Mixtape Memories – Volume 11

After more than two years of searching, I finally found a box of mixtapes in my parents’ garage. These are mixtapes my dad made me as a kid, and they were my gateway into music. So I’ve been listening to them in the cassette deck of my Honda, and each week I’ll go through and share my opinions on the songs and my memories from the time I received them as gifts. I’ll try not to get too emotional.

Kip Uninterrupted
Presented April 8, 2000

1. Lou Bega – “Mambo No. 5”
2. Ricky Martin – “Livin’ La Vida Loca”
3. Robbie Williams – “Millennium”
4. Backstreet Boys – “I Want it That Way”
5. Billie – “She Wants You”
6. Christina Aguilera – “Genie in a Bottle”
7. Matchbox 20 – “Back 2 Good”
8. Tommy Henriksen – “I See the Sun”
9. Madonna – “Like a Prayer”
10. General Public – “Tenderness”
11. Big Country – “In a Big Country”
12. Swirl 360 – “Hey Now Now”

1. Danny Elfman – “The Simpsons (Hill St. Blues Version)”
2. Ian Hunter – “Cleveland Rocks”
3. The Goo Goo Dolls – “Long Way Down”
4. Van Halen – “Humans Being”
5. The Who – “Won’t Get Fooled Again”
6. BoDeans – “Closer to Free”
7. Sonichrome – “Honey Please”
8. The Grass Roots – “Sooner or Later”
9. The Clash – “Train in Vain”
10. Will Smith – “Will 2K”
11. Smash Mouth – “Then the Morning Comes”
12. Blur – “Girls & Boys”
13. Smash Mouth – “Diggin’ Your Scene”

Just going to go ahead and apologize for the first two tracks. It was a different time. The Latin explosion came right on the heels of the Swing revival. We were all sucked in. We were too wrapped up in the crazy rhythms we as Americans ignored Robbie Williams, becoming pretty much the only country on Earth not to support him. (USA! USA!) We also ignored Billie, so much better than Christina or Britney. And Tommy Henriksen, another lost one-hit wonder like Tal Bachman. The ’90s were over and none of the songs on Side One are as good as the trio of ’80s hits that closes out Side One. Madonna, General Public and Big Country all produced indispensable hits and it was tough to pick the best one. The capper is Swirl 360, whose “Hey Now Now” is a lovely slice of power pop, the best of all genres. Like Side Two’s track from Sonichrome, the song and the genre never really got their due.

Another apology: I am sorry for the only Van Halen song to ever make one of these tapes being a cut from the Twister soundtrack. It sounded cool in the movie, not so much in full 19 years later. And even if “Will 2K” sounds dated, it’s still catchy as hell. Such is the power of the Fresh Prince. That’s some good sequencing on my dad’s part, following The Clash’s “Train in Vain” with that “Rock the Casbah”-sampling hit. And yes, there are two Smash Mouth songs on here, but NASA would have to calculate the number of times I listened to Astro Lounge between 1999 and 2001. But at least my dad had already introduced me to Blur’s Parklife, one of the ’90s 10 best albums.

Best Track on Side One: Madonna – “Like a Prayer”
Best Track on Side Two: The Clash – “Train in Vain”

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