Birthday Playlist: 1996

It’s my birthday! I can’t believe it. One of my yearly traditions is to revisit a year and make a playlist. It’s the ultimate time traveling nostalgia trip. I contemplated visiting a few years in a few decades and even trying to compile a list of my favorite songs of all time (I have never completed this successfully), but eventually settled on 1996. To be fair, this was the most popular when I brought up this year’s list in discussion.

In 1996 I was 9 years old. I had a giant crush on Leonardo DiCaprio, and probably watched Romeo + Juliet a billion times (fairly inappropriate in retrospect). Tupac died and the biggest dance crazy to ever sweep the nation, The Macarena, began to take over. I got a new boom box which I used to play two albums over and over: Melon Collie & the Infinite Sadness and Jagged Little Pill. So the music on this playlist features many of the most popular songs of 1996. This does not include the Macarena for entirely obvious reasons, but does include a lot of other hits by Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, and Spice Girls.

If I made this playlist strictly popular songs from 1996 I would be lying. I spent a lot of my time watching MTV which means my music taste altered slightly from that of my peers. Yes, MTV showed a lot of pop music (yes, they actually showed music videos at one time), but they also showed a lot of alternative music. This playlist features a bunch of my favorite songs from back in the day including One Headlight by the Wallflowers, Champagne Supernova by Oasis, and 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins.

After making this playlist and listening to it for hours, I realized either I was one incredibly angst-ridden kid OR I was just way before my time when it came to music. I also had a few existential meltdowns realizing this was TWENTY years ago. This playlist would mostly contain alternative rock if it weren’t for Rachael’s intervention and request to add “more pop songs.” So enjoy this 3 hour long expansive playlist featuring some of the biggest hits and even better songs from 1996.

Listen on Spotify


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