The performance is tight -- drummer Grant Young (or more likely Sterling Campbell, who producer Michael Beinhorn brought in because he was dissatisfied with Young's performances) amps up the energy and provides a rock-solid foundation. The lyrics deal with random chance, as Haynes relates an oddball cast of characters and their sometimes deadly foibles (inspired by his youthful memories in the Texas punk-rock scene): "Another Mikey took a knife while arguing in traffic / Flipper died a natural death he caught a nasty virus / then there was the ever-present football player rapist / they were all in love with dying, they were doin' it in Texas.". Self-destruction and record company troubles prevented the band from building on the song's momentum, and "Pepper" remains a solitary bubble that somehow floated to the surface of a backwoods Texas swamp and popped onto the airwaves. Screaming Trees released one final album, 1996's Dust, before drifting away on the winds. The term's original meaning was broader, referring to a generation of musicians unified by their collective debt to either the musical style or simply the independent, DIY ethos of punk rock, which in the late 1970… Some people have said this song proves Kurt Cobain knew he was going to live a much shorter life than any of us wanted him to. Of course, Kilbey could be indirectly referring to his own struggles with heroin during this period, about which he has been very open. While there are hundreds of extraordinary songs from this decade, here’s our list of the 50 you should never forget. Even in this darkness Sandman never loses his acerbic sense of humor: "I propose a toast to my self-control / you see it crawling helpless on the floor". "Nearly Lost You" stormed up to the #5 slot on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart, by far the Screaming Trees' highest placement. The main instrumental hooks and solos were handled by Dana Colley's deep and resonant sax. Two drummers played for the band at various times: Billy Conway and Jerome Deupree. Religion can consume one's heart, mind and soul. over bracing squalls of guitar. New Order released a string of classics in the '80s after rising from the dust of Joy Division following the suicide of Ian Curtis. During the chorus, her voice alights with furious intensity for the heated exclamations of "La resistance!". How many of us had girlfriends we just *couldn’t* get rid of? Kind of takes you right back to the first time you ever heard Bush, doesn’t it? The languid drifts of melody married to dense guitars is exemplified in the album's only single, "Alison", a gorgeously narcotized piece that bestirs slowly like a hazy dream and builds to a glowing beauty. Or just wait a little longer. Rancid rose from the ashes of Operation Ivy, an influential ska band that never broke through to a wide audience but helped shape the thriving '90s ska scene with bands like Pietasters, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish and others. Sixteen songs you had on your high school mixtape and what they said about you. Have an extra 3 hours and 35 minutes? "Everything Zen" hit #2 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart and endures today as a '90s alt-rock essential. Riveting and unflinchingly honest, "Heroin Girl" was perhaps a bit intense for many alternative radio programmers as it only reached #34 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart -- but as we know, the highest charting songs are not always the greatest. PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have to move off their service. During the verses, Sadier's monotone vocal oscillates over the rhythm like licks of blue flame wafting above a raging pyre, with a vocal countermelody weaving sinuously throughout. Whether it was your high school graduation ballad or the song that inspired you to make a big decision in you life, this song meant something to you during the 90’s. The band recorded the song live in the studio and delivers a knockout performance bristling with swagger and energy. You loved it the first time you heard it. Gibby Haynes deadpans the spoken-word lyrics during the verses, gusting wind audible in the background, and then jolts us back to attention during the hard-rock chorus. 311 released their self-titled third album during the summer of 1995, but it really blasted off the following year thanks in large part to its audacious second single, "Down". before launching back to the chorus at the 3:43 point with guitars all barrels blazing. Mark Lanegan's gruff voice is an instrument powerful enough to stand up to the musical hurricane that buffets him from all sides. The song is a call to go down in a blaze of glory, to be mythologized in death like Jesus Christ and JFK. They hit up their local record shop or FYE to buy the latest and greatest alt-rock albums they could get their hands on. Depending on where you came from, you either loved this song publicly or loved it in private. The lyrics spooked alternative radio programmers in the US who blithely ignored the song in favor of its follow-up, the less taboo "Far Out and Gone". When people found it as a B side single, they went nuts. His desperation heats to a boil as the song hits its climax: "And I'm waiting by the phone / Waiting for you to call me and tell me I'm not alone / Yes, I'm waiting by the phone / I'm waitin' for you to call me, call me / And tell me i'm / tell me i'm not alone!" Both versions included here for your listening pleasure. Unlike many of their contemporaries who emerged in the '80s, New Order was able to maintain their relevance and success after that decade collapsed under the weight of its own glittery scrapheap of excess. Ironically, there are strong echoes of that classic song in the distorted guitar and electro-rock of "Reverence", the edgy and provocative first single which became an improbable Top 10 hit in the UK. It hit #8 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart, Rancid's highest ever placement on that survey, and the track sounds as fresh and alive as the day it was baked. They do it so naturally it sounds effortless. Addiction is such a constant struggle documented by many alternative rockers in the '90s that it's easy to see references everywhere, even when it might not be the case. This song tells the story of one guy’s attempt. Scott Weiland really doesn’t like himself. It's hard to hear him sing, "I'm so sick of goodbyes, goodbyes," and not think, "so are we". Everything on "Time Bomb" moves with supercharged velocity. Just like Lump, you can’t get this song out of your head. The title alone gave validation to an entire generation of grunge rockers. In the '90s, grunge was all the rage. The first of four major hits from Grave Dancer's Union (along with "Black Gold", "Without a Trace" and "Runaway Train"), "Somebody to Shove" hit #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart in December 1992. As we asked in our previous summary of the best alt rock of the 80s, what is alternative rock? Your dad even loved this song. Some will argue that the Beastie Boys were mainstream artists before this song hit the airwaves. On the surface it's simply about the circle of life, but it goes deeper than that. If you’re a 90’s kid, you know you relate to this song. The band had comprised of Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament. 50. Nova weaves a deft melody during the chorus, her multi-tracked vocals simmering with urgency as she sings, "I'm not touched, but i'm aching to be". Produced by former Talking Heads' guitarist and keyboardist Jerry Harrison, "Lightning Crashes" gains much of its power from Ed Kowalczyk's impassioned vocal. Neil Halstead is indeed floating, but no need to suggest we not be stoned. Sandman was famous for his oddly-tuned two-string bass guitar, which he often played with a slide. They developed their own unique sound, a hodgepodge of sorts that borrowed from alternative rock, new wave, krautrock and '60s influences, and they infused it with their unique beauty and weirdness. The bridge glows with pulsing strings and then a lovely dual acoustic guitar solo leads into the final verse and chorus. Sat 09.01; Sun 10.01; Mon 11.01; Tue 12.01; Wed 13.01; Thu 14.01; Fri 15.01 Come Out and Play - The Offspring (1994) ", obviously a slogan borrowed from the French Resistance to the German occupation of World War II, in this case refers to a different kind of human resistance -- "French Disko" is a call for peaceful resistance to war. It opens with a quick snarl of guitar before launching into a descending bass pattern that forms the backbone of the verses, sometimes anchored with a subtle cello (which I was hearing as a baritone sax all these years). Stereolab originally recorded "French Disco" for the 1993 EP Jenny Ondioline before revamping and improving it later that year, slightly changing the spelling to add the "k", and releasing it as a limited edition vinyl and CD single. "Regret" spent five weeks at #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart, their biggest ever hit in America. Irish rockers Whipping Boy are one of the great unsung bands of the '90s. "Regret" has a dense rock sound compared with the generally sparse and mostly electronic arrangements on their prior album, Technique. In the 90s many would have had some difficulty beyond the grunge genre (however that was defined). Everything is turned on its head -- "Everything zen? 181.FM 90's Alternative - 181.FM Internet Radio - The Best Choice for Radio. Even thought the band apparently thought this song was too cheesy to include on their first album, they did – and you loved it! The song made the radio and made it all the way to 21 on the Billboard charts. The Boston-based band, led by singer and bassist Marc Sandman, followed their own rules about what rock and roll should be. "Down" is meant as a 'thank you' to 311's fans who helped carry the band from small-town midwestern obscurity to multi-platinum success. The lead single from Bermuda-born singer/songwriter Heather Nova's second album Oyster is "Walk This World", a dramatic acoustic rocker bleeding with desire. The song doesn't have a bridge per se, just a dreamy instrumental interlude with a double-tracked electric guitar that bends subtly, as if underwater. Is Christian Petzold's 'Undine' Myth or Therapeutic Dialogue? The lyrics are littered with pop culture references. 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