Monday, July 17, 2006

My Top 10...

As eluded to in the last post, here is my Top Ten Songs During My High School Years (Fall of 94 to Spring 98). This wasn’t easy. At first I had 10 and was pretty confident in them; then another would come to my mind and I had a list of 12…then 13…then 14. I've designated a couple of back ups I elaborated on, then some honorable mentions. I did a little research to try to find out how these songs did nationally and have editorialized a bit on each song. (BT 100: Billboard Top 100; MR: Modern Rock 50)
My criteria for the ranking consisted three parts: Enjoyment level then; Enjoyment level now; Sentimental value. For those who experienced the music of this period, feel free to give me your Top Ten or tell me how I’m wrong. (I won’t be wrong, but whatever the delusions of your mind want to think. Ha ha ha.)

10b. Santa Monica – Everclear (#5 MR, 1996)
Let’s be honest: can anyone name another song from Everclear’s first album? Not me. But this song I know. There were a couple more songs that were big before I graduated, but none really stuck out more than this one. Probably because all the songs Everclear does sound pretty much the same, so the first will always be the best.

10a. Good Riddance – Green Day (#2 MR, 1998)
Why not anything from the groups first album? It came out prior to my entering the ranks of high school, that’s why. But this song – way overplayed but equal to the task – was a great acoustic number by the alternative rock group. Since this time I have grown increasingly disenchanted with the group (political views at opposite poles) but this was a great song.

10. Name – Goo Goo Dolls (#1 MR, 1995; #5 BT 100, 1996)
This track comes from the debut album called “A Boy Named Goo” and was one of the earlier CD’s I owned; it is one you could stick in the player and not skip one song…well, maybe just one song. Anyway, this song and album kicked off the Goo Goo Dolls. Some might argue Iris is better than name…but they’d be wrong. (Do I need to elaborate more? It loses points for being on the City of Angels soundtrack; that movie was stupid. Aside from the fallen angel thing, how could Meg Ryan not hear a big diesel truck coming towards her on a quite country road?)

9. What I Got – Sublime (#1 MR, 1996)
The radio edit, of course, but there’s just something catchy about this tune. ‘Got to find a reason, reason things went wrong; got to find a reason why my money’s all gone.’ Considering the lead sing died from a heroin overdose, I think we all could answer that question. The bitter irony is that he died before the album was released. Lesson: Just Say No.

8. One Headlight – Wallflowers (#1 MR, 1997)
This was a great song and came from a double-platinum album. One Headlight, 6th Avenue Heartache, The Difference and Three Marlenas all were from “Bringing Down the Horse” and all made appearances on the Billboard Top 100. But One Headlight was the only one I knew all the words to.

7. Better Man – Pearl Jam (#2 MR, 1995)
This one barely makes the cut, not because of quality but because of timing. The album was released in December of 1994, the midpoint of my freshman year of high school. I don’t own any Pearl Jam and I highly doubt I could listen to an entire album over and over, but this song is a definite Top Ten.

6. Lightning Crashes – Live (#1 MR, 1995)
The olive green jacket and the oddly drawn minister walking along while people scoffed at him…it was a unique album cover. Of the several songs on ‘Throwing Copper’, this song was my favorite and is still as good today as it was then. And we can only be thankful these guys cut their hair. When I saw them perform with Chris Daughtrey from American Idol, all I could do was draw an Austin Powers correlation: Live and Mini-live.

5. Undone (Sweater Song) – Weezer (#57 BT 100, 1994; #6 MR)
The line is blurred here; this hit the shelves during the lame duck period between 8th and 9th grade. But, since this is my list, I’m allowing it. I don’t know of anything preceding Weezer that sounded remotely like Weezer. And this song was weird and cool all at the same time: the talking at the beginning, the mellow lyrics, the 80’s guitar riff in the middle, the singing in a round. Totally unique sound; and afterwards if anyone mentioned the word ‘sweater’ some clown tried to tie it into this song. (I may have been that clown once or twice.)

4. Good – Better Than Ezra (#30 BT 100, 1995; #1 MR)
From the album Deluxe, the one with a purple curtain and some gold hands, comes this classic alternative track. It was one of those where it was hard to figure out exactly what was being said, (is it Waha, Uhu, Walk-on, or Aha) so you had to listen to it a lot to figure it out. “Maybe I’ll call or write you a letter, maybe we’ll speak on the 4th of July…” One has to ask why the 4th? Why not Christmas or Thanksgiving? I’m not too sure and I’m not to proud to say…I don’t know. (It’s ‘Aha’, bytheway)

3. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something (#5 BT 100, 1996; MR #30)
A one-hit wonder, who doesn’t remember trying to figure out the line in the chorus: “She said I think I remember the film and as I recall…” before seeing the lyrics on that show VH1 had where the lyrics scrolled across the bottom of the page. I remember where I was when I first heard this song: taking a shower before school. For the next couple of weeks I had a blank tape in the player waiting for the song to come on again so I could record it. 93.3 FM out of Billings, MT.

2. Semi-charmed Life – Third Eye Blind (#4 BT 100, 1997; #1 MR)
From the self-titled album, this little tune was prelude to one of those CD’s you could just pop in and enjoy the whole thing. Though the follow-up album “Blue” was okay, they haven’t been able to even touch the original. And there were two jackets: a green and a red; in the jacket the words to this song were in a square-spiraling pattern. This is one of the rare songs where the radio edit cripples the original; remember, you couldn’t hear the ‘and when the plane came in she said she was crashin’…One; and you hold me, and I’m broken’.

1. Push – Matchbox 20 (#1 MR, 1997)
Who can argue with this pick? Obviously America did because this song didn’t even rank on the BT 100. Ridiculous. Great song, great album, great sound. I’m cool with Rob Thomas and the solo effort; still, I miss the alternative, guitar and drums sound of the band as opposed to the pop thing. Released in 1996, the album spun off chart toppers through 1999 (Back 2 Good, #24 BT 100); it went platinum 10 times by 2000. It still lives in my CD collection. And even though Push is the classic track, it barely edges out track 12, ‘Hang’, an awesome song that got too little PT; it’s better than 3am, Real World, Long Day and Back 2 Good (these all landed on top charts).

Honorable mention (in no particular order): Hootie and the Blowfish (anything from Cracked Rear View); Alanis Morisette (Ironic); Offspring (Self-Esteem); Dishwalla (Counting Blue Cars) Will Smith (Getting’ Jiggy); Coolio (Gangsta’s Paradise); Sugar Ray (Fly); Tonic (If You Could Only See).

5 Comments:

Paula said...

great picks sweetie!

Will & Natalie Giddens said...

I like your picks, but I think you were a little more "alternative" than I was...I'm still thinking a/b what songs I'd include, but I'm sure there's at LEAST one Mariah Carey song on the list...Sorry!

Will & Natalie Giddens said...

Oh, and lest you think it's Will that's a closet Mariah fan, that last post was me, Natalie.

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