Coming of age in the nineteen 90s is probably exactly like what it was like coming of age in whatever the decade was before The Iron Age started. I mean, transitioning from no-internet teenage years to Napster downloading everything in your twenties — that has got to be at least as crazy as transitioning from bronze to iron, no?
As a youth that spent A LOT of time getting lost in his Columbia House sourced CD collection and whatever limited discoveries the radio had on offer—which in rural Alberta, was not very much in the way of variety—I often think about how 90s me would have handled the infinite expanse of the internet. To be honest, I think it would have melted my brain.
I mean, I was so jones-ing for something different that I used to read descriptions of new albums in Rolling Stone—albums that I had no way of ever listening to—as if that was a way to check out new music. There was no magical musical "i pod" device in my pocket and, for me, there wasn't even a record store in town. I just read a description and went “this sounds like something I would enjoy more than this Creed guy they keep giving repeated plays on the radio… but what are you gonna do?”. And that was it, that's how I experienced new music discovery.
To make matters worse, we didn’t even have cable or satellite television at our house. Just the 3-5 channels you could sometimes pick up on the farm yard antenna. So, unlike most 90s kids, we didn't even have MTV (not even our Canadian version Much Music). Not gonna lie, music wise, it was kinda bleak.
Anyways, this is all to say that I have a special place in my heart for trying to re-experience the 90s.
This HI54… THE 90s Spotify playlist is partially made up of the music I spent countless hours listening intently to in the actual 90s (related: apparently I've permanently made space in my brain for liner notes, because 20 years later I still know all the words) and partially made up of a bunch of “new-to-me” 90s music (which is the stuff I had no easy way of accessing back in The Bronze Age), and then there are a few of those songs that you can only get away with listening to if you say you're listening to a 90s mix.
I'll keep this playlist at 54 tracks, but I will jump in and tweak the song selection regularly. So make sure to hit that Follow button on Spotify if you want the automatic updates.