Published Aug 23, 2016While the Internet itself had already been connected in 1969, the World Wide Web was officially open to the public on August 23, 1991. The occasion, also known as Internaut Day, marked the first time that users could access websites and documents. That was 25 years ago today.
Naturally, none of us would be the same if it weren't for our daily habits of surfing the web. As such, this momentous occasion deserves our utmost respect. With that in mind, here are seven songs to help us celebrate 25 years of GIFs, lolz, MP3s, embeds and URLs.
7. Nick Borgen
"World Wide Web"
No web-surfing list would be complete without this literal and heartfelt power ballad from Swedish composer Nick Borgen. The track (which starts at the 1:09 mark) opens with the familiar modem sounds of the early '90s before breaking into a powerful singalong that sounds like it was written by Tim Heidecker. The translated lyrics are all about how great it is to live online: "Take your friends to a cool place / Surf to my home in cyberspace / The wildest dreams we had before / Perhaps this is behind my door open." Best of all, the band's performance is superimposed with footage of someone browsing Netscape. Hell yeah.
With its tiny animated GIFs, frames-based layouts and glittery "Under Construction" signs, there were no shortage of charms to Geocities. Since anyone could make one, the site's personal homepages offered voices to a whole bunch of niche internet users. Chixdiggit perfectly captured the feeling of linking up with someone who shared common interests on their song "Geocities Kitty." Sorry Tripod and Angelfire, Geocities is the only free web service from the '90s that has been celebrated in song.
5. Britney Spears
"Email My Heart"
Before there was Tinder or eHarmony, star-crossed lovers had to stay in touch the old fashion way — through email. Proving her web savviness way back in 1999, Britney Spears offered a touching ballad about the hotness of Hotmail. As she laments over a screen, she sings, "email my heart and say our love will never die." Were not sure how the whole thing played out, but we're guessing her lover opted to unsubscribe from the email list.
4. Soulja Boy Tell 'Em
"Twitter Going Ham"
There are dozens of tracks about Twitter courtesy of artists like Gucci Mane, Chris Brown, Andy Milonakis, DJ Rashad, Mistah F.A.B. and many more, but the ultimate social media banger surely belongs to Twitter kingpin Soulja Boy Tell 'Em. His tweeting anthem features plenty of boasts about how he's got more followers than Twitter's founders and how he was once the king of MySpace. It also features the ultimate sing-along part: "LOL smiley face, LOL smiley face, LOL semi-colon."
3. Todd Rundgren
"I Hate My Frickin' ISP"
You can't reach a website without an internet service provider — a fact that Todd Rundgren knows all too well on his topical (for the year 2000) song "I Hate My Frickin' ISP." Over some loud, crunchy rock, he laments the fact that he wants to pleasure himself online but he can't get any dirty images to load on his computer. He also references the predatory nature of AOL's marketing strategies: "It rained CD-Roms that gave me twenty hours free / I let my service provider make a junky out of me." Damn, we've been there.
2. Fun 100
"They're taking over my brain," Ryan Dyck croons on "Computer," a minor new-wave hit from his early aughts Abbotsford pop-punk band Fun 100. The song certainly offers a taste of the all-encompassing nature of internet addiction, but it also has a grave error. Its sing-along chorus is missing a "w," thereby rendering its URL impossible to visit: "Log on to ww.ryan.com." That's just a 404 error waiting to happen.
Arguably Canada's greatest ever cartoon dance-pop duo, Prozzäk perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the late '90s and early 2000s with their crunchy computer love song "www.nevergetoveryou." Like Fun 100 they also created a broken URL, this time forgetting the ".com" in their song. Regardless, this is a perfect Internet anthem.