Take 5 – High School Musical

The tunes from around the turn of the millennium that symbolised teenage-hood.

Hello, you’ve caught me thinking back to songs that epitomised “high-schoolness” in and around the year Y2K during the “American Pie” cultural revolution.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel a number of these tracks are still awesome and yet are a guilty pleasure. Maybe I’m just under the power of nostalgia, which I wrote about recently.

So, time to crank the boombox (and time machine).

Goldfinger – Superman

No, not the Bond theme sung by Shirley Bassey, the band Goldfinger with the hit song “Superman”. Released in 1996, this song came into my awareness (and many others) as the song from the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (THPS) in 1999. With the recent release of the remastered version of THPS 1 + 2, I have been indulging in this catchy and upbeat song that never fails to put a smile on my face. “So here I am, growing older all the time, looking older all the time, feeling younger in my mind”, are great lyrics which resonate louder now than they did 20 years ago.

Sum 41 – Makes No Difference

Sum 41 kind of burst onto the scene in the early 2000’s and were massively popular. Their 2001 debut studio album, “All Killer No Filler”, contained their hits “Fat Lip” and “In Too Deep” and both songs appeared in the sequel to American Pie. However, I have chosen “Makes No Difference” from their debut EP in 2000, as this was the first song of theirs which hooked me – and featured in video games Dave Mirra’s Freestyle BMX 2 and MX 2002 feat. Ricky Carmichael.

Offspring – Pretty Fly for a White Guy

One of the songs, if not the song that launched Offspring into mainstream stardom. From their “Americana” album in 1998, “Pretty Fly for a White Guy”, along with “Why Don’t You Get a Job?” and “The Kids Aren’t Alright”, went on to become the band’s biggest hits. I remember it constantly on the music video channels and back when midis were a thing, I’d be playing it on the regular. Also featuring in the American Pie sequel, “Want You Bad” from their 2000 “Conspiracy of One” album, deserves an honourable mention.

Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag

Probably the most teenage-y song on this list, the cult hit “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus released in the year 2000 still continues to make its way onto many a karaoke line-up. Used in the film “Loser” from the same year, which tried to capitalise on the popularity of American Pie, but never really succeeded. The trials and tribulations of young love eh? But “I’ve got two tickets to Iron Maiden, baby…”

Third Eye Blind – Semi-Charmed Life

I know some may say, “where’s Blink 182?”, and yes, they were no doubt huge and they probably fit the theme of this week’s Take 5 perfectly, but to be honest I was never really a huge fan of their music. “Semi-Charmed Life” came out in 1997 on Third Eye Blind’s self-titled debut album. The song was utilised in the hit and cult films “Wild Things” (1998) and “American Pie” (1999) and it just has that peak late 90’s cultural vibe about it. Granted, someone did once say that “this is the most upbeat song about drug addiction, ever.”, but hey, I’m just here for the feel-good nostalgia!

So, that concludes another trip down childhood memory lane. Do any of these songs elicit positive memories for you? Do you have any others that stand out for you? Please, let me know. And what better way to bring to close this post than with “Closing Time” by Semisonic, a hit song from 1998 and used quite nicely in the film “Friends with Benefits” starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”


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