Let Me Entertain You: 101 songs that instantly transport me back to the mid 90s to early 00s


I’m not really a music person. Growing up, I didn’t listen to the radio, I didn’t seek out new songs to listen to and I didn’t buy CDs like everyone else did (but that was more to do with the fact that I’m a saver not a spender). Most of the time, I preferred silence than listening to music. Due to my complete inability to multitask, for me there was no such thing as having music on ‘in the background’; if music was playing, it commanded my full attention – I couldn’t listen to music AND do something else like reading or talking or homework.

As a result of not listening to much music, I had/have an appallingly poor knowledge of songs/bands/singers. What I did sometimes listen to (and enjoy) though, were songs from musicals, Disney songs and contemporary “Christian” songs at that time (Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, Rex Allchurch etc.).

So when I gave myself the challenge of listing all the songs that I remember from growing up (age 8-16 ish) that were NOT musicals/Disney/”Christian”, I was surprised by how many flooded into my mind. I guess I heard quite a lot of music by default, either through what my brothers played on their CD players or through being at friends’ houses/at friends’ birthday parties. There were also a couple of years (1997/98?) when I sometimes watched Top of the Pops because my brothers were watching it (I tended to get bored though; I found just sitting still listening to music very tedious) but I did enjoy some of the songs.

I actually feel fondly about the songs in my list below because they almost all have memories attached to them. They immediately transport me back to a particular moment or person. So these songs may be cheesy and uncool but to me, they are the sound of the mid 90s to early 00s. And, if I’m honest, I do quite like most of the songs of “my era” of music, even though I may have said that I hated them at the time. Just remembering the songs and the people that they remind me of makes me happy. So here they are, in no particular order, all the songs I remember from the mid 90s to early 00s. How do they compare to your memory of that time? What would your list of songs from those years look like?

Believe – Cher
Trouble – Shampoo
Fly away – Lenny Kravitz
C’est la vie – B*witched
Rollercoaster – B*witched
Blame it on the weatherman – B*witched
Doctor Jones – Aqua
Barbie Girl – Aqua
Life is a flower – Ace of Base
Ooh stick you – Daphne and Celeste
Never Ever – All Saints
Lady Marmalade – All Saints
Perfect 10 – The Beautiful South
Pretty Fly for a White Guy – The Offspring
Brimful of Asha – Cornershop
Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve
When you say nothing at all – Ronan Keating
MMMBop – Hanson
Praise you – Fatboy Slim
I’m like a bird – Nelly Furtado
Mr. Smurftastic – The Smurfs (based on Boombastic – Shaggy)
Vindaloo – Fat Les
No Limit – 2 Unlimited
Mr Blobby – Mr Blobby
Bring it all back – S Club 7
Reach – S Club 7
Don’t stop movin’ – S Club 7
Never had a dream come true – S Club 7
Wannabe – Spice Girls
Say you’ll be there – Spice Girls
2 become 1 – Spice Girls
Who Do You Think You Are – Spice Girls
Mama – Spice Girls
Spice up your life – Spice Girls
Stop – Spice Girls
Everybody (Backstreet’s back) – Backstreet Boys
All I have to give – Backstreet Boys
I want it that way – Backstreet Boys
How deep is your love – Take That
Old before I die – Robbie Williams
Angels – Robbie Williams
Let me entertain you – Robbie Williams
Millennium – Robbie Williams
She’s the one – Robbie Williams
Rock DJ – Robbie Williams
5, 6, 7, 8 – Steps
Tragedy – Steps
Slam Dunk (Da Funk) – Five
Everybody get up – Five
Love me for a reason – Boyzone
No Matter What – Boyzone
When the going gets tough – Boyzone
Roll with it – Oasis
Wonderwall – Oasis
Don’t Look Back in Anger – Oasis
D’You know what I mean? – Oasis
Stand by me – Oasis
All Around the World – Oasis
Stop Crying Your Heart Out – Oasis
Runaway – The Corrs
Dreams – The Corrs
I Never Loved You Anyway – The Corrs
Flying Without Wings – Westlife
Uptown Girl – Westlife
…Baby One More Time – Britney Spears
(You Drive Me) Crazy – Britney Spears
Oops I did it again – Britney Spears
I’m a man not a boy – North & South
I don’t want to wait – Paula Cole
Run like mad – Jann Arden
My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
Because you loved me – Michael Ball cover version
Miami – Will Smith
Men in Black – Will Smith
Pure and Simple – Hear’say
Perfect Day – 1997 charity single with many performers
Man! I feel like a woman – Shania Twain
Would you…? – Touch and Go
Let’s talk about sex – Salt-N-Pepa
Sex on the beach – T-Spoon
It’s raining men – Geri Halliwell
Ooh Aah…Just a little bit – Gina G
Love Shine a Light – Katrina and the Waves
Complicated – Avril Lavigne
Sk8er boi – Avril Lavigne
Torn – Natalie Imbruglia
Livin’ La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin
Hero – Enrique Iglesias
I’ll be missing you – Puff Daddy featuring Faith Evans and 112
Hallelujah – Rufus Wainwright
Is it ‘cos I’m cool? – Mousse T.
Leave right now – Will Young
Evergreen – Will Young
I’m just a kid – Simple Plan
Three Lions – Baddiel & Skinner & Lightning Seeds
Search for the hero – M People
All Star – Smash Mouth
May It Be – Enya
I believe I can fly – R. Kelly
Saturday Night – Whigfield
Macarena – Los del rio

[NB I’m only able to sometimes jab out one or two sentences per day with my thumb on the screen of this iPhone, so this was written over a long period of time. Please forgive any mistakes or if some parts seem a bit disjointed.
Due to my illness, I haven’t been able to listen to music these last nine years. If I hadn’t become ill, I probably would have explored the music world at least a little bit. Maybe.]