The Tween Soundtrack

Jimmy Fallon and Jack Black recreated the video of the song “More Than Words” by Extreme and I’ve got to say, it’s pretty spot on.

Here’s the original:

I was 12 when this song came out, and even though the term “tween” had yet to be coined, I was one. I listened to this song on repeat while butterflies made my tummy feel all swishy. I had a crush for every day of the week and I was dedicating this song to them! It’s called “keeping your options open”, ladies!

What else was my former tween self listening to? Naturally, only the best in music because tweens are renowned for their discerning taste.


This poster proudly hung above my day bed, despite my father’s protests and taunts. He called them “sissy boys” and I thought, “how can a boy be a sissy with a name like Gunnar”? YES, I realize the term sissy is passe and not pc. You try telling that to my cowboy hat wearing-guns a blazing father.

Honorable mentions:

Color Me Badd:

This was sexy in the early 90’s???

Apparently these guys and their primary colored suits wanted to sex some people up. Sex wasn’t on my radar at 12 (there were rumors of Jess and Johnny “doing it” under the bleachers but I didn’t really know what “doing it” meant. Oh, the good ole days.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers:

I was a tween at the height of grunge. “Alive” by Pearl Jam and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana made appearances on my Walkman between Bryan Adams “Everything I do” and Guns and Roses “Use your Illusion II”.

Those were all great until I heard Anthony Kiedis sing “Under The Bridge”. I hadn’t known what sexy meant until I saw Anthony in the “Under The Bridge” video. It still makes me flutter a little bit. Don’t even get me started on him painted in gold.

Ya know, I kind of got lucky in my tweens. I never got in to New Kids On The block and the “boy band” era was yet to make a comeback.

The Black Crowes were pretty cool too. I liked them so much that I used my lunch money to buy their single.

What was your tween playlist?

16 thoughts on “The Tween Soundtrack

  1. Oh gosh, I was so into all that 80s metal. Sad thing is I still am. They say the music you love as a teen is the music you remain most passionate about for the rest of your life.

  2. Ahh, Extreme. Pat, the bass player lives nearby. We’ve had beers in my backyard before. Nice guy! I’m not crazy about that song, though.

  3. I had to look for the Nelson video because I couldn’t see it from here…. I read those guys are Twin, but the one on the left looks more of a girl than me, I get your dad totally. I adore Jack Black, I think he’s SO sexy, those small eyes and his sense of humor are incredible! 🙂
    The hair styles on “I wan to sex you up” made my morning.
    I never liked Red Hot Chili Peppers, I can’t make it through a song, hard to explain but it pierces my brain 🙂 (I rather have 3 hours of Metallica).
    I didn’t know that song by The Black Crowes, beautiful!!

    I didn’t have a Tween playlist, I have a strange relationship with music, I need to be in the mood to listen to it 🙂

    I loved this post, it’s nice to see the memories you have attached to each song 🙂

    • I’ve literally never heard anyone say they think Jack Black is sexy! I do think a great sense of humor is sexy though.
      I haven’t liked anything by the Red Hot Chili Peppers since the early 90’s but I still think Anthony Kiedis is gorgeous.
      No tween playlist? We’ll make The Cure your tween playlist because It’s Friday and Your In Love! Yes, I realize it’s now Sunday. 🙂

      • 😀 I think he’s really really really sexy. (Yes, I have particular tastes, I see beyond the packaging :D).
        I listened to The Cure when I was a teen, but not really much music in my life anyway (because the sound in my head is on the entire day and I can’t stand more noise… I know it sounds strange, but my thoughts are too loud for me to hear the music :D).
        And Anthony is totally not my kind of guy 😀
        (Is his upper body longer than the lower part? I always had that feeling.. But maybe it’s the impression you get whit those ugly pants :D).

  4. That Jimmy Fallon video is awesome – definitely brings back memories!

    I did enjoy some NKOTB back in the day (and actually went to a concert of theirs a couple years ago – though Boyz II Men definitely were the (unexpected) highlight of that concert). I never did get into the Red Hot Chili Peppers, though. Good music, not going to change the channel, but I have never bought anything of theirs.

    And I *may* have multiple Nelson songs on my iPhone.

  5. I’m a few years older than you, so my tween playlist would have read more like Prince, Madonna, Rick Springfield, The Cars, Aerosmith, Foreigner, Journey, Def Leppard, Styx, and Steve Miller Band. All my favs! As I became a teenager, I had my NKOTB phase, along with all the bands you mentioned above. Chilli Peppers were my favs, along with Milli-Vanilli (did I even spell that right?) and other icons of pop and rock. In college I got more into grunge, and Bush and Smashing Pumpkins are still two of my favorite bands. Ohhhh, and Depeche Mode and The Cure! Ahhhh, I love these trips down memory lane. Finally, I have to give a shout out to Metallica. I will never forget the first time I heard Enter The Sandman. I still get chills when I hear it.

    • I still love grunge AND The Cars, Prince, The Cure, The Smashing Pumpkins and Aerosmith (70’s Aerosmith is where it’s at!). My mother drove us girls crazy by constantly referring to The Smashing Pumpkins as The Smashing Pumpkinheads. “MOM!, It’s The Smashing Pumpkins”! I used to stay up late to watch The Headbanger’s Ball on MTV and Enter Sandman by Metallica was played constantly. It’s still a great song.

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