The Best Throwback Hits from Radio Disney's Golden Age
It's time to party like it's 2001.
Nostalgia is one hell of a drug, especially once the stuff you liked as a kid gets unironically popular again.
If you're a '90s kid in the United States, you likely have vivid memories of Radio Disney. For over two decades, the radio station curated a constant array of family-friendly pop hits by teen idols and budding stars alike.
In conjunction with their radio station, Radio Disney also put out a series called Radio Disney Jams, which were compilation albums of the station's hottest tracks of the year. Whether you were in the car on your way home from school or dancing around your room listening to your Walkman, Radio Disney was always with you.
But alas, most listeners of Radio Disney's golden era are now adults, and the station ceased broadcasts earlier this year. There's no better time to reflect on the songs that raised us '90s kids — for better or for worse.
Below, we've rounded up some of the best songs from Radio Disney's prime around the turn of the millennium.
Myra, “Miracles Happen”
Few songs offer the same sense of endless possibilities as "Miracles Happen," which you might recognize from the iconic final scene of The Princess Diaries. The track's first notes evoke the possibility that you, too, might subvert all expectations and become complacent in a monarchy.
LMNT, “Hey Juliet”
Baz Luhrmann's 1996 thriller Romeo + Juliet? West Side Story? That one zombie rom-com with the guy from Skins? No — the best adaptation of Shakespeare's most-performed play is, of course, LMNT's breakout hit "Hey Juliet." Rhyming "you're fine" with "blow my mind" and "someday" with "run away?" Even our boy William would've been impressed.
Eiffel 65, “Blue (Da Ba Dee)”
No matter how often the song was memed (before memes were a thing), Eiffel 65 never got proper recognition for giving us the funkiest, catchiest metaphor for major depression there ever was. "Crying in the club" has never been so on-the-nose.
Skye Sweetnam, “Tangled Up In Me”
Never mind the naysayers who accused then-13-year-old Skye Sweetnam of ripping off Avril Lavigne; "Tangled up in Me" still goes hard. It's especially entertaining to revisit knowing that Sweetnam has been performing in the metal-punk band Sumo Cyco for the past decade.
Hoku, “Perfect Day”
You know it as the icing on the cake to the cinematic masterpiece that is Legally Blonde. Since then, it was also used in episodes of Lizzie McGuire and NCIS, as well as one of those Beaches Resorts commercials. And it still slaps.
Play, “Us Against the World”
In fact, Lizzie McGuire and its major-picture movie finale brought us a smorgasbord of bubblegum pop perfection. Lest we forget "Us Against the World" by tween girl group Play, who were essentially Sweden's answer to the Spice Girls. Nostalgia aside, this track would likely need very little tweaking to fit today's Y2K pop resurgence.
Simon and Milo, “Get a Clue”
Gorillaz were just getting started as everyone's favorite animated band, and then Simon and Milo said "hold our beers" and made one of the best Disney Channel Original Movie songs out there.
3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite”
At the intersection of dad rock and kid-friendly headbangers live 3 Doors Down, whose "Kryptonite" was likely suited for Radio Disney because the band's drummer was still a literal kid when he wrote it. Who hurt him?
Michelle Branch, “Everywhere”
You'd be hard-pressed to find a chorus objectively better than that from "Everywhere," Michelle Branch's most famous single to date. And if Gen Z pop-rock revivalists like beabadoobee are any indication, this track has aged incredibly well (even if its video feels painfully 2001).