It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Because that’s the way time works. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is the worst.
Coming of age in the 90s is probably exactly like what coming of age in the last decade before the bronze age started was like. I mean, transitioning from no-internet teenage years to Napster in your 20's is a total sharp rock to dope sword transition. Don't @ me.
As a kid 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—I can’t even imagine how 90s me would have handled the infinite expanse of the internet.
I used to read descriptions of new albums in Rolling Stone that I had no way of ever listening to. Because there was no magical device in your pocket and, for me, there wasn't even a record store in town. So you 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?”.
To make matters worse, we didn’t even have cable or satellite television. Just the 3-5 channels you could sometimes pick up on the farm’s antenna. So there wasn't even MTV (or our Canadian version of Much Music). It was kinda bleak.
Anyways, this is all to say that I have a special place in my heart for re-experiencing the 90s.
This HI54… THE 90s Spotify playlist is a combination of the music I spent countless hours listening intensely and intently to over and over again in the actual 90s (apparently I've permanently made space in my brain for liner notes because 20 years later I still know all the words)—and then there is also “new” 90s music, the stuff that I had no easy way of accessing back in the stone age, so I get to check out now and do some kind of thought experiment where I re-imagine memories and how things could of been different. Y'know, re-write a few 'worst of times' into 'best of times' just by having a better nostalgia soundtrack.
I'll keep this playlist at 54 tracks, but I will jump in and tweak the song selection on the regular. So hit that Follow button on Spotify for automatic updates. And use #HI54the90s on the socials if you've got you're own 90s themed mixes and memories you want to reminisce about.
- Jeremy // @HI54LOFI