I Figure This Post is Necessary
Since we’re toward the tail end of the ’80s retro, I figure I’d do my part to introduce all you young whipper-snappers to the music of the ’90s. Now, I know you already have some of this down, since your high-school NEW MUSIC ALL THE TIIIIIIME!!! station plays the hell out of Nirvana and R.E.M. But I’m going to introduce you to some stuff you probably haven’t heard because I (being old and decrepit) have actually heard first-hand. Or near enough, anyway. Sit back and relax for 20 songs by 18 artists.
Hunger Strike – Temple of the Dog
This is the only grunge song on this list, and it’s far and away the best one ever written. There are no questions. Do not argue.
Seasons in the Abyss – Slayer
SLAYYYYYYYERRRRRRRR!!! *flails madly*
This song has the added bonus of having my favorite Slayer riff in it. I play it on guitar without even realizing it. This performance is a little ragged vocally (even for Tom), but right around the second verse it really starts kicking off.
1991 was kind of a big year, in case you haven’t noticed. Metallica, Guns’n’Roses, Nirvana, and U2 all put out ridiculously huge, even “important” albums that year. So I’m going to pick one song from that pile–one that’s not even a single–and one from a band you little kids have never heard of because none of you were born at that point.
Love is Blindness – U2
Achtung Baby was a massive album, there’s really no way to deny it. It had a pile of hits, one bona fide “timeless classic”, and took a band that was already big and made it even bigger (through a twist of clever marketing and Ironic Irony (times infinity). To me, though, the best songs on the album aren’t even the singles. The last half of the album has much more “to it” than the first half. I mean, sure, the singles are awesome and all that, but in my opinion the “real” music is backloaded on the album.
This performance is off of From the Sky Down, the documentary the band just released about the making of Achtung. It (the movie) gets pretty wankery pretty much every time Bono opens his mouth (which is often), but it’s a nice doc. A better one is This Might Get Loud, directed by the same director and featuring The Edge, Jack White, and Jimmy Page. Jack White, incidentally, plays the best version of this song.
Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity – Type O Negative
Well I can’t embed this one, so here you go. I guarantee you little shits haven’t heard this song. Which is a pity.
Fucking Hostile – Pantera
Hey kids, back in the day, our metal didn’t fuck around. None of this Bullet for Valentine, touchy-feely Nickelback shit. Lots of really fast guitar, and a lot of screaming. THAT’S FUCKING METAL. LEARN FROM IT.
Last – Nine Inch Nails
This one is kind of a gimme; you all know who Nine Inch Nails are. You might even have this EP. But you’ve probably never seen this song from onstage with a single DSLR camera. Now you have. (This performance is tuned down to drop-C, the album is drop-D. It’s a little heavier.) Plus you get to hear Robin Finck’s sexy-as-hell voice.
Black No. 1 – Type O Negative
Yep, Type O again. Oh, another band you should check out: Bauhaus. They’re ’80s, but Pete Steele is basically the metal Peter Murphy.
Mary Jane’s Last Dance
Things I learned in this video: Tom Petty’s voice can only get more annoying. Mike Campbell is still the best member of The Heartbreakers. Scott Thurston is their secret weapon. Benmont Tench has the coolest name.
Another pretty big year, and I’m picking these based solely on how badly I want to cover the songs in a band.
Red Right Hand – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Nick Cave has the voice you’d expect nightmares to be narrated by. You kids would probably identify with Pete Yorn’s cover of this song, but you know what? That version sucks. This is the real shit, here.
Finger Paintings of the Insane – Acid Bath
I know none of you little bastards have heard this song. While you’re at it you could do well to check out Crowbar, Goatwhore, and anything Dax Riggs have even thought about. Your derivative little lives will be better because of it.
Street Spirit (Fade Out) – Radiohead
There are more Radiohead songs that “Creep”, you know. Not that you would know, since your only reference to them is arguably the best episode of South Park of all time.
Hail Caesar – AC/DC
I know you guys hate your parents’ music and all, but this is a rock band. I know pretty Jared Leto is in a “rock band”, but he’d never be caught dead making a song that actually ROCKS. AC/DC destroys things that are beautiful.
1996 has releases from Tool, Metallica, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Nick Cave, Prong, Bush, Weezer, Korn, and about a billion other people. Instead, I’m giving you these.
Three Marlenas – The Wallflowers
In case you’re wondering, Jakob Dylan is Jesus. You’re obliged to now listen to every album produced by T-Bone Burnett. (Your parents probably have the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. Go start with that.)
Where It’s At – Beck
Beck Hansen is still before his time, 15 years after this song was released. (Fun note: The Dust Brothers also produced Hanson’s “MMMBop”. Let that one simmer for a while.)
All Hail the New Flesh – Strapping Young Lad
Probably the best industrial/grind/thrash/prog album every made. You little shits could learn from this. WORSHIP THE SKULLET.
Come to Daddy – Aphex Twin
Richard D. James is one ugly motherfucker. In this video. Most of the time he’s pretty normal looking (for a Brit!) Anyway, this is a million times better than that dubstep shit you people listen to now. The fact that Skrillex won three Grammys and Aphex Twin hasn’t made an album since 2001 is an abomination.
New Millennium Cyanide Christ – Meshuggah
They’re kind of important, Meshuggah. They’re the band that all these “extreme” bands are trying to be. Their biggest secret weapon? 8-string guitars. CRAZY.
The first time I heard this album was from the student teacher that was working with the band at my high school. “Oh, you like Metallica?” he said. “Then you’ll love this.” When you’re seventeen and from a shithole little podunk town in Minnesota, Meshuggah turns your brain into mush, and you can’t process it for a good five or six years.
Maybe it’ll keep you brats off my lawn for a while.
Iris – Goo Goo Dolls
I honestly just wanted to work this one in here somehow. It’s probably the best pop ballad ever written, and you kids are listening to your James Blunt instead. What’s wrong with you?
My Poor Generation – Moxy Fruvous
Dave Matheson is my favorite former member of Fruvous. This is my favorite Fruvous song. You kids would do well to catch up on Fruvous. Put some actual music in your music. (For some reason this wouldn’t embed at a specific time marker, so just click on it, you lazy assholes.)
Starfuckers, Inc. – Nine Inch Nails
So there you go. Twenty songs you little shits should bring back with your neon handbags and ironic flannel. You now made me and all my friends feel about thirty years older, I hope you’re happy with yourselves.
PS When we wanted to get music we had to WALK to the store THROUGH THE SNOW. UP HILL. BOTH WAYS. WITH OUR LITTLE BROTHERS ON OUR BACKS.