Today, I asked my mom to text me pictures of what’s left of the CD collection in my room… I mean my brother’s room… I mean, it’s still my room… I just don’t live there anymore… Anyway, she sent over some high quality gems that brought back far too many memories to keep to myself (okay fine, I asked her to send the pictures because I was already writing this post, but whatever). Here’s a preview of my CDs from the late 90s and early 2000s that still somehow exist:
Do any of those look familiar? Probs. Here are 37 CDs you and I had/still have at our parent’s house in order of release date. Happy nostalgia! And sorry if this makes you feel really, really ridiculously old…
The Best Late 90s Albums
1. Spice – Spice Girls
Nov 4th, 1996: First we need to be clear about something. I had Spice the CD… but I also had the tape. Like, the cassette tape. It was 1996 and tapes were just being phased out (yes, we’re that old). Anyway, The Spice Girls were so original, they started the trend of abbreving words with If U Can’t Dance. I’m surprised they didn’t have a song titled ‘LOL’ before anyone knew what LOL meant. There are no forgotten faves on this CD. They are basically just all faves. Wannabe, Say You’ll Be There, 2 Become 1, Mama… Classics on classics on classics.
2. Aquarius – Aqua
March 26th, 1997: Aqua was Danish and Aqua was awesome. I definitely remember the CD cover, but I believe I had the cassette tape as well. I vividly remember putting it in my boombox and letting loose on the open floor of my playroom. I remember dancing to the songs Happy Boys and Girls (weird name), Doctor Jones, and Lollipop (Candyman)… and of course Barbie Girl – the one and only reason any of us knew Aqua existed.
3. Usher – My Way
Sept 16, 1997: Usher before Usher was famous. The following songs rocked middle school dances and R&B radio stations across the country: You Make Me Wanna, Nice & Slow, and My Way. And thanks to music videos, we found out Usher could dance. And when I say dance, I mean daaaaance.
4. Backstreet Boys – Backstreet Boys
Aug 12, 1997: BSB released two albums in Europe and some other countries before combining the best songs from the two into one self-titled album to release in the US… Interesting, right?! Anyway, this is basically a CD of wedding songs mixed with some 90s pop. They taught us young with If You Want It To Be Good Girl (Get Yourself A Bad Boy). The beginning of that song will always remind me of an Egyptian snake. Anyone else? Other amazing hits from this CD include Get Down (You’re The One For Me) and We’ve Got It Goin On.
5. The Spice Girls – Spiceworld
Nov 4th, 1997: To further prove they were ahead of their time, The Spice Girls sang a song titled The Lady Is A Vamp. Not only were vampires the coolest thing for a hot couple years, but that song title is soooo Lady Gaga. The CD featured some classic slow songs, including Too Much and Viva Forever, and of course one of my personal favorites, STOP. Stop right now thank you very much, I need somebody with the human touch. Sorry, I had to. Anyway, this album sparked the epic movie, appropriately titled Spiceworld, and the infamous concert tour. I had tickets to that concert… and then Geri quit before I got to go. Most depressing thing ever.
6. Nsync – *NSYNC
March 24, 1998: Sorry BSB, Nsync just had to one up you. Some forgotten favorites from this CD include You Got It, I Need Love, Giddy Up, and Here We Go. Obv the best one on the CD is I Want You Back but that’s a given. If possible, I would listen to this CD on repeat all day every day. It’s that good.
7. Jay-Z – Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life
Sept 29, 1998: I don’t think I had this CD. I think my dad did. But anyway, talk about a classic! As 9 and 10 year old morons, we all loved yelling ‘money ain’t a thing!’ because of course it wasn’t… We were in elementary school. Jigga What, Jigga Who was also a classic until years later when we learned that we were still singing the clean version of the song and not the right lyrics. And of course, thanks to Austin Powers, we all loved Hard Knock Life. I think I liked Dr. Evil’s version better though. Whatevs.
8. B*Witched – B*Witched
Oct 12th, 1998: Well, we all know why we had this CD. C’est la Vie! Duh. I don’t know why else we would have had it… These girls were basically knock off Spice Girls. Look at them, they were effing bizarre.
9. 98 Degrees – 98 Degrees and Rising
Oct 20th, 1998: You don’t even know how much I love(d) Nick Lachey. The hottest man, let me tell you. This CD had it all: I Do (Cherish You), Because Of You, The Hardest Thing, and True To Your Heart (which I still run to). Hopefully they’ll play all these songs (and Una Noche and My Everything) when I see them Sunday! But really, I’m seeing them in concert Sunday…
10. Mariah Carey – Number 1’s
November 17, 1998: This CD was life. All the classics in one. It was almost as good as MJ’s two-CD greatest hits compilation. All it was missing was the Christmas song. Faves included Always Be My Baby, One Sweet Day, and Fantasy (with ODB of course).
11. Britney Spears – …Baby One More Time
Jan 12, 1999: The best named song on this album is obv Email My Heart. HEHE, SO 90S. And I knew all the moves to (You Drive Me) Crazy thanks to Darren’s Dance Grooves — also very 90s. Some forgotten faves include Soda Pop and Born To Make You Happy. I could never decide about The Beat Goes On… and I still can’t. Anyway, does anyone else remember that this CD came in different colors and had diff pics of Britney? Some were pink and some were blue. I had pink, TG!
12. Sugar Ray – 14:59
Jan 12th, 1999: Coming out the same day as Brit’s first album was Sugar Ray’s second. It featured Every Morning, Falls Apart, Someday, Abracadbra, and other songs no one really cared about.
13. TLC – Fanmail
Feb 23, 1999: First of all, how futuristic is this album cover? They are, like, straight up holograms! How cool. Yet, they’re talking about ‘mail.’ And we all know no one sends ‘mail’ anymore. If you have something to say to a celeb, you just tweet them… This CD brought us No Scrubs and Unpretty (the breast implant song) soooo TG for that.
14. BSB – Millennium
May 18th, 1999: I remember counting down the days until this epic album would hit Strawberries. I had to keep my anticipation a secret though, as I was totally an Nsync girl. My personal favorite from this CD is for sure It’s Gotta Be You. Other forgotten faves include Don’t Want You Back, Don’t Wanna Lose You Now, and The One. And obvs we all know this cd is where I Want It That Way came from… Cue visions of girls screaming as BSB, all dressed in white, enters concert venue.
15. Blink 182 – Enema Of The State
June 1, 1999: I thought I was soooo cool because I had this CD. I mean, just look at it. A slutty nurse! And there was a parental advisory on it for explicit content… HOW BADASS. I don’t even think I listened to it. Well, that’s a lie. What’s My Age Again and All The Small Things were staples in a late 90s kid’s life. This was the start of my punk-wannabe spiral.
16. Smash Mouth – Astro Lounge
June 8th, 1999: Oh Smash Mouth. You were around for a few, and then you went away. And I don’t really care. Other than the late 90s theme All Star, Smash Mouth also brought us Then The Morning Comes and Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby from this CD. But that’s, like, about it.
17. A Little Bit Of Mambo – Lou Bega
July 19th, 1999: Well, I had this CD… even though there was only one ‘good’ song on it. Yes, that’s right. Mambo No. 5. What else did Lou Bega do? Where did he even go?
18. Destiny’s Child – The Writing’s On The Wall
July 27, 1999: Just look at Beyonce looking ultra fierce (and ultra young) in this classic CD cover. Thanks to this gem, we got to hear hits like Bills Bills Bills, Bug a Boo, Jumpin Jumpin, and Say My Name. BEY OWNS.
19. Christina Aguilera – Christina Aguilera
August 24th, 1999: Christina was Britney Number 2. My forgotten favorite from this CD is Love Will Find a Way and my ult fave is obv Come On Over. Oh, that music video. It was like a Gap commercial. Loved it. Of course we also had classics like Genie In A Bottle and What A Girl Wants anddddd the amaze ballad I Turn To You. Christina was kind of a better artist than Britney… We just didn’t know it back then.
20. Jessica Simpson – Sweet Kisses
Nov 23rd, 1999: Boy, I think I was in love with I Think I’m In Love With You. And let’s not even talk in detail about the relationship between Jess and her ultra hottie (ex)BF Nick Lachey that inspired Where You Are – one of my faaaavorite slow jamz ev. I actually had the single:
It even has my name on it (written by my mom, not me… I was pathetic). Guess I liked it enough to bring to school/camp. There was also I Wanna Love You Forever on this CD which brought many middle school couples together on the dance floor. Girl was in love.
21. Mandy Moore – So Real
Dec 7th, 1999: Before Mandy was a really mean girl who sang that annoying song Stupid Cupid on the beach and later dated Vinnie Chase on Entourage, she sang innocent songs that us 90s kids loved. One being Candy. We, like, all bought this album for one song and one song only. The best part of the song being that her name rhymed with Candy. ‘Love always, Mandy.’ Chills. Chills, I tell you.
The Best Early 2000s Albums
22. 2gether – 2gether
Feb 15, 2000: I was so upset when I found out this was a fake band. Like, a creepy old fat dude wouldn’t be in a popular teen boy band?! And a real teen boy band wouldn’t really release a song called Rub One Out? I don’t believe it. Can you believe a bunch of small children ran around singing Rub One Out? MTV — Always keeping it classy. 2gether’s best song (according to me) is OBV The Hardest Part Of Breaking Up, which isn’t on this CD. Still can’t get over the ‘I can’t find my cat – RAWR‘ part. 2gether forever! Oh except, RIP QT. <3
23. I Wanna Be With You – Mandy Moore
May 9th, 2000: She’s back again! With one hit! That we all bought one CD for! I Wanna Be With You was a classic thanks to one of our faves Center Stage. Jody Sawyer and Cooper Neilson totally f-ed to that song. And if you’re wondering who Jody’s black friend was, it was Zoe Saldana! Who knew?!
24. Britney Spears – Oops!… I Did It Again
May 16th, 2000: My favorite from this CD was/is What U See (Is What U Get). It was still cool back then to use those weird AIM abbreves, just like it’s cool now to name songs with hashtags, like Will.I.Am and The Biebes just did with #thatPOWER. Of course Lucky was a classic too. So many dances made up to that song…
25. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP
May 23rd, 2000: We only really need to remember one thing about this CD… And that is Kim. The most terrifying 6 minutes and 17 seconds ever. Stan was a pretty baller song too, except I effing hated Dido. Like, almost as much as I dislike Anne Hathaway. It was serious. And then of course… Real Slim Shady… and all the spoofs that came from it. I used to find so many on Napster. Hehe.
26. Nelly – Country Grammar
June 27th, 2000: With many songs named crazy things like Tho Dem Wrappas, Thicky Thick Girl, and Wrap Sumden, you really can’t go wrong with a CD. Oh and who remembers E.I.?!
27. Limp Bizkit – Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water
Oct 17th, 2000: WAIT. What kind of name IS that for an album?! My Way and Rollin are basically the only songs I remember from this CD, but I supposedly loved it. It was a punk phase. We all went through it. It’s fine.
28. Universal Smash Hits
October 24th, 2000: Talk about combining all the hits in one (and not having it be Now!). You have Brian McKnight, Eiffel 65, 702, Lil Troy, and more all on one CD. Epic. I actually remember buying this CD from Best Buy thinking it was going to be, like, the new Now!. Guess that didn’t happen. Oh well.
29. Backstreet Boys – Black & Blue
Nov 21, 2000: SHAPE OF MY HEART. That is all. Well, The Call and More Than That deserve some credit too… As for the rest of the songs on the CD, I think I gave up on BSB by then because I don’t recognize any of them. That’s too bad.
30. Nsync – No Strings Attached
March 21, 2001: I was, like, weirdly obsessed with this CD. Forgotten favorites and some ‘futuristic’ songs include Space Cowboy (Yippie-Yi-Yay), Digital Get Down, Bringin Da Noise, and It Makes Me Ill. Just Got Paid used to be a fave until I found out it was a cover (ugh). Some of my ult favorite songs are on this CD include one I often run to No Strings Attached, the ultimate slow song This I Promise You, and OF COURSE It’s Gonna Be Me. UGH, THIS CD IS JUST TOO GOOD.
31. Mandy Moore – Mandy Moore
June 19th, 2001: Back again! But this time, with multiple hits on one album… like Cry, Crush, and In My Pocket (boring). Later on, Mandy would cover Switchfoot’s Only Hope for A Walk To Remember. That was… pretty cool. But overall, Mandy was boring. And that is why she didn’t survive!
32. Dream Street – Dream Street
July 10th, 2001: I don’t even REMEMBER any of their songs. I remember one being called Sugar Rush, but I can’t even tell you how it goes. I even saw them in concert. The scary part… All the boys in the above picture are in their late twenties. AHH.
33. Jay-Z – The Blueprint
Sept 11, 2001: Back then, I felt like such a G having this CD. I listened to it, like, all the time. You had Izzo (H.O.V.A), which might just be one of the greatest songs ever, AND it was produced by no one other than KANYE WEST. Yes. Who knew?! Girls, Girls, Girls and Jigga That (?)igga were also classics. Jay-Z has been rocking it fo yearzzz. I have to give a shout out to some of his songs on other CDs too… Big Pimpin’ and I Just Wanna Love U. Classics.
34. Britney Spears – Britney
Nov 5th, 2001: This CD brings me back to the days of free skate. OH MIDDLE SCHOOL. Anyway, this CD was, like, Brit’s coming out party (Selena’s having hers now) and featured sexy songs like I’m A Slave For You and Boys. However, I was obsessed with Anticipating and Overprotected. Those songs were FUN and linked to her really awesome movie, Crossroads, which I obvs saw in theaters. And guess who was Brit’s token black friend? It was Zoe Saldana… again! Who knew?!
35. Green Day – International Superhits!
Nov 13th, 2001: All da classics. I loved Green Day. No shame.
36. Eminem – The Eminem Show
May 28th, 2002: I listened to Hailie’s Song on repeat for months. My Dad’s Gone Crazy featured Hailie’s voice, which was pretty cool, and then Em sampled Aerosmith in Sing For The Moment, which pissed some people off. Without Me was obviously a classic, but I will never get the version I downloaded on Napster/Limewire/whatever where the chorus just repeated over and over and over out of my head. It was like torture. Anyway, let’s feel really old and see what Hailie looks like now:
37. Nelly – Nellyville
June 25, 2002: And he’s back. With hits like Hot In Here, Air Force Ones, Dilemma, and Rock The Mic. A big change from his album, Country Grammar. Still wearing that band aid though.
I’ll leave you with this awesome mix-CD I won at a middle school dance (I totally remember that happening — weird). Brace yourself for what is on this CD. It’s a TRIP.