Congrats, readers! You’ve made it through to another Friday, and on this blog, Fridays = Top Five lists. This week, for your reading – and listening – pleasure, I’ve decided to take a crack at the top five songs from the decade that brought us grunge, the Rachel, and the fiasco known as the OJ Simpson trial.
Now you may be asking why I’d feature a list of music on this blog which should, by all rights, have, say, writing-related stuff on it. Well, for many of us, ahem, authors, writing and music go hand in hand. So maybe, just maybe, there’s someone out there who’s decided to use the 90’s as a backdrop for a story. Or perhaps someone else is tired of listening to “Blurred Lines” and just wants something different to tickle his/her ears.
Whatever the case, here is my take on the Top Five Songs of the 90’s.
1. Come As You Are – Nirvana
I remember going to someone’s party in the mid-90’s as a teen and Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album was playing in the background. My response to pretty much every track that played was, “Hey! I like this song!”
The airwaves were saturated with Nirvana back then, and there’s something about the opening notes of the guitar in Come As You Are that instantly transport you to a time of flannel shirts, baggy jeans and crazy unwashed hair. This is still on my playlist, and heaven help the kiddos or the hubby if it comes on the radio while we’re in the minivan.
2. Yellow Ledbetter – Pearl Jam
Affectionately known as the “Yellow Bedwetter” by some of my super mature high school classmates, this slower song features an unmistakable guitar intro and the totally puzzling lyrics of Eddie Vedder. Seriously – does anyone to this day know what he was singing on this track? Give it a listen – if you’re not transported to whatever you were doing wherever you were doing it in the early-to-mid-90’s, then you were probably busy listening to . . .
3. Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks
Or just about any other Garth Brooks song. He made cowboy hats and tight, black jeans a must for cowboy wannabes everywhere. And he made country cool. C’mon, admit it. If you hear this song now, you still belt out the chorus, right? Right? Oh, it’s only me that does that? Oh.
4. No Rain – Blind Melon
Are you thinking the same thing I’m thinking? Yep. That little girl in the bee costume.
Hearing this on the radio the other morning, I was totally and instantly nostalgic for my after-the-fact, romanticized version of the 90’s. This song has such a catchy, recognizable guitar riff (I think it’s called a riff?) at the beginning and still continues to resonate with such lyrics as “All I can say is that my life is pretty plain . . .”
5. One Headlight – The Wallflowers
All right, so maybe this one doesn’t reek of the 90’s as much as the others above, but it’s probably my favorite from then (and I’m not too ashamed to admit that it’s still one of my all-time favorites). Released the year I graduated (Ninety-seven, ninety-seven, ninety – ninety – ninety-seven!), Jakob Dylan’s vocals of loss and heartache over a great beat and bass and awesome guitar make this song.
And, just ’cause, here’s an honorable mention:
The Whole Big Willie Style Album – Will Smith
I think there was a year in the 90’s where American radio stations played little else. From “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” (sing it with me: na na na na na na na, na na na na na na) to “Miami” (bienvendios a Miami) to “Men in Black” – this album was huge.
So there you have it. Anybody care to share their fond musical memories of the 1990’s? Any song that should have made the Top 5?