I’ve seen this idea going around and I had to join in on the fun. You have no idea how hard it is to keep this list short, especially if you’re past your 20s. Five songs per decade just wasn’t enough and 10 seemed like way too many (even though I had plenty of songs I could use) so I narrowed it down to my top 20. But there are so many iconic songs I wish I could’ve included to make this seriously complete.
I was born in 1982 and graduated high school in 2000, so Prince’s 1999 has been a recurring theme song throughout my entire life. Unfortunately, there is no youtube video available. But check out the 8tracks playlist at the very end to hear it, along with all the rest of my songs.
When I was two, I used to pile all of my stuffed animals into my Little Tikes car and sing Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want to Have Fun as I “drove” around the house, like it was playing on my car radio.
Baby Got Back by Sir-Mix-A-Lot was pretty much the biggest hit when I was around 10 and it seems to be forever in one of my playlists.
What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve by Nancy Wilson is a bonus song because it’s from before I was born but it’s a big part of my soundtrack because I used to dance to it with my dad when I was little and my parents used to have huge New Year’s Eve parties at our house.
Right around the time I was in junior high, Biggie Smalls was everywhere and Juicy always reminds me of those years.
Wonderwall by Oasis was massively popular when I was in 7th grade. They were rumored to be the next Beatles at the time. No pressure.
Rapper’s Ball will always remind me of the summer before I started high school. Hanging out with my friends and singing it in our bedrooms. It was on the first CD I bought when I got my own CD player. (I should clarify that before this we had cassette tapes.) “At every light it’s automatic, BURN RUBBER! See my folkers in the traffic, WHASSUP-ER!”
Of course, The Freshman by The Verve Pipe came out when I was a freshman so it takes me right back to that place whenever I hear it.
Can’t Hold Me Down by Puff Daddy ft. Mase. The beginning of the sampling and re-mix era. This is also when music videos on MTV were all like mini movies. 10 years from now we’ll still be on top? In a way, sorta.
You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC is obviously out of order here but they played it at all of my high school dances so it has to claim a place on my soundtrack too.
It’s Gonna Be Me because ‘N Sync. Also the first and only concert I’ve ever been to.
The Real Slim Shady was everywhere right around the time I graduated. My dad even painted a ‘Slim Shady’ bomb for our grad night that said “Will the Real Class of 2000 Please Stand Up”
While I was working crappy jobs and not making much money, Meant to Live by Switchfoot got me through many of my commutes.
Crazy by Gnarls Barkley is just an all around fun song and you can’t help but sing along with it. Because I think you’re crazy just like me.
In My Life by The Beatles is another song which is obviously from before I was born but has to be included here because it’s my favorite song of all time and we played it at our wedding for the father/daughter and mother/son dance.
Shining Star by The Manhattans is also out of place chronologically but it’s the song Brandon and I chose for our first dance at our wedding so it’s extra special.
The songs I chose to represent the last few years:
Radioactive by Imagine Dragons I first heard this song on Arrow and became addicted to it.
Born to Die by Lana Del Rey and also the entire album by the same name because her voice and her songs are beautiful and really speak to me. I think I’ve listened to it a million times.
Lose Yourself to Dance by Daft Punk because it’s energizing and catchy. And yes, it makes you want to lose yourself to dance.
Sugar by Maroon 5 is probably my most current favorite song. It’s totally fun, especially to sing along with.
And here’s the 8tracks mix because I know you’re going to want to listen to this entire playlist: