The late 90s / early 2000s was a special time for us. It was the time when we were old enough to discover music for ourselves. We were fortunate enough to grow up in an era where physical CD’s were still on the shelves and there was no greater high than walking into a record store and finding an album out early.

Some of the best memories we have are getting in the car, popping in a new CD, pulling out the sleeve, and flipping through all of the images, lyrics, and reading the obligatory “thank you’s.”

We would always stare at the cover of the album we were listening to while learning the new songs and soaking up everything we could. These are are favorite album covers from that time in our lives. It was hard to narrow them down and we only chose 1 per artist (because Spice Girls would have been top 3, then B*Witched, and then S Club (7) and the list would have been over). Take a gander at our picks. (We also loooovvveee CD singles, but we’ll save that for another day.)

15.) M2M – “The Big Room”

In 2002 M2M released their second and final album “The Big Room.” More mature than their debut album, we couldn’t get enough of this record. We rushed to FYE and secured our copies day of (that may be a lie, we can’t remember if it was day of). We loved the logo and colors for this era, much different than the first.

*FUN FACT: If you want a used faded copy that’s nicotine scented we have a local record store that has a copy just for you 🙂

14.) Mandy Moore – “Mandy Moore”

In 2001 Mandy Moore was still doing pop and we loved every second of it. This album is fantastic and we love the closeup of the album cover. She looks absolutely stunning…and maybe a little high.

*FUN FACT: We found a copy of this album on cassette a week before its release date at Target. We were so nervous when our father had to read the lyrics before handing it back over to us. It passed.

13.) *NSYNC – “No Strings Attached”

What’s not to love about this cover? It has 5 “semi” hot men hanging by puppet strings, which makes sense since it’s called “No Strings Attached.” But wait, they are attached though? Ironic. (And which guys are the “semi” hot ones? You decide.)

*FUN FACT: This album cover was thrown in to the mix. We realized after making our rough draft that no guys (other than mixed-gender bands) were present. But we still like it and remember seeing it. Everywhere.

12.) Destiny’s Child – “Survivor”

We would stare at this cover for hours, mesmerized. But not in a lustful way. Obviously. But more of an admiration. Sexy women. Fur rug. What’s not to love?

*FUN FACT: I had a huge ass poster from this era hanging in my bedroom – R.

11.) Cleopatra – “Steppin’ Out”

Yassss! Work that cover. Obviously Maverick wanted to sex them up for this era. Mission accomplished.

*FUN FACT: We had the Disney Cruise concert special taped on VHS. We showed it to everyone who came over whether they wanted to watch it or not. Unfortunately we never recruited any new fans.

10.) Kylie Minogue – “Fever

” Mmm, mmm! I need one of those instant ice packs. This cover is giving me a fever!”

*FUN FACT: The US cover is different and doesn’t give us as much of a fever, but she still looks amazing!

9.) Jewel – “0304”

We’ve been Jewel fans ever since we saw her as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in Concert back in 1995. However, when she released “0304” her EveryGay Angels rejoiced as she ventured into a more dance/pop direction. She is gorgeous on the cover for the album and it still remains our favorite to date. (Come on Jewel, where’s the followup?)

*FUN FACT: When we were 6 and 9 respectively we used to refer to Jewel as “Bouncy Boobs”. We’re not really breast men, but they must be rather large because we remember them bouncing up and down, specifically during the rehearsals.

8.) Steps – “Buzz”

Does this album cover not scream early 2000s?
Futuristic ✓ Colored hair ✓ Tight leather pants ✓
We were obsessed with this cover back when the album came out. Still are.

*FUN FACT: Our dad picked us up a copy of the album while he was in Portugal. It has a different cover. It was confusing when we saw this cover at Wal-mart.

7.) Mariah Carey – “Rainbow”

This may not be Mariah’s most iconic album, but the cover stands out to us as one of our favorites from 1999. We remember going to Tower Records and seeing a poster outside the store.

*FUN FACT: My roommate is a HUGE Mariah Carey fan and just informed me the album was recorded in 3 months. It was also Mariah’s first album to not reach #1. Sad days 🙁

6.) A*Teens – “Teen Spirit”

We were obsessed with this cover, have been since it was released. As you might have guessed by now, we are from the US. Do you know how hard it is to be Pop music fans in the US circa 2000s? We got gypped on covers, track listings, and singles. It sucked. We imported a lot. Still do.

*FUN FACT: Our dad picked us up a copy of the album while he was in Portugal. It has a different cover. It was confusing when we saw this cover at Wal-mart. (Yes we copied and pasted the text from Steps “Buzz” fun fact, both are true.)

5.) Madonna – “Music”

Madonna’s music, makes the [gays] come together. Not only is this album phenomenal in content, we love the cover and photo shoot from this era. We were lucky enough to remember seeing this poster everywhere. Well not everywhere, only incense scented record stores. We didn’t see it at gas stations, restaurants, or supermarkets, unfortunately.

*FUN FACT: “Don’t Tell Me” was the first song of hers that we taped off the radio and listened to. I mean, we’ve heard of Madonna our whole lives, but this was the moment we became fans. TBH we were only 11 and 14 respectively, and much like Katy Perry we have pastor parents and they didn’t approve of our Queen.

4.) Britney Spears – “Britney”

#freebritney This cover still speaks to us. Probably our favorite of all the Britney album covers, we love the colors, photo shoot, and font.

*FUN FACT: When I (J) was making a layout for my Meryl Cassie “fansite”, I tried to mimic the back of the cover. You know, the picture with all the Britneys? I was unsuccessful. Also, and if you’re wondering who Meryl Cassie is, you’re not alone. She was an “actress” from an odd children’s soap opera called “The Tribe.” More about that in a later article.

3.) B*Witched – “B*Witched”

The orange, the white, the purple, the blue, the flame shoes, the cat shirt, the fake tattoo, those blue sleeves, the stars, the swirl. We have probably stared at this cover more than any other on this list. What is the first word that comes to our minds? Iconic. We NEED a vinyl asap.

Join us as we begin our campaign to get that unreleased third album on Spotify. Hey, if Blaque can do it, we can do it! #bwitched3 #justiceforb3

*FUN FACT: We used to jump on our trampoline and try our best to mimic their poses. But who didn’t?

2.) S Club 7 – “7”

This cover is dreamy. This is probably our favorite S Club (7) cover of their 4 albums released. I want a poster…

*FUN FACT: The US got a “different” cover. I bet the album would have charted better if we had gotten this cover instead. Nothing matched here. The “Never Had A Dream Come True” single featured pictures of the girls from the FHM photo shoot. Why? It didn’t even match the style or tone of the music video. But they didn’t ask us. It was their most successful single here though, so maybe they did know what they were doing. #sexsells

1.) Spice Girls – “Spiceworld”

UPDATE: We may have actually stared at this cover the most. Back in the late 90s we idolized Spice Girls. We were lucky that the group was just as famous here as they were overseas.

*FUN FACT: Our parents didn’t really care for us liking them, but we did. We admired the dolls (and finally tracked some down a couple of years ago), the figures, the posters, the stickers, the gum, the suckers, the books, the videos, and most importantly, the music. I want a Spice Girls room. No, a Spice Girls house. They are forever our #1s. <3

Honorable Mentions:

We also loved these album covers… at the time 🙂