Ah, 1993.

It was the year I graduated from high school-a time that probably ranks as the proudest of my life up until that point. It was also the year that my musical knowledge base (which was already pretty far ahead of most folks in my general orbit) took a few giant leaps forward thanks to my first “grown-up” job; slinging CDs and tapes (in addition to VHS tapes, laserdiscs and magazines) at Tower Records on the Upper East Side. These were days when music discovery was nowhere near as easy as it is now, so there was much to explore. I retroactively discovered (and fell in love with) Steely Dan. I retroactively discovered (and fell in love with) Led Zeppelin. I listened to Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecelia” while stoned at a co-worker’s rooftop apartment and bought the Bridge Over Troubled Water tape the next day. I realized The Orb made great music to fall asleep to (seriously; that’s a compliment). Thanks to a co-worker named Fred, I jumped on the Jamiroquai train about four years before the rest of the U.S. I drank in a bar for the first time, smoked a joint for the first time, ate fast food pretty much every day for the last three months of 1993 (and then repeated it for the next, oh…10 years…this is why I now have diabetes), and overall, I enjoyed the somewhat dangerous glory that pre-Guiliani New York City nightlife represented.

This particular playlist is all over the fuckin’ place. Album tracks by big pop stars rub against broody alternative rock. There’s a reggae version of an Elvis classic that spent 7 weeks at #1, a Whitney Houston cover of a Dolly Parton song that spent 14 weeks at #1 (I hated “I Will Always Love You” for a long time. Eventually I gave in.) There’s my favorite Depeche Mode song of all time, some Neneh Cherry with crunchy guitars (man, Home Brew is such a good album), primo R&balladry from Hi-Five (a standout track on the otherwise gangsta-heavy Menace II Society soundtrack) and Silk, and a stunning teamup of De La Soul and Teenage Fanclub. Lots upon lots of great stuff here. Enjoy.

Track list:
Where Are You Now-Janet Jackson
Bad Girl-Madonna
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)-The Proclaimers
Too Young To Die-Jamiroquai
Leavin’-Tony! Toni! Tone!
Midnight-A Tribe Called Quest (feat. Raphael Saadiq)
Plush-Stone Temple Pilots
Something In Your Eyes-Bell Biv DeVoe
Funky Child-Lords of the Underground
Back Seat (Of My Jeep)-LL Cool J
It Was A Good Day (remix)-Ice Cube
Just Kickin’ It (remix)-Xscape
Come Undone-Duran Duran
Walking In My Shoes-Depeche Mode
Soul To Squeeze-Red Hot Chili Peppers
Heaven Help-Lenny Kravitz
Ready For Dem-Naughty By Nature (feat. Heavy D)
DWYCK-Gang Starr (feat. Nice & Smooth)
Supermodel (You Better Work)-RuPaul
Unconditional Love-Hi Five
Dreamlover-Mariah Carey
Runaway Love-En Vogue (feat FMob)
First True Love Affair-Young Black Teenagers
Hey Jealousy-Gin Blossoms
Go-Pearl Jam
It’s Probably Me-Sting
Connected-Stereo MCs
Bi-Living Colour
Can’t Help Falling In Love-UB40
Love No Limit (remix)-Mary J. Blige
The River Of Dreams-Billy Joel
Cannonball-The Breeders
I Will Always Love You-Whitney Houston
Fallin’-Teenage Fanclub & De La Soul
Break It Down Again-Tears For Fears
Coming Home-SWV
Money Love-Neneh Cherry
Lose Control-Silk

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