This shirt, donated from Nerdy Shirts (http://www.nerdyshirts.com, http://www.nerdyshirts.com/mix-tape-t-shirt), took me back and made me wonder what would have been the “Ultimate Love Mix” I blared out the windows as I cruised the streets in between my junior and senior years of high school. So, I looked at my tapes and googled a bit and came up with the mix. I only took songs that were released in either 1990 or 1991 and ones I remember singing along to. Some have stories, some were my favorites, and some were just really popular. Most would fall under the banner of “hair band ballads”, but others represent the end of hair metal’s success. More than once, they were all played in a red 1985 Plymouth Duster…
- What You Give – Tesla: This is my favorite Tesla song (I know most of you are thinking how can you just pick one favorite with Tesla?). Even if Tesla’s “Love Song” was released in 1991, I still would have picked “What You Give”. I really do think “It’s only what you give…”
- To Be With You – Mr. Big: I dare you to try and not sing along to this song. Go ahead, because I can’t.
- When I First Kissed You – Extreme: Although “More Than Words” might seem the obvious choice here, I do like this one better because it has a better story (and I hate it when people think “More Than Words” is a typical Extreme song). “When I First Kissed You” was on Extreme’s second album, Pornograffitti. As the title suggests, there are many songs on it that deal with sex, selling sex, and more sex. There are also songs about love: “More Than Words”, “Song for Love”, and this one (some people think “Hole Hearted” is a love song, but it’s religious – listen again, and you’ll see). So, one day I left the Pornograffitti tape in my dad’s car. As luck would have it, “When I First Kissed You” was playing the next time my dad drove his car. He came inside and gave me the tape saying, “Yeah, there was this really nice song playing, something about New York City…” I sighed one of my biggest sighs, wondering what his reaction would have been had the previous song (Pornograffitti) been playing: it mentions sex in every line and finishes with the singer simply repeating the word sex over and over.
- (Everything I Do) I Do It for You – Bryan Adams: This made it big as part of the Robin Hood movie that came out in 1991 and was played at every high school dance that happened that year.
- Silent Lucidity – Queensryche: I remember this song being huge, and knew my friend Carl might have stopped talking to me if I didn’t include it.
- Baby Loves You – Enuff Z’nuff: I wanted to include something “less ballady” and I think I told my girlfriend at the time that it reminded me of her.
- One Step Way – Ratt: Not really known for their “love songs”, Ratt was on their way out when 1991 came rolling around. Still, they were one of my favorite bands of the hair genre, and I was still Ratt n’ Rolling in high school.
- I’ll Never Let You Go – Steelheart: I owned the Steelheart tape, but couldn’t name any of their other songs without looking at it. “Angel eyes, you have angel eyes…”
- Love of a Lifetime – FireHouse: Similar to Steelheart, but I also remember “Don’t Treat Me Bad”. There was also a hot chick on the front of the album.
- Miles Away – Winger: Known mostly for their songs “Seventeen” and “Headed for a Heartbreak”, this was off Winger’s second album. Although I wouldn’t call Winger one of my favorites, I remember some kid at my high school who was a huuuuge Winger fan (going to have to look at the yearbook later). And I did see them live at a Slaughter/Winger/Kiss triple bill at The Centrum…sweeeet.
- High Enough – Damn Yankees: These guys formed in 1989 (Tommy Shaw from Styx, Jack Blades of Night Ranger, Ted Nugent, and Michael Cartellone – yeah, I had to look that up) and this was their biggest hit (#3 on the pop charts). Still a damn good song today.
- Don’t Cry - Guns N’ Roses: It’s really too bad these guys couldn’t get along better. Damn egos.
- Heartbreak Station – Cinderella: One of the most talented bands to come out of the 80s, this song is a close second to their “Don’t Know What You Got (‘Til It’s Gone) on their 1988 album, Long Cold Winter.
- Seeing Things – The Black Crowes: Off the amazing first album from The Crowes, this song actually made it to #2 on the Mainstream Rock Track charts. Can’t wait to see them on the 23rd!
- Black – Pearl Jam: My favorite Pearl Jam song, this and the rest of the Ten album helped to end the days of the “hair bands”. Songs were no longer about good times and partying. Life and Love sucked, and Seattle was there to remind us…
Honorable mentions (that couldn’t fit on a CD):
More Than Words – Extreme, I Saw Red - Warrant, I Still Think About You – Danger Danger
If you’d like a copy of “Dave’s Ultimate Love Mix – Summer ‘91, just let me know! Or let me know any songs you would have included!