Monday, June 18, 2018

Songs I Love from '90s High School Movies

by Adam Riske
Listen to these when your parents ground you for breaking curfew.

Song: “Anything”
Artist: SWV
From: Above the Rim

I love SWV. They or TLC are my favorite hip-hop girl group of the ‘90s. “Anything” is such a jam (no basketball pun intended…see Uncle Drew, only in theaters #subliminal) and takes me to my happy place where everything is funky with amazing samples. This video makes me wish I had a basketball-centric gym class with strobe lighting at least once in my life. P.S. That woman has huge nails. How can she handle the rock with those claws?

Song: “You Wanted More”
Artist: Tonic
From: American Pie

Tonic is one of those ‘90s bands that are now playing summer carnivals (I say that with affection, not as a slight). In honor of that, I’m picking their single from the American Pie soundtrack. This video reminds me of when I was kissing in high school and people would yell “Get a fucking room!” and I thought “I’ve got no place else to go!!!”

Song: “Need You Around”
Artist: Smoking Popes
From: Clueless

I’ve been in a big Alicia Silverstone phase lately with her new show American Woman (co-starring Mena Suvari!), revisiting The Crush for Junesploitation, and now this column, where I can feature a song I love from her terrific movie Clueless. Fun times! I like how in the video it randomly says “JB TV” in the corner. I’m imagining a network JB would program where this music video would air during a break between Bikini Beach and Blood Feast. I’d watch it.

Song: “Don’t Go There”
Artist: 24k
From: Dangerous Minds

I haven’t seen Dangerous Minds in forever, but I remember renting it in 1996 and thinking it was fantastic. This song is amazing, too, and an improvement on “Respect” by Aretha Franklin. I love the 24k girls’ Dangerous Minds shirts. I want one. I’d wear it to bed. My favorite parts of this video are the jump rope guy at the 1:25 mark (it’s a better edit than monkey bone-space shuttle in 2001: A Space Odyssey) and 2:47 with Kung Fu Pfeiffer. Eat your heart out, Bruce Lee.

Song: “(You Drive Me) Crazy”
Artist: Britney Spears
From: Drive Me Crazy

The aesthetic of this video is bananas. It’s like they retrofitted Axis Chemicals from the 1989 Batman and turned it into a Steak ‘n Shake with a DJ booth. “(You Drive Me) Crazy” is one of those double dip songs that appears on the soundtrack to the movie it’s featured and on the artist’s album – in this case Britney’s debut, “…Baby One More Time.” It’s the second-best song (I’m a “Sometimes” man) on that CD, imho. Did you know that album also has a track titled “E-mail My Heart”? That’s some quaint shit right there. All that aside, it’s nice to finally include Ms. Spears on one of these “Songs I Love…” columns. I’m a fan. I want to see her Planet Hollywood show every time I’m in Vegas for work.

Song: “Ain’t My Type of Hype”
Artist: Full Force
From: House Party

Here’s a video with an abundance of delights including booty shaking, cartoon rappers, crowd singers and Tommy Gunn Rocky V haircuts. I remember it weirding me out when I was younger that Full Force (the bullies in House Party) were behind this upbeat party song that Kid ‘n Play dance to during the film. Can you imagine if real life was like this and bullies made music that their victims danced to unwittingly?

Song: “Yoo Hoo”
Artist: Imperial Teen
From: Jawbreaker

Should I see Jawbreaker? I’ve almost checked it out a few times but never have because I heard it was bad. I dig this song, though. It’s catchy. The video is a little weak, like they showed up on set and didn’t know what to do so it’s just a proto-House of 1000 Corpses starring Rose McGowan. This video needs some Judy Greer! BTW…I’m so glad I’ve never eaten (sucked on?) a jawbreaker. It looks like the most painful, high-risk candy. Kazoozles or GTFO.

Song: “Kiss Me”
Artist: Sixpence None the Richer
From: She’s All That

I’m going to close out with (chef’s kiss) one of the greatest songs that has ever been in a movie. I could bathe in this song’s melancholy outro. How lucky is Rachael Leigh Cook to have this as her life anthem? I dig the cameos by her and Freddie Prinze Jr. in the video, too. She’s all that and he seems like the nicest guy. I wish they could have been a couple everlasting. My only complaint comes around the 2:40 mark when he takes off her glasses and then kisses her on the head, but it’s like he doesn’t know how to do it correctly. It looks awkward. I know what I’m talking about here, too. I’ve given a million ladies a million kisses on the head, and they all meant something. I got my technique down and everything, I don’t be ticklin’ or nothin’.

What are some other songs you love from ‘90s high school movies? Happy High School Day!


  1. Considering that 'Juice' is a high school movie, I'm gonna go with the entire 'Juice' soundtrack.

  2. Class of 1999 (1990)

    What if I showed you a movie staring Stacey Keach, Malcom McDowell, and an incredibly fetching Pam Grier? Now what if I told you that movie was a ripoff of Robocop featuring a kid from Stand By Me and the little brother from Teen Witch in the Kurtwood Smith gang role? Class of 1999 is as exploitative as it gets, considering it's a pseudo-sequel to the "So Problematic It Might Be Milius" Class of 1984. Gets points deducted for not having a baby-faced Michael J Fox like the original, but might get them back for the "android spanking a student to death" scene.

  3. OF COURSE you put a Full Force song from "House Party" on this list! I knew there was a reason that you're one of my favorites.

  4. Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)

    The Raplcements - Can’t Hardly Wait

  5. Eh, cool songs evoke very pleasant, nostalgic feelings about the old days. That study was completely different, then there was no site to help in study, I came to do everything myself