Not long ago, I went back to my parent’s house, looked at my old CD collection and almost threw up in my mouth a little bit.
It wasn’t just that I had gone to Sam Goody and paid $15.99 for “Spiceworld” (the second album from the Spice Girls). The worst part was, I remember rocking out — by myself, in my room — for hours to it.
Every day on the school bus I would pop my copy of “Floored” by Sugar Ray into my Discman and jam so hard to “Fly” featuring Super Cat and sometimes also the version without Super Cat. Every other song on that album was so, so bad, I just hit ‘repeat’ hundreds and hundreds of times.
I know I wasn’t the only one doing this. And maybe there are no guilty pleasures. But I still can’t believe I bought these 9 CDs back in the ’90s.
by Various artists
Like so many others, I bought this album expecting to hear the classic “Mission Impossible” theme which played over the opening credits. That’s actually on another CD, “Mission Impossible.” Instead, I spent $16 on music which, according to one Amazon reviewer, is “so mind curdlingly horrid that it makes you want to take two pencils, stick them up your nose, and slam your head down on the desk.”
“Life After Death” [Edited Version] [Clean]
by Notorious BIG
An awesome double CD totally ruined by the fact that my parents didn’t let me buy CDs with the little black and white “Explicit content” label on the front. Every third or fourth word on some of these songs was either silenced or replaced with a cheesy sound effect. I remember hearing the real versions at one of my friends’ houses and going “oh, that’s how it’s supposed to sound.”
No, this wasn’t the album with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” This was the album with “Pink,” “Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)” and several other songs with thinly veiled yet ultimately flaccid sexual metaphors. It was hard being a 14-year-old, and I made some bad decisions. We all did.
“Jagged Little Pill”
by Alanis Morissette
I don’t know how many men bought this album, but I was one of them. Every time Alanis cracked her voice, I would wince, but there was something magnetic about her rage. The songs dripped with bitterness — like Adele, but so much more annoying. This is one of those CDs you justify by waving your hand dismissively and saying, “Ah, it was the ’90s.”
“Whitey Ford Sings the Blues”
I dare you to name one other song on this album besides “What It’s Like.” There was one other track I obsessed over — the first 1:40 of “Hot to Death,” before it devolves into a steaming pile. I learned every note of that song on air guitar. They actually released another single, “Ends,” which I just YouTubed and never want to hear again in my life. Somehow I was able to sneak this and the Smash Mouth album past my parents, despite the “Explicit Content” label.
by Spice Girls
Why did I buy the second Spice Girls CD? I loved the first one, and eventually convinced myself I also loved “Spiceworld.” No, I didn’t see the movie. But I watched a lot of MTV, and the Spice Girls were pretty hot — especially Ginger Spice. This CD, not so much.
by Smash Mouth
“Walking on the Sun” was pretty cool. And Smash Mouth’s cover of “Why Can’t We Be Friends” was kind of random but OK, I guess. For some reason, it has taken me 15 years to realize just how annoying their singer’s voice is.
by Sugar Ray
“Fly” was a huge pop hit that would get stuck in your head for days. Tons of people bought this album expecting to hear more songs like “Fly,” but — surprise! — the rest of the album was filled with schlock rock. I remember actually feeling like a sucker back then. You can only imagine how I feel as an adult.