Things I’ve loved

Things I’ve Loved is a celebration of things from the near or distant past, either overlooked or forgotten by the unforgiving eye of popular culture. It is a venue to both reminisce and profess about this one thing that you’ve loved and think others may love too.

There’s no use denying it, if you were a teenager in 1997 then odds are you owned your very own copy of the MuchMusic compilation Big Shiny Tunes 2. Some fun facts: the album debuted No. 1 on the Canadian Albums Chart and has since sold well over one million copies, by far the most successful of the BST series. In fact, within the last 15 years, there have only been two albums to sell more copies in Canada than Big Shiny Tunes 2 — Shania Twain with Come on Over and Celine Dion with Let’s Talk About Love.

So let’s revisit the treasured classics on this hallowed track-list of BST2, shall we?

1. Prodigy – “Breathe (Edit)”

Does it get much better than English electronic big beat dance music? If you ask Prodigy (or the Prodigy eye-roll), the answer is “no.”

2. Blur – “Song 2”

Ah, “Song 2.” At the same time the most and the least popular Blur song. In the late ‘90s, though, “Song 2” was the shit. The lyrics are simple, punchy, barely coherent.

3. Third Eye Blind – “Semi-Charmed Life”

Irrepressibly poppy, kind of like the peppy charm of the Barenaked Ladies.

4. Smash Mouth – “Walkin’ on the Sun”

Hard to believe there was once a time Smash Mouth was the biggest band in the world. For a brief period they were featured in just about every commercial, TV show and movie (sometimes even making appearances). I guess you could say they might as well have been walkin’ on the sun, am I right people?

5. Sugar Ray (featuring Supercat) – “Fly”

Sometimes I wonder what has become of Supercat since the song “Fly.” What would I think were I to walk a mile in his shoes? What kinds of things inhabit the mind of such a person, and if such things be either virtuous in nature or capricious to the extent that a man has a right to be so?

This song is the epitome of meaningless lyrics.

6. Bran Van 3000 – “Drinking in L.A.”

“Hi, my name is Stereo Mike.”

“Yeah, we got three tickets to the Bran Van concert happening this Monday night at the Pacific Pallisades. You can all dial in if you want to answer a couple of questions, namely, what is Todd’s favourite cheese. Jackie just called up and said it was a form of Roquefort. We’ll see about that . . .”

“Give us a ring-ding-ding! It’s a beautiful day.”

7. Marilyn Manson – “The Beautiful People”

Why anyone would put Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People” immediately following the cool, calm outro of “Drinking in L.A.” is beyond me. Definitely the heaviest of all the BST2 songs, it sticks out quite a bit thematically, but remember those music videos? They were damn popular.

8. Holly McNarland – “Numb”

Holly McNarland, Manitoban born and bred! Not the strongest song on the album, but not bad either. To be fair, it’s not entirely “big” or “shiny.”

9. Bush – “Swallowed”

I don’t think there was ever a time in 1997 that you’d turn on your TV and not see the video for this song. I remember it being a slow motion party-type-thing. I remember liking the song.

Speaking of which, does anybody remember that one Bush video where Gavin Rosdale is playing some sort of angel who’s being interrogated by the cops? What was that all about?

10. Matchbox 20 – “Push”

Post-grunge poppy pretty boys Matchbox 20 have a number of hits in their arsenal. “Push” was one of the earlier successes.

11. Collective Soul – “Precious Declaration (Remix)”

Somehow I always confuse Collective Soul for the band Live. Still happens to this day, like when I listened to this song and thought, “they also do ‘Lightning Crashes,’ right?”

12. The Tea Party – “Temptation (Edit) (Tom Lord-Alge Mix)”

Ugh, the Tea Party. Next song.

13. The Chemical Brothers – “Block Rockin’ Beats (Radio Edit)”

Wheee, the Chemical Brothers! This song is all kinds of hip. Still stands up well today.

14. Wide Mouth Mason – “My Old Self”

I’ll be honest, I don’t remember this one at all.

15. Radiohead – “Paranoid Android”

You’ll likely remember “Paranoid Android” one of two ways: as the cartoon music video where topless mermaids rescue a guy in a purple toque or as the pinnacle of Radiohead’s third album, OK Computer.

One of the more demanding songs on this, what is otherwise a pretty fluffy compilation.

16. The Age of Electric – “Remote Control”

I don’t know why exactly, but I fucking loved this song. I even bought the Age of Electric CD Make a Pest a Pet just to listen to this one song, and I already had it on my Big Shiny Tunes 2 CD.

17. Stone Temple Pilots – “Lady Picture Show”

Not the best STP song ever written, but hey, it’s not a bad one either. Perfectly suitable to round out the mix, closing out the second Big Shiny Tunes strong.

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