Best 90's/alternative songs, and please say WHY?

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by DJ Erock, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Apparently alternative just means "mainstream 90's rock."

    Which, actually, was what I understood it to refer to at the time. The style that grunge/alternative was supposed to be a counterpoint to (i.e., butt rock and hair metal) had all but disappeared by the time Smells Like Teen Spirit came out, so the "alternative" label never made any sense as a literal description.

    In much the same way, I expect that "indy rock" will ultimately end up meaning simply "2000's mainstream rock."

    Anyway, to the topic: the best 90's rock was Nirvana's Unplugged album. They subverted many of the by-then-already-tacky grunge categories that they were themselves leading exemplars of, broadened the standard alternative cannon outside of tired punk puritansim with all the Meat Puppets and David Bowie covers, and managed a profound connection with the audience in the process. And they did all that live.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    70s and 80s rock was still popular, and that's what it was an "alternative" to. Hard rock/heavy metal bands from the MTV era like Metallica, Satriani, Malmsteen; New Wave bands like the Fixx, Concrete Blonde; mainstream acts like Prince, Madonna. And the old-timers like AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd, who were still packing arenas. Also, rap and hip-hop were seducing the kids, and all of us needed an "alternative" to that.

    And there were the 90s stars that I liked, mostly the women, Sheryl Crow, Joan Osborne, Sarah McLachlan. You younger people wanted an alternative to them.

    I've never been one to catch the beginning of a wave. My first Grateful Dead concert was in 1977, and I just saw Alice in Chains for the first time a few weeks ago.
    I remember in an interview Bono described grunge as "70s music in plaid shirts."
    "Indy" used to be short for "independent." I.e, these bands are too far out of the mainstream for the big record labels to pick up, so they have to sign with the independent labels.
    Shakira: "Dónde Están los Ladrones?" The mariachi band on "Ciega, Sordomuda" was a shameless strategy for breaking into the Mexican market--which worked--and got her airplay in L.A. The Hollywood machine got one earful of that voice and said, "Sign her, dye her hair blonde, and teach her to sing vapid little ditties in English, but keep up the belly-dancing." Fortunately I got to see her in 2002, when she was still singing heavier stuff in Spanish and Arabic.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Yeah that sounds about right.

    Exactly - that's pretty much what "alternative" and "grunge" were supposed to be back when they started out. In fact, those were subgenres of Indie Rock back when that just meant "rock on independent labels" and didn't connote a specific sound and image as it does now (and not necessarily imply any actual independence from major lables).

    As I see it, indie rock is currently where alternative rock was in about 1995: everyone still uses the term non-ironically, but is starting to wonder what it's so independent of when they don't seem to hear any new, major releases that don't fit squarely into that genre, the various "indy" labels are now mostly arms of major labels, etc.

    Something which was recently pointed out to me, and caused me to literally slap my forehead for having missed such an obvious feature for so long, is that mariachi is a descendent of polka, brought to Mexico by the immigrants from central and eastern Europe.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Specifically the Germans. When the German economy collapsed under the mismanagement of an autocratic government in the mid 19th-century there was a major diaspora. Virtually all of our big breweries were founded about that time by German immigrants: Schlitz, Coors (Kurz), Pabst, Anhäuser-Busch, Miller (Müller), Hamm, Blitz, Yuengling (Jüngling), etc. (This is why Wheeler couldn't get enough support to pass Prohibition until right after WWI, when anti-German sentiment was at its peak.)

    Just as many Germans went to Mexico as to our country, bringing their tubas and accordions. Mariachi and norteña music are clearly of German origin. You're right, mariachi is basically polka although that envelope has been stretched a bit.

    Lots of Mexicans have German surnames, e.g. Linda Ronstadt's grandfather.
  8. stateofmind seeker of lies Valued Senior Member

    Kurt could make any song sound good... what a voice that guy had.

    I don't see it. How does it sound that same?
  9. Henrik77 Registered Senior Member

    Weezer - Buddy Holly

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    You'll have to ask Bono.
  11. DarkVision Registered Member

    This will take a while! firstly i will state this, the reason i came here and signed up(mod) is for simple lists of songs from my time. that being said all reasons for songs will be later if anyone cares to read through.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    secondly:i will try to avoid mentioning names already said to create a more comprehensive list, EVERYONE loves RHCP,STP,Nirvana etc. Some of these songs are crossovers (alt and got play on pop stations or pop that got play on alt stations)

    third:lets do it!
    1. 10,000 Maniacs - Candy Everybody wants
    2. Poe - Hey Pretty
    3. Fiona Apple - Criminal (how has no one listed this???

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    4. Everything -Hooch
    5. Goo Goo Dolls -Slide (again no one?)
    6. Foo Fighters - Everlong
    7. Local H - Bound For The Floor
    8. Sneaker Pimps - Six Underground
    9. Ben Folds Five - Brick
    10. Monster Magnet -Space Lord
    11. Santana ft -(anything!)put your lights on(Everlast)
    12. Pearl Jam - Jeremy
    13. Rage Against The Machine - Bulls on Parade
    14. Days of the New - Shelf in the Room
    15. Luscious Jackson - Naked Eye
    16. Jewel - Who Will Save Your Soul?
    17. Tonic - You Wanted More
    18. Finger Eleven- One Thing
    19. Linkin Park - High Voltage
    20. Bowling For Soup - High School Never Ends
    21. The Offspring - The Kids Arnt Alright
    22. Blink-182 - Adam's Song
    23. Spacehog - In the Meantime(god i love this song)
    24. Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag
    25. Fatboy Slim - Praise you

    Ok im cutting myself off here or ill be on all night, if i get demand(s) for more ill post more.

    (lies!!!!!!!!! got to toss in 311!)

    Reasons behind songs:
    1. 10,000 maniacs- She had such an amazing voice, intriguing lyrics and truly seemed to not give a damn what people thought of her or her music, making it all that more special.

    2. poe -I love BOTH versions of this song, i suggest looking to both to decide which you like more. However both give interesting perspectives to the song/group that are enjoyable.

    3. fiona apple- I have to say if your a fan of amazing vocals its hard to get better than her, this song was her mainstream hit but paper bag is just just wow. her vocal abilities are hard to match and she has amazing lyrics dealing with her real life issues she has had. Not to many artists come out and just say here is the shit ive dealt with, deal with it. props.

    4. everything- great catchy tune, and hey its about booze and im drinking so what isnt to love!

    5. goo goo dolls- Cant believe this band didnt make it into anyone's list, one of the defining alternative yet pop sounds of the 90s.

    6. foo fighters- Was hard to pick just one song but i think a large part of this songs draw is its opening cords. just sucks you in before you can even figure out WHY you like it, you just know you do.

    7. local h- not many bands nowadays or even then had this kind of vocabulary. add a catchy bass line and instant one hit wonder. (dont hurt to be grunge either!)

    8. sneaker pimps- had a weirdly hypnotic lead singer that just drew me in. Also the pure mellow of the music itself and her voice just yeah feels like being stoned while being sober.

    9.Ben folds five- This song in particular not only sounded great but was insanely controversial(to this day!). Not many bands are willing to stick their neck out like that, and not many songs remain this controversial after that amount of time.

    10. Monster Magnet- Sorry mod i have no fucking earthly idea why i like this song i just do!

    11. Santana- Yes he didnt come out in the 90's, but still his 90's album was one of his best just so much amazing music on it i HAD to include it.

    12.Pearl Jam - Another artist that was around from way before hand but didnt get main stream success till the 90's and damn if it aint deserved. amazing lyrics for their depth(black, jermy, daughter, etc). great beats, amazing guitar. yeah got to be on here.

    13. Rage Against The Machine- The most political band of the 90's(period!). Amazing sound/guitar and evil lyrics(in a good way!).

    14. Days of The New- Considered to be the next nirvana, this band had some great hits but imho never measured up to nirvana/pearl jam/soundgarden/etc. still some worthy songs/albums for listening too.

    15. lucious jackson- DEFIANTLY a one hit wonder, yet still a great song very catchy for all the right(or wrong reasons).

    16. jewel- Most of her stuff was defiantly more pop than alt, yet some songs still had that very un-mainstream feel to them which is why they got played everywhere, but they deserved to be! So much power, emotion and thought. great stuff.

    17. Tonic- One of those bands i feel is insanely under rated. great guitar work, catchy rythems and amazing vocals and lyrics. This band touches the heart.

    18.Finger Eleven- Very emotional voice, again great lyrics. such a hypnotic sound.

    19. Linkin Park- One of those bands that came out of nowhere to blow everything and everyone out of the water with their sound. A mix of so many styles, it became a style of their own. just an amazing thing to listen too.

    20.Bowling for soup- Half pop+half grunge=All funny. Great meaningful lyrics set to a beat and whimsical style that makes you laugh at the truth of it.

    21. The Offspring- One of the biggest alternative debates of all time was started over these bands. offspring or blink 182? fans of either side wanting to beat(or at least laugh) at the fans of the other side. i loved both sides just great stuff, some of it crazy, some of it deap, all of it rocked.

    22.Blink-182- One of the biggest alternative debates of all time was started over these bands. offspring or blink 182? fans of either side wanting to beat(or at least laugh) at the fans of the other side. i loved both sides just great stuff, some of it crazy, some of it deap, all of it rocked.

    23. Spacehog- This band was a true one hit wonder, but what we wonder is why did the rest suck so bad with this song???? Damn if this song didnt have everything!!!!! just wow.

    24. wheatus- by far one of the strangest bands to emerge in the 90's then again thats kind of why we liked them.

    25. Fatboy Slim-Another one hit wonder, this one however we didnt wonder why they were a one hit, we wondered how it was a hit....
  12. nirvanalover23 Registered Senior Member

    what about them??

    what about you am i? or gin blossoms? what about toad the wet sprocket, silverchair, our lady peace, headswim or the headstones???
  13. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

    Ya because Bono knows all about sounding different from song to song.
  14. lacysfan Registered Member

    First I want to say so many of you have posted bands/songs that really defined my junior high and high school life in general. Nirvana is atop that list.

    However, one band that I may consider a "Top 5" caliber alternative rock band has thus far gone absent and so I am taking it upon myself to bring them into the fold. If anybody did in fact mention them already, sorry...

    The Cranberries

    Some of you will no doubt remember "Zombie" and "Linger" but unless you actually owned the album "No Need To Argue" then you may very well have missed out on an album which is (arguably) comparable to the likes of "Nevermind".... Going with the assumption you like the 2 songs that made the mainstream, you will probably enjoy every song on the album, so download it and see I know what I am talking about, please.

    As for "why" I love this album so much, my best girl--friend in my early years turned me on to the Cranberries and she had battled cancer and survived all by the time she was 21. While she was bedstricken, she would call me over to her house and almost always ask me to bring batteries so she could jam those rebelious songs on her walkman (this was the 90's)

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  15. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

    I loved them. My friends and I all listened to heavy metal and grunge and some alternative. I unashamedly would put the cranberries on the 5 disk carousel (along with L7, Breeders, Liz phair and other chic rockers I liked).
  16. birch Valued Senior Member

    Puff daddy and Mase - Can't Nobody Hold Me Down

    absolutely love this song. it's that good. the mix samples/blends a bit of 'the message' by grandmaster flash and matthew wilder's 'break my stride' and the result is cool and hot. the beats and the lyrics/rap speak to the heart. this song is like my motto for life.

    been around the world

    this is another one which blends david bowie's let's dance. it works.

    i'll be missing you

    this one mixes a tune from the police. it's like a recipe and you can come up with a lovely twist.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011

Share This Page