33 years ago, during my sophomore year of high school, I put together the first of what would eventually become a nearly 20 volume collection of mix tapes, containing my favorite songs that I had gathered either from the radio, a cassette tape, or (eventually) CD. Today, we revisit those mix tapes for the fourth time and see how, or if, the soundtrack of my youth still resonates in today’s digital world and how much has changed over the past four years.
I’ve done some crazy things over the years in an attempt to impress a girl that I liked. One of the earliest was to buy tickets for a concert I really had no interest in attending just because my crush at the time liked the band’s one hit. I had a couple things working against me: 1) she already had a boyfriend and 2) they were going to an earlier show on the tour and thus she saw the band the week before. This is the story of I how I ended up at the Metro on the day after my 21st birthday watching Tripping Daisy with a couple hundred of my closest friends.
One of the upsides of a global pandemic and my subsequent move to remote work is that I don’t come across people and thus no longer have any crushes to try and impress. Saves me both time and money.
Volume 19 stretches from late summer 1995 and into the fall semester of the first of my two senior years of college. Again, it mostly features what was considered alternative music, with Coolio interjecting some street flavor for good measure.
Tripping Daisy – I Got A Girl
iTunes stats: 14 plays, most recently on 12/10/2021
The one hit for Tripping Daisy, who I saw in concert the day after my 21st birthday, managed to make its way into my rotation a mere three times over the last four years.
Foo Fighters – This Is A Call
iTunes stats: 37 plays, most recently on 6/4/2021
Written a few months after the death of Kurt Cobain, the debut for Dave Grohl’s new venture earned eleven additional plays over these past four years.
Pearl Jam – Whipping
iTunes stats: 14 plays, most recently on 11/10/2022
Six new listens for the final appearance of Pearl Jam on these collections, which received plenty of airplay on Q101 despite not being officially released as a single.
Hootie and the Blowfish – Only Wanna Be With You
iTunes stats: 15 plays, most recently on 3/23/2022
Hootie’s ode to, among other things, the Miami Dolphins added seven new listens in the past four years.
Elastica – Stutter
iTunes stats: 12 plays, most recently on 5/20/2022
Originally released in November 1993, it was re-released the following year, made its way to radio in 1995, and doubled its listens over the past four years.
Cranberries – Ridiculous Thoughts
iTunes stats: 13 plays, most recently on 11/19/2019
Four listens for the latest from the Cranberries, though none since the world stopped thanks to COVID.
Green Day – J.A.R.
iTunes stats: 17 plays, most recently on 7/9/2022
Green Day’s contribution to the Angus soundtrack picked up a mere four listens over the past four years.
Alanis Morissette – Hand In My Pocket
iTunes stats: 21 plays, most recently on 11/20/2021
Hitting #4 on the Billboard charts, the second release from the juggernaut that was Jagged Little Pill added seven listens in the past four years.