11 Songs Old Enough to Buy Booze
From "I'm Too Sexy" to "Smells Like Teen Spirit," here are 11 songs that are currently 21 years old and ready to party. Please card them—they're proud to be of age.
1. "I'm Too Sexy," Right Said Fred
Released on July 15, 1991, "I'm Too Sexy" is almost too sexy for this list—it's just days away from turning 22!
2. "Baby Got Back," Sir Mix-a-Lot
On May 7, 1992, the world changed. Sir Mix-a-Lot unleashed "Baby Got Back" and the music world was briefly shocked, then grudgingly admitted the song's awesomeness. The song quickly reached #1 on the Billboard US Hot 100 chart on the strength of its "LA face with an Oakland booty."
3. "November Rain," Guns N' Roses
Don't you hate it when you spend $1 million on your wedding/music video, and the bride character dies at the end? Well, spoiler alert, we've been grieving since June 2, 1992.
4. "Under the Bridge," Red Hot Chili Peppers
Originally written as a poem, Anthony Kiedis didn't think "Under the Bridge" could be a RHCP song until producer Rick Rubin urged him to give it a go. Good thing he did, as the song became an instant hit and remains one of the most-heard songs of the era. It was released as a single on March 10, 1992.
5. "Life Is a Highway," Tom Cochrane
If you're Tom Cochrane, you're best known for your highway-themed song. And that song is now 21 and 10 months old, having debuted in September 1991. But it's cool, because it was a huge hit back then, and a huge hit again when Rascal Flatts did a cover in 2007 for the Cars soundtrack. So Tom's gonna keep riding this song's success indefinitely (or all night long, whichever is metaphorically longer).
6. "Friday I'm in Love," The Cure
Released on May 11, 1992, "Friday I'm in Love" was the second single on The Cure's Grammy-nominated album Wish, the followup to everybody's favorite The Cure album, Disintegration. (At least it was our favorite in the 80s. It was a different time.) Anyhoo, this tune seemed impossibly poppy at the time, but the video more than made up for it. Just wonderful.
7. "To Be with You," Mr. Big
There's not much to say about this song, released in November 1991. I guess I'll quote, in its entirety, Wikipedia's summary of the song: "'To Be With You' is about a man who has his eye on a woman who has recently experienced a broken heart from a previous relationship." I particularly enjoy the diversity of men's hairstyles shown in this video.
8. "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss," P.M. Dawn
Released in August 1991, "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" and its music video are amazing records of their time. If you weren't around in the early 90s, you can learn most of what you need just by watching this: we wore a lot of awkward sunglasses, music videos had live scribbling animation on them, and we were sampling songs released just the decade prior. And we liked it.
9. "Head On," Pixies
Although this song was first released several years earlier by The Jesus and Mary Chain, my favorite version is the Pixies cover released in late 1991. Because the band refused to make fake-o music videos, they settled on this bizarro multi-camera setup and played the single live. Just weeks ago, the reunited Pixies announced that bassist Kim Deal had left the band, but she's doing fine—touring the country with her own reunited band The Breeders, and playing their 1993 classic album Last Splash.
10. "2 Legit 2 Quit," MC Hammer
"Get buck, get buck! Get buck, get buck, get buck!" That's how we liked our backup vocals in November 1991. We also liked our music videos pushed well past 10 minutes with crazy filler. In this classic extended video, MC Hammer meets James Brown (who calls Hammer his "Godson"). Brown encourages Hammer to get Michael Jackson's magic glove, and blasts him with...the power of funk? Anyway, this is amazing.
11. "One," U2
One in a string of hits from U2's album Achtung Baby, "One" is now considered among U2's best songs -- Rolling Stone listed it as #36 on the 500 "Great Songs of All Time." It may also be responsible for keeping the band from breaking up, and remains a firm pillar of their live show. "One" was released on March 6, 1992, making it old enough to buy booze in the U.S. -- but good luck smoking cloves in a bar in the States these days, buddy.
BONUS: Every Song on Nevermind, Nirvana
Oh, you thought I'd end this list without acknowledging "Smells Like Teen Spirit," or "Come as You Are," or "In Bloom," or even "Lithium"? You'd have to be drunk not to include the hits from Nevermind, released in September 1991, on this list! Here's a little Nirvana to round out your day...and make you feel super, extra, bonus old.