1995 was the greatest year for the songs of summer, IMHO

Every week, in honor of #ThrowbackThursday, we look back at a trend that we totally forgot about, but totally shouldn’t have. Check out past #TBT columns here.

Summer: that magical time when you’re constantly sweating, worrying about having a high enough SPF on your face and finding sand in places you weren’t expecting. Or at least that’s how I spend MY summers. When I’m not hiding from the sun like a vampire, I’m mostly just trying to listen to some music and ~chill~ out. (Now that I live in California the chill factor is cruc.)

But the “Song of the Summer” has always felt like an important milestone in pop music. What will we hear every time we leave our houses? What song will I dance to while trying to awkwardly not scratch a sunburn? What song will I undoubtedly make out to while in a too-hot car? All of these questions were and are answered by figuring out what the big summer song will be. [Please note there are also Perpetual Summer songs that will always inspire sunny feelings like Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” and “Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves.] But still, when’s the last time summer was FILLED TO THE BRIM with amazing sounds?  I’d like to think it was 20 years ago, in 1995, when videos were televised, jams were smooth, and the Batman movies were still kind of silly.

In our weekly walk down memory lane, here were the songs we were all obsessed with in the summer of 1995. Notice how they still totally hold up now.

In mid-April we switched from 7 weeks with the somber Madonna hit “Take a Bow” topping the Billboard Hot 100 list – please appreciate its use in the season one finale of Friends if you have a moment – to still-party-starter “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan. And thus the summer of 1995 was KICKED OFF.

This song is perfect because it calls out a specific night of the week (Friday) which, as we all know, is imperative for the success of party jams. If you can be experiencing the song on the exact DAY the song is referencing, then, well, you will be feeling all right.

Let’s skip over the fact that for 5 weeks, starting in June, the Bryan Adams song “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” took top honors on the Hot 100 charts, and jump right into the wonder that is TLC’s “Waterfalls.”

And let me just say, as a 10-year-old, I didn’t necessarily “get” everything happening in the “Take a Bow” or “Waterfalls” videos, but I respected it and was intrigued. And I loved that the girls of TLC appeared in the water as if they were Alex Mack.

The next song we got charmed by in 1995 was “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal from…Batman Forever. I still have no idea what this song means but it felt romantic at the time and gosh darn it, that’s all I cared about then.

“Kiss From a Rose” only held a number one spot for one week but it’ll remain in our hearts forever. Duh.

Which brings us to: “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio ft. L.V. This is another song from a movie, this time the Michelle Pfeiffer-inspirational-teacher-flick Dangerous Minds. I know I owned the soundtrack to that movie, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the film in its entirety.

(The video, where Michelle and Coolio sternly look at each other, is really all you need.)

And, lest we forget Queen Mariah – “Fantasy” was number one for 8 weeks that fall. And you better believe I was singing my heart out to it the entire time.

(Alex Mack gif via, via, via, via, via)

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