Friday night, 1994. Somewhere in the Baltimore suburbs, a 14-year-old kid is lying on his back in the dark, listening to WHFS’s “Top 11 at 11″ on his Sanyo walkman.
Inspired by Sheena Beaston, here are my top 10 most underrated songs of the 90s. For no particular reason, I’ve limited my choices to modern rock songs.
Listen to the whole playlist at Muxtape (this link will not work forever).
* * *
10. The Men – Church Of Logic, Sin, & Love (1992)
Anybody remember The Men? I love the lyric about Kennedy in Life magazine.
9. R.E.M. – Strange Currencies (1994)
Michael Stipe channeling Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone.” This was from R.E.M.’s Monster CD.
8. Drugstore – El Presidente (1998)
That’s Thom Yorke from Radiohead on vocals. I got this song on a CMJ sampler, but it was on Drugstore’s White Magic for Lovers CD, apparently.
7. Son Volt – Windfall (1995)
I didn’t discover this song until I went through an alt-country phase in college. From the Trace CD.
6. Oasis – Don’t Look Back In Anger (1995)
From What’s the Story Morning Glory? I once heard a guy playing this song in the subway and it sounded great.
5. Midnight Oil – Blue Sky Mine (1990)
The better of Midnight Oil’s two radio hits. (The other was “Beds Are Burning.”) From Blue Sky Mining.
4. Local H – All the Kids Are Right (1998)
A band apologizes to its fans for a poor concert. It’s an anti-rock song! From the CD Pack Up the Cats.
3. Superdrag – Sucked Out (1996)
Great hook. “Look at me, I can write a melody, but I can’t expect a soul to care.” From Regretfully Yours.
2. Elastica – Car Song (1995)
Elastica songs were so short, they were often the only thing that fit at the end of a mix tape.
1. Freedy Johnston – Bad Reputation (1994)
Listen to Freedy Johnston’s sublime self-confidence: “Don’t you think I’ve heard the talk? Nobody’s gonna tell me who to love.” From This Perfect World.