It's just always been so easy to blast music in the car. From 8-track players, audio cassettes, bluetooth radio transmitters, foolproof tape adapters, and, of course, nonstop family sing-alongs, music in cars is a tradition that seems as old as actually driving. It's a time in which songs can be sung as loudly as possible without the attached stigma of being off-key.
And despite the fact that they're becoming technologically obsolete, CDs and CD players had an incredible two-decade run pumping jams through our vehicles. Their grip was, in fact, so tight that they've left a wasteland of metal scraps in our backseats—indeed, millions of us still have those Best Buy booklets full of CDs stuffed with the classics. Whether they're demos from local bands or the romantic mix from the girl who most certainly got away, these CDs have made it through years of wear, tear, and technological advancements to become the 10 CDs that we all still have in our cars.
1. Marcy Playground—Marcy Playground
Honestly, we can't even tell you what it was about this CD. Why the hell did everyone have a copy in the car and, why in the first place did everyone purchase this to begin with? The world will never know. Sex and Candy is an incredible song...but just try to name two more songs from this CD. Only two. Go. Now.
2. The Overly-Emotional Mix CD
Who was it that decided that an adequate way to convey romantic feelings was to find 12 songs of varying genres of music and stick them together on one CD with a title written in Sharpie? Because that person is a genius. Bands that were almost on all of these mixes: Death Cab for Cutie, Bon Iver, R. Kelly, and—for some reason—that sh*tty song Jennifer Lopez sang with Ja Rule. Seriously, iTunes won't let you burn a CD without including "I'm Real" on it.
3. Green Day—Dookie
Unlike Marcy Playground, there's no question why we all still have a copy of Dookie sitting on the floor of the car. It's one of the greatest CDs of all time. Who cares if it's punk, pop-punk, or pop—it's just a flawless album created by one of the greatest bands this side of the Mississippi—more specifically, the Californian side. Dookie is the kind of CD where listening to it could make you forget about all of Green Day's...how you say...sh*tty follow-up albums. Name three songs off Warning. You can't. No one can—not even Green Day.
4. Punk-o-Rama or Any Similarly Titled Compilation CD
The one thing all MP3 players simultaneously got wrong was how to import compilation CDs. It just never worked out and, if you check your iPhone now, there's a random Brazilian artist lurking in your music who you cannot recall putting in your collection in the first place. These CDs were cheap, fun, and came out every other week. Pennywise and that band Millencolin were always on these and we still have no idea who they are.
5. The Soundtrack to Clueless
How is it that the 1990s produced so many great movies with such incredible accompanying soundtracks? There were a handful of especially good ones: Empire Records, Can't Hardly Wait, Beavis and Butt-head Do America, Mallrats...man, the '90s were key. This fine film about privileged teenage girls somehow spoke across all demographics in America and a soundtrack with Radiohead, Beastie Boys, and Luscious Jackson sealed it. As if you'd even consider throwing this soundtrack away.
6. The Beatles—1
This CD said a lot about the world at the time it was released. The year was 2000, a new millennium was upon us and we assumed the goons at Apple Records were better than making mixes than anyone else out there. Before there was Spotify and the creation of fan-submitted mixes, this was the best we could get. It was a solid CD and that's why it's still in your glove compartment. But they didn't include "Savoy Truffle" and that is absolutely insane.
7. An Enya CD
Let's get one thing straight—you didn't put this in your car. Your parents must have taken your whip out for a midnight ice cream run and cruised the streets to the smooth sounds of the Irish crooner herself, Ms. Enya Brennan. Other artists that fall into the "not mine" category: Dave Matthews Band, ICP, and Korn.
8. A Rogue DVD
Who's the joker who put this DVD of The O.C. in my CD collection? There are as many faux-pas here as there are initialisms! No matter what, a stray DVD always snuck its way into your CD booklet and you didn't know it until you it was jammed up into your CD player, making sounds akin to a 90-year-old man having a stroke. It's still in your car, because you've forgotten to put it back in its case for literally 10 years.
For every bad song, skipped album, and rough demo that sent you into a blind rage in the worst traffic jams, Weezer's "blue album" lifted you back into a place known called Nirvana—but not that Nirvana. Simply put, it's one of the best albums out there and a classic that everyone has. You have one copy for the car, one copy for your room, and a floater just in case something terrible happens to the other two.
10. The Soundtrack to Garden State
Zach Braff's balls must be the size of f*cking boulders for thinking it was cool to unleash this anxiety-riddled joyride of angst to the American public in 2004. The soundtrack didn't even change our lives, which is yet another broken promise by Natalie Portman. But damn it it was good. The Shins, Colin Hay, Nick Drake. It was perfect for brooding, pining, sighing, thinking, and light sobbing. We'll never forgive you, Braff. Thank you.