Music is such an integral part of our society. Whether or not you choose to, we hear music every day. Sitting in the office, grocery shopping or driving around, there’s constantly music playing. It’s no wonder that it can be so intertwined with specific memories from our life. So when we discovered The Nostalgia Machine we were pretty excited.
We decided to take a step back into our awkward teenage years and pick our favorite songs from when we were thirteen. See what special meaning these songs have to us!
Madonna – “Like a Virgin” from 1985
I grew up on the Southside of Chicago. At the age of 13, you’d rarely see me without my boombox and rolled up cardboard, ready for the next breakdancing battle. In the summer of ’85 I met a fabulous girl that dressed like Boy George (every single day). She had just moved to town and boy (George) she made my heart skip a beat (every time we meet). One day she invited me over and introduced me to a new song she had on LP, “Like a Virgin” by Madonna. We must have listened to that song 10 times and at the end of the night she gave me a big smooch—on the cheek! We became friends and soon after I moved away, we lost touch. But even to this day, whenever I hear the song “Like a Virgin” (let alone Madonna) I think of that crazy gal that decided one day when she was 13 that she’d dress like Boy George. It seemed a perfectly normal choice at the time, but now that I am a parent myself, it makes me giggle to think about what her parents were thinking. Now 30 years later, I do wonder if she still dresses like Boy George? In my head, of course she does! – George
Backstreet Boys – “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” from 1997
In 1997, I was unabashedly in the prime of my love for boy bands. While now I cringe outwardly at the idea of One Direction, I still get it. Well, my inner 13-year old teenage girl gets it. Because I was a fan of Backstreet Boys, Nsync and all the other dancing and crooning groups that popped up in the late 1990s. – Vee
Shaggy featuring RikRok – “It Wasn’t Me” from 2001
I remember the first time I heard this song, I was extremely confused because I thought that RikRok’s voice was that of a girls. Also, can anyone understand what Shaggy is saying ever? I mean, his voice sounds cool and all but I understand maybe one in every five words that he says. The logic behind this song is definitely the best part though! “Your girlfriend saw you doing something you shouldn’t be doing? Just tell her it wasn’t you!” Sound logic Shaggy! I didn’t understand this song when I was 13 and I still don’t but either way it’s mad catchy! – Chris
Nelly – “Hot in Herre” from 2002
When I was 13 I was hitting up all of the Bat Mitzvah’s getting my groove thang on. Perhaps it was because of my ex-dj father, my rap loving mother or my cooler high school aged sister, but I was for sure listening to some pretty grimy jams when I was still rocking my glow in the dark braces. With that being said, I would like to pay some homage to Nelly for making my middle school career way more spunky with the help of “Hot in Herre”. Did I still listen to this song as a college student at essentially every frat party I attended? Yes. Do I still love hearing it in 2015? Yes. Go put a Band-Aid on your face and “get up up on the dance floor”! – Chrissy
Missy Elliott – “Work It” from 2003
When I was 13, the year was 2003. And I would be amiss, especially after the 2015 Grammys, if I didn’t talk about Missy Elliot’s hit single “Work It”. The rap anthem to so many teenage dance parties, “Work It” spent ten consecutive weeks on the Billboard’s Hot 100. This song brings back such wonderful memories of jamming along to the lyrics, “put my thing down, flip it and reverse it”. I actually remember trying to keep up with her dancing and failing horribly. Every time I hear this song nowadays, it still manages to make me happy. Talk about longevity! – Stef
Fall Out Boy – “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” from 2005
Nothing pairs better with teen angst than guyliner and guitars. I’ve loved Fall Out Boy since their first album, but “From Under the Cork Tree” was the first CD I bought completely on my own—hard-earned from another neighborhood babysitting session. This video (or if I’m being honest, my alarmingly large crush on Pete Wentz) also led to me buying my first concert ticket all on my own later that year. And when I got my first cellphone, this was my carefully-downloaded ringtone for the longest time. This one song fueled a fun year of changes, the most notable being my introduction into the dangerous world of band-stalking on Myspace. Myspace culture may be dead, but my love for this song lives on! – Lauren
What songs were popular when you were 13? Any good memories to go along with them? Let us know in the comments.