Smooth – ’90’s Mixed Tape

Jen Kehl

So the 90’s, full of great music. I’m going through high school, graduating in 1994.  I turn 18 years old that November after graduation.  This was a time when my grandfather whom raised me passed away, the April before graduation, and my mother’s oldest sister, my favorite person in the world, passed away 4 months later, the August after my graduation.  1995 I found myself marrying a man I didn’t want to because it made my grandmother smile, then by 1998 I was divorced. I had been working fast food up until 1995, when I went to work at a local furniture company, and Clay Walker’s wife actually phoned to order furniture.  My entire department in Data Entry received an autographed photo.  By 1998, I was Assistant Manager at a local gas station, and life was starting to go alright. 1999 was a time of laughter and great music. 
If I was going to make a mixed tape for my friend who was out of the loop on good songs this is what it would consist of these songs:

I was digging Steve Tyler and his daughter, Liv, along with her bestie, Alicia Silverstone were rocking in his videos.  ‘Cryin’ was a great video and ‘Crazy’.  For this tape though, the song by Aerosmith ‘Livin’ on the Edge’ was more my style.  Released in 1993, it still has a great vibe.

While living on the edge, I was wondering along with Jewel, ‘Who Will Save Your Soul’ for those lies that ya told boy.

These were times when soundtrack songs from movies were becoming a thing, with Whitney Houston’s ‘Exhale’ and Leann Rimes ‘How Do I Live’. Coolio already had his hit ‘Gangsta Paradise’.   I was intrigued with Monica and Brandy telling one another ‘The Boy Is Mine’. 

Already a huge fan of Rob Thomas from his band Tabitha’s Secret, then getting to see Matchbox 20 live in Knoxville, I was more than thrilled when Rob paired with Santana for the song Smooth.

I’m not sure if I originally loved this song, or if it grew on me and stuck, but I still sing Marcy’s Playground when I hear ‘Sex and Candy’.

I think if the mixed tape I were making had more room, I’d add Tupac, Elton John, Ice Cube, No Doubt, and actually, my friend would probably have so many 90’s songs, if the world doesn’t end in 1999, the music may. Tell Jen your playlist!!!! 


6 responses

  1. Wow, I was sorry to read about how rough things were for you around highschool graduation. That's so tough to lose two people you loved so close together. Great music choices and I used Sex and Candy this week, too! Yay for sex and candy!

  2. I can play sex and candy on the guitar and used it in my Helene book. That's riff and those lyrics are very 1990s in a good way. I saw and may or may not have participated in some disco lemonade back then.

    and jewel is both gorgeous and an underrated songwriter.

  3. Carrying on with the “I'm with” motif running thus far, I'm in agreement with Jen that this mix was a vivid snapshot of the musical landscape of the decade. Odd too how you could have included Elton John – does he ever go out of vogue?

  4. If that Matchbox 20 concert was one of that summer concert series sponsored by the X at the park (World's Fair park, I think?) I went to that one as well. Good times. But like Clark, I'm a fan of early Santana, so combined with Rob Thomas, Smooth was one of my favorite songs.

    Great picks for the rest of your list as well!

  5. I'm with Jen on the 'Smooth' pick.

    My (own) reasons for liking this song date-stamp my ass big time, but having followed Carlos Santana for what, 25 years (or more), to the point in time of this song shows the insane talent of the guy.

    Similarly with Aerosmith, though I am less of a fan of their post-rehab catalog than of the first few albums. (That's always been an interesting view of music and musician, their creativity as totally messed-up and/or self-destructive musicians or as healthy and insightful artists).

  6. OK this list really epitomizes the 90's for me. You did an amazing job of mixing what could be considered pop, but was music I would actually listen too. I really liked every one of those songs. Smooth is still in me repetoire and believe it or not so is The Boy is Mine. I love to sing that song in the car! And seriously, nothing says the 90's like Jewel! Love it!

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