, were probably the U.S.A.’s most Canadian decade, so this comes as no surprise. We really fell head over feet for you, Canada, didn’t we?

Neil Young – Rockin’ In The Free World

The freest world of all? Why, that would be Canada, of course.

Tegan And Sara – Back In Your Head

When I lived 10 minutes from the Canadian border, I never  knew when I was listening to Canadian radio and when I was listening to American radio. But years later I’ve learned that some albums I thought were ubiquitous – like The Con – were only all over the Canadian airwaves.  I’m still thankful for these Canadians, because a few of their tracks are on rotation at my gym and it’s some of the only good music they play.

Zit Remedy – Everybody Wants Something

Degrassi is a Canadian treasure. This song is not.

Canada Can Keep The Following Artists:

Avril Lavigne, Justin Bieber, Nickleback, Celine Dion, Sarah McLaughlin.

But thanks for these guys:

Joni Mitchell, deadmau5, Gordon Lightfoot, I guess Shania Twain. In exchange for your troubles, you can have this fine piece of Canadian art by my small nephew. The tests haven’t come back, but I’m pretty sure this kid came out Canadian.