My other fave treasure is the 90's Pop & Culture Box, a magnificent 7-CD set that attempts to be a sample of All The Music of the 90s with a mixture of radio hits and indie songs from various genres. While surprisingly heavy on the lesser known (I've never heard of more than half), I checked it out specifically for some radio hits I enjoyed but don't have, and I've really been enjoying this nostalgia kick.
And with that, my post is suddenly going in a whole different direction than it was going to go an hour ago.
Some of my favorite "rediscovered" hits:
-"Wonderwall," Oasis (rediscovered from like...2011 for me, but that counts since I never added it to my computer, right?)
-"Walking on the Sun," Smashmouth (it's amazing how nostalgic one gets for songs that were once fairly blah, after being assaulted with Rihanna and Katy Perry all the time where those songs once played)
-"Slide," Goo Goo Dolls (see above, except it continues to be ridiculous how many individual Goo Goo Dolls songs I love. I feel like they're what Train is trying but just not managing to be. There's just something about their sound that soothes me. Do you wanna get married, or run away?)
-"The Impression That I Get," Mighty Mighty Bosstones (weird, I always assumed this song was way older. I didn't remember loving it, either, but playing it now I'm just like CHECK OUT THESE CATCHY TRUMPETS, HELL YEAH!) (edit: holy crap, this was on the Digimon soundtrack? Well, now I really have no excuse for thinking this was older...or for not remembering it was on there)
-"Brick," Ben Folds Five (this is one of those sounds I recognize, but never consciously thought of as having a specific title or an artist, or possibly even lyrics. I'm excited to finally like a BFF track, but man, this is a depressing song. Sheeeee's a brick and I'm drowning slowly...)
-"Bitch," Meredith Brooks (FACT: I want to loathe this song. SECOND FACT: this is one of the first songs I ever heard on the radio, thanks to the bus driver's poor choice in radio stations, and one of the maybe 5 or 6 that made a really strong impression on me before middle school, probably via overplay. It kind of got burned into my brain; every time I hear it I'm 9 years old again and "radio music" is an exotic novelty).
-"Sex and Candy," Marcy Playground (same as the above; I want to hate its gross title/chorus line, but even though this is more middle school era for me, the non-gross opening lyrics and the voice are still really, stupidly recognizable and catchy)
-"You Gotta Be," Des'ree (you gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser...). I had completely forgotten this existed until I heard it, and then it was like getting slapped upside the head with Memories. I think this may have been one of my Early Radio Songs, too. With a much better message.
-"What It's Like," Everlast (neither title nor artist meant anything to me, and then I played it and it was like OH YEAH, THIS SOUND! "god forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes..." I always kind of pictured a stoner or reggae-style guy shuffling along. I refuse to believe this guy is white. Also wow, the second verse in this song is about getting an abortion and there is just a whole lot of really dark stuff throughout the rest hidden behind an easygoing sound. OKAY THEN.)
-"Kiss Me," Sixpence None the Richer. I still find this to be the sweetest, most innocent little song. I literally pictured preteens, 15-year-olds at best)
-"Run-Around," Blues Traveler. Another one where title/artist meant nothing to me, but I definitely remember the wild harmonica.
-"Under the Bridge," Red Hot Chili Peppers. I have always loved the lyric "Sometimes I feel like my only friend is the city I live in, the city of angels," but I never knew it was from this, nor that this was the "I don't ever wanna feel, like I did that day" song.
-"Hey Jealousy," Gin Blossoms. (I have had this song stuck in my head ALL DAY. "Tomorrow we can drive around this town, and let the cops chase us around...")
-"Lovefool" by The Cardigans, which sounds EXACTLY like a song that I was pretty sure by No Doubt? But Google keeps dancing around the issue, with some people saying they've covered it and other people just going, "Oh, I thought this was a No Doubt song; I guess I was wrong!", and I can find no concrete evidence that No Doubt has actually covered this song and called it Lovefool, as opposed to " they may have covered it and called it something like "Say That You Love Me," but even that is unclear.
-"Detachable Penis" is a song on this compilation. This is a very literal title. It might be the most bizarre song in existence.
-I will never believe that "Walking in Memphis" is not 100% Cher's song. I don't care if Marc Cohn came first, it sounds WRONG every time it comes on the radio sung by a man. This is Cher's song. The X-Files told me so. In the 90s, even.
-OH CRAP, I can no longer hear "U Can't Touch This" unless it's sung by Kevin McHale. MC Hammer who? Looking for a nerdy white boy sound, too young and thoroughly unconvincing for this bluster, kthnxbai. Oh, Glee. What will I do without you to teach me how music should really sound?
RANDOM FUN STUFF
-There will never not be a time when I am not WILDLY entertained by the ridiculousness of Snow's "Informer." I am so happy HIMYM introduced it to my life and I finally took up the initiative to look up the music video.
-Sometimes I try to imagine a world where no one has ever heard "Tubthumping," and I can't, I just can't do it. How would you live without knowing that I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down?? (fact: my best friend is the one who introduced me to this song, so a little part of me will always here her not-yet-12-year-old voice proudly reciting each of the drinks he takes. I always think of it as a rural sound, right alongside "American Pie," because of that. Also the first time I heard the word "lager"! True story)
-I'm also not sure how we lived before the ability to create ridiculous montages set to "I'm Too Sexy." But my favorite one will always be Hercules, Kevin Sorbo version.
-Baby Got Back is a song I remember very fondly from soccer practice, for some reason. One girl was really good at lip-syncing/booty shaking, despite being very petite. I still haven't let Glee test out their arrangement on my ears; this glorious crack (no pun intended) must be preserved in its original incarnation.
-Has anyone here heard of "My Sister" by Juliana Hatfield? It's the only one of the Unknowns that I've really enjoyed so far, and it seems sufficiently radio friendly that I feel like it might have gotten played -- it reminds me a little of the sound of the women who cover "What I Like About You," or Kendall Payne's "Supermodels" -- but maybe it's one of those indie songs that went under the radar.
-Apparently I can no longer hear "Groove is in the Heart" without seeing that awesome Barney/Robin routine to it. God, that was an amazing bit of choreography/HIMYM canon.
-There are exactly 4 songs in this entire set that I already owned: "One of Us" by Joan Osborne, "I'll Be There For You" by the Remembrandts, "Carnival" by Natalie Merchant, and "Who Will Save Your Soul?" by Jewel, so obviously, those are the best.
(oh wait, 5. Overlooked MMMBop. Incidentally, that's another one of my few Early Radio songs)