The Cheese Fry was sunny with optimism in January of 1994. Kicking it in a sweet (if slightly ramshackle) apartment just a ten-minute walk from campus, dating a 20-year-old sophomore, daring to skip those boring film criticism classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, enjoying the prestige that comes from being of legal drinking age, looking forward to another summer working at cheerleader camps (yes, you read that right), and in general, strutting around like some big-time, cool college senior (our creaky sky blue 1979 Ford Granada not withstanding).
Here's the rundown of the top songs in the country just 17 short years ago: January 17, 1994.
1. Mariah Carey "Hero" - We're not ashamed to admit that some Mariah Carey songs (e.g. "Vision of Love" and "Anytime You Need a Friend") are guilty pleasures. But this one is particularly treacly and saccharine, the sort of thing written mainly to play at high school proms.
2. Bryan Adams "All for Love" - From his toothless, soundtrack period, not his angry-but-harmless Reckless rocker period. Seriously, how cool are the first few seconds of "Summer of 69"? Don't lie.
3. Ace of Base "All That She Wants" - We really like this song now, perhaps for pure cheesy nostalgia, but hated it back then. One of those songs that got very very overplayed on the radio.
4. Janet Jackson "Again" - We don't remember it.
5. Toni Braxton "Breathe Again" - Catchy in that 1990s smooth R&B sort of way. But when we think of Toni Braxton, we always think of the way romantic jealousies involving her helped break up the 1990s high-scoring Dallas Mavericks. Not to be confused with the 2000s high-scoring Mavericks who utterly collapsed in the 2006 Finals against our Sworn Enemy Dwyane Wade. But that's another blog post.
6. DRS "Gangsta Lean" - We had to go to iTunes for a refresher. It didn't help. If we didn't know better, we would have sworn this thing never got played on the radio.
7. Michael Bolton "I Said I Loved You But I Lied" - Can we all agree that the scorn and ridicule heaped upon Bolton is entirely deserved and warranted? How did this guy have a career?
8. Tag Team "Whoomp! (There It Is)" - A song whose life was unforgivably extended by its use at big sporting events. Criminally inane.
9. Tevin Campbell "Can We Talk" - Never heard of it.
10. Snoop Doggy Dogg "What's My Name?" - Now we're talking. Yeeah. We had yet to embrace the appeal of hip-hop in 1994. We were still in our Singles-Reality Bites (the two epochal movies of Generation X) grunge phase. But there's no denying the "Snoop Dog-gy Dogg-oh-ogg" hook.