The music of the early-to-mid ’90s plays a huge role in “Time Between Us” and “Time After Time,” companion novels about an intense romance between Bennett, a teen time traveler from present day, and Anna, the girl he meets back in 1995.
Anna listens to Green Day on her Discman during her early morning runs. Her friend Justin works at his dad’s record store and burns mixes for her. She and her best friend Emma sing along to Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy on the way to school each morning.
And like every teen back in 1995, Anna’s shelves are bursting with CDs, from classic must-haves like Nirvana’s Nevermind to mainstream favorites like the Goo Goo Dolls’ A Boy Named Goo and obscure demos (at the time) like the Foo Fighters’ self-titled debut.
I’ve made playlists for each book (check them out here), and today, I bring you back to 1995 with my favorite songs from Anna’s shelf:
1. Green Day – “She”
When I’m running and want to kick it up a notch, Green Day always does the trick. This also happens to be the song that’s playing in Anna’s ears the first time she sees Bennett.
My favorite line: “Are you locked up in a world that’s been planned out for you?”
2. Alanis Morissette – “Head Over Feet”
Back in 1995, this was my song for my then-boyfriend-now-husband. He came along when I wasn’t looking for him and caught me completely off guard. I like when that happens, in life and in fiction.
My favorite lines: “Don’t be surprised if I love you for all that you are. I couldn’t help it; it’s all your fault.”
3. Pearl Jam – “Corduroy”
I have autographs from all the members of Pearl Jam. Well, they’re on the contracts the band signed when I licensed the lyrics of “Corduroy” to include in my book, but that counts, right?
My favorite lines: “Everything has chains. Absolutely nothing’s changed.”
4. Toad The Wet Sprocket – “Walk On The Ocean”
Bennett can hold your hands and instantly transport you anywhere you want to go in the world. Kind of a good date, yes? This song makes an appearance in “Time Between Us,” right after an especially magical trip to one of my favorite places in the world.
My favorite line: “Don’t even have pictures, just memories to hold.”
5. Blind Melon – “No Rain”
I’ve always loved this song about finding a place where you feel like you fit in. Unfortunately for Bennett, he feels like he feels quite at home in a decade he was never supposed to know.
My favorite line: “I just want some one to say to me, ’I’ll always be there when you wake.'”
6. The Goo Goo Dolls – “Name”
Bennett knows his biggest time travel rule: He visits. He observes. He never stays. He and Anna both know that it’s a bad idea to test this…but they probably will.
My favorite line: “You can hide beside me, maybe for a while, and I won’t tell no one your name.”
7. Counting Crows – “Anna Begins”
This is one of my all-time favorite songs. I love the idea of Anna slowly creeping into Bennett’s thoughts, even though he knows that he shouldn’t be falling for her.
My favorite lines: “’If it’s love,’ she said, ’then we’re gonna have to think about the consequences.'”
8. No Doubt – “Don’t Speak”
When No Doubt hit mainstream success in 1995 with the release of Tragic Kingdom, the world rallied around “Just a Girl.” But I always liked this song best.
My favorite lines: “I really feel that I’m losing my best friend. I can’t believe this could be the end.”
9. Phish – “If I Could”
This song couldn’t be more perfect for this one particular moment in “Time Between Us.” Phish let me license a few of the lyrics, and the scene is so much better for it.
My favorite lines: “’Take me to another place,’ she said. ’Take me to another time.'”
10. The Smashing Pumpkins – “Tonight, Tonight”
You can’t set a story in a 1995 Chicago suburb without including local band, The Smashing Pumpkins. I’ve always loved the lyrics of this song, but they really stand out in this stripped down acoustic version.
My favorite line: “Life can change…you’re not stuck in vain. We’re not the same, we’re different tonight.”
To hear the full playlists from both “Time Between Us” and “Time After Time,” visit Stone’s website at timebetweenus.com/playlists.