Loading…

“Dolby’s Top 300 ’90s Alt-Rock Singles (300-201)”

300 Everclear – “So Much for the Afterglow” (So Much for the Afterglow — 1997)
.
Wow, you’d never guess how many weirdos I meet who say they don’t like this title track opener on this album… I usually just sit there not saying anything, but inside I’m thinking how there’s still that punk rock spirit and the feeling of rebellion, or maybe just sonically scourging before the emptiness you feel inside, which was generally a 1990s sort of thing in a sense, I think, hence the desire to be a “slacker” and thereby deviate from one viewed as tainted objectives on the part of society.
..
299 Stabbing Westward – “What Do I Have to Do?” (Wither Blister Burn + Peel — 1996)
.
I think that in a way this band got screwed on their 1994 Ungod album by their record label putting out “Nothing” as a single instead of the in my opinion far superior “Control.” Then they almost blow it on this album too in a sort of tragic story of drained inspiration but muster up just enough Filter-type riffage on “What Do I Have to Do?” (the band hail from Illinois to Filter’s Cleveland, for anyone who cares), lyrically painting a dark and ironic situation of a bedroom malady, which, as we know, can’t go wrong in the alt world.
..
298 Filter – “Hey Man, Nice Shot” (Short Bus — 1995)
.
It’s always a weird experience for me finding out that the drums in a song I like are actually programmed — it’s like discovering that Santa doesn’t exist. I guess the fact that Richard Patrick is a former member of Nine Inch Nails (which I also hadn’t known) should have sort of tipped me off to it. But then, it seems, people have always sort of held this band at a significant distance. Listening to this crushing, formidable rock opus which is like a pi**ed off modulation of Buckcherry, you can hear why.
..
297 Toad the Wet Sprocket – “Come down” (COIL — 1997)
.
Usually, in most cases, it happens that when I make these lists I have something to say about every single song. Well, with this particular list, since it’s all radio singles and so naturally comprised of less stylistic QUIRK than say your Animal Collectives of the world, sometimes the well of conversation can run dry save a few remarks of “Oh yeah that song is really catchy and good too”… anyway with this one upon some deliberation, other than just my assurance that I never skip over it on P.S. (A Toad Retrospective), I think I’ve pinned down a certain Velvet Underground influence, though not as keen as the one on INXS’ “Beautiful Girl.”
..
296 Counting Crows – “Rain King” (August and Everything after — 1993)
.
Oh God, to take on a discussion of the Counting Crows is to enter an entire crossfire of vitriolic opining: I’ve heard people da** them to He** and I’ve met people who name them as their favorite band on earth, usually soft-spoken womanizing individuals from some Chicago suburb or something. Well, with lyrics like “I deserve a little more”, who can blame them, either their lovers or their haters? All I know is that on my last road trip to Pittsburgh (in which I attempted to move there from Indiana), August and Everything after was the only CD I put in and listened to straight through both there AND back. To me it just seems steeped in the whole rock and roll tradition, citing Bob Dylan the way Hootie & the Blowfish did too, although sadly within the larger mainstream ’90s spirit the band really only made one great album. But that it is.
..
295 Third Eye Blind – “10 Days Late” (Blue — 1999)
.
It’s sort of funny looking back on this song because although from the start I was an ardent fan of the band’s second album Blue on which they retained iconic guitarist Kevin Cadogan (and how ‘bout that album cover), I must admit to at the time at 16 having no idea what this song was about, although I found it crisp, climactic radio pop very fitting of the band’s overall catalogue up to that point. And you’ve gotta love Stephen Jenkins’ introduction of this song at the 2000 Q101 Jamboree in which he ran around yelling “She’s 10 days late! She’s 10 days late!”
..
294 Green Day – “Brain Stew”/“Jaded” (Insomniac — 1995)
.
Yakkity yak… it’s “Brain Stew”/“Jaded” I guess… well they separated them by tracks (albeit consecutively juxtaposing) on Insomniac and I know for a fact I remember WRBR 103.9 (The Bear) playing just “Brain Stew,” but I guess we’ll roll with what Warner Bros. had cooked up for this one, Green Day’s first “rock opera,” then, you might say. “Brain Stew” is one of those songs that’s like hilariously and impossibly simple, both stylistically and structurally, enjoyable more by your left brain than your right, but then, they were also pretty good at sifting for what they could get away with, even early on.
..
293 Sublime – “Wrong Way” (Sublime — 1996)
.
Ah, there’s a lot to say about this song, not so much as a radio single for me personally (Indiana isn’t quite racy enough to play this on radio unfortunately) but just as a pliable cultural “fu** you” to squares: it finds the lead singer saving a girl from incest and a sex scam, all set to quintessential late-‘90s ska even replete with a classic trumpet solo which I actually used to replicate on trombone in jazz band concerts in high school. Bradley Nowell of Sublime is a classic, tragic O.D. case of the overburdened songwriter, the grim side of the ’90s mainstream music industry’s incorrigible demand for artistic output. Given some comfort zone, he would have been less prolific, and probably every bit as good.
..
292 Marilyn Manson – “The Dope Show” (Mechanical Animals — 1998)
.
Sometimes I think the best songwriters just sing about the same thing in every song: like with right here you’ve got “Lots of pretty pretty ones”, which calls to mind surely “The Beautiful People,” another single of Canton, Ohio’s Marilyn Manson successful both commercially and critically.
..
291 Pearl Jam – “Animal” (Vs. — 1993)
.
Ok there’s nothing too groundbreaking going on here, at least on the surface, other than the fact that on Vs. from which “Animal” comes, the band gained a certain strength in bashing out these infectious riffs, and also stopped making music videos, positioning themselves as sort of an entertaining Dennis the Menace, within the mainstream game at this time.
..
290 Alice in Chains – “Got Me Wrong” (Sap — 1992)
.
According to Wikipedia, this cut was released as a single off of the Sap EP (Alice in Chains’ proliferation and overall catalogue is certainly something to marvel at, at least within the days of Layne Staley), but not Unplugged, the latter possibly being the preferable version, the former though notably gracing the soundtrack to Clerks, in which Kevin Smith I believe used it in some scene where somebody was trying to bust Jason Muse’s character for drug dealing outside the shop but couldn’t (hence the “getting him wrong” element). Elsewhere in Clerks, a cover of “Go Your Own Way” follows an admission by one woman that for an occupation, she “manually masturbate(s) animals for artificial insemination.”
..
289 Foo Fighters – “For All the Cows” (Foo Fighers — 1995)
.
Ooh, great song here… I think this would be a nice LP to own on vinyl, the self-titled debut. There are many, but my favorite quick-hit fact about Dave Grohl and his apocryphal rock brainchild the Foos is that in order to get a record deal, he went incognito, not letting on to Capitol that he were the drummer from Nirvana. Keep in mind this was the mid-‘90s, when even Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd had deals basically raining into his lap for his amusing but half-baked side project Hater.
..
288 The Smashing Pumpkins – “Cherub Rock” (Siamese Dream — 1993)
.
Again, here we have basically a complete ground zero of vociferous opinions, mud being slung this way and that, to the point where it’s hard to just sit back and enjoy the music. Well guess what, I do it anyway, especially since Corgan and Butch Vig sat down and dubbed 40 electric guitar tracks over each other for this cut here, original studio budget be da**ed.
..
287 Alanis Morissette – “Thank U” (Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie — 1998)
.
I’ve got Miss Morissette (Canada, 1974) represented fairly well on this list and flak on this should be generally smiling I’d think, although that despicable Topix Starz site did I think try to take a swipe at her for doing something in LA or Hollywood (musically that is) before starting her solo career. Yeah, I mean most of this stuff you kind of have to take with a grain of salt. There wasn’t much of an “indie rock” presence in the ‘90s at least that was palatable or listenable within a group. And he** maybe some of this stuff might even be CHARMING. Also, you’ve gotta admit, a couple of the lyrical sets align themselves cutely with matters from Jagged Little Pill, the farewell to masochism likening to “I’ve never wanted something rational”.
..
286 Green Day – “Nice Guys Finish Last” (Nimrod — 1997)
.
“It felt alien,” writes Dennis Lehane in Mystic River, on the sensation one of the characters gets from punching somebody in the face. And then, what’s next? Well, if you’re Green Day, mainstream rock stardom within your own non-compromised punk aesthetic and multiple slots on the MTV VMA’s at each of which you’d play crap nobody had ever heard before (“Armatage Shanks”; “Stuck with Me”)… now you’re seeing how this all fits together. “Nice Guys Finish Last” worthily, if not brilliantly, leads off what is possibly the most underrated album they ever made, whether or not “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” graceth it.
..
285 Hootie & the Blowfish – “Let Her Cry” (Cracked Rear View — 1994)
.
Now, in the shocker of the century, I’m going to say that some people love this band and some people hate ‘em (ok it might not be that shocking, necessarily). Well, I guess it all gets pretty subjective, although some things aren’t: like that this band still has its haters even though it’s composed of an African American spewing nice-guy rock lyrics, and even though their millions of ardent fans tend to be happy, honest, pot-smoking (even at concerts), everyday type folks, like myself, or so I’d like to think. I heard this song sung at karaoke (which I’d accidentally stumbled into in the bar down the block) a little over a year ago.
..
284 Marilyn Manson – “The Beautiful People” (Antichrist Superstar — 1996)
.
Most people know this as the scariest song of all time, the strange thing being that it’s actually impossibly catchy and a bear to get out of your head once you first hear it. I think I remember it airing on Daria one time. The whole Antichrist Superstar album is pretty consistent all the way through.
..
283 LIVE – “Rattlesnake” (Secret Samadhi — 1997)
.
Some things are quite easy to ground in context and it doesn’t get much easier than mainstream alternative rock in 1997, when it was the best of times for fans and critics and the worst of times for bands: see Natalie Nichols’ review of Secret Samadhi for the LA Times in which she indirectly refers to it as “relentlessly poppy.” Actually, Secret Samadhi is the exact opposite: it’s relentlessly abrasive, expansive and brooding, by today’s standards, as well as by those back then for a band coming off the heels of breakthrough commercial success. Only “Turn My Head” was even remotely successful as a single off this album, but “Rattlesnake” plays as a toothy album opener, setting the tone tonically and of the sociological desolation that singer Ed Kowalczyk is apparently witnessing in his own hometown.
..
282 311 – “Flowing” (Soundsystem — 1999)
.
Life is full of little ironies, one being that, despite 311 having an entire festival devoted to them (“311 day”) in a town (New Orleans) which is neither their origin nor their adopted dwelling, they still have so many haters and are generally looked down upon. Another irony is that although I’m not a fan of Roxy Music, I prefer their version of “More Than This” to the 10,000 Maniacs cover, which I’m told is an aberration. I’ll tell you an advantage 311 has over Roxy though: background vocals, some of the most creative and crafty I’ve ever heard on this spooky pop-metal joyride.
..
281 Soul Coughing – “Sugar Free Jazz” (Ruby Vroom — 1994)
.
The Beatles pop influence is there in full force even on this debut album and given that they fuse it stylishly with funk and hip-hop, it’s easy to see why Ruby Vroom makes such an impression. At the heart, though, is just the damaged, world-weary but crystal clear tone in Mike Doughty’s voice when he pines to us on these rhapsodic little pop patches.
..
280 Green Day – “Geek Stink Breath” (Insomniac — 1995)
.
The memory comes back to me vividly: this song blasting on our radio station during a workout and this girl, the only girl who played on the football team but who was actually freakishly attractive considering that fact, exchanging some inadvertent eye contact with me with this coy, unconscious smile that can only come from visceral, undeniably great music. This is one of those song titles where Billie Joe is like deliberately not really trying to be your friend, of course, and indeed that’s part of Green Day’s artistic flair, the this-will-hit-you-when-you’re-on-your-death-bed sneer.
..
279 Collective Soul – “Smashing Young Man” (Collective Soul — 1995)
.
Fresh off of Tim Sommer’s especially adamant endorsement of this album, I come around and find it really sort of hard to talk about, which is the exact reason why it’s good — it’s like it morphs and gels (appropriately enough, as that’s one of the song titles) and fits into every situation so well, so powerful yet so immediately familiar, that to discuss it is really just to slur up the very marrow in which we live every day. On “Smashing Young Man,” rancorous by Collective Soul’s standards, Ed Roland and company belt out some of their proudest and most full-bodied rock to date, bulwarking the project as always with those shamelessly vibrant major chords typifying of the gospel upbringing from which Roland walks.
..
278 Third Eye Blind – “Deep inside of You” (Blue — 1999)
.
Per general reports, lead singer Stephen Jenkins was sort of an alpha male, one time apparently cornering and intimidating some record exec over some money dispute. So, it’s a little hard to “analyze” what they’re doing, you just sort of nod along and either love or hate them. One thing I personally can’t argue with is just his knack for fully stepping into the rock singer’s persona, materialized often with those “woo-woo” noises, or on this song, some otherworldly, celestial falsetto toward the end where goes “I’m alright / The sky’s alright” (or something like that).
..
277 Oasis – “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” (Definitely Maybe — 1994)
.
God, I can hear it loud and clear in my head, PJ Harvey’s missive about Oasis of “Hate them with a passion!”, and then I get around to them on this list and I’m like well how’s my beer-drinking white male self gonna talk its way outta this one… but that sound comes in so full (let’s not forget Oasis were technically “indie,” on Creation Records which also vended the great Teenage Fanclub), and it’s just rock and roll “nirvana” all over again, coming out of course in that tragic year we all know and hate as it did. This is absolutely the perfect song to hear in a bar while day drinking and the production is perfect all over the place.
..
276 Sublime – “What I Got” (Sublime — 1996)
.
Ok something’s probably wrong with me because usually when I do these lists I get to like #16 and I’m like every song here on out is painfully classic… WHY IS IT HAPPENING ON #276 ON THIS ONE DOG GONE IT! I remember hearing this cut at a high school dance in ’98 and having it just be this delicate, pliable, groovy pop number to fit into any and every situation and… I don’t think it’s about heroin. At least I hope not.
..
275 Pearl Jam – “Black” (Ten — 1991)
.
I actually remember Eddie Vedder once going off in some interview denoting actually what good music were to him and apparently it amounted to “pain coming out of the singer’s voice,” or something like that. Whoa, how’s that for a disillusioning blast of reality there… well whoa do we have that by the suitcase full here and I think I speak for everybody when I say I’ve given up even trying to understand these lyrics (especially since they’re kinda boring and stuff) and I just sit back and enjoy the proud grunge structures and climaxes of these songs. And THAT is how you follow up “What I Got” with “Black,” or so I naively hope.
..
274 Hole – “Celebrity Skin” (Celebrity Skin — 1998)
.
Well. There’s obviously a lot to talk about here, from the ballsiness of leading off the album with the lead title track single to the fact that they just get INTO it so quickly, to the excellent production, to the band tightness, and how ‘bout that otherworldly sounding bass… why do I feel like this song spawned the Foo Fighters malady “Stacked Actors,” which is in every way inferior.
..
273 Everclear – “Father of Mine” — (So Much for the Afterglow — 1997)
.
Ok, by this point I’m probably boring the average reader because… well.. this is a lot of fu**in’ ‘90s alternative, which is, which is, well, it’s almost all I know… I grew up with these CD’s… I would own a total of like 12 CD’s which meant barring the abhorrent radio in South Bend, Indiana I had a total of 12 different things to listen to, so it was Collective Soul, Fastball, Stone Temple Pilots (Purple and Tiny Music) The Wallflowers or probably these guys… hey, it was loud, dumb and fun, what wasn’t to love? But sure, Art Alexakis is probably a little loose with his emotions, as Cadence Weapon might have pointed out.
..
272 Foo Fighters – “I’ll Stick around” (Foo Fighters — 1995)
.
“I’ll Stick around,” along with livening up that gutbucket grunge sound with the best of ’em, is a very interesting song, structurally speaking: the repeated “chorus” lets off this preternatural yowl of “I don’t owe you anything” which somehow finds a way to be melodic despite the fact that it sounds like a dragon breathing fire, for Christ’s sake. Then the song title comes along with this anthemic bridge section, “I’ll stick around / I’ll stick around / And learn from all that came from it”, Grohl in a way positioning himself as a sort of male Fiona Apple type of relationship brooder, though leaving one thing crystal clear: da**, this stuff hurts.
..
271 The Smashing Pumpkins – “Zero” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness – 1995)
.
Darker and “gothier” than its commercial breakthrough predecessor Siamese Dream [“Fu** You (An Ode to No One)”; “Bullet with Butterfly Wings”; this cut, possibly stemming from the move to a British production team], the Pumpkins’ double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness offered every bit the sonic punch along with some nicely added confrontational, arena-ready directness, full of songs like this which play as infectious anthems for awkward adolescence, for when you’re mad at the world for what you think you are, but then that thing changes next week, anyway.
..
270 Radiohead – “Creep” (Pablo Honey — 1993)
.
I’m probably way less authorized to discuss this song in one way than I should be and way more authorized than I should be in another, but really, at the end of the day it’s just another great alt-rock ditty, and yes Tim Sommer in his almost comically adulating Collective Soul article was right to associate this band and Alice in Chains. Pablo Honey is really no more or less that a solid grunge album.
..
269 Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Aeroplane” (One Hot Minute — 1995)
.
Well, are they FUNKY? Is Flea actually GOOD? Are the a singer/songwriter with backing session hands or a wannabe incarnate of George Clinton? At the end of the day it hardly matters — this is fun singalong music for a drunken sailor trip or a barbecue, and how ’bout that velvety rhythm guitar intro via John Navarro, as long as we’re on the subject of people everybody hates for no reason?
..
268 Hootie & the Blowfish – “Hold My Hand” (Cracked Rear View — 1994)
.
Jezebel, the leading website reporting on Rolling Stone’s firing of Jim Derogatis (a name remarkably phonetically similar to “derogatory,” humorously enough), describes Darius Rucker’s troupe as a “humble South Carolina bar band,” and really, I think this is a pretty lucid descriptor. This is especially the case if you take “humble” in its positive connotation (as well as its negative I suppose which would be light on the instrumental virtuosity and unconventional song structures): the sense of being humble in the definition of lack of excessive pride or self-importance, the sense of humility in the spirit of not acting like you’ve done enough when you haven’t. Rucker and company have a way of providing ample amounts of tenacity unto their radio rock: the singer always sounds genuine and along with romance, sociological troubles, heartbreak and familial bonds, here we have basically a universal statement of bond which could apply to friends, families or lovers alike, and every bit aligns with Kamasi Washington’s ethos for what was music should accomplish, which, apolitical, amounts simply to “the way I show love to my brother.”
..
267 Bush – “Glycerine” (Sixteen Stone — 1994)
.
Bush is a band that it seems just kind of fell into our laps — they’re composed of British members who right away signed to an LA label, an institution in Trauma records which though was independent lay 10,000 miles from Bush’s home land (although apparently Rossdale has an “a**hole brother” in LA or whatever, the city of angels!) “Glycerine” is your classic poker-faced, celebrity-citing (“Strawberry Fields”) but catchy mid-’90s radio ballad, giving you the simple command of “Don’t let the days go by”, which, what with the Nancy Kerrigan thing the Princess Di death and the general existence of boy bands, is about as easy as getting through the ’90s sane would have been.
..
266 Alanis Morissette – “Head over Feet” (Jagged Little Pill — 1995)
.
“The most unbearable thing of all,” once writ author Aimee Bender, “is hope.” That’s sort of the feeling that overtakes me when I think about this fourth or fifth single off of Jagged Little Pill: first of all, the victorious romantic situation already followed “You Oughta Know”; “Ironic”; “You Learn” and “Hand in My Pocket,” each of which in some right seems to topically emphasize the pervasive sense of failure inevitable in anybody’s life. Sure it’s got a key change, sure it’s got a harmonica solo but what I really remember being enthralled about when I first heard this song was the great, catchy chorus which actually stylishly features a key change of its own, which makes it an effective tune even if it is about a fictitious character.
..
265 The Offspring – “Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)” (Americana — 1998)
.
With its fall ’98 release which maybe slightly prefaced the pinnacle of rock/rap by about six months, “Pretty Fly (for a White Guy),” which issues on the band’s patchily entertaining fifth album Americana, had a leg up on the angry-white-boy subgenre all along, spinning its malevolence into mockery, unleashing a classic reference to a Geo “Pinto” to aptly cap off the ‘90s and, of course, being rich and successful as a band by this point, calling up its resident “wi**er” from their basement laboratory for the mandatory “All the girlies say I’m pretty fly / For a white guy” introductory voice-over. Ok, I made that last part up. See, this mockery stuff is contagious.
..
264 Alice in Chains – “Down in a Hole” (Dirt — 1992)
.
1992’s Dirt is still an album I enjoy putting on, even if it’s just on Spotify, and listening to straight through, and at track four this languid, patient slab of grunge noir does more than justice to its album positioning. Personally, it’s a much easier pill to swallow here than when Layne Staley attempts to say “We are an elite race of our own / The stoners junkies and freaks”. If anybody ever attempts to say the ’90s were utopian, please do me a favor and bit** slap them.
..
263 Toad the Wet Sprocket – “Something’s Always Wrong” (Dulcinea — 1994)
.
The way my mind works, I tend to always consider things holistically so in this case I’ll look and see that it’s on the album Dulcinea, which came out in May ’94, one month after Kurt Cobain shot himself (sure enough, the first song on the album is called “Fly from Heaven”). Though ironically perhaps less depressing than August and Everything after, which already dropped the year before, there’s certainly along with the grim subject matter something like an infectious SNAG about this song, which makes it despite its conventional rudiments and structure add up to more than the sum of its part, like a canopy of unwavering melancholy under which the average white man may cower, completely understood, at least until it wears out.
..
262 Texas – “Say What You Want” (White on Blonde — 1997)
.
For a second I thought maybe I had really shi**y taste in music, since like I put this song on this list and everything, but then I looked at the Spotify search results and saw that they actually did do a BBC session, which is pretty cool — Britain reaching out and messing with Texas, especially since this band and song don’t really sound all that “Texan,” per se (oh they’re actually from Glasgow — self-slap). Eh, what can I say, it’s always just struck a chord with me, but now upon subsequent listen I do notice some craftily bolstered drums and a found-noise lead-in, all at the hands of studio masters, nothing though to top the beautiful timbre of Sharleen Spiteri’s voice.
..
261 Crash Test Dummies – “God Shuffled His Feet” (God Shuffled His Feet — 1994)
.
A band like Crash Test Dummies really make you realize the vastness and thoroughness of the ‘90s, for a couple reasons. One, how about that incredibly frictional way they blend Christianity and bona fide PAGAN rock and roll (granted so did LIVE, Collective Soul and Creed, although this issue seems to be commonly downplayed). Second, Brad Roberts of this Winnipeg-based quintet just has this preternaturally awesome baritone — I have a pretty deep voice myself and I honestly couldn’t even sing along to these songs until I was passed puberty, and by then it was time for “sex and candy,” or the absence of these things which made me long for “opium.”
..
260 Collective Soul – “Precious Declaration” (Disciplined Breakdown — 1997)
.
It was the ’95 self-titled effort that Tim Sommer so unceremoniously pounded into our ear drums as a classic akin to Pet Sounds if not the Apollo 11 mission… and to be honest this followup Disciplined Breakdown falls off pretty substantially after the first two track lead singles. Well, give them props for sequencing it right, at least, and at least not pouring on the sap too thick like they would later (ahem, Dosage).
..
259 Soundgarden – “Ty Cobb” (Down on the Upside — 1996)
.
Now, to veer about as far away from Collective Soul as is cosmologically possible (the band which once told us “You’ve gotta kill your mother”), we come to Soundgarden, who still might be a little misunderstood insofar as “Head down” and “Half” are really superb numbers, penned by bassist Ben Shepherd and heavy on the sitar, ukulele and/or any number of other unorthodox pluckables… here in “Ty Cobb,” which is far from being the band’s best song, we have sort of a symbolic victory of the dumb frat-rock of Cornell (who would later bombastically tout Soundgarden’s return in ’12 only to see it fall flat both artistically and commercially) over the stately subtlety of Shepherd, like maybe on their last good album here the lack of democracy is what killed them. Still, this song plays better than another of their punk numbers “Kickstand,” to me, at least today, possibly in part because it might be the only hard rock song ever to hear a mandolin actually competently COMPETING with the Fender stacks, in the chorus itself.
..
258 Third Eye Blind – “Losing a Whole Year” (Third Eye Blind — 1997)
.
One thing “lost on me” for a number of “years” in all my self-indulgent, faux-romantic Third Eye Blind masquerades over the years is how FUNKY this album opener actually is — even Arion Salazar sounds like he’s having fun on this one, and the music video is great, with the slow-motion airplanes overhead and those posh Frisco girls who must be just so unreachable.
..
257 Counting Crows – “Round Here” (August and Everything after — 1993)
.
Let’s face it: nobody cares about musical instruments. That’s why Adele, Taylor Swift and American Idol rule the world today. Instruments are for school, for sitting around in stuffy classrooms doing WORK, not really wailing out. It’s the way Adam Duritz sells this dark narrative with his pipes that pushes this thing over the top: it’s like a baritone that’s so textural and vulnerable that you can’t help but be jettisoned right into this grim landscape of sacrifice, escape, and suicidal thoughts by probably more parties than you can even count. Eh, I guess the chord progression is kinda great, too.
..
256 Ben Folds Five – “One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces” (Whatever and Ever Amen — 1997)
.
On this one, and this is true in general with Folds, you’ve gotta give him credit for just getting up and DOING it, Southern accent and all (Folds hails from the college town of Chapel Hill)… actually I remember visiting my dad in New Haven, Connecticut right when “Brick” came out or listening to “Fair” back in my hometown of South Bend, Indiana and really rocking out.. it’s classic college town music in general.
..
255 Korn – “Freak on a Leash” (Follow the Leader — 1998)
.
Ah, when this song was on, I had no problems in the world, other than my mom bit**ing about it when I was 15 and driving around to it, of course.
..
254 Nirvana – “Lake of Fire” (live) (MTV Unplugged in New York — 1994)
.
The popular favorite among the unplugged Meat Puppets covers, this was the only one released as a single, again possibly having to do with a certain bloodlust or emotional restlessness on the part of the grey masses, but whadu I know.
..
253 Foo Fighters – “Learn to Fly” (There is Nothing Left to Lose — 1999)
.
Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters emobdy an interesting intersection where sheer, undeniable feeling and sheer, undeniable conventionality intersect, again embodying the vastness and depth of ’90s music — their detractors would surely accuse them of being copycats, but it’s also their familiarity which makes them playable on the radio, and of course which allows for those goofy music videos like this one and “Big Me,” which seem to be charismatically mocking their own typical white dude-ness.
..
252 INXS – “Not Enough Time” (Welcome to Wherever You Are — 1992)
.
I think I legit creeped my female boss out one time by having this come up on Dolby Radio at work one time… he, one good thing about music, when it hits you you feel no pain. “New Sensation” one time was the first song I heard when I got out of jail but that one’s from the ’80s. It’s all about the same.
..
251 Green Day – “Redundant” (Nimrod — 1997)
.
Ah, I love when these songs come alive… it’s almost like for a nanosecond there’s something in the universe other than Star Wars and American Idol. I remember this dude on The Blame Game, that MTV show where two former significant others were opposing sides in a court room, singing this song (they’d always get a karaoke selection at the end of the show).. pretty sharp little show really. This whole album is very underrated, very listenable all the way through.
..
250 Morrissey – “The More You Ignore Me the Closer I Get” (Vauxhall and I — 1994)
.
Sure, it’s a creeper song, but it’s so da**ed infectious. Plus, it’s the ‘90s, the decade that brought us Adam Corolla and “I’m so horny / That’s ok my will is good”! What else could we ask for! I’m particularly partial to the great pickup line: “I will be in the bar / With my head on the bar”.
..
249 Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Under the Bridge” (Blood Sugar Sex Magik — 1991)
.
The best way to approach this song is probably through the music video, which usually fetches the band top-10-of-the-‘90s status, given the particular poll, whether it’s MTV, VH1 or whatever other channel (one time at a hostel in Philly the lobby TV was playing music videos, so I know there must be intelligent life out there). Kiedis is shirtless in pretty much the whole clip, which actually doesn’t really gross me out ‘cause he comes across as such like a noble savage… he’s like a pet or something. it’s like, or there’s my shirtless Anthony Kiedis again, he’s over in the corner licking himself. Or something. Ahem. Sorry, my mind’s running away on me. Anyway, that penultimate scene where he’s sprinting toward the camera is certainly not something any viewer would ever forget, once imbued. And ah, Jesus, I get a rush just busting open these videos from the art form’s hey day every time, whether it’s “Freaks,” “Mouth,” “Tonight, Tonight” or this one.
..
248 The Offspring – “Bad Habit” (Smash — 1994)
.
This is a personal favorite album of mind and with most of the songs, I’m like, “Come out and Play,” yeah, that rocks, “It’ll Be a Long Time,” yeah, that rocks… “Bad Habit” is sort of like that one that’s sitting over there sneering at me like a hydrochloric acid bomb ready to burst in my face and tell me how much of a moron I am for ascribing to myself the sanguine ability to even formulate a cohesive opinion about this freak-of-nature punk rock which lacks exactly nothing at all, thank me very much.
..
247 The Black Crowes – “Twice as Hard” (Shake Your Money Maker — 1990)
.
Oh, that emotion crap… they’re comin’ at us with that again… one thing I like about this album (Shake Your Money Maker) is that Brendan O’Brien is on it as a MUSICIAN (the Atlanta-based), rather than a producer, which he’d go on to be with Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage against the Machine, Incubus, Train, and anybody who else might care to createth that sacred entity known as “mainstream rock” betwixt 1991 and.. well.. now.
..
246 Tracy Chapman – “Give Me One Reason” (New Beginning — 1995)
.
Sometimes a song comes along that’s so inherently “cool” that it makes you forget about things like genre, race, influence, culture and zeitgeist — it fits perfectly into “steamin’ cafe flirts,” to use the terminology of Natalie Merchant, with just MAYBE a little help from 12-bar blues. Cleveland blues liveth on.
..
245 Alanis Morissette – “You Learn” (Jagged Little Pill — 1995)
.
This is a story I tell kind of a lot, but one time I had this ingenious idea to conquer the world by making this mix CD which was composed of pairs of songs, within each pair then residing semantic lyrical polarities, such as the cavalier recklessness propagated in this here number juxtaposed with Liars’ “Proud Evolution” which reads “We should be careful / We should be careful”. I guess you have to be careless and fast-living in life in order to truly KNOW that you should have been careful all along, which, of course, is exactly why the combination works so well, I suppose.
..
244 The Smashing Pumpkins – “Rocket” (Siamese Dream — 1993)
.
For some reason this music video didn’t jump out at me too much, but this was a favorite of mine when I was a youngster driving around for its lyrical declarations of freedom, as well as its curious structural knack for speediness and coming to a point, less repetitive than “Today” and “Cherub Rock.”
..
243 The Cranberries – “Dreams” (Everybody Else is Doing it, So Why Can’t We? — 1993)
.
It’s certainly hard to listen to or think about this song or the general Dolores O’Riordan situation without a pang of sorrow. For me, too, it goes deeper, because I think the UK definitely harbors a certain sexism against female band members, like in the case of Band of Skulls having the guy do all the stage banter when the girl is the more important lyrical force. Regardless, one thing is for sure: this is a very well crafted song, one I think everyone wishes were about them.
..
242 The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – “The Impression That I Get” (Let’s Face it — 1997)
.
The general report goes that Dicky Barrett and company changed their name from the “Bosstones” to “The Mighty Mighty Bosstones” because some big shot (probably like a mythological figure in the minds of some) noted that they “sounded so good”… well I hate to be a buzzkill but Wikipedia spins a different web on the situation, which is that there was already an outfit calling themselves the “Bosstones” paintin’ the town red. Anyway, as always seems to be the case on this radio cut we get esteemed honesty, along with the sharp pop/punk songwriting knack. Having peaked at #23, “The Impression That I Get” misses being the highest polling ska single of all time by ONE whopping spot to its trusty counterpart, “Royal Oil.”
..
241 R.E.M. – “Nightswimming” (Automatic for the People — 1992)
.
With its gorgeous overarching piano, sometimes it can be hard to remember that this song actually begins with that sort of Cubist string bit — anyway what stands out to me about it along with its at least vying for best song on People is just how pliable and playable it is within any life situation, in the form of shopping for canned pears rendered all the sudden poignant and transcendent, if you will.
..
240 LIVE – “Lakini’s Juice” (Secret Samadhi — 1997)
.
One of the real stupefying things to me in rock is how LIVE followed up 1995’s commercial radio breakthrough Throwing Copper with something as hard-edged, ruthless and uncompromising as Secret Samadhi, unquestionably dark right down to its album cover. “Lakini’s Juice” is the prototypical grunge-reaching, Fender-stabbing lead single off of 1997’s album, assuring the listener that they’re sucking up to exactly no one.
..
239 4 Non Blondes – “What’s up?” (Bigger, Better, Faster, More! — 1992)
.
“What’s up?” is almost like such the perfect ’90s single that I hate it — I mean it’s so infectious I hear it covered constantly at open mikes and I can feel embedded deep into my psyche as an undeniable, catchy American anthem. The band even hails originally from San Francisco, a place as a Midwesterner I find especially posh and bourgeois-like. The band isn’t composed of blondes, but their main battle call is titled after slang. It’s the closest melancholy has ever come to “cool,” indicative of a time when, during the first Persian Gulf war, the entire country was taking a breather, reflecting, and enjoying some serious music.
..
238 PJ Harvey – “Send His Love to Me” (To Bring You My Love — 1995)
.
All over 1995’s To Bring You My Love, which I’ve heard lauded for its pop directness and also lambasted for that very same thing, England’s PJ Harvey is almost comically animalistic in her carnal quests (in “Long Snake Moan” she even order that we “Bring (her) lover”, totally omitting the “a” article from the phrase), and “Send His Love to Me,” which is the last song on the album to actually feature drums, caps it off in crisp, juicy and bizarre style, as if all she wants to say on her third album is that this is just another sexy day.
..
237 PJ Harvey – “Dress” (Dry — 1992)
.
Yeah, I put this on (whoops I didn’t mean to quote the song there, although I would probably wear a dress if you’d crochet me one, you insensitive fu**), but truth be told I have to listen to all of Dry at a time. It’s like Cartman in South Park with “Come Sail away,” or whatever.
..
236 Weezer – “Pink Triangle” (Pinkerton — 1996)
.
How anybody could dislike Weezer if they heard this song me, like my sister, Oh yeah, well she’s a lesbian. I guess that makes sense. But they did name the album after it and it’s got the “dumb” aspects of Nirvana, “dumb” used here in the positive sense of being direct, understandable and not contrived or postured, a concept denoted delightfully in Everett True’s Nirvana: The Biography (which is available at Books a Million in Terre Haute or in my bedroom).
..
235 Stone Temple Pilots – “Big Empty” (Purple — 1994)
.
So there’s a video of this song and it’s just footage from The Crow, a movie I always found mind-bogglingly boring and pointless, plus there’s no way any movie would ever be as interesting as Scott Weiland’s life itself, which was sprinkled with hard drugs and rock glamor, and then, finally, the cruel irony of putting out an album with the Wildabouts that is like stupefyingly underrated to the point of insanity, and reportedly having a dream toward the end of his life that he was “kicking a**” in a bar, or something weird like that. Purple is best listened to straight through, which is part of why this single doesn’t rank in the top 100.
..
234 Foo Fighters – “Alone + Easy Target” (Foo Fighters — 1995)
.
I was a little surprised to learn and see that this actually were released as a single, for a couple of reasons: one, I never remember witnessing it hit it big or hearing it on the radio, and two, it’s got that album track GRIT about it, sort of like “My Poor Brain” which would come on Mr. Next LP.
..
233 Belly – “Feed the Tree” (Star — 1993)
.
I was going to check out the video for this song, since otherwise I didn’t really know what to say about it other than the fact that it’s an obvious choice for this list, ubiquitous and catchy. Actually I always associate it with “The More You Ignore Me” — I think they came out around the same time. Anyway, I was looking for the vid on Youtube and came across this really scary looking gothy hot chick (very ‘90s) which I thought was the vid but the the bass and drums kicked in and my body just did that twitch. It’s perfect rock production (sure enough it’s self-produced). I wouldn’t say this band is infallible although I do thoroughly enjoy the song “Gepetto.”
..
232 Soul Coughing – “Soundtrack to Mary” (Irresistible Bliss — 1996)
.
I wouldn’t fully say that liking Soul Coughing and taking to this particular track are COMPLETELY correspondent, but it’s safe to say that if a listener can trek through this bedroom romp with patience and disposition intact then he or she will probably prize the whole of SC’s discography, which I happen to. In the Houston show online (in which yes they do play the song “Houston”) M. Doughty gives a very plain and up-front introduction of this number, that it’s “about fu**ing.” I actually once put this song on a mix CD I made for a girl named Mary and might have creeped her out a little bit, but da**, within that Beatles verse/chorus structure I just felt like I could do no wrong, I guess.
..
231 Crash Test Dummies – “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (God Shuffled His Feet — 1994)
.
Sort of like the movie Fargo, and for the same reasons, this song kind of gives me the willies, like the feeling of everything being catastrophic, astray and unsolvable (even the weather, in that case), so I have to remind myself that music is a complex organism and that the song itself is embedded in my psyche despite all the rather unsavory goings-on of it all. Weren’t the ’90s weird?
..
230 The Smashing Pumpkins – “Tonight, Tonight” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness — 1995)
.
Now, the formative trait in my thinking about Billy Corgan and about this song is just my overwhelming amount of exposure to people who HATE the lead singer, despise him, relish in instances in which he looks ugly in televised radio interviews, etc… well, what to think, what to say… I personally divorce the artist from the man and get a lot out of this song, not necessarily extolling the video as much as some but really internalizing that whole “The impossible is possible tonight thing”. It must be a Chicago thing of “wishful thinking,” or something.
..
229 Hum – “Stars” (You’d Prefer an Astronaut — 1995)
.
Well I’m glad I just got done praising the Pumpkins’ MUSIC especially seeing as the intro to this song is a direct ripoff of “Mayonaise” (sic), Hum of course being… I’m gonna go out on a limb here… the “cooler” band to like if you want to make friends. “Stars” is saved basically by some weird, psychedelic urban lyrics and a kick a** drum sound.
..
228 The Black Crowes – “Jealous Again” (Shake Your Money Maker — 1990)
.
Sort of like Extreme’s “Hole Hearted,” this is just a very pliable radio single you can play in a grocery store or wherever, and that will only aid the flow of lifestyles and interactions. It’s so “normal,” in other words, that it’s funny in a way to think of all the anxiety and drug usage that went into it, along with in this case some good ol’ Sunday boozin’.
..
227 The Cranberries – “An Ode to My Family” (No Need to Argue — 1994)
.
I had a FEELING this came out after Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994 and not before it — this song in particular especially has a really pleasing air of closure about it, something
Dolores O’Riordan obviously lunged for but found evasive of her grasp, in the end. Wikipedia reports that O’Riordan suffered sexual abuse at a young age, though apparently nothing stemming from the family, at least that has been explicated.
..
226 Soundgarden – “Blow up the outside World” (Down on the Upside — 1996)
.
Ok I guess I’m on “suicide alley” here a little bit… anyway this song was obviously a little bit edgy for radio but I do have an awesome memory from IU of this hookah circle rocking out to it late at night in some dormitory, the long-haired host looking somehow sedate to an otherworldly extent.
..
We are an elite race of our own — the stoners, junkies and freaks. So, ya know, like, let us teach your kindergarteners, or somethin’.
..
225 Counting Crows – “Mr. Jones” (August and Everything after — 1993)
.
This is another one of those bands that people like to pick apart and take pot shots at, yet, every time you put it on that guitar sound hits you all over again, and then while I don’t really find these to be my FAVORITE lyrics, my left brain still says, hey, that’s pretty funny to write a song about all the social and sociological implications of the becoming famous I’m about to incur as a direct veritable RESULT of said song.
..
224 Pearl Jam – “Daughter” (Vs. — 1993)
.
Ah, live version, live version, live version… actually I was just on this kick (exacerbated in part by Third Eye Blind’s Summer Gods Tour Live 2017) on the waning value of live albums at all, given probably a multitude of reasons a couple of which are an improvement in studio technology and the diminishment of technical musical skill as a token in pop music, but somehow on Live on Two Legs they just nailed this guitar sound and when you hear it, it’s like the only music you want to listen to all day. As is detailed in Pearl Jam Twenty, anyway, producer Brendan O’ Brien “‘had everything to prove’” on Vs., which was his first album with the band, and so was maybe a little afraid to really step outside the box. They got more “interlude crazy” on Vitalogy along with just that gorgeous, textural and distortion-laden “Immortality.”
..
223 Fastball – “Out of My Head” (All the Pain Money Can Buy — 1998)
.
Wow, that douche bag who blatantly highjacked this song for fetid pop radio in 2016 is a real fu**in’ champ-zilla! So are the a**holes who try to rock on Fastball and then probably give them no credit when some dipsh** steals their song! Let’s fu**in’ hear it for humanity, eh! Hey, give ‘em credit, at least they had the wherewithal to steal like the 11th-best song on All the Pain Money Can Buy, or so! Go team fu**in’ go!
..
222 Dave Matthews Band – “So Much to Say” (Crash — 1996)
.
Crash is an album I always found a little bit ASTONISHING, as in there’s probably more songs about sex and then there’s this here beacon of undeniable weirdness, all about his “heaven (being) a nice house in the sky” with “central heating,” as if there’s so much to say that he can’t really say any of it at all, in the first place.
..
221 Ben Folds Five – “Battle of Who Could Care Less” (Whatever and Ever Amen — 1997)
.
Of course (by the way how ‘bout that for a quintessential ’90s “slacker” title), radio never really gave Ben Folds Five the “red carpet” — it sort of just took “Brick” and picked off the crust of everything else, but all these songs play at least as good college listening (he’s from a college town sure enough), with lots of cutesy language implying a high quantity of meaningless interaction, known in some sectors as “flirting.”
..
220 Alanis Morissette – “Ironic” (Jagged Little Pill — 1995)
.
I think this was the biggest hit off of Jagged Little Pill… I wouldn’t say it’s the best song, but maybe just achieving those honors for its storybook set of lyrics and its undeniable fixation on tragedy and catastrophe. It’s like a tabloid cover or front page of a newspaper in radio rock form.
..
219 Soul Asylum – “Close” (Candy from a Stranger — 1998)
.
Crazy, drony intros, sublime guitar sound and hypnotic ukulele layers would typically not being something that got a band dropped from their label, but then, I present to you the late ‘90s, the time of ska, swing, rock/rap, and just about every other stupid gimmick you could possibly think of. People were so done with alt-rock and boy are they crawlin’ back now.
..
218 INXS – “Beautiful Girl” (Welcome to Wherever You Are — 1992)
.
I used to have this cassette single back in the day when I was about nine, at which time I of course didn’t realize that the main riff is an egregious Velvet Underground – “Sunday Morning” ripoff… hey at least it’s easy to trace the influences, on the bright side. Also, there’s no such thing as an “egregious” Velvet Underground ripoff, unless maybe you coddle “Who Loves the Sun.”
..
217 Green Day – “Welcome to Paradise” (Dookie — 1994)
.
I get everything, I’m tellin’ you, from a lack of response on social media when I point out the veritable urban prescience of this album cover (filth left by homeless in San Francisco), to people hating Green Day for no reason and even erupting with spiteful, Cheeto breath laughter in defiance of them, to people bashing Green Day and Led Zeppelin as juvenile (they might be right but fu** ‘em), to, if I’m lucky, the rare half-coherent individual who will at least have the gumption to coherently discuss this topic with me and say that they prefer the Kerplunk version. Um, they’re idiots too.
..
216 Korn – “Got the Life” (Follow the Leader — 1998)
.
I feel weird talking about things like “guitar sound” and “production” with Korn — I mean you just gotta put it on and let ‘er rip. This I remember was the lead single off of Follow the Leader which would then be perhaps rightfully usurped in popularity by “Freak on a Leash,” but this song, in a way, is the more rhythmic and natural of the two.
..
215 Third Eye Blind – “Jumper” (Third Eye Blind — 1997)
.
I love talking about Third Eye Blind, simply love it. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I once stole a 3EB shirt that was like three sizes too big for me and would rock it to school getting compliments from this really chill Cambodian chick… anyway, like this is something that bothers me: say I’ll compliment Kevin Cadogan’s riff in the middle of this song, or the one in the intro to “Wounded,” and somehow the conversation always gets back to what the song’s ABOUT, like you have to comment on suicide if you’re bringing up the music here. I just think it’s a great song, though not the best on the band’s cool and cultural debut.
..
214 The Smashing Pumpkins – “Fu** You (An Ode to No One)” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness — 1995)
.
Sometimes I think something’s wrong with me because I will just sit and watch music videos for hours and hours, if not days (which wouldn’t allow for showering of course), anyway I used to have the DVD of all the Pumpkins videos and I remember on this one my roommate remarking that “He’s such a rock star in this one”, which I guess means he’s like gay, or something, ironically then embodying my very ideal of the intimidating and confrontational, more or less.
..
213 LIVE – “Selling the Drama” (Throwing Copper — 1994)
.
“Selling the Drama” is an apt piece of the Throwing Copper puzzle, not the best song on the album but it still gives me that quintessentially LIVE rock and roll sense of renewal, like the thawing of snow and the dawn of spring, all over those plangent and proud electric guitars.
..
212 Blues Traveler – “Run-around” (Four — 1994)
.
Not my favorite single from this album, “Run-around” still has the devil-may-care quickness near and dear to all us Blues Traveler and John Popper fans, making it a great song to hear in Walgreens or on a sunset road trip. He is quite the “nervous magician,” you might say.
..
211 Collective Soul – “Listen” (Disciplined Breakdown — 1997)
.
Yes, Tim Sommer. Collective Soul is fu**in’ great. You’re right. And the best part is, they’re always talking about “love” in a way that amazingly doesn’t get gushy or cheesy, a knack true baseball fans like Ed Roland always seem to have, in my opinion.
..
210 The Wallflowers – “6th Avenue Heartache”’ (Bringing down the Horse — 1996)
.
There’s nepotism, and then there’s being Bob Dylan’s son and literally having unlimited studio funding and a deadline of “five years from now” to complete the album and pulling in a little upstart background vocalist called “Adam Duritz”… it’s still a great song and they knew how to craft ‘em from the bottom up with a ringer of a producer in T Bone Burnett.
..
209 Toad the Wet Sprocket – “Walk on the Ocean” (fear — 1991)
.
I’m almost to the point where I’m sort of sick of this song, but only because I’ve heard it like a million times in grocery stores I’ve worked in… actually I still have this weird thing where it reminds me of snow-tubing when I was a little kid, which doesn’t make sense seeing as the band is from LA and they wrote it about their hometown, but that’s my take, nonetheless.
..
208 Len – “Steal My Sunshine” (You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush — 1999)
.
The funny thing about Len… well, there are a lot of funny things about Len, like “Indulging in my self-defeat”, like the fact that they’re Canadian and shot their breakthrough video in LA, and just like the whole existence of this song in general, but the REAL funny thing is that at their start they were actually sort of a scrappy pop/punk outfit, sort of like Jawbox meets Hum on a little much appreciated, if not necessarily much needed, Ritalin.
..
207 Pearl Jam – “Do the Evolution” (Yield — 1998)
.
Sometimes it might seem a little ridiculous that I try to write something about EVERY song on these lists but certainly not with this one — it’s like Black Sabbath sped up, high on acid and American women, or The Crow, or whatever really got their mojos goin’ here. As with many classics by the Seattle slayers, Stoney Gossard gets songwriting creds here, but the way I understand it almost all of these numbers get started by full-band jams. Dolby Disaster keenly recommends Single Video Theory, a short documentary movie which depicts recording sessions for Yield and features an excellent alternative version of “All Those Yesterdays.”
..
206 The Verve – “Sonnet” (Urban Hymns — 1997)
.
The Verve sort of disappoint me because they’re so DORKY… like he talks about his “friend” here, which is apparently a platonic female, which totally ruins what would otherwise be a poignant episode of romance (“Hey there’s love if you want it / Don’t sound like no sonnet / My love”), but I guess that’s what makes them real and inherently British. It’s like Sherlock Holmes said, “Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.”
..
205 Nirvana – “About a Girl” (live) (MTV Unplugged in New York — 1994)
.
I’m always glad to give this unplugged version and album another listen and I did indeed give it a whirl for this list… it always conjures up sort of a pang of sadness because it’s about his ex-girlfriend Tracy with whom he’d break up, then going on to Bikini Kill member Tobi Vail, and then finally to Courtney Love, of course, both of which he likewise wrote other songs for our enjoyment, and eventual extreme depression. Adding to this malady, of course, then, is that preternatural yowl that’s there in a big way on this shindig.
..
204 The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – “Royal Oil” (Let’s Face it — 1997)
.
I’m not sure, but I think this song might actually be the first Miller High Life commercial, amalgamated with a “Dare: to Keep Kids off Drugs” infomercial (oh yeah I’m bringin’ infomercials back… you’re welcome…) in all seriousness, it’s definitely a fun and jaunty tune and Dicky Barrett has the vocal chops of an African mountain hyena. And yes, that’s a good thing. Sorry, I didn’t really clarify there.
..
203 Collective Soul – “December” (Collective Soul — 1995)
.
I was just looking and this one was apparently released before “The World I Know” even though the latter is probably a better known track — “December” is alright, for sure, with an undeniable melancholy about it, symbolized by the time of year chosen for the title, perhaps, and a great auxiliary chorus three-fourths of the way in, over which the initial chorus gets aurally transposed in a nice little swatch of pop craftsmanship.
..
202 Weezer – “Say it Ain’t So”`(Weezer — 1994)
.
This song is definitely very mythologized, as I’ve heard it played by numerous cover bands and lyrically it handles such a basic, ubiquitous but still pathos-infested subject, but if you’re in the mood it can be some pretty climactic pop/rock, with a substantial energetic build for the chorus and a guitar solo that’s stylish but somewhat spare, in artful acknowledgement of the fallen, probably.
..
201 PJ Harvey – “A Perfect Day Elise” (Is This Desire? — 1998)
.
There are four producers credited with production on Is This Desire? and none of them seems to really have a “normal” name. In perfect accord, then, this album is a scattershot roller coaster of bizarre, intense emotion and searingly grim emotional landscapes, in the middle of which is “A Perfect Day Elise,” not really the LP’s centerpiece but the most radio-friendly, still keeping that sense of urgency of the others.

Leave a Reply