Aural Euphoria




November 21, 2022

These are the liner notes for the Aural Euphoria playlist. I put this playlist together for my students, advisees, and colleagues who were all, to paraphrase Emo Philips, “born at a less comfortable distance from the apocalypse.” This playlist is composed of songs that were a part of my musical education.

The Early Years (Side A)

As with any musical education, the artists and songs that resonated with me early on were a function of what my parents (especially my dad) listened to. This consisted of old country music, early R&B, folk, and a lot of Elvis. My sister and I were weaned on the old 45s of Sam Cooke and Elvis. We also were exposed to a lot of old country music, learning songs by Tammy Wynette, Hank Snow, Charlie Pride, and Tom T. Hall, to name a few. But, by far and away, the two groups we heard the most of were Peter, Paul, & Mary (my first concert at the ripe old age of three) and The Statkler Brothers (still might be my favorite band).

  • Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke; 1962)
  • I Like Beer (Tom T. Hall; 1975)
  • (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear (Elvis Presley; 1957)
  • Puff the Magic Dragon (Peter, Paul, & Mary; 1963)
  • Thank You World (The Statler Brothers; 1974)
  • Tijuana Jail (Kingston Trio; 1959)

Honorable Mention

  • Elvira (Oak Ridge Boys; 1981)
  • The Gambler (Kenny Rogers; 1978)
  • Kiss An Angel Good Morning (Charlie Pride)
  • Could I Have This Dance (Anne Murray; 1980)
  • House At Pooh Corner (Loggins & Messina; 1974)
  • The Mosquito Song (Douglas Wood; 1980)
  • Grandma’s Feather Bed (Live) (John Denver; 1975)
  • Mr. Tambourine Man (The Byrds; 1969)

Junior High (Side A)

As a bonafide product of Gen-X, I have a soft spot for early 80’s music. This was the era where I got my first cassette tape (Weird Al Yankovic’s Dare To Be Stupid) and started to listen to things my parents didn’t approve of. I think I wore out several of these early cassettes, rewinding to replay a loved song over and over. Some of my favorites were Culture CLub’s Colour By Numbers, Prince’s 1999, the Crüe’s Theatre of Pain, The Boss’ Born In The U.S.A., and of course, Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

  • That’s The Way (I’m Only Trying to Help You) (Culture Club; 1983)
  • Beat It (Michael Jackson; 1982)
  • Glory Days (Bruce Springsteen; 1984)
  • Little Red Corvette (Prince; 1982)
  • Smokin’ In The Boys Room (Mötley Crüe; 1985)
  • Glory of Love (Peter Cetera; 1986)

Honorable Mention

  • Only You (Yazoo; 1982)
  • Foolish Beat (Debbie Gibson; 1987)
  • Manic Monday (The Bangles; 1986)
  • Cum On Feel The Noize (Quiet Riot; 1983)
  • I Wanna Rock (Twisted Sister; 1984)
  • We’ve Got Tonight (Kenny Rogers; 1983)
  • Next Time I Fall In Love (Peter Cetera & Amy Grant; 1986)

High School (Side A)

The music I listened to in high school was far more heterogeneous and eclectic. Around this time is when rap and hip-hop started to trickle into my reportoire. Hair bands, synth pop, and early 90’s country music dominated the radio, and what kind of teen would I be without a high dosage of emo?

  • O.P.P. (Naughty By Nature; 1991)
  • Friends In Low Places (Garth Brooks; 1990) – Needs to have the extended verse
  • Patience (Guns N’ Roses; 1988)
  • Misguided Angel (Cowboy Junkies; 1988)
  • It’s Tricky (Run-D.M.C.; 1986)
  • The Promise (When In Rome; 1988)
  • Friday I’m In Love (The Cure; 1992)
  • King of Wishful Thinking (Go West; 1990)
  • Bed Of Roses (Bon Jovi; 1992)

Honorable Mention

  • Going Back To Cali (LL Cool J; 1989)
  • Every Rose Has Its Thorn (Poison; 1988)
  • Walking In Memphis (Marc Cohn; 1991)
  • Wipeout (The Fat Boys; 1987)
  • If I Had A Boat (Lyle Lovett; 1988)
  • The Dance (Garth Brooks; 1990)
  • Blame It On The Rain (Milli Vanilli; 1989)
  • Angel From Montgomery (John Prine & Bonnie Raitt; 1990)
  • Straight Outta Compton (N.W.A.; 1988)

The College Years (Side B)

College was a time of continued growth and and finding “new” music. During this time I also worked at The Electric Fetus in St. Cloud, and was exposed to all sorts of different artists. Grunge, a lot of indie artists, female bands, and Brit rock dominated the scene in this era.

  • Yellow Ledbetter (Pearl Jam; 1991)
  • Fade Into You (Mazzy Star; 1993)
  • Hook (Blues Traveler; 1994)
  • Common People (Pulp; 1995)
  • Hobart Paving (Saint Etienne; 1993)
  • Black Gold (Soul Asylum; 1992)
  • It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) (R.E.M.; 1987)
  • I’m On My Way (Proclaimers; 1988)

Honorable Mention

  • Stay (Shakespeare’s Sister; 1992)
  • Rooster (Alice In Chains; 1992)
  • Bizarre Love Triangle (New Order; 1986)
  • Foolish Games (Jewel; 1995)
  • She’s Electric (Oasis; 1995)
  • Go West (Pet Shop Boys; 1993)
  • Independnece Day (Martina McBride; 1993)
  • Feed The Tree (Belly; 1993)
  • Spin The Bottle (The Juliana Hatfield Three; 1993)

Teaching High School

I taught high school math from 1998–2002. During this time period, I listened to a lot of soft rock (think Matchbox 20), harmonic female country acts, and dance oriented pop and hip-hop. I also got into U2 during this time for some reason. On the radio, teen pop got big.

  • Cold Day In July (Dixie Chicks; 1999)
  • Because I Got High (Afroman; 2001)
  • Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely (Backstreet Boys; 1999)
  • I Want You To Want Me (Letters To Cleo; 1999)
  • Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of (U2; 2000)
  • Ride Wit Me (Nelly; 2000)
  • No Frontiers (The Corrs; 1999)
  • My Baby (Lil’ Romeo; 2001)
  • The Bad Touch (Bloodhound Gang; 1999)

Honorable Mention

  • Lucky 4 You (Tonight I’m Just Me) (SHeDaAISY; 1999)
  • MMMBop (Hanson; 1997)
  • Never Ever (All Saints; 1997)
  • Power of Goodbye (Madonna; 1998)
  • What’s Your Fantasy (Ludacris feat. Shawna; 2000)
  • Jump Jive An’ Wail (The Brian Setzer Orchestra; 1998)
  • Hard Knock Life (JAY-Z; 1998)

Graduate School (Side B)