SOUNDTRACK TO MY CHILDHOOD: 12 SONGS I TAPED OFF THE RADIO

Eventually I developed the motor skills necessary to put up the horns.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? I, like most millennials, spent the years 1997-2002 practically glued to my radio. I even had a substantial collection of tapes, which I taped over and over again to organize my stuff into genres. Making mixtapes (and later, mix CDs) was serious business, and it took a lot of effort and thought to make it flow just right. This time, I took slightly LESS time and effort, pretended that 120GB mp3 players and digital media didn’t exist, and dug through my mental archives to make you all a kickass playlist that you can easily burn to your CD-RW, provided your parents have the technology and resources to do so, of course.

1. Static-X, “Push It”

I liked this song enough to buy Wisconsin Death Trip with my meager allowance. This was slightly before the glorious Kazaa age, so I had to take a gamble. “Push It” was awesome, but sadly I was never terribly fond of the rest of the album. I’m pretty sure I ended up selling the CD to a more metalheaded friend of mine after taping/ripping the first three tracks.

2. Pantera, “Walk”

“Walk” is one of, if not the absolute first metal song I ever heard. The first time I heard it was on ECW, where Rob Van Dam used it as his entrance music. I went out to Coconuts and bought The Great Southern Trendkill at my earliest convenience — did I mention that Google was in its infancy and that I didn’t yet know “Walk” by name? Disappointed in the choice I made and not yet ready for Pantera’s non-mainstream awesomeness, I ditched the album in a yard sale.

3. Godsmack, “Keep Away”

While my friends were rocking out to “Whatever,” I was enamored with “Keep Away.” For me, it was the perfect amount of angst (I had so very much to angst over as a 12-year old, you see) and an earworm-y tune. The structure was simple and the song was easy to digest, and everything was right up my alley. Even the CD artwork was cool. A friend gave me the Godsmack CD (which even had cool artwork!) after he got bored with it, and I cherished it until it got too scratched to play. Ooooh the trials and tribulations of physical media!

4. Alice In Chains, “Angry Chair”

When I heard this song on K-Rock, I was completely floored because I had never heard anything even remotely like it in my life. While not even technically a metal song, it was heavier and weirder than K-Rock’s usual fare, and I fell in love immediately. This is one of the first songs I can remember loving that my mom flat-out HATED.

5. Kittie, “Brackish”

I have to admit, I didn’t like this song immediately. Maybe it was a combination of female vocals (unheard of!) and overplayedness, but it took me a little while to warm up to it. Kittie is probably the reason I still shop at Hot Topic for accessories though. Don’t judge me!

6. Limp Bizkit, “Break Stuff”

How badass was I for singing along with the uncensored version of this song when I was but a wee lass? My friends and I loved Limp Bizkit back in middle school, to the point that we actually performed Limp Bizkit’s version of “Faith” at our 8th grade graduation (instead of “get the fuck out!” we yelled “graduation 2000!” — ugh, douche chills). At this point though, my only love for Limp Bizkit left is reserved strictly for Wes Borland’s fine ass.

Call me. ;)

7. Korn, “Freak On A Leash”

Once upon a time, I actually really wanted to be able to make the weird, rabid chihuahua noises that Jonathan Davis makes during this song. Now I’m kind of glad I can’t. You really couldn’t possibly have a ’90s/’00s radio rock/metal playlist without at least one Korn song on it, and this playlist is absolutely no exception. Even though they played this song like once every seven minutes on our local pop AND hard rock stations, I still felt the need to tape this song off the radio. Never bought Follow The Leader though — maybe it was divine intervention.

8. Coal Chamber, “Sway”

In my pubescent haze, I couldn’t figure out whether I wanted to BE Rayna Foss or DO her. Ultimately I settled with the former option and settled into an appropriately bass-like instrument (tuba). Either way, I loved “Sway” enough to get the album, which, surprisingly, was full of songs way better than “Sway.” My gangsta rap-loving uncle and rocked out to “Big Truck” in particular.

9. A Perfect Circle, “Judith”

Unfortunately (fortunately?) any middle school memories I might have had of “Judith” are overshadowed my the fact that I lost my virginity while listening to the Mer De Noms album on my roommate’s Playstation 2.

10. Slipknot, “Wait And Bleed”

I bought the Wait And Bleed single in Mediaplay at the Hampshire Mall, and there was a cute boy browsing the metal section with me. I flirted with him because that’s what I do, and we made plans to date. Then plans to date turned into plans to join his band. Then he decided that he couldn’t date anyone in the band.

This event was something I wrote about in my diary, by the way. I don’t remember this boy’s name, I don’t remember his band, I don’t remember almost dating him, and I have no idea what became of him. Maybe he’s in Western Massacre now?

11. Creed, “Torn”

Oooooh god, I remember calling K-Rock like eighty billion times trying to request this song without knowing any of the lyrics and not knowing the song title! I sang a couple of bars for the poor perplexed call screener before giving up. Eventually I found out the name of the song and ended up buying the My Own Prison album. Fun fact: I was listening to that album the very first time a boy ever told me that he liked me, so I still get the warm fuzzies when I hear “Torn.”

12. Megadeth, “Moto Psycho”

“Moto Psycho” was the first song I can remember hearing that I knew was a Megadeth song. While the song itself is nothing to write home about, it ended up impacting my life much later on. Back in 2006, when I was working as a “computer lab consultant” (the douche chills return), I had an overnight shift during which I and my coworkers would listen to the CDs in the Lost & Found and make fun of people’s horrible demos. I saw a nondescript Megadeth CD amongst the collection, remembered enjoying “Moto Psycho,” and ripped the CD to my laptop before putting it back in the bin. That CD was Countdown To Extinction and from the very first note, I was hooked.

She-Wolf out!