My 300 Favorite Alternative Rock Songs of the Nineties: #51-100

8.17 Beavis & Butthead

Is there anything worse than the combination of a good comedy movie or TV show and a young man, aged 12-22? C’mon! Think back a bit. In college, the guys I hung out with would quote Airplane!, Caddyshack, Animal House and Saturday Night Live. “A hospital? Doctor, what is it?” “It’s a big building with lots of sick people, but that’s not important right now.” Or, how about, “He can’t do that to our pledge.” “Only we can do that to our pledge!” Of course, I could do this forever.

8.18 jeff buckley
Jeff Buckley

In the Nineties, entertainment was full of catch-phrases from movies like Wayne’s World, Austin Powers, Billy Madison and Tommy Boy, not to mention Saturday Night Live. But, the one show that I heard the most during my first couple years of teaching in the Nineties was a MTV show called Beavis and Butthead. I cannot put their quotes on here since you need to hear the characters’ voices for the comedy to make sense.

8.18 korn

I actually had a student that looked like one of the characters and tried to get his teachers to call him Beavis. (I refused!) Then there was the group of three guys who are really good friends to this day that would actually laugh like the title characters in the show. One could begin to laugh like the characters, then another would join in, until all three were laughing over God knows what.

8.18 Nick Cave and bad seeds
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

The thing about Beavis and Butthead that I thought was amusing was the duo’s comments during videos they would be watching on MTV. That was when the genius of the show came as the show’s creator displayed his understanding of Generation X and skewered everything about that generation. Sure, the characters were stupid and annoying, but that was half the fun of poking at the “sacred cows” of the moment’s pop culture.

8.18 lisa loeb
Lisa Loeb

Would Beavis and Butthead work today? No. It was about Generation X and not much else. But, SNL continues to work due to its ever-changing cast and writers. So, SNL inherently will be able to have inconsistent years until everyone jells and leads us through three to five great years. Then, people will leave, upsetting the chemistry, until the replacements have time to develop chemistry. And, that’s when the show takes off in popularity again.

8.18 Teenage_Fanclub
Teenage Fanclub

Besides movie and TV show catch-phrases, teens will latch onto the lyrics of popular songs of the day. I know that I spent many hours singing “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with the girl down the street, with me taking Elton’s turn and she took on Kiki Dee.

8.18 mighty might bosstones

Every great song has a good chorus and some memorable hook, such as the “Ugga shuka ugga ugga” of Blue Swede’s version of “Hooked on a Feeling”. If the hook is sweet, then the teens will remember it and the record will sell. I know it sounds easy, but that’s why so few songs have really hit #1 since the rock era began in the mid-Fifties.

8.18 sublime

So, today, I present my final list of 50 songs, all of which have strong playing, good lyrics and monster hooks. And, if you remember the sound of Beavis and Butthead’s voices and laughs, just mentally add them to the song as you listen. Today, I give to you numbers 51 through 100. And, next week, you will get my “enlightening” song commentary on My Top 50. Let’s get this countdown going!

51. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – “Into My Arms” (1997)

52. Jeff Buckley – “Hallelujah” (1994)

53. The Verve Pipe – “The Freshmen” (1997)

54. Smash Mouth – “Walkin’ on the Sun” (1997)

55. Duran Duran – “Ordinary World” (1993)

56. Pearl Jam – “Better Man” (1994)

57. Elastica – “Connection” (1994)

58. Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus (1990)

59. Nine Inch Nails – “Hurt” (1994)

60. R.E.M. – “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” (1994)

61. Oasis – “Wonderwall” (1995)

62. Radiohead – “Fake Plastic Trees” (1995)

63. Pearl Jam – “State of Love and Trust” (1992)

64. Iggy Pop with Kate Pierson – “Candy” (1990)

65. Korn – “Freak on a Leash” (1998)

66. Rage Against the Machine – “Testify” (1999)

67. Green Day – “Basket Case” (1994)

68. Stone Temple Pilots – “Big Empty” (1994)

69. Weezer – “El Scorcho” (1996)

70. U2 – “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” (1995)

71. Sublime – “Santeria” (1996)

72. Gene Loves Jezebel – “Jealous” (1990)

73. Concrete Blonde – “Joey” (1990)

74. No Doubt – “Don’t Speak” (1996)

75. Happy Mondays – “Kinky Afro” (1990)

76. Marilyn Manson – “The Dope Show” (1998)

77. Blind Melon – “No Rain” (1992)

78. Hole – “Doll Parts” (1994)

79. Teenage Fanclub – “What You Do to Me” (1991)

80. Oasis – “Champagne Supernova” (1995)

81. The Breeders – “Cannonball” (1993)

82. Cracker – “Low” (1993)

83. Matthew Sweet – “Girlfriend” (1991)

84. Matchbox Twenty – “3 AM” (1997)

85. Soul Asylum – “Somebody to Shove” (1992)

86. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – “The Impression That I Got” (1997)

87. Smashing Pumpkins – “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” (1995)

88. Morrissey – “The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get” (1994)

89. The Offspring – “Self Esteem” (1994)

90. Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories – “Stay” (1995)

91. Beastie Boys – “Pass the Mic” (1992)

92. Foo Fighters – “Everlong” (1997)

93. The La’s – “There She Goes” (1990)

94. PJ Harvey – “Down by the Water” (1995)

95. Pearl Jam – “Alive” (1991)

96. Nirvana – “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam” (1994)

97. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Under the Bridge” (1991)

98. Stone Temple Pilots – “Interstate Love Song” (1994)

99. Beck – “Where It’s At” (1996)

100. Fiona Apple – “Criminal” (1996)

8.18 gene loves jezebel
Gene Loves Jezebel

There you have it, another week is in the book. I hope you have a fun and safe weekend. Cheers!

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

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