1. "The Memory Remain" - Metallica
1997's Reload saw Metallica revisit the formula they introduced with the previous year's Load. Slower, more grunge and blues-infused rock songs were on the tracklist instead of 7-8 minute long metal power anthems. "The Memory Remains" also saw the first time a guest artist appeared and was credited on a Metallica song. Marianne Faithful plays the song's subject as an aging starlet who's relevance is nearing the end.
2. "Shimmer" - Fuel
Tennessee rockers Fuel first gained widespread notoreity in 1998 with their album Sunburn. It spawned the catchy single "Shimmer". It peaked at #2 in the US and was later overshadowed by other and in my opinion less interesting singles like "Bad Day" and "Falls On Me". "Shimmer" has a great energy and lyrics by Brett Scallions that hit too close to the mark to be fiction.
3. "These Arms Of Mine" - Otis Redding
I still maintain that Otis Redding was one of the greatest vocalists of all time. The range and passion in his voice is remarkable. He almost conjures a tear from the eye in this song before the music even kicks in.
Sometimes I still find it impossible to believe that he was 24 when he died.
4. "Hoofprints In The Sand" - Sage Francis
The more I hear from Rhode Island's Sage Francis the bigger a fan I become. His songs and wordplay leave me dazzled, I pick up something new each time I listen. I like that he seems to have something meaningful to say, at least you can tell he feels it's meaningful with the energy he spits. My current favourite lyric in this song is "There's been so much murder and not enough Martyr; Why is it no one else wants to impress Jodie Foster?"
5. "Elderly Lady Behind The Counter In A Small Town" - Pearl Jam
The pressure was on for Pearl Jam to release a huge album after their perfect debut Ten in 1991. Whether they felt the pressure or not (or gave 3 shits) 1993's Vs. was an instant classic. I feel it was a more accessible album than Ten, less guitar solos and a more relaxed and raw vibe in general. "Daughter", "Dissident" and "Elderly Lady" became immediate fan favourites and are likely responsible for creating the majority of Pearl Jam fans that year.
6. "Jane" - The Loved Ones
Punk is widely known to feature songs that begin with vocals and continue the lyrical onslaught until song's end. The Loved Ones' "Jane" fits the criteria perfectly. Don't confuse these yanks with the Australian band named The Loved Ones either...they existed nearly 40 years apart.
7. "Cassie" - Flyleaf
Flyleaf are a Christian hard rock group from Texas. The origins of this song stem from a story that came out of the Columbine massacre in 1999. It was widely reported that during the shootings one student (Cassie Bernall) was asked at gunpoint if she believed in God, upon her confirming that she did she was shot dead. While the story has been adopted by Christians as a form of solidarity through a confirmation of faith, it's validity has been doubted. Though several survivors claim the story is true the identity of the victim has changed several times.
8. "That Sound" - Michael Moog
Perhaps one of dance music's biggest one hit wonders, Michael Moog (Phillip Damien) is known really for just this song...that's it. No full length albums or EPs. Ok, he has done a few other songs and guested on a track here or there, but not much. I guess since this song was a hit he felt he didn't need to release much else and focus on producing. By the way...can I tell you how much I hate trying to find dance/techno songs online? There are so many goddamn remixes and demixes and friggin mashup-mixes that I can't find the version of the song i'm used to. So don't think i'm a dick who doesn't know what he's talking about if the version I post here doesn't start with vocals. It's not my fault
9. "Sink Florida, Sink" - Against Me!
I've written so much about how I love Against Me! and their music that there is almost nothing left to say about them. The album this song is off As The Eternal Cowboy is absolutely phenomenal and is on my desert island list. "Sink Florida, Sink" is a simple, short, sing along acoustic song. Enjoy!
10. "One Week" - Barenaked Ladies
I chose to end on this one because it's one of the most popular songs that starts with lyrics and crams as many words as it can in it's little 2 minute time frame. It's also the song that sky rocketed BNL to the world stage. Sure us Canadians were enjoying our little home grown gem through albums like Gordon, Maybe You Should Drive and Born On A Pirate Ship, but in 1998 Stunt was released and exploded in the United States largely thanks to "One Week". It hit #1 in the US and spent a week there making it the first song written by a Canadian to hit #1 in the US since "American Woman" by The Guess Who.
Thanks as always
You know what to do!