There are a lot of things about being a kid that I remember fondly, and one of them is Radio Disney. I loved tuning into my local station, AM 600, to hear the best mix of mainstream pop and Disney-made hits. Even though the Disney Channel is famous for its talented young actor-singers, it was Radio Disney that highlighted the stars’ musical talents and got all the kids at home excited about new music. But in 2002, most in-house Disney singers hadn’t released their albums yet. So who was on the fifth Radio Disney jams CD? I’m so glad you asked.
We had Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, 3 Doors Down, 3LW, Jump 5, M2M, LMNT, Baha Men, A*Teens, Christina Milian, Simon and Milo, Play + Chris Trousdale, Dream Street, No Secrets, Aaron Carter + Nick & No Secrets. That’s right, a couple of lucky ducks got to be on this CD twice.
There was a little bit of Disney Channel synergy here with Christina Milian (the Kim Possible theme song) and with Simon and Milo (“Get a Clue”). You also might remember that LMNT’s “Hey Juliet” was in the Frankie Muniz episode of Lizzie McGuire (side note, LMNT sang “Open Your Eyes (To Love)” for The Lizzie McGuire Movie). And the A*Teens version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” was on the Lilo & Stitch soundtrack.
My favorite song on this compilation might have to be “Pop (Deep Dish Cha-Ching Remix)” by N*SYNC. Honestly, I remember hearing this remix before I ever really knew what “Pop” was about. I rediscovered the song in high school and couldn’t stop singing it.
I love “Kids in America” (No Secrets) because I did a jazz dance to it back in my recital days. “God Bless the USA” is special because I’m a huge Jump 5 fan, and I liked the message of that song growing up (I always thought it was cool that they subbed out “children and my wife” and sang “family by my side” instead).
The fifth Radio Disney jams CD is my favorite because it’s so energetic and fun. Baha Men’s “Move it Like This” and “I Say Yeah” (the last song on the CD) make me want to dance and sing along. “Oh Aaron” is just hilarious, and 3LW’s “Playas Gon’ Play” was my only exposure to that group before Adrienne and Kiely became Cheetah Girls. I’ve gotta say, I was a little perplexed by “Kryptonite,” but I like it better now. There’s a hidden gem called “Everything” by M2M that you should check out. On the opposite end of the spectrum, it seems that Backstreet’s “What Makes You Different (Makes You Beautiful)” was huge at the time. Finally, it’s so sad that Chris Trousdale is no longer with us. I love hearing his voice with No Secrets on “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me.” I remember enjoying the song quite a lot as a young girl.
(Now you can watch the Baha Men…)
One of the best things about the Radio Disney CD collection was this: I could learn some of the best songs of the moment without having to own every single CD that came out. I had plenty of albums, but it would be hard to buy them all! Also, the RD CDs are pretty accurate time capsules of what was playing on our stations back then.
Funny story. I did not have every single jams CD, but a childhood friend must have had them all…along with the boy band posters that covered nearly every inch of this friend’s bedroom walls. I might have been a little jealous. That turn-of-the-century pop culture energy stayed with me. It was fun to be a kid when some of pop’s biggest acts of all time were taking off. Cheers to more Radio Disney CDs in 2021!