The Patch

February 3, 2007

“Better Best Forgotten”? Hell no!

Filed under: Miscellany,Music & Film — Ames @ 12:53 pm

Channel hopping is a wonderful thing. It was responsible for awakening my 14-year-old self after discovering Sex and The City when I first got a television in my bedroom. If it wasn’t for channel hopping I wouldn’t be so addicted to American Idol that watching four hours of auditions straight didn’t seem too insane. And if we didn’t spend time channel hopping, we never would have come across the ‘Steps Countdown’ on The Hits last week.There’s something a bit special about rediscovering a childhood favourite. Over the summer it was ‘The Backstreet Boys’, after a guide in Vietnam played ‘I Want It That Way’ on repeat for five days straight. Stumbling across Jumpin Jaks for Cheese Nation night in our first week of university reminded us all about how much we love(d) 5ive and company. Watching a Steps countdown and being able to sing and dance along to most of it was a true blast from the past, and was the trigger for four nights of karaoke to The Spice Girls, Steps and S Club 7, with a bit of Gloria Gayner and Chaka Khan thrown in, much to the delight of the male population of our flat.

I can’t deny it, these bands were Very Bad. If they were around today then I’m sure we’d all look down on them with the same disdain that I had for Busted and the All*Stars. Yet because these bands were a fundamental part of our childhood, their music forever ingrained into our mind, it’s OK. There’s something about cheesy childhood pop that brings a smile to your face. No matter how hard you fight, Cheesy 90s Pop is a fundamental part of being someone in their late teens and early twenties today. Yet it is a something of a secret passion for many. Unless completely and utterly wasted, some will leave the dancefloor or put on looks of disdain when such cheesy songs come on. But why? There’s nothing wrong with a bit of Music Nostalgia- it’s a part of our childhoods, and knowing every lyric and dance step to these routines is as much of an integral part of being a Young Adult today as knowing what a ‘Slammer’ is or being able to rap all the lyrics to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme tune.

While trying to justify these songs as “cool” defeats the whole point of their being Super Cheese, if people give you disconcerted looks when you dig out classics such as Barbie Girl, C’est La Vie and Tragedy, remind them that these songs are now a decade old, which at least makes them ‘retro’, does it not, giving you some justification for listening to these songs if you truly need it. And if you can’t bring yourself to do it for yourself, do it for the children- what bands do pre-teens have to dance (or avoid dancing) at school discos to nowadays? Jojo and Justin Timberlake don’t have quite the same potential for nostalgia as the Spice Girls and Steps, really… Forget bringing Sexy Back, we need to introduce the deprived younger generation to some proper 90s year 7 disco music. And for the rest of us? Why deny ourselves the chance for nostalgia and reminiscing?

Music is like a key, with the potential to evoke so much. Whether it be memories or emotions, music is a very poweful tool. We all have our special songs, reserved for times when we need to cry, laugh or smile. And while 90s pop may not be of the same calibre as Beethoven, it can be just as strong. Denying it’s potential is starving ourselves of so much. I’m not urging you to replace The Smiths and Basement Jaxx on your iPod with an old N*Sync or S Club 7 album, but I’m pleading for you to take off the blinkers. There can be a place for cheese in your heart; there’s a space inside of you, waiting to be filled with bad lyrics and even worse dance routines. You can deny it all you want, but you will never be complete until you give into nostalgia.

You may think that I’m just trying to hold onto my childhood, that such bands and songs should remain firmly in the 90s along with patterned leggings and Furbys. Yet I think that, secretly, everyone is just waiting for the 90s Cheese Revolution; people just aren’t brave enough to fight for it. Yet when it happens, when someone brings it back for us, then we’re all clamoring for an excuse to relive our childhoods; almost everyone who passed our window during our Karaoke session joined in, and when Take That reformed, tickets for their reunion concerts sold out within minutes. These bands are like getting a present for Christmas that you might have mentioned you wanted many months previously, then forgot about. You may have thought your life was fine without it, but as soon as it’s there you can’t imagine being without it. The short and short of it is that if you hear these records your life will be better (will be better). Go on, you know you want to.

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6 Comments »

  1. Totally and utterly 100% agreed… 90s cheese is underated… by a long long way.

    Comment by Emma — February 3, 2007 @ 3:10 pm | Reply

  2. There’s something about this article that I just don’t like. I see no objection to the supporting of Cheesy Pop, just the article takes a while to get going and the point isn’t that clear.
    You’re talking a lot, but not saying very much/ Talking Heads.

    Also, “retro”, “vintage” and “cool” seriously need to be thrown back in the bargain bin from whence they came. That’s just my opinion of general society.

    I preferred your previous articles.

    Comment by Kelly_S — February 3, 2007 @ 9:21 pm | Reply

  3. Fair comment, I knew this article wasn’t particularly great compared to the other ones, but I was a bit stuck for topics this week. I appreciate the comments though, and it’s nice to hear something from people I don’t actually know as well!

    Comment by amyfeldman — February 4, 2007 @ 10:54 am | Reply

  4. Slammers were those bracelets that you slapped on your hand and they collapsed around your wrist,right?

    Comment by denesha — February 4, 2007 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  5. Possibly, I was thinking more of the Pogs Slammers though, because I’m cool like that!

    Comment by amyfeldman — February 4, 2007 @ 12:18 pm | Reply

  6. I suppose it further shows me up to be the unfortunate, hideously warped mutant that I am that despite being to all intents and purposes a Nineties Kid, I grew up on Eighties cheese, and still adore it to this day, whilst the Nineties (barring Britpop) did not exist.

    All together now! “It’s a mystereeeee…”

    Comment by freshlysqueezedcynic — February 6, 2007 @ 2:39 am | Reply


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