It has been scientifically proven that children learn better and faster than adults, due to the development of the prefrontal cortex. Is this, then, why music from our childhood seems to mean so much more than whatever is on the charts nowadays? As our parents forever venerate ‘Relax’ by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, in 10 years will people be calling Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Humble’ a classic?
Let us look back on the embarrassment that was the British Year 7 Disco.
With Spice Girls considering a reunion this year for the first time since their hiatus in December 2000, music from one or two decades ago is beginning to be looked at again. It was never necessarily forgotten, but in many cases it was most likely pushed as far to the back of the brain as possible.
1. Steps – ‘5678’
Let’s start off with a 1998 disco-country fusion. As the fiddle plays the intro, you can still see the 11- and 12-year-olds attempting that godawful dance routine.
2. Flo Rida – ‘Low’
Can anyone un-see an 11-year-old attempting a slut drop? Released in 2007, this song was both the best and worst thing to be played at school discos.
3. Green Day – ‘American Idiot’
Arguably one of the only ‘classics’ on the list [not round here it’s not – Ed]. A song most people of most ages would still happily listen to today, ‘American Idiot’ made all and sundry feel included and represented.
4. Eiffel 65 – ‘Blue’
Oh god, this song. At the time, it was cutting edge, I’m sure, but now you can’t help but cringe and think to yourself, “Did I really used to enjoy this?” In 1999, a piece of art was brought into the world, an emotional song about an alien who just loved being blue.
5. Dizzee Rascal – ‘Bonkers’
Was this an 11-year-old’s version of a rave? The epitome of a way too long build up, this 2007 song sent every child crazy as they jumped up and down on the spot.
6. Mr C The Slide Man – ‘Cha Cha Slide’
This was most people’s favourite song. For the people who couldn’t sing, they could speak. For those who couldn’t dance, they just had to follow the lyrics. You could it take one step further by even learning the lyrics. No matter how cheesy this song may seem, to anyone who grew up to it, it is a total classic. Often different schools/communities had different versions of what the lyrics meant, but even if the dances were a little different, there was still a sense of belonging that came with this song.
7. Las Ketchup – ‘The Ketchup Song’
Although no one knew the words to this 2002 hit, most did know the dance, or at least enough of the dance to make it seem like they did, often mumbling some vague version of the tune.
8.Los Del Rio – ‘Macarena’
A little like the previous song, ‘Macarena’ was, and still is, best known for its dance. Ask practically anyone to do the ‘Macarena’ and they will, ask anyone to sing it and you may not have as much luck.
9. Lou Bega – ‘Mambo No. 5’
Most kids would be happily singing along to the list of various girl’s names, but until looking back, they would most likely not have realised that the 1999 banger was a list of girls Bega wanted to sleep with. Based on the 1949 song ‘Mambo No. 5’ by Dámaso Pérez Prado, at least the syncopated rhythms made for some variation.
10. S Club 7 – ‘Reach’
This song was everywhere! From 2000 to S Club 7’s reunion in 2014, and even to this day, this song plagues school discos, children throwing their hands in the air to “reach for the stars”. With an almost humorous amount of style and key changes, as clichéd as this song may be, it is still enjoyable, in an ironic way of course.
11. Avril Lavigne – ‘Sk8er Boi’
For all the wannabe punks, they had very few songs they could actually enjoy. So when any Avril Lavigne or Green Day song came on, they would flood the dance floor, singing to their heart’s content.
12. Spice Girls – ‘Wannabe’
On hearing this song, people split: some squealing in delight while others groan and roll their eyes. The epitome of an overplayed song, but still a catchy, happy-go-lucky tine that almost all kids used to know the words to, whether they wanted to or not.
13. Shaggy – ‘It Wasn’t Me’
There were those who sang Rikrok’s title lyrics, and those who attempted Shaggy’s Jamaican accent. Another absolute classic when it comes to songs of the 2000s, no disco was complete without this reggae hit.
14. Busted – ‘Year 3000’
It did not matter what music you listened to and enjoyed, you still knew these lyrics. This Busted bedroom banger was well-loved by 11-year-olds and therefore was never skipped from disco playlists.
15. MC Hammer – ‘You Can’t Touch This’
Over blinged-up and stupidly baggy pants: could anything be more of a guilty pleasure? With simple words and a catchy hook, this song brought as much embarrassment as it did enjoyment. Honestly, even that phrase is just the true meaning of a year 7 disco.
BONUS: PSY – ‘Gangnam Style’
Okay, this song was released in 2012, so not technically a late 2000s hit, but you cannot talk about school discos and not mention the song that held the most views on YouTube for five years.