If you believe down to your bones that you are an inherently flawed sinner in need of a jealous God's forbearance, you might indeed consider yourself "one with the mud" as Jars of Clay singer/songwriter Dan Haseltine does on the band's epic single "Flood". Big R Radio - 90s Alternative Rock playlist. They perfected a sound in which electric guitar is not the driving factor. Produced by Peter Collins, a well-traveled rock veteran who was at the helm for many of Canadian rock titans Rush's greatest works, "Galileo" builds to a stirring climax with a swirl of harmony vocals over the syncopated rhythm. The song is a call to go down in a blaze of glory, to be mythologized in death like Jesus Christ and JFK. 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). Seriously, did you really think any other song would be #1 on this list? This song was one of the two or three that hooked you and got you to buy that concert ticket. During the chorus, her voice alights with furious intensity for the heated exclamations of "La resistance!". You loved it the first time you heard it. 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!" This song gave Nirvana fans a glimpse into the type of music that inspired Kurt Cobain to become the father of a musical generation. Indie Flagship. The connection between musicians and heroin, of course, is not something unique to the '90s. Utter nonsense. All rights reserved.PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated. Probably because it took queues from the metal you listened to in the 80’s and snuck them passed you in the form of a pop song. When it comes to Pearl Jam, or any 90’s alternative music really, it doesn’t get much better than this. Everyone knows the 90’s gave us some of the best alternative music in the history of the Universe. For instance, "Minnie Mouse has grown up a cow / Dave's on sale again" is an allusion to David Bowie's "Life on Mars? We're all in this together, sharing humanity's innate confusion. The "La resistance! Gordon tries to keep it down, but doesn't seem to be able to: "I try to keep her on a short leash / I try to calm her down / I try to ram her into the ground, yeah.". Sadly, Morphine would cease to exist in 1999 when Sandman died suddenly of a heart attack at age 46 while on stage at a concert in Italy. The British band's French vocalist Lætitia Sadier has a distinct voice, oddly mannered and almost atonal -- reminiscent of Nico but with a lighter touch. Morphine left behind a tremendous musical legacy, with "Cure for Pain" a good first dose for the uninitiated. "Ripple" reached #3 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart and is definitive proof for the more casual fans out there that the Church is far more than just "Under the Milky Way". The band recorded the song live in the studio and delivers a knockout performance bristling with swagger and energy. Year: 1996Billboard Hot 100 Peak: No. "Pepper's" sonic universe includes backwards guitar, tremolo effects during the chorus, weird vocalisms and other bits of inventive reality-twisting. These 100 bands and artists' music helped define the "alternative" rock era of the '90s and influenced the next generation of indie rock this century. "We Don't Need Nobody Else" is a brutally chilling narrative from the point of view of a violent sociopath. Alternative, meet metal. Jesus and Mary Chain's fourth album Honey's Dead was so named because the Scottish duo wanted to serve notice they had expanded beyond the boundaries of their breakthrough single "Just Like Honey" from their landmark 1985 debut Psychocandy. Don’t know what song’s been playing on the radio? 2 and again in 2006 on the compilation Serene Velocity: A Stereolab Anthology. BuzzFeed Staff 1. It was a shrewd choice, as "Regret" is instantly recognizable as New Order, but is also a progression of the band's sound for a new decade. From the subtle effects on Haseltine's vocal, to the glistening string section in the song's middle, to the hard-driving acoustic-guitar riffs which ring like heavy sheets of black rain on the pavement, "Flood" is musically evocative of the emotional tumult Haseltine expresses in the lyrics. Regardless, it's an intense and mystical song that feels like it should be played with some nice incense burning and a few candles. A lot. Dave Pirner's restless vocals ride along with the churning guitar riff before finally ripping free during the raucous chorus. There were so many songs, from so many incredible (and some not so incredible) bands. Song after song this guy named Billie Joe Armstrong was unloading every feeling he ever had on anyone who would listen, but even the songs with depressing messages were delivered in a happy, up-beat manner like no one else had ever done. "Seether" was their first single, a frazzled rocker sung by Nina Gordon about a sorta Jeckyl & Hyde scenario. A subtle progression from Nevermind, this song makes 90’s kids wonder what Nirvana could have been if Kurt Cobain was still around. Religion can consume one's heart, mind and soul. "Somebody to Shove" is a searing garage-rocker from Minneapolis-based Soul Asylum's sixth album Grave Dancer's Union, by far their most successful release. Everyone knows the 90’s gave us some of the best alternative music in the history of the Universe. Classic 2-for-1 and a preview of things to come from Green Day (see: American Idiot) this song came at you fast and hard and you couldn’t help it when you hit rewind (remember rewind??) by Brian Galindo. The narrator's dissatisfaction and bitterness at the world drips from every line, like in his disdainful reaction to his countryman Bono's success, "They build portholes for Bono / so he could gaze out across the bay and sing about mountains / maybe / you are what you own in this land / you can be King and it all depends on the view and what you can see". Alle Radiostreams und Radiosender im Überblick. A lot of alternative artists at the time from Nirvana to Soundgarden incorporated grunge into their music style, but they were alternative all the same. One of the few 90s alternative rock bands that still make great music today. "Regret" spent five weeks at #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart, their biggest ever hit in America. Play on Spotify Listen to the entire playlist right here: Get the latest music news, contests and flyaways, and more straight to your inbox with our weekly emails. Sandman was famous for his oddly-tuned two-string bass guitar, which he often played with a slide. The song describes a guy who is unpredictable in all the worst ways, waiting to explode as he slides in and out of a life of danger and crime. Veteran fringe-rockers Butthole Surfers scored a surprise hit with "Pepper", an oddity in the band's mostly experimental hardcore catalog. If you’re not, you still remember hearing this song. Pretend It's a City Proves Once Again, You Can't Argue with Fran Lebowitz, Stefano Mancuso's 'The Nation of Plants' Gives the Green Party a Podium, 'Queer Legacies: Stories from Chicago's LGBTQ Archives', Megan Rapinoe's 'One Life' Is Pitch-Perfect, The Mandalorian's Political Allegory: Diversity Is the Way, Beauty and Horror in George C. Wolfe's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Steve McQueen's 'Small Axe' and Emerging Institutions of Black Power, COVID-19 and Our Purgatory of Consumerism, Elvis Costello Gets Dark and Brooding on 'Hey Clockface'. She's taking a chance, laying herself bare, willing to try again -- perhaps some of the desperation comes with the thought that she might not get another chance. Led by vocalist/guitarists Nina Gordon and Louise Post, who each sang lead on their own compositions, Veruca Salt's mix of ragged garage rock and strong melodic hooks was a natural fit for alternative radio. My Hero was often mistaken as a tribute to Kurt Cobain, but was actually just a song about everyday heroes who try to make a difference in the world. "Down" spent four weeks at #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart during the fall of 1996, well over a year after the album's release. Other key tracks from American Things include "Forsythia", "Victrola", and "Number One Blind". The band's unusual bottom-heavy sound thrilled critics but never lifted them beyond cult status in the US, although they did enjoy some degree of commercial success in Europe. Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell got together and blew everyones’ brains completely out of their heads. Not to mention the first time you saw the music video. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development. "), and he reverses lines by Jane's Addiction ("Your sex is violence!" 311 blends genres seamlessly, incorporating elements of rock, hip-hop, metal and even reggae into their sound. Built by Real Media SLC. On the surface it's simply about the circle of life, but it goes deeper than that. In this song Bradley Nowell taught us life is good and we need to take it easy come what may. Bands are listed alphabetically by the first letter in their name (not including "The"), and individuals are listed by the first name. 50. Come as you are. The Portland, Oregon based trio Everclear rose to alt-rock prominence with their second album Sparkle and Fade, easily the strongest of their career. The bridge glows with pulsing strings and then a lovely dual acoustic guitar solo leads into the final verse and chorus. Pearl Jam is going to be on this list a lot, and they probably deserve to be on this list many more times than they are. By Judy Berman. Steve Kilbey's dusky baritone is in particularly fine form as he navigates the cascading guitar and strings that give "Ripple" its shadowy grace. With its repeated calls of "I want to die just like Jesus Christ", "Reverence" incorporates a gritty industrial vibe, heavy electronic beats and dense snarls of reverbed guitar. May 25, 2011 ... A very long list of still-active alt-rock bands from our youth is after the jump. The "seether" is an aspect of her personality that is irrational, with a vicious temper, quick to anger and self-destruction. From the ashes of Nirvana came Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters, and much to everyone’s surprise Grohl wasn’t playing the drums. The song made the radio and made it all the way to 21 on the Billboard charts. In 2015 that all changed as the original lineup reunited for the album Ghost Notes. The lyrics are abstract and dreamlike, romantic and riven with pain. 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. Emily Saliers wrote the song and sings with graceful poignancy, while partner Amy Ray provides exquisite harmonies (also joined by rock legend David Crosby). Stereolab are one of the most innovative and endlessly fascinating bands of the '90s. We are privy to the caustic asperity and rage of a man who feels the world has passed him by and he's been cheated by life. Your Lifestyle, Your Music Everything on "Time Bomb" moves with supercharged velocity. Souvlaki to mostly uneven reviews in 1993. "Seether" reached #8 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart and helped launch the band's debut album to significant success and acclaim. Taken from the Tennessee-based contemporary Christian band's self-titled debut, "Flood" became an unlikely hit on alternative radio. Instead of retreating, Sadier urges us to engage in "acts of rebellious solidarity" that "can bring sense in this world." 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". Pirner's lyrics jive with the song's fidgety tone, as he sits in despondent boredom yearning for someone to stir him into some kind of action that will tear through his sullen malaise. Along with the two other singles "All Mixed Up" and "Don't Stay Home", "Down" helped 311 move over three million units -- the band's biggest selling album by far. The song is a torrent of the type of guilt upon which religions flourish. The song is relaxed enough to have popped a few Xanax, but the necessity for self-medicating to numb whatever pain Sandman is experiencing is laid out starkly. And then it’s crazy once you find out what it’s about. Reid equates those two fabled figures with rock stars whose deaths bring near deification and a reverence that becomes, in some cases, bigger and more substantial then the music itself. It's one of two tracks (along with superb "Liquid") from the band's debut masterfully produced by the great Adrian Belew. 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. "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. Soul Asylum's killer performance of the song on MTV Unplugged remains one of the best moments in that series' history. The track seems to be about a relationship nearly derailed by some "sin" that the narrator is struggling to resist: "Did you hear the distant cry / calling me back to my sin? It fit well the zeitgeist of its era, although some critics claimed Bush was nothing but a wan imitation of other, better bands of the period. When people found it as a B side single, they went nuts. "Galileo" is an expansive song that asks big questions, but is performed with intimate sincerity and beauty. 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. When Green Day released Dookie, nobody knew what to make of it. Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Oasis, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus, Third Eye Blind, Vertical Horizon, Creed, The Goo Goo Dolls, Sixpense None the Richer, Matchbox Twenty, The Smashing Pumpkins, Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, Lisa Loeb, The Cranberries, Pearl Jam, Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews 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. '90s Female Alt-Rock Songs That Spoke To You. by Brian Galindo, Alex Naidus, Ryan Creed As the third single from their album Throwing Copper, "Lightning Crashes" became by far the band's biggest hit. The word "regret" is only used once, in the first verse, as Sumner insists "Maybe I've forgotten / the name and the address / of everyone I've ever known / it's nothing I regret." Another deep, haunting story told in a way only Eddie Vedder could. / Like the one you knew before / calling me back once again / I nearly, I nearly lost you there / and it's taken us somewhere." "Regret" has a dense rock sound compared with the generally sparse and mostly electronic arrangements on their prior album, Technique. Veruca Salt was the hot band of the moment when they emerged from Chicago at the very peak of alternative rock's popularity in the mid-'90s. Sixteen songs you had on your high school mixtape and what they said about you. 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. New Order released a string of classics in the '80s after rising from the dust of Joy Division following the suicide of Ian Curtis. 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". After the song was written, Live dedicated it to Barbara Lewis, a friend who was killed by a drunk driver, whose organs were donated to save the lives of others. "Lightning Crashes", with its blinding sincerity, has become a song of healing and understanding grief as part of a never ending process of which we are all a part. Two drummers played for the band at various times: Billy Conway and Jerome Deupree. The atmosphere is turbulent and uncertain as Nova grapples with an unrequited need. Have an extra 3 hours and 35 minutes? PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have to move off their service. The hippest Alternative, the friendliest Indie. In the '90s, grunge was all the rage. 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