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The blog meme to make you shudder

This blog meme is floating around asking people to go here, find the top 100 songs from the year they graduated high school, and list them crossing out those you hated and underlining the ones you really liked.

Most of mine, not too surprisingly, are cross-outs; songs that do well on the charts rarely appeal to me. Especially by 1997, when all the early-to-mid 90s good music was over. But here goes:

1. Candle In The Wind 1997, Elton John – I liked the original but the remake in the wake of Princess Diana’s death was cheap and exploitive.
2. Foolish Games / You Were Meant For Me, Jewel
3. I’ll Be Missing You, Puff Daddy and Faith Evans – this was when he was still called “Puff Daddy” and was just discovering how filthy-rich you can make it in the music biz by ripping off someone else’s work. At least Elton John (see #1) was only plagiarizing himself.
4. Un-Break My Heart, Toni Braxton
5. Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down, Puff Daddy
6. I Believe I Can Fly, R. Kelly
7. Don’t Let Go (Love), En Vogue
8. Return Of The Mack, Mark Morrison
9. How Do I Live, LeAnn Rimes
10. Wannabe, Spice Girls
– I actually had a whole website at the time dedicated to my hatred of the Spice Girls… and of the Backstreet Boys (see #11).
11. Quit Playing Games (With My Heart), Backstreet Boys
12. MMMBop, Hanson
– a classic SNL skit defined “torture” as being forced to listen to this repeatedly.
13. For You I Will, Monica
14. You Make Me Wanna…, Usher

15. Bitch, Meredith Brooks – Yep, that’s me
16. Nobody Keith Sweat
17. Semi-Charmed Life, Third Eye Blind
18. Barely Breathing, Duncan Sheik
19. Hard To Say I’m Sorry, Az Yet Featuring Peter Cetera
20. Mo Money Mo Problems, Notorious B.I.G.

21. The Freshmen, Verve Pipe
22. I Want You, Savage Garden
23. No Diggity, BLACKstreet Featuring Dr. Dre
24. I Belong To You (Every Time I See Your Face), Rome
25. Hypnotize, Notorious B.I.G.
26. Every Time I Close My Eyes, Babyface
27. In My Bed, Dru Hill
28. Say You’ll Be There, Spice Girls
29. Do You Know (What It Takes), Robyn
30. 4 Seasons Of Loneliness, Boyz II Men
31. G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T., Changing Faces
32. Honey, Mariah Carey
33. I Believe In You And Me, Whitney Houston
34. Da’ Dip, Freaknasty
35. 2 Become 1, Spice Girls

36. All For You, Sister Hazel
37. Cupid, 112
38. Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?, Paula Cole
39. Sunny Came Home, Shawn Colvin – this won the Grammy that year if I recall correctly; I still can’t figure out why, cause it’s fairly mediocre
40. It’s Your Love, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
41. Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit, Gina G
42. Mouth, Merril Bainbridge
43. All Cried Out, Allure Featuring 112
44. I’m Still In Love With You, New Edition
45. Invisible Man, 98 Degrees
46. Not Tonight, Lil’ Kim
47. Look Into My Eyes, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
48. Get It Together, 702
49. All By Myself, Celine Dion
50. It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, Celine Dion
– it’s all coming back to me just how much I can’t stand Celine Dion
51. My Love Is The Shhh!, Somethin’ For The People
52. Where Do You Go, No Mercy
53. I Finally Found Someone, Barbra Streisand and Bryan Adams
– normally I like Bryan Adams but come on
54. I’ll Be, Foxy Brown Featuring Jay-Z
55. If It Makes You Happy, Sheryl Crow
56. Never Make A Promise, Dru Hill
57. When You Love A Woman, Journey
58. Up Jumps Da Boogie, Magoo And Timbaland
59. I Don’t Want To / I Love Me Some Him, Toni Braxton

60. Everyday Is A Winding Road, Sheryl Crow
61. Cold Rock A Party, Mc Lyte
62. Pony, Ginuwine

63. Building A Mystery, Sarah McLachlan – I’m a fan but this isn’t one of my fave songs
64. I Love You Always Forever, Donna Lewis
65. Your Woman, White Town
66. C U When U Get There, Coolio

67. Change The World, Eric Clapton
68. My Baby Daddy, B-Rock and The Bizz
69. Tubthumping, Chumbawamba
– gave Hanson a run for their money for most annoyingly awful song of the year.
70. Gotham City, R. Kelly
71. Last Night, Az Yet
72. ESPN Presents The Jock Jam, Various Artists
73. Big Daddy, Heavy D
74. What About Us, Total
75. Smile, Scarface
76. What’s On Tonight, Montell Jordan

77. Secret Garden, Bruce Springsteen
78. The One I Gave My Heart, w Aaliyah
79. Fly Like An Eagle, Seal
80. No Time, Lil’ Kim
81. Naked Eye, Luscious Jackson
82. Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix), Los Del Rio
– was this the remake? I remember the Macarena being earlier than 1997.
83. On and On, Erykah Badu
84. Don’t Wanna Be A Player, Joe
85. I Shot The Sheriff, Warren G
86. You Should Be Mine (Don’t Waste Your Time), Brian McKnight Featuring Mase
87. Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Madonna
88. Someone, SWV
89. Go The Distance, Michael Bolton
90. One More Time, Real McCoy
91. Butta Love, Next
92. Coco Jamboo, Mr. President
93. Twisted, Keith Sweat
94. Barbie Girl, Aqua

95. When You’re Gone / Free To Decide, Cranberries
96. Let Me Clear My Throat, DJ Kool
97. I Like It, Blackout Allstars
98. You’re Makin’ Me High / Let It Flow, Toni Braxton
99. You Must Love Me, Madonna
100. Let It Go, Ray J

As I suspected, that’s 85 strikeouts on a list of 100 songs. Of those I didn’t strike, I was generously indifferent in several cases and only found two I could tentatively underline; even those were a stretch.

I move that 1997 be nominated the worst year in music history.

Update: On second thought, there was plenty of excellent music in 1997. None of it made the charts, though. But I was having a very good music year in my personal history then. I attended my first three Collective Soul concerts that year, for example. The problem wasn’t with the music, it was with the charts. That’s my theory.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • JSinger 08.29.05, 11:22 PM

    OMG, that’s absolutely awful! I wouldn’t have been nearly as generous as you. (Although I Believe I Can Fly would have been my number 1, with Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) at #2.)

    My 1986 list at:

  • DaninVan 08.30.05, 5:46 AM

    I could only find 7 that I remember liking then and still like (I’m a sucker for novelty songs; remember Cheryl Crowes big breakthrough?)
    I’m with Sari on ‘the good stuff isn’t necessarily on the charts’…or at least the pop music ones. There’s been great stuff from all genres, over the years, but you’ve gotta go looking for it.

  • Scott Adler 08.30.05, 10:35 AM

    I truly feel sorry for you.

    I graduated high school in 1966. Beach Boys, Beatles, Stones, Supremes, Kinks, Hollies, Peter Paul and Mary, Dylan…

    Each better than the other. I have a suggestion — Pretend you’re my age and listen to 60’s oldies!

  • segacs 08.30.05, 2:37 PM

    I do listen to 60s oldies all the time. (Do I really have to pretend I’m your age, though? :P)

  • John Palubiski 08.30.05, 3:46 PM

    Had you asked for songs from ’77, I might have been able to contribute….

  • Dr_Funk 08.30.05, 6:06 PM

    The Macarena kicked around for a year or two on the Latin and World music charts before it made the Pop charts in North America. And there were other versions, but the Los Del Rio version listed there was the one that North Americans heard.
    ’97 was a bad year though….

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