I hope you’ve enjoyed the break, because we’re in for a MAMMOTH POST.
I have recently rediscovered this:
Which is a CD my Dad made for me in 1999 or 2000. I was around 7-8. This was before burning CDs was a thing, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever; a whole album of my favourite songs! He was effectively a wizard. Check out that pensive face of mine.
I haven’t listened to this CD for at least ten years. I remember maybe one band appears, but the rest – it’s a mystery. One we’ll experience together. Have youtube open in another window, chum, because you’ll want to hear these as I do.
But first, predictions! You can make some guesses as to what an 8(ish) year old girl wanted to listen to.
The boyfriend’s guesses:
Eiffel 64, Nikki Webster, Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, The Beatles and, bafflingly, John Farnham. It was around this stage I stopped asking him questions.
Feel free to write your prediction in the comments.
So, the CD is now in my computer and, as I suspected, there are no track names! Only numbers. There are 20 tracks. I’ll attempt to recall how much I loved the song back in the day, and compare it to how enjoyable it is now. We can pretend this is a scientific enquiry.
Let’s do this.
YMCA – The Village People
Ahh, now I remember. I brought this CD into school one day and we got to listen to it while we worked. First up, YMCA. Talk about a crowd pleaser!
How much I enjoyed it then: Probably lots – it’s number one. 8.
Current enjoyability: Probably even more. Group dances with actions are my favourite. 9!
What a strong beginning! What greatness could follow?
Not immediately recognizable – I have no idea what this song is. To Shazam!
Okay you guys, Shazam is stumped. This song is so bizarre, all it talks about is being followed by sunshine. What does Google say?
Who the hell are Umboza?
Why was an 8 year old girl listening to a German house duo? Why did they only release three songs? Do I have a latent passion for Eurodance?! WHAT ELSE DON’T I REMEMBER?
How much I enjoyed it then: Not a clue. I don’t remember it even a little.
Current enjoyability: 1. It sounded like a Zumba tune, and I haven’t been back to Zumba for ages. Thanks for the guilt trip, Umboza.
Surely, that will be the weirdest of the bunch.
California girls – The Beach Boys
You don’t even know how much I loved the Beach Boys. I ADORED them. And I still do, because they’re incredible.
Did you know that when you Google ‘California Girls’ Katy Perry is all that comes up? This is a scary new world.
How much I enjoyed it then: 7ish. I’ll be very surprised if the gang doesn’t show up again.
Current enjoyability: 10. More please!
Livin’ la Vida Loca
Yep, that’s Ricky Martin.
So I used to be a dancer when I was around the age this CD was made (see: front cover above). I would make my family sit on the couches and watch as I danced, alone, to a whole array of tunes. My two older brothers really appreciated my artistic self-expression.
Especially to Lion King tunes!
How much I enjoyed it then: 8.5. I danced to this song a LOT, alone and with my mum. I still know all the words.
Current enjoyability: Thinking that Ricky Martin is currently on The Voice makes me feel really weird. Does he have a CD with my tunes on it? Probably.
Don’t worry baby – The Beach Boys
What did I tell you! I had diverse tastes as a youngling. Suck on that, Umboza.
Award for most mentions of Umboza in the last two decades goes to…
How much I enjoyed it then: Probably a 7? I couldn’t make people watch me dance to it. Needs more sweet German house beats.
Current enjoyablity: 8.
Someday I’ll be Saturday night – Bon Jovi
This song has the word ‘shit’ in it. And I played it to a crowd of children! Ahh, fond memories. Also, this is all my mum’s influence. There’s an undercurrent of Bon Jovi playing in my memories. Remember my brief mention of Guitar Hero Livin’ On A Prayer Christmas family bonding time? Yeah, that was only a few years ago.
How much I loved it then: Actual love? Maybe a 5. Mum-influenced love: sky high.
Current enjoyability: I’m sticking with a 5.
You can’t stop the music – The Village People
What even was my life? I think I dreamt about a world filled with spontaneous choreography. My birthday is next week if you want to organise something.
How much I enjoyed it then: I’m vibing a 6-7.
Current enjoyability: 7. I couldn’t turn it off even if I wanted to.
It’s the things you do – Five
An age appropriate boy band!
In a somewhat controversial move, Five (previously 5ive, which is too problematic to get into now) was my favourite of all the boy bands. I was talking to someone about Five last week. I had a tiny poster that I ripped from a magazine stuck to my door. That’s how you knew it was serious.
But It’s the things you do? Is that a choice I can get behind? Where is When the lights go out? Where is Slam dunk da funk?
How much I enjoyed it then: 6. Not the best of all their tracks, but still. 5ive!
Current enjoyability: 5. Where’s da funk??
Livin’ on a prayer – Bon Jovi
Well, this proves that I didn’t listen ahead. I already wasted my Livin’ on a prayer anecdote. You know what’s really hard to sing? The wooooOOOAAH part of this song. My voice, it does not know how.
I just tried again. The boyfriend looked unnerved.
Another mum-influenced tune. She can’t do that wooahhh part either.
How much I enjoyed it then: 8ish, 9 when sung with mum.
Current enjoyability: 8. 100 when sung on Christmas day with the whole family/at karaoke. This song makes people FEEL.
Got the feelin’ – 5(f)ive
In the attempt to slip the word ‘five’ into all of their lyrics, 5ive made some weird songs. Still, I’d go as far as to say they’re underrated. 5IVE 4EVER!
How much I enjoyed it then: 7. It does make me feel alright.
Current enjoyability: 5. HAHAHA.
Good vibrations – The Beach Boys
Dad should have just bought me a greatest hits album. But, if that had been the case, I would have never remembered Umboza!
How much I enjoyed it then: 9. I remember dancing to this tune all the time.
Current enjoyability: 12. I still dance to this tune all the time, most often on 60s night.
That don’t impress me much – Shania Twain
HELL YES. This was full on musical catnip for 7-year-old Elii. I’ve always thought it went ‘That don’t impressahh me much’, to the point where I maybe almost Googled it wrong just now.
I thought it was the coolest song ever. Also, she slips in a Captain Kirk mention at the end.
That DOES impressah me. Much.
How much I enjoyed it then: 10. I thought this was the height of GIRL POWER in sassy song format. (How does that make you feel, Spice Girls?)
Current enjoyability: 8. I need to test this badboy out at karaoke, and I’ll report back.
Slam dunk (da funk) – 5ive
Ohh, so THERE’S da funk.
Do you wanna get freaky
when the five of us make one?
You gotta shoot, pass, slam baby time to set it off
I’ll be up, up away, above the rim and hook a shot
Three seconds left, it’s just enuff for me to rock ya
5ive: they don’t raise the bar too high.
How much I loved it then: 7? I like the countdown at the start.
Current enjoyability: Too confused by basketball references & constant mention of ‘five bad boys’ to be able to enjoy this comfortably.
The things I love in you – Cold Chisel
This one is DEFINITELY the fault of my mum. You know what I think of when I remember Cold Chisel?
It grosses me out hardcore for some reason.
How much I enjoyed it then: 5.
Current enjoyability: 3. Gross album cover + gross band name =
I get around – The Beach Boys
My life is going in circles. You know how people say there’s a 20 year cycle for nostalgia? Or actually it might be 40 years. Whatever. For me it’s apparently 15ish years.
60s night = dancing to this song. Youthful me would be proud.
How much I enjoyed it then: 9.
Current enjoyability: 10.
Five more songs to go!! How many more Beach Boys tunes can there be? Any more 5ive? Last chance to get your votes in….
I just can’t wait to be king – the Lion King
YOU GUYS IT HAPPENED! I told you!!
I have a friend who sings this with me way more often than you’d think. I can’t wait for the rest of the songs!
How much I enjoyed it then: 8.
Current enjoyability: 10!
The cup of life – Ricky Martin
So, the folks came home. Mum heard this song and responded with, ‘Ohh, little Ricky.’
So there’s that.
I hustle with the best of ‘em.
And this is still how I dance:
Is there anything more telling than a teacher saying ‘you always try really hard’? I was not the most athletic of children/adults.
How much I enjoyed it then: Apparently TONS.
Current enjoyability: 1.5.
Everybody get up – 5ive
You know what, F/5ive? You ARE lyrically blessed. Don’t listen to anyone else. No one loved you like I did.
How much I enjoyed it then: 7.
Current enjoyability: 3. I have to admit, I’m getting a little sick of Five and their obsession with counting up and/or down. NEXT.
That’s amore – Dean Martin
Obviously. What did YOU listen to as an 8-year-old? Plebian.
When we were in Florence earlier this year, the boyfriend and I partook in a Tuscan dinner where an Italian man wandered around the room, singing songs at us. He made jokes and sold CDs of his singing. I bought one for my mum. It was awesome.
Turns out, the CD (which I gently carted around the rest of Europe) couldn’t even play most of the songs. SWINDLED!
How much I enjoyed it then: 7, when sung as a duet with anyone.
Current enjoyability: 8. Swindling Italian man both added to and detracted from this song.
Here we are… the final tune. I’m almost too scared to press play.
Go West – the Village People
IT ENDS AS IT BEGAN! Let’s have a small round of applause for my Dad. Beautiful bookending. Apparently the boyfriend heard this song on the radio this morning. And now, before we go to sleep, it plays again. LIFE IMITATES ART.
How much I enjoyed it then: 6-7.
Current enjoyability: 6.5 – not the most dance-friendly of their tunes, it is still okay to hear twice in a day. (The boyfriend confirmed this with a solemn nod.)
Well, everyone, what a rollercoaster this was. There were highs, there were lows. There was questionable rating. Maybe I’ll make a CD now and listen to it in 15 years and do another blog, in between hoverboarding/Scrooge McDucking in my money room.
To close this journey, I present you with my modern-day recreation of my Pensive Albumface. Lucky I never changed my hairstyle, eh?