Monday, 24 March 2014

Rob Reid's Top 90 Alt-Rock Songs of The 90's (Part 3)

With the shock of today's sad news slowly dwindling let's get back to business at hand. We are down to the last 30 songs on my man Rob's favourite 90's Alt-Rock songs. Some bands who's absence you may have been curious about finally appear and few surprise salads get tossed in along the way. Let's get gone!

30. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Nirvana

I've yet to encounter one song list from the 90's that leaves this one out. Yes, these days it is overplayed and yes everyone seems to have a different song as their favourite from Nirvana, but when this came out it's meteoric impact was undeniable. The resulting nuclear winter after "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was unleashed started to settle in the mid-2000s, but the musical landscape was forever changed.

29. "Touch, Peel & Stand" - Days Of The New

See? Would a song like this have got noticed if Nirvana had not paved the way? Moot point, but it's one to think about. Days Of The New had a ton of promise when this gritty, acoustic track came out in 1997 but after that brief success the cracks began to show. Lead man Travis Meeks, notorious for his erratic behaviour, began cancelling tour-dates and openly criticizing band decisions.  In 1998 he "fired" the rest of the band (who would go on to form Tantric) and Days Of The New from then on out would be known as Meeks' own project with a revolving door of backing musicians (even including Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussy Cat Dolls)

28. "Flagpole Sitta" - Harvey Danger

Soundtracks in the 90's were a great place for a band to get their songs out in the mainstream. Also, since this was an age before downloading domination, us listeners could pick up a soundtrack and get a bunch of great singles without having to buy each artist's album. Romeo + Juliet had a great soundtrack. Some of the Batman sequels' soundtracks were more enjoyable than the movies they accompanied and the forgotten classic Disturbing Behaviour had an excellent soundtrack which features a yet to be mentioned song on this list, as well as Harvey Danger's jovial, sing along, paranoid anthem "Flagpole Sitta"

27. "Hey Jealousy" - Gin Blossoms

The Gin Blossoms out of Arizona had one of the most distinct 90's sounds of any band that gained popularity in the decade. Don't ask me to elaborate on's just that as soon as you hear the opening stings of a Gin Blossoms song it's like you're whisked back to's great. Sadly some great bands are marred by great tragedy. The man behind some of their catchiest tunes (like this one) was Doug Hopkins who endured a life long battle with depression, alcoholism and a temper to match that eventually got him kicked out of the band. Earning a gold record for this song wasn't enough to pull him through his struggles as he would commit suicide in 1993

26. "My Hero" - Foo Fighters

The Color & The Shape was the album that let the world know that The Foo Fighters weren't just the next thing Dave Grohl involved himself with, it was the band he was always supposed to form. After Cobain's death and the end of Nirvana Grohl released an album of songs he had written during his time as Nirvana's drummer, but this second album was written with the Foo Fighters as the main focus and world domination in mind. Songs like "Monkey Wrench", "Walking After You" and this one "My Hero" cemented the Foos place in rock history and it was only the beginning.

25. "Shimmer" - Fuel

Though some of Fuel's best known hits came in the early 2000's their first album Sunburn was released in 1998 and contained my favourite song of their's. "Shimmer" has got that catchy little guitar hook that builds the song up just enough before the drum kicks in and turns it into a true rock slap in the face. Fuel had a knack for great lyrics that are on display here. Their future faced a kink in the road however in 2003 when lead singer Brett Scallions collided on stage with guitarist Carl Bell and required surgery to repair a deviated septum. That along with turmoil among band members, made Fuel fall out of memory with many fans. Thankfully we have some great songs to look back on.

24. "Silver" - Moist

Silver and Creature are two perfect albums by Canada's Moist. Released in 1994 and 1996 respectively they were so good that Moist quickly became my second favourite group in the 90's (behind Metallica). Silver was a slower, grind it out effort over Creature's higher octane rock. The title track here gained them the most attention, an impressive feat by a song named after one of the English language's un-rhymeable words.

23. "Runaround" - Blues Traveler

Perhaps the only "alt-rock" group from the 90's...or any decade for that matter to have a lead harmonica player who also doubles as the lead singer is New Jersey's Blues Traveler. "Runaround" is by far their run away biggest hit. This song has topped my list of songs to get you motivated for a Monday morning. The positive energy in this song is impossible to contain. Though they'd never match the success of this song, Blues Traveler still play music together to this day. Check out some other songs by them "Carolina Blues", "The Mountains Win Again" and "Most Precarious" to name a few

22. "Pardon Me" - Incubus

Boy I keep getting distracted by watching all the videos for these songs!  I can't help it! They're so good...but I do wanna get this list done before the Sun comes up.

I must admit when "Pardon Me" came out I didn't like it at first...such is the case with things we don't understand. We shun and avoid them, or even label them as "bad". I was a dumb kid. Eventually something clicked in my mind when I heard it one day and Incubus and this song have been a favourite of mine ever since.

21. "Got You Where I Want You" - The Flys

This was the other song from the Disturbing Behavior soundtrack I was talking about. I Think this one will go down as the quinnessential 90's track when historians want to really get to the core of what the decade was all about. Simple yet memorable and accessible guitar rift. Quirky lead singer who insists on singing into 2 microphones at once (it was his thing...I don't know). And a video with a bonafide 90's starlet in Katie Homes. Slammed and fucking dunked. The Flys did end up being a one hit wonder, but really how could you top this song? Especially with the white-boy rap break. One thing I love about this song is how the vocals remain steady and slowly drawn out as the music around them intensify to the blazing crescendo at the end! Aces!

20. "6 Underground" - Sneaker Pimps

The Sneaker Pimps took their name from a term coined by The Beastie Boys for someone who would bring hot new shoes for the band to wear. They definitely fit into the techno world that started to gain attention in the late 90's. "6 Underground" was their biggest hit and a crossover one at that. They continued to make music into the mid 2000s though with various singers. I had such a crush on this singer though Kelli Ali and loved when the video came on. The dark days before the internet...

19. "Wonderwall" - Oasis

Love them or hate them it's impossible to deny the sheer magnitude of Oasis' popularity in the 90's greatly caused by "Wonderwall". Oasis nearly single handedly re-ignited the US' love for British acts. Shortly after Oasis' album What's The Story Morning Glory? peaked in North America other British bands like Blur, Manic Street Preachers, Stereophonics and Ash were getting praises from across the pond.

18. "Superman's Dead" - Our Lady Peace

Some people feel OLP ripped off "Wonderwall" for their song "Superman's Dead". I don't buy it, but fuck it...decided to put one after the other for squeaks and gigs. Have to give the edge to the Canadian boys though. "Superman's Dead" blasted Our Lady Peace's Clumsy through the roof and gained them fans all over the globe. Huh....apparently they did a different version of the video for US release....definitely much preferred the original with the boy and girl played by the singer from Serial Joe

17. "Red" - Treblecharger

Canadian songs are high on this list because I feel that they are the secret gems of the 90's. Only a select few among the music appreciators know them outside of Canada and for that reason it was a treat to hear them back when they were popular. Unless you owned the album Much Music was one of the only options to hear Treblecharger's "Red" and it's still great to this day. Not that i'm trying to be hipster-esque, but remembering the joy of getting to hear these songs is giving them the edge over some of the more popular ones that still get played on radio today.

16. "Clumsy" - Our Lady Peace

Named after the fantastic album it came off of "Clumsy" is my favourite of the 3 OLP songs Rob picked for this. I foolishly gave this album away to someone, but as I recall every song on it could have been a contender for this list. "4AM", "Let You Down", "Big Dumb Rocket", "Carnival". Fantastic stuff.

15. "Fake Plastic Trees" - Radiohead

In these last 15 songs you're gonna learn something about me. I'm a huge Radiohead fan and a big part of that was their emmaculate 1994 album The Bends. Like the above album every song on The Bends was fantastic. Though Rob didn't pick my personal favourite "Street Spirit", "Fake Plastic Trees" is a text book example of chill 90's music.

14. "A Long December" - Counting Crows

This song has "second single syndrome" written all over it. What's "second single syndrome"? Well have you ever noticed that the first single released off an album while good and gets your interest, it's typically the second one released that really resonates with you and is often the most successful or memorable off the album? Let's look at some famous second singles. "Everlong" - Foo Fighters, "Lightning Crashes" - Live, "Gone Away" - The Offspring, "Hero Of The Day" - Metallica. Might not be the most radio friendly songs, but definitely the ones that stick with ya

13. "In The Meantime" - Spacehog

I've seen this one top some lists of best 90's songs, it really has one of the most memorable and iconic opening riffs from songs of the decade....second only to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" maybe. Many people might be wondering what happened to Spacehog. They released a second album The Chinese Album in 1998 which produced a cool track called "Mungo City", but after that they kind of puttered out. The lead singer married Liv Tyler and well, I guess that kind of killed his ambition to commit to hard work in the music industry.

12. "Resurrection" - Moist

This is the song that sealed Moist for me. Hard to describe how this song digs so deep into my head and refuses to leave me for weeks. Great highs and lows in this track, plus the ending of this track could be on a list of great continuous lyrical breaks in a song. Always been a fan of David Usher's word play

11.  "Companion (Lay Me Down)" - Wide Mouth Mason

Second single syndrome again!! Hahah yess!!! The more you look at it, the more true it becomes! I might try and get a PhD in Music theory because of this. Seriously though, how good is this track? The offbeat of the drums and guitar combined with some fantastic vocal work and lyrics. Definitely one of the best songs written by a Canadian.

10. "Semi-Charmed Life" - Third Eye Blind

It's great when artists can sneak stuff passed the censors, though in this case Third Eye Blind weren't trying to sneak anything. They wrote and released a song with nothing fundamentally offensive, it's just that it's a song about rampant sex and drug use! Though one of the catchiest tracks to come out of the 90's, still need to listen to the whole thing when that "doo doo DOO" kicks in. While this is their best known song, 3EB have had a nice career with plenty of enjoyable tracks. Check out "Jumper", "Anything", "Crystal Baller" and "Never Let You Go".

9. "Paranoid Android" - Radiohead

While I think The Bends is Radiohead's best album it's their 1997 album OK Computer that typically gets the nod from most critics and fans alike. Even Radiohead themselves felt every song was worthy enough to be a single and were going to shoot a video for each track on the album until touring got in the way, and i'm sure they just decided they couldn't be arsed. "Paranoid Android" is a magical song pieced together from fragments of songs the band was working on. Listen for a dig at their fellow Brits the Spice Girls when Thom Yorke says "Kickin' Screamin' Gucci Little Piggy"

8. "Name" - Goo Goo Dolls

Some guitar players in the 90's might have driven themselves mad trying to learn this one with it's bizarrely unique tuning and remember the internet was not a household (or handheld for chirstsakes even) thing. Really can't think of much else to say about this one. Put in on, turn it up. Enjoy it...for 4 and a half minutes, sit back and enjoy it. Think of simpler times....think of that girl....what was her name?

7. "High & Dry" - Radiohead

Another great Radiohead track from The Bends. I'm not working for them I swear, but I kept seeing these songs on the list and saying to myself...."no man these need to be higher". This was definitely the forgotten single off the album. "Just", "Fake Plastic Trees" and "Street Spirit" got all the glory. "High and Dry" was the consummate pro by coming off the bench and giving us quality minutes when we needed it. Love the guitar in this one and Yorke's vocals have never been better.

6. "Apparitions" - Matthew Good Band

Another simple, somber, perfect song from the 90's. It wasn't about being complicated or mashing multiple genres together to come up with something transcendent. For a long time music was about making a connection with your audience on an emotional level. Sometimes I feel music today is falling away from that quicker and quicker. It hasn't vanished completely obviously, but it isn't in the foreground any more either. "Apparitions" by Matthew Good Band has what i'm trying to get at. There was alot of this in the 90's and this was done beautifully. DAMMIT. Could not find the official video on Youtube. The video for this song was really well done.  Check it out here

5. "What I Got" - Sublime

How would you describe Sublime to someone who had never heard them? Reggae? Reggae-ska? Punk-Folk? It's a tough one...and that's what I love about them. That's what i'm sure many people love about Sublime. The individuality of the music and refusal to stick to one winning formula, made fans really feel they had a connection with the group. Sadly Sublime's lead man Bradley Nowell would not live to see his band's most glowing success. He died of an overdose a month before the self-titled album was released. The album went gold and was highly praised by critics, but Nowell's death led to the end of Sublime.

4. "Desperately Wanting" - Better Than Ezra

You might be surprised how high this one climbed, but i'm telling ya Better Than Ezra should be right up there in conversations with great 90's bands. Why they never got the recognition they deserved i'll never know, but a song like "Desperately Wanting" is perfectly crafted and executed. No flash or gimmicky bullshit. A great effort from a three piece rock group that I still love singing along with

3. "No Rain" - Blind Melon

Shannon Hoon had so much potential. Blind Melon could have been the start of some kind of 60's spiritual revival. We could still be talking about how great their live shows are and comparing new albums to Blind Melon's self-titled debut. But we're not. Drugs suck. However, we will always have songs like "No Rain" when we need simple escapes. Blind Melon are responsible for some killer songs, "Change", "Toes Across The Floor", "Skinned". "No Rain" got the most attention, but also got them labelled as a one hit wonder. I suppose, but check out their catalog and wipe that negative association from your mind.

2. "In Bloom" - Nirvana

Before the release of Nevermind and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" Nirvana made a video for their song "In Bloom" in 1990. As predicted it didn't make any head way, how could it? It was not attached to any kind of commercial release. Two years later as Nevermind was stomping around the music scene, smashing windows and breaking down doors they re-did the video and made "In Bloom" an official single. This time it made waves and even won an MTV video award...which i'm sure Kurt was just thrilled about.
As a drummer Rob made sure to single this track out to me. Not that I know much about the technicalities, they do provide an excellent backbone to a track that sounds like it travels around on the back of a woolly mammoth with fire in it's eyes. Just a well crafted tune, that showcases what Nirvana is truly capable of when they weren't trying to be the Pixies.

1. "Everlong" - Foo Fighters

When I saw Rob had "Everlong" on his list I knew where I would end up. It was #1 on the list I did before and it's #1 here. Dave Grohl gets the #1 & 2 spot. There ya go eh. "Everlong" is a masterpiece, excellent pacing and cadence. High energy love song that never really lets up...only enough to let you catch your breath before diving right back into it. The best song of the 90's? Yup

There ya go! I had a blast sorting through someone else's favourite songs

Drop me a line if you want to be the next guest blogger!

Until the next time!


David Brockie (Aka. Oderus Urungus) Dead at 50

I can remember the first time I saw Gwar live in concert. It was Devil's night in 2007, at The Docks in Toronto, Ontario. I made sure to suggest to my friends that they wear a white shirt that they don't mind getting messy. Sure enough by show's end we were all covered in a rainbow of various projectiles launched from the stage. Whether it was from a cannon known as 'The Biledriver' or from the severed limbs of Gwar's on-stage victims, there was no escape. I lost my white Metallica hat that day too, and it was alright. The band's commitment to the characters they had created was admirable. Their stage show was hilarious and entertaining And yes, I was a fan of their music. Their 2001 album Violence Has Arrived is as damn near a perfect metal album as you'l ever hear. Hearing that Brockie (the band's lead singer) had passed away this morning was not how I wanted to start a Monday. I kind of hoped i'd get another chance to see Gwar live again. But i'll always remain glad that I took the chance to see them when I did.

RIP Dave Brockie

We will get bakc to Rob Reid's countdown shortly..

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Rob Reid's Top 90 Alt-Rock Songs Of The 90's (Part 2)

Tag Team back again!! We're gonna keep rolling through Robbo's favourite Alt-Rock jams of the 90's. Things are getting pretty serious here...a few bands we haven't mentioned make their first appearance and a few that were featured heavily in part one gone to the showers. Rob's Top 90 Alt-Rock Songs Of The 90's. Part II!

60. "King Of New Orleans" - Better Than Ezra

Not sure if underrated is the right word here, maybe often overlooked. Better Than Ezra were responsible for a multitude of memorable tracks in the 90's. Releasing 4 albums in the decade, two of which were damn near flawless. 1993's Deluxe was perhaps their most acclaimed and 1996's Friction, Baby was their most popular. Partly because of "King Of New Orleans" and another track that perhaps will get a mention later.

59. "Counting Blue Cars" - Dishwalla

Doesn't get more mid-90's edgy than a song questioning God's sexual ambiguity by a band named after a product hocked on midday infomercials. California's Dishwalla had mediocre success outside of this hit. "Counting Blue Cars" gained the band plenty of worldwide attention, but they really failed to duplicate it's fame.

58. "All That You Are" - Econoline Crush

Probably the band's most successful single to date. If you've listened to any rock radio station in Canada in the last 15 years you've heard this song. I guarantee it. Man just watched a few moments from the video... how often was that one played on Much Music? Good times..

57. "Open Up Your Eyes" - Tonic

Also known as the song with the guys roller skating in it. Tonic got their start in 1993 in California and by 1996 their album  Lemon Parade had started to cause a stir. Though Tonic were never massively popular, they quietly earned Grammy nods and had Radio's most played song of 1997 in the album's second single "If You Could Only See"

56. "Dammit" - Blink 182

Punk kids learning to play guitar in the 90's probably had this one on repeat trying to replicate that blazing opening riff. "Dammit" is the song that put Blink 182 on the map with it's catchy hooks and hilarious video. It was music anybody could enjoy.

55. "Runaway Train" - Soul Asylum

A Runaway train is a great way to describe Soul Asylum's potential in the 90's. Behind the success of this single we all thought we'd be hearing much more from the group. After their 1998 album Candy From A Stranger failed to make any significant waves they were dropped from their record label. It would be 8 years before they reunited and released music again. By the way, this is one of the most iconic videos of the 90s and has a separate version for UK and US releases.

54. "To Be With You" - Mr. Big

I thought this was an 80's song for sure, but there it is released in 1991. Maybe the last of the big hair metal bands and squeeked in right before a band called Nirvana entered the 90's scene and laid waste to all the flashy, spandexed remnants of the decade before it. Great song though, soft, sweet and some excellent guitar work.

53. "Sunday Morning" - No Doubt

No Doubt's second appearance on the list and another song from Tragic Kingdom. "Sunday Morning" was released as a single in 1997 and the album came out in 1995. Is there any wonder left why it was one of the 90's best selling albums? No doubt.

52. "Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song)" - Incubus

From Rob himself: "This was one of our jam songs for the band. It was great how every instrument kind of gets added one at a time and each part is very complimentary and fun to play." I wasn't the biggest Incubus fan in the 90's but they are one of Rob's favourites, it's great being introduced to new music. You can really tell that this album (S.C.I.E.N.C.E) was the right bridge between Fungus Amongus and Make Yourself.

51. "Tonight, Tonight" - The Smashing Pumpkins

One of the most magical and awe-inspiring tracks off of Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness is "Tonight, Tonight". It's pacing, orchestration, dream-like lyrics and of course the video, made it stand out among not only the other songs on the album, but other 90's songs released around the same time. No shock to see why they were one of the decade's most popular groups.

50. "Automatic Flowers" - Our Lady Peace

Though there were many great albums released by Canadian groups in the 90's, few were bigger than 1997's Clumsy by Our Lady Peace. Everybody had a different favourite song of the record. Apparently the band went out to a cabin to write the songs for Clumsy and when they got stuck or tired, they took to the frozen lake for a few rounds of hockey. Thats how you make an iconic album in Canada.

49. "Santa Monica" - Everclear

Some bands new how to keep it simple and sometimes that formula worked like gang busters. Everclear's "Santa Monica" employs a basic guitar hook and verse/chorus/verse system and to this day is one of the most memorable songs from the 90's.

48. "The Difference" - The Wallflowers

Bringing Down The Horse was the name of The Wallflowers' breakthrough album. When this band first came out there was a bit of hype circling them because of the fact that lead singer Jakob Dylan was the son of legend Bob Dylan. That fact was quickly brushed aside when it was discovered that their musical styles are vastly different in many ways. "The Difference" is a good example of that. Straight forward rock, feel good music and truly an entire band effort.

47. "Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm" - Crash Test Dummies

Did this song ever stand out in the Nineties. With it's bizarrely awkward title, storytelling lyrics and the distinct baritone vocals of Brad Roberts. This song was perfectly parodied by Weird Al Yankovic as "Head Line News". When your song gets "Weird Al'd" you know you've made it.

46. "Right Here, Right Now" - Jesus Jones

The 80's is typically known as the decade that gave us the most one hit wonders, but that doesn't the 90's was without it's share. Jesus Jones were a group from Britain that fused the electro-pop sound of the 80's with the guitar driven rock that was making a comeback in the early 90's. "Right Here, Right Now" is a song that is often overlooked. A great track though that sometimes is still used in political campaigns.

45. "Friday, I'm In Love" - The Cure

We've reached the half way mark! The Cure were another English band that were huge in the 80's. As the 90's turned The Cure didn't do the drastic and radically change their look or style, but kept making the great music they were known for. 1992's Wish is my favourite album from The Cure, so I was glad to see it represented here.

44. "Bittersweet Symphony" - The Verve

Adding that dreaded article to their name was not the only bit of legal turmoil that befell England's The Verve. After the release of their biggest hit "Bittersweet Symphony" they were forced to relinquish all the profits the song had made because they had used a sample from "The Last Time" by The Rolling Stones. Though the band had originally negotiated the use of the sample, it turned into an ugly legal battle which The Verve subsequently lost.

43. "Let Her Cry" - Hootie & The Blowfish

Hootie & The Blowfish were always great at the 'relationship advice' song. I'm assuming because most of these experiences they are singing about are probably experiences the band members actually had. "Let Her Cry" stands a little to the left form the other singles off of Cracked Rearview.  It's a bit darker, a bit sadder. A bit better.

42. "The Oaf" - Big Wreck

Big Wreck's first single off their first album In Loving Memory Of was "The Oaf" also known as "My Luck Is Wasted". When I first saw the group live at Edgefest in 1999 singer Ian Thornely said this song was about "Chewy, chewy, caramel". Yeah, I didn't know what it meant then and I still don't. Great track though.

41. "My Own Worst Enemy" - Lit

This was a great song. Released near the end of the decade in 1999, great energy and a quasi-punk song about getting drunk and being generally self destructive. Wouldn't expect much else from a band who's name is a synonym for getting tore up. They didn't have many more popular songs outside of this one. I'm going to search out some more recent Lit songs...i'm curious now.

40. "Mr. Jones" - Counting Crows

When some ape-human hybrid digs up a time capsule from the 90's 400 years from now there it will be. Nestled beside an orange-haired troll doll and a pack of Power Ranger pogs will lie a cassette tape. It will be all black with a piece of worn masking tape. Scrawled across the masking tape will be two simple iconic words from the decade where Alt-Rock was born: Mr. Jones

39. "Long Way Down" - Goo Goo Dolls

I'm convinced now that the Goo Goo Dolls are legit. Though they may have suffered some of the same 'dumb band name-itis" that sunk Hootie and lead singer and song writer John Rzeznik openly suffered from bouts of writer's block, they have a long back catalog of fantastic tunes. Track one side one from that famous album A Boy Named Goo we find "Long Way Down". Here it rests at #39

38. "Inside Out" - Eve 6

Y'know sometimes you just gotta let the music speak for it's self. I think that's what i'll do here. Though I can say this song is the first time I remember hearing the term SoCal.

37. "Everything To Everyone" - Everclear

It seemed when I was growing up everyone owned a copy of Sparkle & Fade. I personally felt Everclear's next album So Much For The Afterglow was their best effort. It branched out musically in multiple directions, but also kept some of the old Everclear charm we loved. "Everything To Everyone" was the bouncy, first single from that album.

36. "Today" - The Smashing Pumpkins

While we're on the subject of which albums were more definitive for their artists, go ahead and grab 20 people and ask them which was their favourite Pumpkins album. Guarantee you'll get 20 very different and firm responses. While I believe the discussion should be between Mellon Collie and Siamese Dream, don't forget about Adore released in 1998, it has some killer tracks. "Today" is from my favourite one though Siamese Dream

35. "Take A Picture" - Filter

Quite a few Filter fans that I know can't stand this track and almost refuse to acknowledge it. I guess it was a bit of a genre shift from their previous efforts but it's a catchy, chilled out song that really defines the 90's for many people.

34. "One Headlight" - The Wallflowers

The song that opened up many an ear to the ol' Wallflowers. It's about not getting all the help you think you'd need to get through a situation, like having one headlight on your car. Radio stations played the crap out of this song and a video was made even though it was never officially released as a single.

33. "Good" - Better Than Ezra

Better Than Ezra's first major label single and it made it #1 on the Modern Hot Tracks in the US or whatever. Deluxe really was a fantastic album and should be included when talking about must-own records from the 90's. Outside this song Deluxe also has "Porcelain", "In The Blood" and "Coyote" all great songs.

32. "December" - Collective Soul

Man, sometimes I can't get enough off the syncopated riffology from the 90's. Collective Soul would definitely have their own chapter in that Anthology. "December" came from their self-titled album in 1995 which was really the peak  of the mountain for them. I mean yes they had a few other great slbums, but how can you compare to the record that also had "Gel", "The World I Know", "Smashing Young Man"...i'm getting tired typing all these see what I mean

31. "My Friends" - Red Hot Chili Peppers

One Hot Minute was the illegitimate bastard child of RHCP albums, and many fans and listeners treated it as such. Gone was guitarist John Frusciante while he was confronting his demons (drug problems) and in was Dave Navarro. While Navarro fit right in with the band on a lifestyle and personal level, he was not the axeman Frusciante was. "My Friends" was a gentler and more melodic song than other Chili Pepper efforts, but also had whimsy and showed a different vocal style of Anthony Kiedis. It was their first #1 Billboard song and a personal favourite of mine.

Part 2 is in the books!

Only part one remains! What bands are left? Which song will be #1?

Check back soon to find out!!


Thursday, 13 March 2014

Rob Reid's Top 90 Alt-Rock Songs Of The 90's! (Part 1)

Switching it up here at Void Drops! Keepin' it fresh! 90's style! Talking about music and discovering similar tastes & interests is how i've connected with people who become my closest friends over the years. You discover that you both grew up listening to the same mixtapes and think the same music videos are lame. Eventually you're introducing each other to great new music and 2 muscially diverse worlds collide to create one mega music universe. I'm sort of handing over the controls to the Lists Of Fury today to one of my good buddies Rob, former drummer of Ottawa rock group King and all around professional appreciator of everything pleasing that goes in the ears. These are his top 90 picks from that formative decade the 1990s, which I then put in my favourite order. Let's see what lies beneath shall we? Johnny Z & Rob Reid's Top 90 alt-rock songs of the 90's Part one!

90. "Been Caught Stealing" - Jane's Addiction

Jane's addiction were a group who got their start in the 80's but catapulted to fame in the 90's thanks to their 1990 album Ritual de la Habitual. "Been Caught Stealing" is perhaps the most successful single for the group that launched the careers of Perry Farrell and Dave Navarro.

89. "Old Apartment" - Barenaked Ladies

One of Canada's biggest musical exports (or at least with the most commercial success outside of Canada) are the Barenaked Ladies. They were great at taking the piss out of the problems that teenagers would stress and obsess over. The first single off their 1996 album Born On A Pirate Ship reminds us that sometimes change is as good as the rest "The Old Apartment" lands at 89.

88. "Hanginaround" - Counting Crows

Quite a few bands make multiple appearances on the list and don't think that "Hanginaround" is Counting Crows' only inclusion here. This song just squeaks in coming off the 1999 album This Desert Life. ONe of the last releases the Crows would have. Love the guitar sounds in the beginning stings.

87. "She's So High" - Tal Bachman

Here's some Canadian music royalty. Tal Bachman is the son of Guess Who and BTO alumni Randy Bachman. Tal was kind of a one hit wonder, but it's a good one. "She's So High" dominated the airwaves in 1999. Hmm, maybe this one should have been higher

86. "Idiot Box" - Incubus

Having someone else pick the songs that compile this list meant there would be a few i've never come across before. Incubus' "Idiot Box" is one of them. This song is chalk full of what makes Incubus so great and unique. Large, chugging guitars...snapping drum beats and some scratching thrown in for fun. Somehow though, despite all's still a great song to kick back to. That's Incubus for ya.

85. "Where It's At" - Beck

Some say that all the music and bands that emerged from the 90's all sound alike. While there was a certain formula some record labels searched out, the 90's also gave us some truly unique artists. Beck was one of them.  Odelay was his breakthrough album released in 1996. "Where It's At" was the lead off single and I always felt it was a sequel to his debut hit "Loser". It shares the same white-boy rap style and random lyrics.

84. "Excuse Me Mr." - No Doubt

In discussions about the best albums from the Nineties No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom often gets left out. No clue why, it spawned a collection of memorable tracks. "Excuse Me Mr" is also the single that gets forgotten about. Glad to see it make an appearance here.

83. "Lucky Man" - The Verve

The Verve's Urban Hymns made some major waves outside of the band's native UK. Along with "Bittersweet Symphony", "Lucky Man" helped The Verve grow an international fan base. They had to add the 'The' to their name however in the US because of a jazz record company that was also using the name Verve.

82. "Heavy" - Collective Soul

The riff-centric anthems of Georgia's Collective Soul dominated the Nineties and are still being featured in heavy rotation on rock radio stations. The aptly named "Heavy" was off the album Dosage released in 1999 and while it wasn't as praised as some of Collective Soul's earlier works it still produced some memorable songs.

81. "You Oughta Know" - Alanis Morissette

Speaking of unstoppable albums from the 90's Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill was a pure juggernaut. Nominated for 9 Grammy awards (winning 5), topping critics charts around the world, winning multiple Juno awards and don't even get me started on all the "video awards" songs from this album collected. "You Oughta Know" was the lead off scathing break-up single that struck a chord with so many dejected and rejected young men and women worldwide.

80. "She" - Green Day

Who didn't own a copy of Dookie, seriously? You? You mean it? OK get out.

79. "Buddy Holly" - Weezer

Man so many timeless and perfect albums are being rushed back into my memory here. Weezer's Blue Album released in 1994 was how debut albums should be done. Maybe they coloured it blue because it was a blueprint, an outline for other groups to recreate when recording their debut albums. So many good songs to choose from. "Buddy Holly" breaks into the 70s. Also one of many memorable 90's videos directed by Spike Jonez

78. "The Scene" - Big Sugar

Canada's self proclaimed loudest band comes out of Toronto, Ontario. Big Sugar enjoyed a surge of popularity in the 90's with help from hits such as "The Scene". Blues-rock infused with some reggae for good measure, you could always recognize a Big Sugar song. The front man Gordie Johnson has become known for his many musical endeavours...most recently playing bass for Wide Mouth Mason... i wonder if they'll make the list...

77. "Don't Leave Me" - Blink 182

By the time the 90's were over Blink 182 had carved out a sizeable following and large collection of riling, jovial pop-punk songs. Though mixed in to all the sophmorically themed ditties an occasional whimsical gem could be found. "Don't Leave Me" has the outer shell of another quick pop-punk romp, but underneath it's a heartfelt cry for help. Splendid.

76. "Epic" - Faith No More

Perhaps the heaviest song on a list of alt-rock memories, Mike Patton's Faith No More were a staple of the 90's. The sheer uniqueness of this song made it impossible to ignore, but once you let it in the chorus sinks into your brain and becomes a part of you. Rob and I discussed Patton's other band Mr. Bungle. I guess he felt they didn't fit the format of the list to include them...maybe next time.

75. "Sparkle & Shine" - Econoline Crush

I wonder how big Econoline Crush got outside of Canada. While they generally are only known for a few hits in the 90's, you can still hear their songs being played on modern rock radio up here. The Devil You Know was their breakthrough record and included many memorable tracks. "Sparkle & Shine" being one of them

74. "Give It Away" - Red Hot Chili Peppers

One of the most 90's albums, songs and videos. "Give It Away" could of sank or saved the Red Hot Chili Peppers and when it was released it turned them into Michael Phelps (thanks DeRozan). Everyone rushed out to get Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magick then claimed they've loved the group since Mother's Milk.  This might have been the final straw on the camel's back to get people thinking about mixing up genres in their musical tastes.

73. "Blown Wide Open" - Big Wreck

We're gonna go on a little Canadian run here. It's funny but looking back on my early musical days, almost all my favourite groups were Canadian. Moist, Our Lady Peace, Treblecharger, Hayden and these guys Big Wreck. Though this is kind of a cheat as only the group's frontman Ian Thornley is a Canuck and the rest are from Boston. Though Canada was the country that embraced them and made them famous

72. "My Old Self" - Wide Mouth Mason

Here we go! Sasktchewan's Wide Mouth Mason. Their 1997 self-titled record helped them become a house hold name up here. Though they weren't over-exposed and they weren't under represented either they acquired a loyal fanbase. "My Old Self" was perhaps their most commercially successful single.

71. "Diggin' A Hole" - Big Sugar

This is the thumpin' jam that brought Big Sugar into the spot light. 1996's Hemi-Vision was the band's most successful album to date and even got them a few Juno nominations.

70. "Deep Six" - Matthew Good Band

No. I don't mean Dave Matthews Band. In fact Dave doesn't make the cut. Matthew Good Band was from Vancouver and crushed the mid-90's with a series of spectacular records. Underdogs was their 1997 breakthrough and 'Deep Six" was the kick off track. Matt had a distinct vocal and singing style, that skulked beside the crunching guitars and smashing drums that were typical of MGB songs. Expect to see more of the here.

69. "Leech" - Eve 6

From deep six to Eve 6. From Canada to So-Cal. 90's songs had a way to make the listener want to pick up a guitar and play along with the simple, yet intriguing riffs found within them. Eve 6 songs had plenty of those. "Leech" was kind of the forgotten Eve 6 single as it was overshadowed in the mainstream by others like "Here's To The Night" and "Inside Out". Lest we forget.

68. "1979" - Smashing Pumpkins

Starting to get into some familiar territory now. "1979" was off of Smashing Pumpkins double album Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness.  If this band wasn't on your radar by that point, they sure were now. You couldn't get away from this album. Whether it was "Zero", "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" or "33" there was something for everyone. "1979" had a nostalgic vibe for a generation that weren't quite nostalgic yet.

67. "Basket Case" - Green Day

One of the most definitive songs from the 90's. From Billie's first spitting of the words "Do you have the time?" You're immediately taken back to where you were when you first heard the song. Probably someone's basement. There was a funky coloured couch down there. You're sitting cross legged on the floor with a few friends. yes. There you are.

66. "When I Come Around" - Green Day

I couldn't really put one song over the other. So consider this one 67(b) and "Basket Case" 67(a). "When I Come Around" was the moment you realized all your favourite songs are a simple 4 chord progression. AND THATS WHY YOU LOVE THEM!

65. "Lump" - Presidents Of The United States Of America

Probably the most awkward band name of the decade The Presidents Of The United States Of America or simply Presidents existed on a short fuse on a large barrel of dynamite. "Lump" exemplifies this perfectly. Clocking in at just over 2 minutes, it's a great display of the kind of fun music you can play with limited guitar strings, but also indicative of how limited the music will get. Either way, here's "Lump" #65

64. "Everything You Want" - Vertical Horizon

Fun fact! Vertical Horizon are still around! Who knew? Thats not meant to be insulting, it's just that their initial 90's run was so great that I guess the success never peaked as high. "Everything You Want" is a great sing along song...simple rhythms and a universal subject matter made this a song for the ages.

63. "Creep" - Radiohead

This can be considered the calm before the storm that was Radiohead's explosive 90's tenure. 1993's Pablo Honey was a pretty typical alternative album which spawned some wonderful songs. BUt it would be Their next few albums that would catapult the band into the stratosphere. A height from which they have yet to return from.

62. "I Only Wanna Be With You" - Hootie & The Blowfish

There is no good reason why everyone turned on Hootie & The Blowfish. Their few shortcomings are easily forgiven when they produce fantastic feel-good songs like "I Only Wanna Be With You". Cracked Rearview still one of the best selling albums of the decade.

61. "Longview" - Green Day

Almost listed every song of Dookie now, "Longview" got the edge over the other songs because goddamn. That bass line. As soon as it gets rolled through the speakers you know exactly what kind of voyage you're going on for the next 3 minutes and 58 seconds

Alright that's it for tonight!! the first 30 songs out of Rob's top 90!!

Check back soon for parts 2 and 3!!