The 90's played a big part in molding my taste in music (as I'm sure they did for many of you). Unfortunately I was born a few year's too late, and being a young kid in the 90's, I didn't fully appreciate its music until after the turn of the century. Bummer. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to compile a list of the songs I found to be influential on both listeners and to the artists that wrote them. Feel free to add to the list:
Off the top of my head (and in no particular order)...
Pearl Jam - Jeremy (1991)
The controversial song about the teenage boy from Richardson, Texas that helped pave the way for a band who helped pave the way for many more bands.
This song was the first single on Evil Empire, which followed up the band's breakthrough debut album. Unforgettable opening riff, that vintage Morello solo, and of course...pockets full of shells. (I actually got to see them this summer - it was the first time I genuinely feared for my life).
Foo Fighters - Everlong (1997)
We all love Dave Grohl cause he's an incredible musician right? Maybe so...but admit it. You really love him cause he wrote this song. The Foo Fighters had been around for a while, but this song really sealed the deal for them as a definint band of the 90's (and years to come). Speaking of Dave Grohl...
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)
I won't even try to give my 2 cents on this song or the band out of fear of starting a Holy War with Kurt's legions of fans.
Stone Temple Pilots - Plush (1992)
One of my favorite bands of all time, but not even my favorite song by them! However, this song is a classic, and I think its safe to say it defines STP. Might I add, I'm very excited to hear they are getting back together.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under the Bridge (1991)
Famous guitar intro-one I'm sure many of us have tried to and maybe succeeded at learning. Big, big single off Blood Sugar Sex Magik
Smashing Pumpkins - 1979 (1995)
Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness finished a perfect one-two combo by following Siamese Dream. It was hard for me to decide between Bullet with Butterfly Wings, 1979, Tonight, Tonight, and Zero, but I think this song had an undeniably, distinct sound, and after the success of Today, it really put the Pumpkins on top.
Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun (1994)
Maybe my least favorite song by this band, but I can't deny the success they had because of this tune.
Green Day - Basket Case (1994)
I should really smack myself for not remembering this one earlier. Avid fans could make the case that Longview was a bigger hit, but I think this one spanned across a bigger audience.
The Offspring - Come Out and Play (1994)
Personally I liked Self Esteem much more than this song, but again I think this one spanned across a bigger audience.
Alright, there's 10. I'm burnt out for now. As I said, please add to the list.