REWIND: You don’t feel old enough, so let’s put music in perspective

Marky Mark, Mark Wahlberg

We decided not to show you Mark Wahlberg’s most famous photograph from back in the day, because it makes us feel insecure.

I’m sorry I have to be the one to tell you this, but you’re old. You’re so, so very old.

For example Friends is making a nostalgia-fueled resurgence, despite the fact it’s whiter than a snowstorm at a Pottery Barn in Portland and the characters are all horrible people. Seriously, their group of six includes a raging homophobe, a serial rapist, a clinical psychopath and several narcissists. [Gokhman note: For those of us who never watched the show and are only familiar with the names and faces, let’s all hope the rapist is not Jennifer Aniston].

But I digress. On the day Friends premiered, The Beverly Hillbillies was as old as Friends is now. Remember thinking your parents were lame for liking ancient sitcoms full of jokes that don’t make any sense anymore? That’s you now.

It’s even worse for music.

Gorillaz — “Feel Good Inc.”
Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch — “Good Vibrations”

Let’s start you off easy.

“Feel Good Inc.” seems pretty recent, right? I mean it’s not super current but it’s not exactly classic rock. Well, it’s as old now as “Good Vibrations” was when it came out. And “Good Vibrations” did not seem particularly fresh back then.

Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that there was a member of the Funky Bunch named Hector the Booty Inspector. That happened and we as a nation are going to have to live with it.

Andrew WK — “Party Hard”
Bonnie Tyler — “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

Do you remember 2001? We were all poor, naive fools who had no idea what we had ahead of us. It was a simpler time of hope and, thanks to friend of the site Andrew WK, a reminder to party hard.

Now, do you remember how old “Total Eclipse of the Heart” seemed back then? It seemed old. It seemed really old. It was a dated relic of a bygone era that had mercifully long since died out. And it was as old then as “Party Hard” is now.

Santana featuring Rob Thomas — “Smooth”
Anita Ward — “Ring My Bell”

I think we all remember where we were when it was originally a hot one, like seven inches from the midday sun. And we all think we realize how old that song is, since not only has it been memed but even the meme is a classic.

Well, when “Smooth” came out, disco was as old as “Smooth” is now. Santana featuring Rob Thomas is disco old. But somehow Carlos Santana remains cool.

[Gokhman note: Willis, none of our readers have “Smooth” confused with anything remotely new].

Backstreet Boys — “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”
Captain & Tennille — “Love Will Keep Us Together”

Were you young when the Backstreet Boys were popular? Perhaps you were part of their target audience. Maybe you had a Backstreet Boys poster.

Well, to someone that age today, the Backstreet Boys were as modern and relevant as Captain & Tennille were to you back then. If you try to convince a tween to listen to the Backstreet Boys it’s like a lame adult making you listen to Captain & Tennille.

Nirvana — “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
The Kingsmen — “Louie Louie”

You’re not getting out of this in one piece, Gen X.

Some people still get thrown off when Nirvana shows up on classic rock stations. Aren’t those stations for old stuff like the Beatles and the Beach Boys? Nirvana isn’t that old, is it!?

Turns out it’s even older! “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is as old today as “Louie Louie” was when it was released. And even back then that was early classic rock, after Elvis but before the bulk of “oldies” station KFRC‘s playlist.

Nirvana is oldies. That’s a real thing that we can never un-know.

Follow editor Daniel J. Willis and tweet column ideas to him at

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