As I wrote earlier today, I’m revisiting the Superman TV series Smallville, which premiered in October 2001. The nostalgia is flooding my veins at the moment. Well, Creed’s album Weathered debuted two months after Smallville did. I love serendipitous stuff like that, which I wouldn’t have noticed at the time, but in hindsight, it fascinates me.
If you didn’t know, I’m a huge professional wrestling fan. Superman (and superheroes in general) and horror movies are among my favorite fictional items, but wrestling is and will always be the first and continuing love of mine. Around this time, WWE, which is the biggest professional wrestling company (you may know them as WWF or the World Wrestling Federation, their previous name before they lost a lawsuit claim from the World Wildlife Foundation), began releasing “My Desire” videos for various professional wrestlers, as well as the company as a whole.
These videos were video packages, or as sports fans may be more familiar with, highlight reels of the wrestlers and the wrestling promotion with songs from Creed’s Weathered playing over top, most notably, the big hit, “My Sacrifice.” It was a perfect mesh-up of rock and roll, which already pairs well with wrestling, the lyrics and the action.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
Man, oh man. When that guitar slows starts going, with Austin lacing his boots and talking about being a junkie for the crowd noise, as the song kicks into high gear, PUT THAT INTO MY VEINS. That gives me goosebumps.
Here’s another great one for the entire roster:
They used other songs, too, from other bands, not just Creed. But hearing “My Sacrifice” paired with these videos spurred me to get the CD. My first CD! My first band! Before that, my only interest in music that I can recall is having an obsession with Shania Twain because my mom was also a big Shania Twain fan. One of my go-to night shirts was an oversized Shania Twain shirt.
I was obsessed with this song:
And this one:
But I’ll save more Twain love for a later blog post.
I had just turned 11-years-old at this point. Thanks to these videos spurring me on to get Creed’s Weathered CD, this was a transition period where I probably moved on from Shania and got obsessed with rock, and in this case, interesting, more like Christian rock. Scott Stapp’s voice was my jam through I believe sixth grade.
I then would get the Greatest Hits album released in 2004 where I then heard some of their prior popular songs like, “My Own Prison,” “What’s This Life For,” and of course, “With Arms Wide Open.”
Gah, those are great songs, but the entirety of Weathered is great. I like all of those songs. “My Sacrifice” is obviously the best, but I also love, “One Last Breath,” and “Don’t Stop Dancing.”
I have the album on Spotify right now, and the mental image I get in my head is of this clunky portable CD player I had with gawky headphones, listening to the CD in those old days when you’d listen to music that way. And I by portable, I mean portable, because I took it with me on the school bus each morning and in the afternoon, so I could zone out everyone else and listen to Creed.
Stapp and his soaring, scratchy vocals became my escape as an 11-year-old kid. An escape from the bus, which always made me uncomfortable, and an escape from anything else that was bugging me. Instead, I’d soar in the clouds with those ballad-like vocals.
I was obsessed with Creed. I’m not sure when I transitioned to other music, what other CDs I got, or when I fell out of listening to Creed (as you can see, I didn’t keep up with that reunion in 2009), but for that time period, that mash-up of Creed and my love of professional wrestling was perfect, and spoke to me.
Even now, as I listen to this nearly 20 years later, these songs hit those nostalgic notes, and even aside from the nostalgic, I would still go to the mats to defend the music.
It’s crazy in hindsight how they exploded in the late 1990s and early 2000s, did that weird Super Bowl performance, and then disbanded within a few years in 2004 (they apparently made a return in 2009).
I’m thankful for that time period. I miss that CD player, and that CD I wore out. It turns out, I missed Creed, too.