My life in albums: 1997: The wander year

Everybody has a musical awakening story, and a musical skeleton in the closet. Despite my relatively awesome beginnings, my life in albums almost went off the rails in my first year of really liking music. My sisters and I used to watch Rage on a Saturday morning. And before I’d really discovered the magic of radio we used to make mix tapes by holding the tape recorder up to the speakers.

One of the songs on high rotation on Rage in that year was Hanson’s Mmmbop. Still a catchy little number. Even if Taylor does look remarkably feminine.

My sisters were hooked. This album was on high rotation in our house. All the time. I know all the words to all the songs. My middle sister bonded with her now husband when they sang some Hanson songs together after church one night, their “recessional”, or whatever the song at the end of the wedding ceremony is, was another Hanson song, and at their wedding reception I used the song Madeleine to draw people’s attention back from their conversations to the original proceedings (that’s my sister’s name). Anonymity lost.

But for me, it was perhaps a darker musical year. One week my attention turned to Video Hits after Rage. I remember it like it was yesterday. This song came on. Some guys were walking into a haunted house. The music started. There was thunder. And then there was boy band magic. And some sort of werewolf.

I got on my pushbike and rode down to my sisters’ netball games on the other side of town. In Maclean, NSW. So not far. The song playing over and over in my head.

Am I original? Yeah.
Am I the only one? Yeah…

I saved up my pocket money ($2 a week plus mowing money in those days). And one day, on a trip to the Gold Coast, I think Pacific Fair. I had a look around Toys’R’Us. And a couple of other shops. And then walked into Big W. And came out a changed man. If not for that moment I would not have been bullied at school for a whole year, for thinking that the Backstreet Boys were cutting edge and awesome. I read the liner notes, and most of them thanked Jesus. So they were Christians too. And back then, at the age of 13, I thought Christian music was pretty cool. In fact, a year later, a Christian band called Aroma opened my eyes to rock (listen to the song Maggot here). And from there… well, you’ll have to wait until 1998’s post.

These were the only videos I could find easily and embed…

If I recall, there was a certain very good friend of mine (I won’t name – but he blogs and I’ve linked to him heaps, and he likes Pixar) who borrowed my CD and also enjoyed it.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

3 thoughts on “My life in albums: 1997: The wander year”

  1. I’m also a year younger than you. That means I wasn’t yet a teenager, which in turn means I was technically still allowed to enjoy pop.

    You have no excuse.

    Backstreet’s back…

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