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!!


No comments:

Post a Comment