23 January 2012

Mixtape Madness #11: 90's Revue Part I

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.

90's Revue Part I - Rock
We have been riding the wave of 1980's nostalgia for awhile now. Don't get me wrong, it's been fun, but I think it is time we moved on to the 1990's. Some of the best music of the past thirty years was created in the decade between the Exxon Valdez and Y2K. Because of that, we here at the What will take a three-part look at the music of the 1990's.
PART II - Hip Hop
PART III - Pop - Coming Soon!

1. "Bittersweet Symphony" by the Verve (1997) - By now, everyone is aware of all of the controversy surrounding this song. Whether or not the Verve intended to lift a hook from the Rolling Stones or not, this is an amazing song and it's a shame that the legal fallout from it ruined such a promising band.

2. "Spiderwebs" by No Doubt (1995) - Am I the only one itching for No Doubt to put out a new album that returns to their Ska/SoCal punk roots? Of course not. Aside from being a great tune, this is more than likely the song most widely used in answering machine messages.

3. "Come As You Are" by Nirvana (1991) - In their short time as a band, Nirvana left us with a litany of great tracks, but "Come As You Are" has always been my favorite. Both Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic tuned their instruments down a step for this song, giving it the familiar, distinct sound throughout.

4. "What's The Frequency, Kenneth?" by REM (1994) - As you will see over this three-part Mixtape Madness, 1994 was an incredible year for music. With the ability to look back on the now-ceased career of REM, I can easily pinpoint this song, with its interesting back story, as my favorite. 

5. "Got You (Where I Want You)" by the Flys (1998) - The unmistakable plodding march of the rhythm section carries the lyrics well throughout this quintessential 90's tune. The Flys may have only had the one hit, but at least they got Katie Holmes to be in their video.

6. "Possum Kingdom" by the Toadies (1994) - The Toadies are somewhat known for their often bizarre lyrical content, as is evident here. Nevertheless, another great song from 1994.

7. "Graduate" by Third Eye Blind (1997) - With so many great songs on their self-titled debut album, it's hard to pick just one song for the mix. That being said, "Graduate" was never Third Eye Blind's most popular song, but it is by far my favorite.

8. "Everything to Everyone" by Everclear (1997) - Another great track from 1997, with one of the coolest bass lines in music. 

9. "Glycerine" by Bush (1995) - Recorded in early 1994 but released as a single nearly two years later, the world had to wait far too long for this beautifully simplistic song. Probably the most famous version of this song was recorded at an MTV event in the pouring rain.

10. "Everlong" by the Foo Fighters (1997) - "Everlong" is one of my all-time favorite songs, so it had to be included here. The Foos have been a consistently great rock band, including a time in the late 90's and early 2000's when such a thing was rare.

11. "Hunger Strike" by Temple of the Dog (1991) - This song, and the band that performs it, came to be to commemorate the life of Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood. Temple of the Dog was made up of members of Soundgarden and surviving members of Mother Love Bone with their new singer, a California unknown by the name of Eddie Vedder.

12. "When I Come Around" by Green Day (1994) - Again, 1994 was a great year for music. Green Day's Dookie is a top to bottom stellar album, but "When I Come Around" has to be one of, if not the, best from it. 

13. "The Good Life" by Weezer (1996) - "Buddy Holly" made them famous, but this is Weezer at their best. Many who enjoyed this song when it was new are now feeling the same as Rivers was when he penned these lyrics.

14. "Here In Your Bedroom" by Goldfinger (1996) - I've mentioned it before, and I'll say it again. I hope when the 90's nostalgia finally kicks in that a huge ska/surf punk revival comes with it. Especially if it brings back sweet drum beats and slick bass grooves like this one.

15. "April 29, 1992 (Miami)" by Sublime (1996) - If you remember the news footage from the 1992 riots that followed the decision in the Rodney King case, you probably don't need to see a music video for this song. Sublime was an amazing band that ended way too soon, and this is them at their best.

16. "The  Impression That I Get" by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones (1997) - Ska is great. This single was probably the peak of ska's popularity in the 90's before the genre faded to the background of popular music.

17. "Interstate Love Song" by Stone Temple Pilots (1994) - Another fantastic tune from 1994. Music could use another 1994.

Peace, music, and mud. Don't forget the mud.
18. "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails (1994) - This is one of those songs you never forget. From it's use in films, ECW, and their gritty Woodstock '94 performance, this kickass composition is seared into the memory of all who have heard it. Who would've thought that the man behind this song would win an Oscar 17 years later.

19. "Thunderkiss '65" by White Zombie (1992) - I had to put this song next, perhaps because of the aforementioned ECW video. Regardless, White Zombie is too often overlooked when looking back at the great rock of the 90's. 

20. "Pepper" by Butthole Surfers (1996) - The Butthole Surfers had been around for 15 years before scoring big with this hit that fit perfectly with the mid-90's vibe.

21. "Loser" by Beck (1993) - Many point to this as the quintessential song of the 1990's. I'd say it's one of many.

22. "Today" by the Smashing Pumpkins (1993) - A great song that sound so upbeat and uplifting. Then you listen to the lyrics.

23. "Plowed" by Sponge (1994) - If you have ever seen Empire Records, you are well aware that no 90's mix is complete without this epic song. If you haven't seen Empire Records, go freaking see it.

24. "In the Meantime" by Spacehog (1996) - Does anyone else miss the awesome distorted guitar sound that so many of these songs utilize? 

25. "Creep" by Radiohead (1992) - "Oh my God, that sound!" Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on, well, that awesome sound.

26. "Dammit" by Blink 182 (1997) - The ultimate teen angst anthem has closed every Blink 182 concert since it came out and now it closes Part I of our Mixtape Madness 90's Revue.


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