Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Top 200 Songs of the 1990s, #10 - 1

The big day has finally arrived. 20 posts, 200 songs... our road to the #1 song of the 1990s ends today. I could waste your time with some witty intro, but really, we're all here for the music so, for the final time, let's get to it because it's Top 10 time kids!

#10 - Ray of Light (1998)
by Madonna

All hail the Queen of Pop! No other Madonna reinvention has ever been cooler than Ray of Light Madonna, circa 1998. She embraced alternative dance genres with songs like 'Frozen' (trip-hop) and 'The Power of Good-Bye' (electronica), but she's never been better than on the house-inspired club sensation that was 'Ray of Light.'

#9 - Under the Bridge (1992)
by Red Hot Chili Peppers

How does Kiedis get hair that long so shiny and smooth? Ok, not relevant. Sorry. 'Under the Bridge,' the Red Hot Chili Peppers' signature track and one of the best rock songs you'll ever hear. The video's pretty trippy too and if you watch it... the first thing you'll want to know is how the hell does Kiedis get hair that long so shiny and smooth?! Seriously.

#8 - November Rain (1992)
by Guns N' Roses

Do I need to explain? Do I REALLY need to explain? Repeat after me: Slash... guitar solo...outside...chapel. Slash... guitar solo... on... piano. Got it? Good. It seems hard for a 3 minute song to maintain the public's interest in 2010, but 'November Rain' managed to make it to #3 in the US and it goes for nearly 9 minutes! The mini-movie that accompanies the song is pretty much amazing; incredibly cool with some humorous elements mixed in for good measure. Slash smoking in the church during a wedding. Everyone freaking out at the sudden rain, hiding under tables and then there's the one douche who decides jumping into the wedding cake will protect him from the rain. And then there's the question of how Axl Rose's wife died...

#7 - Don't Speak (1996)
by No Doubt

Please don't tell Madonna that Gwen Stefani beat her on the countdown. She'd probably personally make a visit to kick me in the face (she does a lot of yoga, she could kick me in the face). Moving on... 'Don't Speak.' No Doubt's biggest hit single that made them into superstars following the success of 'Just A Girl.' Stefani would become one of the most successful female lead singers, allowing her to launch her superpop career in the 2000s, which has made her a direct competitor with... Madonna. Are you getting it? Madonna can never know that Gwen beat her.

#6 - Black (1991)
by Pearl Jam

No stupid jokes for this one. In fact, I'll just let the song speak for itself. "I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a sun, in somebody else's sky, but why... why... why, can't it be, can't it be mine?" That's good songwriting there. Well played Vedder.

#5 - Paranoid Android (1997)
by Radiohead

I feel pretty confident in saying that Radiohead will never be able to match this song. Not that there's anything wrong with that. If you release something that's half as good as your masterpiece then it's still going to be some outstanding music. 'Paranoid Android' is another song to chart that you can tell has been heavily influenced by 'Bohemian Rhapsody.' You feel like you're getting three or four songs for the price of one, each one better than the last! Great animated music video too.

#4 - Teardrop (1998)
by Massive Attack

A lot of people seem to dislike this song because they feel creeped out by a developing baby in the womb singing the song. Their loss. 'Teardrop' is the single greatest chill-out song of all-time. "You're stumbling a little," is one of my favourite closing lines to a song, singer/songwriter Elizabeth Fraser knocks it out of the park. Fraser wrote 'Teardrop' about Jeff Buckley after his death in '97.

#3 - Everlong (1997)
by Foo Fighters

Dave Grohl is a legend. 'Everlong' proved that the Foo Fighters weren't going to be held back by Grohl's association with Nirvana and that they could be a formidable force in their own right. One of the best rock songs I've ever heard, 'Everlong' managed to come in at #9 on JJJ's Hottest 100 of All-Time last year. There is nothing you can fault here, it's the perfect rock song. The video is probably not what you'd really expect, but it shows the Foo Fighters more fun nature, the light to Nirvana's dark.

#2 - Wonderwall (1995)
by Oasis

Congratulations to our runners-up, Oasis. The vast majority of people under 50 would know every word to 'Wonderwall.' Everyone knows the chorus. It's the perfect pop song, arguably the greatest British single to ever be released... just don't tell anyone from Oasis that. Their egos are big enough.

#1 - Coco Jamboo (1996)
by Mr. President


#1 - Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)
by Nirvana

Predictable? You betcha! But there's a reason why 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' always tops these kind of countdowns. It is THE song of the 90s. The rise of grunge as the dominant genre of the early 90s wouldn't have been possible without Nirvana's success with 'Smells Like Teen Spirit.' I could write more, but there's not much point. 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' is what it is and that's the #1 song of the 1990s. P.S. go Dave Grohl - #1 and #3! Man of the 90s right there.

Well that's it boys and girls. Hope you've enjoyed the ride. Thanks for indulging me in my little trip down memory lane. Looks like we'll be back to business as usual here at It's My Kind of Scene until I can come up with something new. Until next time...

Top 20 - August 30, 2010

1. Ou Est Le Swimming Pool - Dance The Way I Feel (NEW)
- it's horrible that something so tragic pointed out to me how good this song is.

Dance The Way I Feel

2. The Ting Tings - Hands
3. Kanye West ft. Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross & Bon Iver - Monster (NEW)
- Minaj rocks this one. Outshining Jay-Z and Kanye is no small feat.

Kanye West - 'Monster'

4. The Wombats - Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)
5. Matt Walters ft. Washington - I Would Die For You (NEW)

I Would Die For You (Feat. Washington)

6. Cee-Lo - Fuck You (NEW)
7. My First Earthquake - Neon For You
8. Arcade Fire - Ready To Start
9. Darwin Deez - Up In The Clouds (NEW)

Darwin Deez - Up In The Clouds

10. Inna - Hot (NEW)
- I know this song is ridiculous. But I've had it stuck in my head for what seems like forever and my friends Lindsay and Jess pointed me in Inna's direction the other night. Big mistake, now I can't stop listening to it. But thanks!
11. Lissie - Bully
12. Robyn - Hang With Me
13. Kimbra - Settle Down
14. Antony & The Johnsons - My Lord, My Love
15. Kid CuDi ft. Kanye West - Erase Me
16. Weezer - Memories
17. Lady Gaga - Dance In The Dark
18. Eminem ft. Rihanna - Love The Way You Lie
19. Zayra - VIP
20. Goo Goo Dolls - Home (NEW)

Top 200 Songs of the 1990s, #20 - 11

Tomorrow, it all comes to an end. The top ten songs of the 1990s will be revealed and I'll be stuck trying to come up with something new to post here on It's My Kind of Scene. But, hey, that's tomorrow right? Today we've got ten amazing songs in their own right that have narrowly missed out on a place in the top 10. We're into the top 20 kids, let's get to it!

#20 - Doo Wop (That Thing) (1998)
by Lauryn Hill

"Guys, you know you'd better watch out... some girls are only about... that thing, that thing, that thing." It's a sad fact that a huge number of female solo artists peak commercially with their debut album and then fade away into some sort of musical limbo. Take Norah Jones and Alanis Morissette. Both were celebrated by critics for their amazing industry-changing debut albums. Grammy Awards were bestowed upon them and their CDs were selling like hotcakes. Even though their subsequent releases were just as good, if not better, it seemed like people didn't care about them any more. They had moved on to the next big female artist. Alanis' angry female-empowering rock was replaced by Britney's manufactured "let's solve our problems with a big bowl of strawberry ice-cream pop" and Norah Jones couldn't compete with the walking headline that was La Winehouse. You're probably wondering what I'm trying to get at here, so I'll just say, maybe Lauryn Hill gets it. That no matter what she releases, even after all this time, no one's really going to care like they did when she released The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (outstanding album name). Maybe she's better off having people appreciate her amazing debut rather than putting the effort in to replicate the success only to fail. Still, it would be nice to hear some new material. Until then, we've always got the goodness in the songs from her first and only album. Songs like 'Doo Wop (That Thing).' Wa-hey.... rant over.

#19 - All Is Full Of Love (1998)
by Bjork

Ok, the song is fantastic. A thing of beauty and in my opinion, the greatest song that Bjork has ever released. But how about that video? If you've ever wondered if robots can love, the answer is yes.

#18 - I Can't Make You Love Me (1991)
by Bonnie Raitt

Before you knock it, listen to the full song. And I mean listen to it. This is a classic right here. I've used a lot of words to describe some songs on the countdown; epic, amazing, awesome, awesomeness... I'm pretty sure I haven't used classic though, but it's the perfect word to describe 'I Can't Make You Love Me.' Maybe throw timeless in there for good measure. If you love music (and I don't mean 'doof-doof' fully sick beats, I mean MUSIC), you'll love this.

#17 - Emotion Sickness (1999)
by Silverchair

I really don't know what to say about it. Just like 'I Can't Make You Love Me' you should listen to the full track (if you've got a spare 6 and a half minutes). 'Emotion Sickness' is Silverchair's 'Bohemian Rhapsody.' No, it sounds nothing like it, but it's grand, over-the-top and feels like you're getting three songs for the price of one. It's also the opening track to Silverchair's third album, Neon Ballroom, and marked a dramatic departure from their previous releases. It's also (again, in my opinion) their best album.

#16 - Roads (1994)
by Portishead

Yeah, don't mind all the depressing songs. It's just that they're soooo good. Take 'Roads' for instance. If Beth Gibbons' vocals don't stir something in you then congratulations... you're not human.

#15 - Shimmer (1998)
by Fuel

"She says that love is for fools that fall behind," is up there with my favourite lyrics of all-time (hello future topic of discussion). Actually, the majority of 'Shimmer' is a lyrical gold-mine. It's also a fun singalong too, you know, when you're not paying attention to what you're singing about. Quintessential 90s rock is my best effort at describing it. What? That Lauryn Hill rant took a lot out of me.

#14 - Missing (1995)
by Everything But The Girl

The dance remix remains one of the greatest dance tracks of all-time. No, scratch that. One of the greatest songs of all-time, period. "And I miss you... like the deserts miss the rain." If you're assuming that I just put in some lyrics when I can't think of anything to write then.... you're assumptions are correct.

#13 - #1 Crush (1996)
by Garbage

A declaration of true love, or a twisted tale of obsession? Remember, this is Shirley Manson we're talking about, so I'd lean towards the latter. But that's why it's so good. '#1 Crush' is the love letter that most people would really like to write, but know that if they did, the person who gets it would probably freak out and put a restraining order out on them. The way Manson goes into some sort of guttural growl the last time she decries, "I would die for you," is half terrifying, half captivating, all amazing. Just like the rest of the song.

#12 - Lithium (1992)
by Nirvana

Powerful. And hey, Cobain can throw a line in like, "I'm so horny, that's ok, my willy's good," and not have the song become a joke. That's impressive.

#11 - No Aphrodisiac (1998)
by The Whitlams

The highest ranking song by an Australian artist on the countdown. With good reason. Tim Freedman wrote one of the greatest songs of his generation with 'No Aphrodisiac.' It would go on to top the JJJ Hottest 100 and win Song of the Year at the ARIAs. Somehow, it didn't make APRAs list of the Top 30 Australian songs... and yet, 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' did. W..T..F.

That's it for the penultimate edition of the countdown boys and girls. Check back real soon for the top 10 songs of the 1990s. Feel free to have a guess at what's going to be on there too!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Top 200 Songs of the 1990s, #30 - 21

The tunes just keep getting better and better on the road to #1! You've already read about 170 kick butt songs from the 90s and now there's only 30 to go. It's been a fun ride, but it has to end sooner or later, so let's keep chugging along...

#30 - Song 2 (1997)
by Blur

Woo-Hoo!!! Do you feel heavy metal? Are you suffering from pins and needles? Then there's no better song to listen to than 'Song 2.' Before tearing up the charts as the voice behind the Gorillaz, Damon Albarn was establishing himself in the post-grunge 90s with alternative rock group, Blur. 'Song 2' was easily their best (and most remembered) hit.

#29 - Wise Up (1999)
by Aimee Mann

The best song from THE best original soundtrack of the 90s (that would be Magnolia, dear readers.) If you haven't seen the movie, I'd highly recommend it. Aimee Mann's songs that are used in the movie alone make it well worth the price of admission, or rental I guess. If 'Wise Up' floats your boat, which it should, then you should also check out the songs 'Save Me' and 'One.'

#28 - Bittersweet Symphony (1997)
by The Verve

Go have a read about the copyright issues surrounding 'Bittersweet Symphony.' If you believe The Verve's story, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are massive a-holes and they're now credited as the songwriters. What a joke.

#27 - It's Like That (1997)
by Run DMC vs Jason Nevins

REEEEEMIX... "What's going on across the sea?" We all understand how cool the song is, so let's talk about the video. Boys vs girls breakdance-off! Didn't you wish you could pull off those moves? Did you try and fail? I know I didn't... ... ... what?

#26 - Morning Glory (1995)
by Oasis

Please welcome Oasis back to the countdown... again. I just read that Liam Gallagher has named his new band Beady Eye. I wish them luck. As for 'Morning Glory,' what's there to say? It really is genius in the form of a rock song.

#25 - Together Again (1997)
by Janet Jackson

Janet, the dominant Jackson throughout the 90s. 'Together Again' was her 8th chart topper on the US Billboard Hot 100 and remains one of her biggest international commercial hits. Has anyone else noticed in the video that Janet lives out her fantasy of having a twin... grabbing her boob. Very odd JJ. Great song.

#24 - Creep (1992)
by Radiohead

"When you were here before, couldn't look you in the eye." Songs that give off a stalkerish vibe are always good... except for James Blunt's 'You're Beautiful.' If you're ever in Brisbane, Australia, take a trip to the Fun-da from Down Under Karaoke night in the Nundah pub. An old man sings 'Creep' every week (saying he sings it is being a tad generous) and in his own defiant way refuses to sing the censored version. "You're so fucking special," he bellows. Radiohead would be proud.

#23 - Tonight, Tonight (1996)
by Smashing Pumpkins

'Tonight, Tonight,' marks the Pumpkins sixth and final song to place on the top 200! Regarded by many critics as the best Smashing Pumpkins song, 'Tonight, Tonight' had something no other SP song had going for it... a 30 piece orchestra baby! The strings section send this one into the whole 'epic' territory, which I probably use to liberally... but I really mean it this time. Awards were plentiful for the incredible video, most notably it won Video of the Year at the MTV VMAs!

#22 - Killing Me Softly (1996)
by The Fugees

Lauryn Hill, what a voice. 'Killing Me Softly' is quite possibly the best cover song that will ever grace our ears. For the longest time, this was my favourite song. #1 with a bullet. I was what, ten? Then I heard music with swear words (because swearing makes you cool kids - I never said I was a role model) and it slipped down the list a bit, but it's still up there with the best of them.

#21 - You Oughta Know (1995)
by Alanis Morissette

Feeling a little sad after a bad break-up. Listen to this. You'll be right as rain! The ultimate f-you to a former lover, 'You Oughta Know,' Morissette's debut single created quite the controversy upon its release. Britney Spears and Beyonce have both been known to add patches of it into their live performances, but they really shouldn't. Angry chick rock was kind of Alanis' thing and she did it well enough to sell a gazillion copies of Jagged Little Pill.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Top 200 Songs of the 1990s, #40 - 31

Wa-hey... only four to go. We've come a long, long way together... through the hard times and the good. So let's celebrate and praise the 90s a little bit more. Just like we should. Six artists are making their grand debuts on the countdown today and only one of them will be seen again. Try to guess who it's going to be. It's top 40 time kids. Let's get to it!

#40 - One (1992)
by U2

Legendary. Epic. Perfect. Single words, not the same. Accurate descriptions of U2's greatest contribution to music in the 1990s. I loved Mary J Blige belting the shizzle out of this, but U2 manage to create something magical with the original version. Rolling Stone placed 'One' at #36 on the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time chart. That's a huge achievement.

#39 - Unfinished Sympathy (1991)
by Massive Attack

When you think that we're likely to never hear dance music as deep as this ever again it's easy to feel a little depressed. 'Unfinished Sympathy' is regarded as one of the most important pieces in the development of trip-hop as a serious genre (as it should be). As insanely amazing as it is, Massive Attack would manage one song that's even better...

#38 - Cigarettes Will Kill You (1998)
by Ben Lee

I still can't believe Claire Danes dated Mr Lee. That has nothing to do with anything though. Sorry. Debuting with 'Cigarettes Will Kill You' was the perfect move. It was embraced by alternative radio throughout the world. Shame that Ben had nothing good to follow it up with. What can I say, I'm really not a fan of his later works. 'Gamble Everything For Love' excluded.

#37 - Nothing Else Matters (1992)
by Metallica

Guitar intro. It gets me every time. Sets the tone for the brilliance that is to come. Oh yes, it's quite the brilliant. You can't really call 'Nothing Else Matters' heavy metal, but it's my favourite song by a heavy metal band.

#36 - Colourblind (1999)
by Counting Crows

Um... Cruel Intentions soundtrack. How amazing do you want to be? This would have to be one of the saddest songs in ever, but somehow the movie managed to make it something beautiful rather than bawl your eyes out-ish. Not that there's anything wrong with a bawl your eyes out-ish song every now and then. Gosh, I'm ever so manly.

#35 - Rearview Mirror (1993)
by Pearl Jam

'Rearview Mirror' topped the It's My Kind of Scene Pearl Jam countdown earlier this year. But it's not the top Pearl Jam song in this one. My logic doesn't resemble your earth logic, so just go with it. If you want a quick rundown of 'Rearview Mirror' go look at the Pearl Jam countdown. Pimping my other articles... priceless.

#34 - Groove Is In The Heart (1990)
by Deee-Lite

Does this bring a huge smile to your face? It does whenever I hear it. 100% pure unadulterated fun. How hard is it to believe that this was released 20 years ago? Try to imagine something as retro-cool as this being released today and actually working.

#33 - Fun For Me (1995)
by Moloko

"I dreamt that the boogie man went down on Mr Spock." I challenge you to find better lyrics.

#32 - Push It (1998)
by Garbage

Garbage set the bar pretty high for themselves with their debut, self-titled album in 1995. With the release of 'Push It,' the first single from their sophomore set Version 2.0, they managed to set it even higher. Manson's delivery of, "P-p-p-push it," is essentially the coolest line in any song. This would definitely be the most sexual song on today's ten if it wasn't for...

#31 - Closer (1994)
by Nine Inch Nails

Opening a song with the lyrics, "you let me violate you. You let me desecrate you. You let me penetrate you," is kind of a no-no. Unless you're going to follow it up soon after with a choice chorus that contains the line, "I want to f**k you like an animal." 'Closer' is the song that would make trashy pop stars blush. You should feel a little dirty each and every time you hear this... in a good way.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Top 200 Songs of the 1990s, #50 - 41

We're finally into the Top 50!!! Broken up into convenient 10 song installments, you're going to be reading about 50 songs from the 1990s that I love the most. Get excited!

#50 - Not an Addict (1996)
by K's Choice

Who? K's Choice. Yeah, they're from Belgium, the land of chocolate. You might not have heard of them, but after listening to 'Not an Addict' you're going to be wondering how you've lived without them. As the song title indicates, it's about addiction and it's a stupendously wonderful piece of post-grunge rock. The lyrics are so good, "I'm not an addict, it's cool, I feel alive, if you don't have it you're on the other side, I'm not an addict... maybe that's a lie." Outstanding.

#49 - The Day You Come (1998)
by Powderfinger

I'm pretty devastated that I can't find the music video for this anywhere on YouTube. Oh well, the song's there and that's what's really important. APRA named it one of the 30 best Australian songs of all-time, with good reason. 'The Day You Come' would also win an ARIA for Song of the Year in 1999!

#48 - One Headlight (1997)
by The Wallflowers

'One Headlight,' one-hit wonder. The jokes write themselves. Well, that one joke writes itself. It's one of those songs that everyone can somehow remember the words to without ever really listening to it. Not in a catchy trash-pop stuck in your head kind of way. And that's a compliment... I think.

#47 - Vogue (1990)
by Madonna

Tracks like 'Vogue' are why the woman is actually the undisputed Queen of Pop. Sue Sylvester's cover on Glee was amazing, but doesn't touch how good the original is. 'Vogue' has been the inspiration behind many pop starlets over the years. For a recent example you need to look no further than Lady Gaga's latest single 'Dance In The Dark,' or her video for 'Alejandro.'

#46 - Heart-Shaped Box (1993)
by Nirvana

Released as the first single from their third and final album, In Utero, 'Heart-Shaped Box' would be regarded as one of the best songs in Nirvana's catalogue. Do you know why? Because it's incredible, that's why. Lyrically it's a masterpiece. Trying to figure out what he's singing about can take you down many different roads. Apparently Cobain was inspired to write this after watching a documentary about kids with cancer and how depressed he felt while viewing it.

#45 - Silence (1999)
by Delerium ft. Sarah McLachlan

Tiesto's remix would see it become one of the Top 100 Ibiza party anthems, but the original versions are infinitely better. Slower, more trance like, they don't completely destroy McLachlan's powerful vocals. If you can find the original-original version (complete with Gregorian Chant) it's well worth a listen. "In this white-wave, I am sinking, in this silence."

#44 - Uninvited (1998)
by Alanis Morissette

City of Angels soundtrack... you are 3 for 3. And still I wasn't inspired to go out and watch the movie. It's the Nicolas Cage factor. 'Uninvited' was Morissette's first release following the huge success that was Jagged Little Pill and fans ate it up. It's got a bit of an epic feel going and is PERFECT for a movie. Well done Alanis... well done.

#43 - Criminal (1997)
by Fiona Apple

Oh the sexuality that is found in Fiona Apple's voice is just... neat. There's not enough piano-driven rock these days. Bring it back already!

#42 - Dammit (1997)
by Blink-182

A song every teenager will love at some point. If Blink's new album had a song half as good as 'Dammit' I would consider it a success. I never realised that Travis Barker wasn't always the band's drummer. The other guy looks so normal and tattoo-less.

#41 - Lovefool (1996)
by The Cardigans

"Love me, love me... say that you love me. Fool me, fool me... go on and fool me." If you don't like this song I invite you to explain why in the comment section below. I won't really care about what you write though, I'll be too busy feeling sorry for you and your lack of a soul.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Top 200 Songs of the 1990s - #60 - 51

All aboard, because it's the last stop before the all-important top 50, boys and girls! After this post we're 3/4 of the way through the countdown, which will sadly bring us closer to the end of unofficial 90s month here at It's My Kind of Scene. I think after this month I'll have to put a moratorium on 90s music for a little bit. Or not. Alright, mobile phones off please... the show's about to begin!

#60 - The Boy Is Mine (1998)
by Brandy & Monica

Collaborations between two superstars weren't as common during the 90s as they are these days, which made them all the more special. Brandy & Monica teamed up for 'The Boy Is Mine,' leading to them spending a massive 13 weeks at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 in the Summer of 98. It was the first #1 song for both artists who have sadly slipped away from the public consciousness in recent years. Mekhi Phifer seems to want to stereotype himself as 'the serial cheating jerk boyfriend.' He played the same role in En Vogue's 'Don't Let Go' video. He seems to have sort of learnt his lesson, he's only messing around with two girls instead of four now. Nice.

#59 - Cornflake Girl (1994)
by Tori Amos

More people need to invest a couple of hours in listening to Tori Amos' catalogue of music. Tunes like 'Cornflake Girl' seem years ahead of their time. Oh, and they're AWESOME.

#58 - Every You, Every Me (1999)
by Placebo

Oh... sweet... Jesus. Sarah Michelle Gellar was smoking hot in Cruel Intentions. What? The song? Yeah, yeah it's real good.

#57 - Sway (1997)
by Bic Runga

'Sway' is one of those criminally underrated pop songs that should have been a mega-hit, but for one reason or another it never got to that level. It's perfectly crafted; Runga's voice, the lyrics and even the video which in its own way promotes stalking. Bic has continued to release material in her native New Zealand and has become one of their biggest stars. Think of her as the NZ Missy Higgins or uh, Norah Jones (without the jazz) for UK readers.

#56 - Always (1994)
by Bon Jovi

Yes, yes, yes! THIS is a rock ballad my friends. Bon Jovi may have had the bigger hits in the 80s, but the group tore up the charts with this one and launched the career of Keri Russell aka Felicity aka the homewrecker in this video.

#55 - Breathe (1996)
by The Prodigy

Have you ever been in a club when this comes on? The ensuing insanity can be one of the most exciting 4 minute periods in your entire life.

#54 - Glycerine (1995)
by Bush

Hey, it's Gwen Stefani's husband! I must have listened to this song a thousand times before I noticed there weren't any drums in it.

#53 - Enter Sandman (1991)
by Metallica

Before becoming mortal enemies with Napster and internet downloaders, Metallica were just the bestest little metal rockers in the whole world. 'Enter Sandman' would propel the band into superstardom, with sales of the album Metallica exceeding 25 million. Not too shabby. As a side note, please don't play this song to children prone to nightmares. Or, if you want to scare the crap out of a kid prone to nightmares, play this!

#52 - 1979 (1996)
by Smashing Pumpkins

If this doesn't stir some sort of memory or emotion in you... then I'm assuming you've never heard it. So you won't get it. So there. The Pumpkins 'nicest' song I guess... it's like chicken soup for the ears.

#51 - My Hero (1998)
by Foo Fighters

About time the Foo Fighters showed up. I always thought that Dave Grohl had written this song about Kurt Cobain but I don't know why. I'm pretty sure it's never been said that he intended this as a tribute. Still, it's a really cool track and the first of two Foo Fighters songs that will place on the list. Genius level intellect is not necessary to figure out what the second one's going to be.

Top 200 Songs of the 1990s - #70 - 61

This edition of the countdown is pretty stacked my friends. We've got the Queen and Princess of Pop, two of the biggest bands to ever come out of the UK, arguably the biggest dance/electronic act of the 90s plus one of the most successful grunge songs of the decade. I believe you'll be able to work out who's who from the list below. I have faith in you.

#70 - Frozen (1998)
by Madonna

Why couldn't she keep making music like this? Why? 'Frozen' was the first single released from the super successful Ray of Light album that saw Madonna reinvent herself as a more alternative dance artist. Wikipedia (my favourite source of info), lists 'Frozen' as trip-hop. While acts like Faithless may disagree, you can't argue with Wikipedia. It's always right. Always.

#69 - Love Rollercoaster (1996)
by Red Hot Chili Peppers

This song is just too much fun. The fact that it was used to promote Beavis & Butthead Do America makes it even better. Now there's a movie you need to see, even if it's just to watch the 'Lesbian Seagull' scene.

#68 - Fly Away (1998)
by Lenny Kravitz

The return of the coolest female drummer of all-time! 'Fly Away' is Kravitz being cooler than ever and, unfortunately, it's also one of the last noteworthy releases of his career.

#67 - Black Hole Sun (1994)
by Soundgarden

Soundgarden's lead singer, Chris Cornell, remains an incredible singer/songwriter today. Just not when he's doing Bond themes or covering Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean.' 'Black Hole Sun' is the commercial peak for Soundgarden, a band that's recently regrouped and gotten back on the touring circuit. The song, much like the video, is a nice piece of trippy alternative rock that Cornell & Co somehow manage to make work.

#66 - Karma Police (1997)
by Radiohead

Thom Yorke puts his haunting vocal talents to good use on 'Karma Police.' His repeated line, "I lost myself," will stay with you long after the songs finished. And then you'll listen to it again... and probably again. Because it's just that good.

#65 - Zombie (1994)
by The Cranberries

Possibly the most important (and most commercially successful) protest song in the history of music. I probably shouldn't have used haunting to describe Thom Yorke's vocals, because Dolores O'Riordan could teach him a thing or two in that department.

#64 - Champagne Supernova (1996)
by Oasis

The Gallagher brothers seem like such massive wanks these days. Be that as it may, they used to be able to write some damn fine music. I present to you Exhibit B, 'Champagne Supernova.' Exhibit A was of course 'Don't Look Back In Anger,' which charted at #95 on the countdown.

#63 - Confide in Me (1994)
by Kylie Minogue

Madonna may have gone into the world of alternative dance and made it her own in the late 90s, but Kylie had been there and done that (and was pretty successful too) with 'Confide in Me.' Easily THE best song Ms Minogue has graced us with. It was so popular it even made the 1994 JJJ Hottest 100, placing at #30 on the countdown!

#62 - Hey Boy Hey Girl (1999)
by Chemical Brothers

Oh yeah, a damn fine slice of 90s dance. The music video used to amaze me. In the pre-YouTube days I had to tape songs off music shows like rage and Video Hits. The VHS got a good work out with me watching this one over and over and over again. Of course, I can't find a single video on YouTube that will let me embed it on here, so just go find it for yourselves, k?

#61 - Brick (1997)
by Ben Folds Five

A song you should listen to paying close attention to the lyrics. Folds' honest account of his high school girlfriend's abortion is one of the saddest tracks we've ever had the honour of listening to.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Top 200 Songs of the 1990s, #80 - 71

We're getting closer to the top 50 now. Before you know it, we'll be at #1! I couldn't think of anything to bore you with today, so I'll just get right into the countdown.

#80 - Praise You (1999)
by Fatboy Slim

I had forgotten how funny the video for 'Praise You' was. Furthermore, I didn't know that Spike Jonze (music video director extraordinaire) was the main dancer in it! That's awesome. Almost as awesome as the song itself.

#79 - Nothing Compares 2 U (1990)
by Sinead O'Connor

'Nothing Compares 2 U,' originally written and recorded by Prince, would make O'Connor a household name and go to #1 in every major market. To celebrate her success, O'Connor would rip up a picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live. She wasn't really taken that seriously after that.

#78 - Around the World (1997)
by Daft Punk

It's pretty much the most simple popular dance song that we've ever had the pleasure of hearing. There's only one line of lyrics, there's only five instruments used to create the music. The video is pretty much amazing and quite possibly my favourite music video ever. Dancing skeletons, mummies and robots? Yes please!

#77 - Black or White (1991)
by Michael Jackson

Perfectly timed, considering he was in his black to white transformation stage. MJ could still go in the first half of the 90s, with 'Black and White' reassuring fans that the King of Pop was still worthy of the title. The song would be the highest selling single of 1991.

#76 - Lightning Crashes (1995)
by Live

Classic 90s rock with powerful lyrics. It's made that much better by lead-singer Ed Kowalczyk getting rid of the ridiculous rat's tail he was sporting in the 'I Alone' video.

#75 - Loser (1993)
by Beck

If there was an award for 'How Random Is It That This Song Was On Glee' then 'Loser' would be the uncontested winner. Whether or not the song is intended as an insight into the Generation X slacker movement remains a hot topic of debate for music analysts around the world. I say who cares, but that's probably because I'm a slacker and don't want any attention drawn to this fact.

#74 - Do The Evolution (1998)
by Pearl Jam

After winning Best Video at the VMAs for 'Jeremy,' Pearl Jam refused to release any other videos, fearing their audience would lose interest in the actual music. However, an amazing animated video was produced for 'Do The Evolution' and it doesn't disappoint. Do you know what else doesn't disappoint? The song. One of Pearl Jam's finest moments and funnest songs, even if the lyrics are pretty depressing when you think about it.

#73 - Buddy Holly (1994)
by Weezer

Weezer, another band that was infinitely better in the 90s. There's not much else to say.

#72 - Santa Monica (1995)
by Everclear

A great sing-along. Supposedly, the story behind 'Santa Monica' is the lead singer's girlfriend committed suicide by jumping from the Santa Monica Pier. The singer (Art Alexakis) attempted the same thing, but lived.

#71 - Gorecki (1997)
by Lamb

"If I should die this very moment, I wouldn't fear. For I've never know completeness, like being here." Beautiful is the only word to describe Lamb's masterpiece, 'Gorecki.' "Could we stay right here, until the end of time, until the earth stops turning. Wanna love you until the seas run dry. I've found the one I've waited for." If you haven't listened to it before, do it. Now. Thanks.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Top 200 Songs of the 1990s, #90 - 81

"Crash and burn, all the stars explode tonight."

The countdown to end all countdowns returns! I had a really fun weekend in Wales at the Green Man festival, checking out some cool music from Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling, Darwin Deez, Fionn Regan, Beirut and some other folky peeps that I'd never heard of before. The highlight was the crazy visual bonanza that was The Flaming Lips. If you haven't seen them, find out where they're playing next and then go and see them. Even if it's in China. Anyway, I'll put up some pictures and maybe a sneaky video or two to show you how incredible they are. Aaaaand enough about me... let's get straight back into the countdown!

#90 - Self Esteem (1994)
by The Offspring

Ginger dreads... not acceptable. Moving on. The Offspring tend to be overlooked for their contributions to music. Probably because they tainted themselves with 'Pretty Fly (For A White Guy),' literally selling out to obtain a #1 smash-hit. Good for them, money is awesome. Uh.. I mean, boo! Fight the power... or something. 'Self Esteem' poops all over 'Pretty Fly' in every single way, the lyrics are great, the guitar riff is unforgettable.

#89 - I'll Stand By You (1994)
by The Pretenders

A generation of youth think 'I'll Stand By You' is a, "super fun Girls Aloud song!!!" Shame.

#88 - ...Baby One More Time (1999)
by Britney Spears

It turned a young American girl from Louisiana into the biggest star in the world and changed the music industry in the lead-up to the 2000s. Everything started here for Ms Spears. There had been no marriages, divorces, kids, pashes with Madonna, spontaneous head shavings or fights with parked jeeps armed only with an umbrella. There was only a girl, dancing in a trashy school girl outfit ready to take on a world thats obsession for her would take her to the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Everyone knows '...Baby One More Time' and secretly/not so secretly everyone loves it. Don't be ashamed, this is manufactured pop perfection. Embrace it.

#87 - Malibu (1998)
by Hole

#86 - Celebrity Skin (1998)
by Hole

Celebrity Skin was one of the finest rock albums to come out of the 90s. Courtney Love seemed to have everything under control and managed to put out the best work she had ever produced. 'Malibu' and 'Celebrity Skin' are testament to how far she had come as a songwriter (or, more accurately co-songwriter) and frontwoman. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the creative peak of Mrs Cobain and these are two of the best songs of the 1990s.

#85 - Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) (1997)
by Green Day

If you graduated in anything in the late 90s you knew they were going to play 'Good Riddance.' They still do, however, at the time it was awesome. Now it just instantly makes you groan in the predictability of it all. Still, great song that always makes me think of Seinfeld. I miss that show.

#84 - Miss You Love (1999)
by Silverchair

I'd take this over 'Straight Lines' any day of the week.

#83 - Scar Tissue (1999)
by Red Hot Chili Peppers

'Scar Tissue' ushered in a new age for the Chili Peppers, showing that they could adapt their music to interest a new generation of listeners while still keeping their older fans satisfied. They did a good job. 'Scar Tissue' firmly cemented them as one of the biggest bands in the world.

#82 - Don't Let Go (Love) (1996)
by En Vogue

En Vogue is a badass girl group name. Sugababes? The Saturdays? Atomic...freaking...Kitten? Kneel before the mighty En Vogue. Greatest girl group song of the 90s and it's better than anything Destiny's Child put out. Yeah... I went there.

#81 - Killing In The Name (1992)
by Rage Against The Machine

You know a song's important when it's used in a campaign to reclaim the bizarrely important UK Christmas #1 spot from Simon Cowell's neon claw. 'Killing In The Name' was that song and it won, becoming the first song ever to reach the top of the charts in the UK on downloads alone... and that's almost 20 years AFTER it was released.