Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Most influential songs of the 90's

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.

Rage Against the Machine - Bulls on Parade (1996)
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.

14 comments:

Chris said...

Dave Grohl is the greatest DRUMMER ever because he WROTE Everlong.


*shrug*

RAYgeagainstthemachine said...

Ill put my 2 cents in. Nirvana was the most overrated band of the 90s. I understand they ushered in a musical revolution which led to all the rock that I liked in the 90's to become popular, but it doesn't mean they have good songs. Sure a few of them got my feet tapping, but to classify them as one of the best bands of all time would be an outrage. Most of their songs were too boring, too simple, and not pleasant to listen to.

Chris said...

Cobain was an average guitarist at best.

What I've come to realize is that the industry shits on people who have talent by way of creating the illusion of talent in the talentless.

Its sad.

evolvor said...

yeah I'm excited about that STP reunion as well. I saw then 4 times in the past, including one of there last shows in the Deleo brother's hometown of Asbury Park, and two shows at the Trump Marina in AC - all 3 shows were small venues and I was right up front. Scott's in Rehab, STP is back, and all is good in the world!

roastout said...

Well said sir. I didn't realize the Deleo's were from Jersey. Now I'm even prouder to be from there.

Anonymous said...

I would add Bush to that mix. Sixteen Stones was a damn solid LP. That entire album is great.

Also, it was at the very end of the 90's, but Make Yourself by Incubus was another great album start to finish. Very influential to me as a drummer. Jose Pasillas was a little more experimental than most 90s rock drummers in my opinion.

ashley said...

ok this is a nice little list and all but it looks like a list of popularity not influence. granted rage is actually the most important band ever, but what kind of non-commercial influence did everlong have? and a lot of these bands are of similar genres that more or less influenced each other. and how come there's no mention of acts that exploded during the 90s from england like the ever-covered oasis and not to mention a little act called RADIOHEAD?

Anonymous said...

I believe The Nookie came out in 1999. That is quite the oversight.

Anonymous said...

bulls on parade would kick any of those other songs asses and not remember it and take their jackets home as a prize after beating their ass

Anonymous said...

how can u have this list and not add any alice in chains?! Freak on a Leash by Korn isnt on here either and that started a huge thing in nu metal and 90s rock. I'm suprised that Interstate Love Song by STP isn't on there because that was a very influentual grunge song and i also think Killing In The Name is better than Bulls on Parade but thats my opinion.

Logan Cyrus said...

yea i would have to agree that Nirvana was a good band...but there last cd was a unplugged for MTV... The music industry picks and chooses who makes it big and who doesn't.. Nirvana came along in a perfect time of shitty hair bands and awful country music... The saw a fucked up pretty boy that sang angry "emo" music and their ticket out... That's all Nirvana was... and inadvertently began a revolution. So to that I think you Kurtis... But to say Nirvana is on the same level musically as Zepp, Stones or the preposterous... Same thing is happening to the Jonas Brothers right now...that was Nirvana 13 years ago...just different sound...

djdavehall said...

uhhh good list, but you forgot an handful of artists:

No Doubt
Metallica
Korn
Limp Bizkit (they had some good tracks)
Beck
Sublime
Radiohead
Daft Punk (rock?)
Beastie Boys

and to those ungrateful fools talkin smack bout Kurt Kobain;

he changed music and moved a generation with words... yeah he wasn't that great, no big deal. unappreciative Metallica fans

IamANT said...

Pearl Jam out of all of those bands had the most staying power. And yeah, Cobain was a crappy guitar player.

Anonymous said...

you guys are all dumb. nirvana IS still one of the greatest bands ever and was built by kurt. he was trying to be the greatest guitarist or best band in the world and that was what was so great about him. he was one of the only REAL people in the music industry and has some of the most real lyrics i've ever read. just because he didn't shred any solos or scream or have fast paced songs doesn't mean his songs are boring. i think you're boring for thinking that.