If you grew up in the early 2000’s, you remember back before Spotify and Apple Music when everybody was downloading music from sites that gave your family computer every virus known to man? You would wait all day and hope that the version of “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” you were downloading didn’t skip or sound like shit or have some kind of weird ad in the intro.
Then once you had all the songs downloaded, you would burn them on to a CD.
Those were the days.
The burnt CD era was at its peak back when I was in high school, and I never left home without a stack of my own curated mixtapes to pop in the CD player.
You had different CDs for different moods, you had playlists for road trips, and CDs that you created based on who would be riding in the car with you. Some were a mix of genres, everything from Eminem to Montgomery Gentry. Hell, sometimes I would make CDs with the same songs but in different orders. They were the original Spotify playlists.
I miss that high school phase when the burned CD was a mix of Eminem, Brooks & Dunn, Nelly, Kenny Chesney, 50 Cent and Alan Jackson.
Well I recently realized that I still had a couple of my old burnt CDs so I decided to pop them in the old CD player of my car (because it’s the only CD player I still have) and see what was on them.
Unfortunately most of them wouldn’t play – probably because they’ve been bouncing around in my car (and my car before this one) since 2006.
But when I popped one of them in, I heard some words that took me right back to my senior year of high school:
“I feel no shame, I’m proud of where I came from, I was born and raised in the boondocks.”
The entire CD was a trip down memory lane, back to driving my Jeep around small-town West Virginia as a 17-year old senior in high school with no real problems and no idea what my life was going to turn out to be. Back to the girls and the friends and the Friday nights that started with football games and ended at the local Pizza Hut.
There was a lot of Rascal Flatts and Brad Paisley. There were a few songs that I still listen to today, and some that I haven’t heard in years.
So here’s what was on my burned CD – what I was listening to 15 years ago:
“Boondocks” – Little Big Town
“Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” – Trace Adkins
“Bless the Broken Road” – Rascal Flatts (Was there a burned CD from 2005 that DIDN’T have this song on it?)
“(Just Might) Make Me Believe” – Sugarland
“Mayberry” – Rascal Flatts
“Summertime” – Kenny Chesney
“If You’re Going Through Hell” – Rodney Atkins
“Alcohol” – Brad Paisley
“Brand New Girlfriend” – Steve Holy
“Fast Cars and Freedom” – Rascal Flatts
“Hicktown” – Jason Aldean
“Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right” – Billy Currington
“Pickin’ Wildflowers” – Keith Anderson
“Play Somethin’ Country” – Brooks & Dunn
“Something to be Proud Of” – Montgomery Gentry
“When I Get Where I’m Going” – Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton
Are some of those embarrassing? Sure. Were there better songs from those years? Absolutely. But that’s what I was listening to at the time – and it was pretty cool to be able to open that time capsule that I put so much time into creating all those years ago.
So now I’m interested to hear what other people had on their burnt CDs. If you grew up in the early 2000’s during the heyday of burning your own CDs, drop a comment letting me know what you were listening to – what songs you remember having on the original playlists, back before Spotify and Apple Music.