The Other Top 100 Songs from the 90s – 50 – 41

50 – Story of My Life – Social Distortion

Add one part punk to one part rock-a-billy to one part poetic master. Blend it together, and you create an overall great song. Often one of the bands overlooked by radio, but they were one of the guiding forces through this decade of many giants.

49 – Get Off This – Cracker

I know many people are going to wonder why this song made this list when so many other radio hits did not make the list. This wasn’t even Cracker’s biggest hit. But that wasn’t what the 90s were about. It was always about finding that hidden gem that radio didn’t know about and this song always brought a smile to my face.

48 – Midnight Radio – Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Play this song late at night while you drive down a lonely highway. Make sure to roll down the window and feel the cool summer air race through your hair. Afterwards, you might wonder if this song does not deserve a higher spot on the list.

47 – Insane in the Brain – Cyprus Hill

This track introduced a new style of rap to the world, one laced with a mellow vibe but still had a defiance within its lyrics that made you want to stand up against those who have repressed you. It also introduced to the world one of the most unique voices from the rap world, Mellow Man Ace.

46 – Daughter – Pearl Jam

From a band who made so many great character studies into five minute epic songs, this was one of the best they ever told. It was also the first giant song that proved you did not need a video to be important.

45 – So Watchya Want – Beastie Boys

One of the leading voices in the hip hop market came from three punks from New York. Any time they came out with a new album, the rules of the game would change. This song blended the old school style with the elements of punk rock that allowed bands like 311 and Sublime to follow in this giant’s long shadow.

44 – Say It Ain’t So – Weezer

First, they had us come undone with their sweater song, and then they told us about the greatness of Buddy Holly, but it was the third single from their debut blue album that was the best offering that Weezer gave to us, insuring that they would be a force for many years to come.

43 – Don’t Look Back in Anger – Oasis

Even though the Gallagher brothers always denied the Beatles influence to their music, it was hard not to hear that influence on this track. It is often ignored by the radio so they can overplay another one of their songs, but when the day is done, this is definitely the better of the two tracks.

42 – Bullet with Butterfly Wings – The Smashing Pumpkins

This song displays the raw power that this band had. Not only did the guitar riff recklessly guide you to the inevitable conclusion, but Billy Corrigan’s growling vocals leaves you feeling that you have just been attacked by some strange kind of vampire.

41 – In Bloom – Nirvana

Just because I don’t think “Smells Like Teen Spirit” deserves a place on this countdown does not mean that I do not think that Nirvana should be kicked off completely. There are just other songs I would rather listen to, and this one has always been one of my favorites.

The Other Top 100 Songs from the 90s – 60 – 51

60 – Lucky Man – The Verve

The story of the Verve is one of the saddest from the 1990s. They produced a big hit with “Bitter Sweet Symphony” but never earned a dime from it because the Rolling Stones sued them for copyright infringement. But few people from the United States know about this other song which is just as good from the same album.

59 – Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-a-Lot

Not only does this song have some of the best innuendos and double entendres ever written, but it also has one of the best record scratches ever recorded. It might even be one of the best one hit wonders of all time.

58 – Iris – Goo Goo Dolls

The Goo Goo Dolls were in danger of falling into the same trap that Sir Mix-a-Lot found himself in with their hit, “Name”. This was until they wrote this song for City of Angels, and shot themselves to the next level of rock stardom. It still remains one of the best ballads from the decade.

57 – Nuthin’ but a “G” Thang – Dr. Dre

This song brought gangsta rap to the forefront so even kids from suburbia started to listen to the genre, but it also introduced the world to one of its biggest players, Snoop Doggy Dogg. It remains, to this day, one of the greats from that genre.

56 – Do the Evolution – Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam had stopped making videos, letting the music speak for itself, but when they put out this track, they enhanced its already power with an animated short from Spawn creator Todd McFarlan that showcased the bitter message hidden within its lyrics.

55 – Cannonball – The Breeders

Kim Deal proved to everyone that women could also come up with some amazing bass lines as well as delivering one of the most memorable ones with this gem of a song.

54 – Everlong – Foo Fighters

This song proved to the world that Dave Grohl was not just some drummer, but was a force to be dealt with in the rock world. The music was reminiscent of the 70s, but the music was all 90s.

53 – What I Got – Sublime

Tragedy had come to the band right before they hit it big when Bradley James Nowell, the lead singer, overdosed on heroin. But they were able to pen this blend of rock, reggae and rap that has held up throughout the years to still bring joy to a listener’s heart every time it is played.

52 – I Hope I Just Didn’t Give Away the Ending – New Radicals

Gregg Alexander had produced albums for popular stars before saying that anybody could do the same and went off to prove himself right. When he penned his classic album, Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed, Too, only one of the songs made radio airplay, but each one in its own right was a classic with this one being one the more memorable stories.

51 – Nightswimming – R. E. M.

A simple haunting piano melody is the heart of this song that as soon as you are done listening to it, you want to instantly listen to it again just so you can feel the feeling it invokes again. Why wouldn’t this song make the list?

The Other Top 100 Songs from the 90s – 70 – 61

70 – Mayonnaise – Smashing Pumpkins

Everywhere I went in 1993, Siamese Dream was playing, but it never hit on two of the better songs from the album. This one is one of the greatest that James Iha penned and it might be the reason that it was never played. Billy Corrigan wouldn’t allow it.

69 – Closing Time – Semisonic

I worked in bars a lot through the 90s and knew what it was like to close up shop. No other song put together what that feeling was like than this one hit wonder from Semisonic.

68 – Sweet Jane – Cowboy Junkies

I have a hard time claiming that a remake of a Velvet Underground song could be better than the original, but the haunting vocals that accompany this mellower version of this song makes it a completely different song than the upbeat original.

67 – Runaway Train – Soul Asylum

Music came from many different locations in the 90s, and this breakout hit from the underground band from Minnenapolis stuck out as one of the few yet more memorable ballads from this decade.

66 – Star – The Cult

The Cult was primed to breakthrough with the big hair bands of the 1980s when the bottom fell out in that part of the industry. But this band had enough strength in their songwriting abilities to make the move to the alternative scene and this was the song that finally allowed them to break in the United States.

65 – Love Spreads – The Stone Roses

The Stone Roses were supposed to be the big band to emerge from the second British Invasion laying the groundwork for Oasis and Blur later, but internal conflict caused the band to break up before they made it big. They were still able to leave this song behind before they broke up.

64 – Spiderweb – No Doubt

Before the band decided to go the pop route, they were a Ska band. This song was the best example of what they could do if they stuck to their roots, and is still one of the best party tunes to emerge from the decade.

63 – Wicked Garden – Stone Temple Pilots

Driving guitars, and Scott Weiland’s signature vocals are what makes this song a classic. It was also the surprise highlight from their debut album that took over the airwaves in the early 1990s.

62 – John the Fisherman – Primus

I have always considered Les Claypool the Jimi Hendrix of my generation. He did for bass what Jimi did for the guitar, and this track from the Frizzell Fry album proves why he will always be considered a genius in my book.

61 – Jolene – Cake

Cake has written so many original songs that it is impossible to remembe all the ones that have made it to the radio. Oddly enough, it is not their hits that are their best songs. “Jolene” never gets radio play because it was never released as a single, but it is so good that it is hard to see why it didn’t become one of Cake’s biggest hits.

The Other Top 100 Songs from the 90s 80 – 71

80 – Laid – James

A fun little song about a guy with an obsessive girlfriend who he wishes he could get rid of, but never really does because it always comes back to the thing that was most important for him. One of the more fun songs from the alternative scene.

79 – Jump Around – House of Pain

Not even a Pringle’s advertisement can ruin this Irish rap song. Play this song at party today and watch everybody make a mad dash for the dance floor so they can jump around like a bunch of fools.

78 – Zombie – Cranberries

Many people thought that this Irish band was done for when they released their hardest song to date. It was a departure from the other soft songs they had been releasing but it was the one that has stood the test of time.

77 – All Mixed Up – 311

Who ever thought that there would be hip hop rock fusion band from Omaha that would make it big, especially one so obsessed with aliens? But that was the brilliance of the 90s, and this song marked the height of 311’s career.

76 – No Rain – Blind Melon

There was a time when I would wear nothing but henley shirts because of this video. It definitely was one of the more memorable ones from the decade and it wasn’t just because of the dancing bumblebee, but because it was accompanied by a real good song.

75 – Monkey Wrench – Foo Fighters

Power chords strummed really fast,  and awesome drums were not the only things going for this song; it also had a screaming bridge in the middle that was so much fun to try to sing along to if you never ran out of breath before you got to the end of it.

74 – One Week – Barednaked Ladies

Half the time you sat wondering what this song was really about. The other half of the time you didn’t care because you were having so much fun singing along to the goofy lyrics.

73 – Shine – Collective Soul

Yes, the marketing geniuses who put together Collective Soul’s debut song clad them in too much flannel in the hope to sell lots of records, but that didn’t stop this song from being great even though it never really had a chorus.

72 – Freak on a Leash – Korn

Even though they claim to be the first band to blend rap and rock (they weren’t), they still put together a great song that had you screaming along. They proved that metal music could be funky as well as hard.

71 – El Scorcho – Weezer

Even though Pinkerton flopped as an album when it was first released, it has grown to be one of the most revered from Weezer fans, and this song is a big part of the reason why. It is such a good song, and it is sad that not more people know about it.

The Other Top 100 Songs from the 90s 90 – 81

90 – Slide Away – Oasis

Before Oasis remade the Beatles song that they never wrote, they had a whole album full of edgier tunes and epic rock masterpieces. The name of the album even had more creativity behind it than the one that broke them, Definitely Maybe. This track from the album was one of the catchier songs that even made it on to the radio even though it clocked in at over six minutes.

89 – Waterfalls – TLC

In an age when gangsta rap and ballads ruled the R & B charts, this gem came out that blew them all away. Not only was it an amazing tune, but it had a social message to it that forced you to listen.

88 – Ray of Light – Madonna

During the 80s, I could be often heard talking about how Madonna had destroyed music and she was nothing more than an image selling sex, and I wished she would just go away. But then I heard this song and I couldn’t deny the creative genius that went behind it. It was the perfect dance song to help usher in the age of electronic music, and it was pretty awesome to dance to at the same time.

87 – Semi-Charmed Life – Third Eye Blind

Right when you started to think that alternative music was losing its edge because it was being taken over by big music corporations, Third Eye Blind came out with this song. It had a fun beat to it, and I remember playing it at many weddings because of guests requesting it, but I always had a smile on my face when I played it. Listen to lyrics some time and you will understand why.

86 – Unbelievable – EMF

Before the alternative music move really took off, a song from the genre would find itself on mainstream radio. The punky rock tune from the English band EMF was one of these songs. To this day, I want to get up and dance every time I hear this song on the radio.

85 – Better Man – Pearl Jam

Some people might claim that Pearl Jam, not Nirvana, was the most important band from the 90s. They had a music style all their own with a front man whose growling vocals were the most original since Robert Plant. Combine in the fact that his lyrics rival those of Bob Dylan’s and you have a force to deal with. This is one of those songs that present a picture of a character that only Eddie Vedder could write about. It has also become the sing-along at every one of their concerts.

84 – Otherside – Red Hot Chili Peppers

When the Red Hot Chili Peppers released Californication right before the end of the century, they were already a force to be dealt with, but people wondered if the best material they had written had already come. This was before John Frusciente rejoined the band, and Anthony Kiedis reached a new level with vocals. This track highlights both of their achievements in one of the beand’s best songs.

83 – November Rain – Guns ‘n Roses

Guns ‘n Roses will always be known as the band that created that bridge between the big hair bands of the 80s to the more substantial music of the early 90s, and this ballad was part of that connection. It went against the rules of radio airplay time by clocking in at almost nine minutes, but still had the solos and mighty vocals reminiscent of the time when rock held little substance. Without this song, a lot of the songs on this list would have never been heard.

82 – Just – Radiohead

If you have never seen the video for this song, go watch it on YouTube right now. It tells a story that will have you scratching your head for months. Add into that, one of the gritiest guitar rifts ever, and you have one of the best songs from any decade that nobody has ever listened to.

81 – 911 is a Joke – Public Enemy

Before “Cop Killer”, this song put to the forefront one of the biggest problems in America still persisting to this day. Public Enemy always had a social and political voice, and this song highlighted it better than any of their others.

The Other Top 100 Songs from the 90s 100-91

I recently viewed VH1s top 100 songs from the nineties and was a little offended that they think that the 90s was filled with a bunch of one-hit wonders. There was not one artist on the list that appeared more than once, and I thought this was absurd. I also hated the way that I knew what the top song was going to be long before it was ever revealed. It seems that the powers that be believe that Generation X can be summed up in one song by Nirvana, and somehow this band never produced another song worthy of note. So I went on-line to see what other people thought, and the lists were similar without many surprises, so I wanted to propose a list of the top one-hundred songs from the 90s that weren’t titled “Smells like Teen Spirit”. Keeping in true 90s fashion, the list that is presented is not always mainstream, and might have a few entries that you might not agree with but I don’t care. There is a bigger picture that needs to be made, and a message for all from my generation needs to hear. So here is the start of the list:

100 – Cantaloop – Us3

How can you go wrong with a great beat, smoothly delivered raps, and music from Blue Note records. This was destined to be a hit that still brings back memories of summer sunshine, and happy parties.

99 – Corn Flake Girl – Tori Amos

Tori Amos shocked the world with her song about her and a gun, but it was this song that really stuck with me throughout the nineties. Its catchy beats, and dark lyrics still haunt me to this day. Plus you never get to hear it on the radio anymore, so when you do hear it, it brings you back to the moment when this song was everywhere on the radio.

98 – Sex and Candy – Marcy Playground

Yes, the 1990s produced some one-hit wonders that everybody thought would be bigger based on their first offering. “Sex and Candy” was one of these songs, and even though it was the only true hit from the band, it was too good of a song to exclude it from this list.

97 – One Headlight – The Wallflowers

The big rock stars from the 60s had children who were starting to come of age during the 1990s. Many of them tried to follow in their parents’ footsteps with limited success. Jakob Dylan decided not to use his father’s name as he made his name in the world. Of course, it only took one hit before that idea disappeared and everybody started to see this young man emerge from his father’s shadow. This song was the most memorable, even breaking into some of the hard rock radio stations that stayed clear away from anything belonging in the alternative market.

96 – Kiss from a Rose – Seal

It took a movie for this song to finally take off, but the vocal arrangement is still outstanding and makes you want to hear more as soon as the song closes up. It simply a heart wrenching song that will never be forgotten.

95 – Are You Going My Way – Lenny Kravitz

The music from the 90s was not only about the music. It was also about the music videos being produced. It was the golden age for this medium, and this Lenny Kravitz track was the perfect example of how good a music video could be. Everybody wanted that room in their basement, and the Hendrix guitar rifts that went long with the song made this the best track he ever produced.

94 – Lightning Crashes – Live

Throwing Copper was the album that never went away as it produced hit after hit and this was probably the biggest one among them. It is hard to forget this song even after the first listen.

93 – Virtual Insanity – Jamiroquai

Another example of how a video could really sell a song. I remember watching it over and over again trying to figure out how they did it. Now that I know, it isn’t that exciting, but it still looks really cool. Add one of the funkiest songs from the 90s to it and you have a recipe for success.

92 – Crackin’ Up – Revolting Cocks

Before electronic music became a mainstay this song hot the airwaves. It was usually regulated to the late night rotation and the video played on 120 Minutes a couple of times, but this was the experimental music that made the nineties the nineties.

91 – Sweet Pain – Blues Traveler

Before their fourth album came out, Blues Traveler was already creating a strong following with their previous albums and the one that was probably the most underrated was Travelers and Thieves, but this album contained an amazing gem with the great ballad.

Subway Culture versus Car Culture

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I am sure I will be accused of oversimplifying things again, but I do believe that there might be some truth about my thoughts. These notions bounced around my head over the weekend as I took many different subways to different locations all over Seoul to enjoy the Lunar New Year holiday. Does the mode of transportation that a city encourages its citizens to take help to create the personality of that community? Do we start to have a different mentality because we have chosen to drive a car as opposed to taking a subway?

If you think about it, there is a different point of view citizens have when being forced to travel under the ground as opposed to above on the streets. A strange thing happens when you walk down into those caverns. You leave behind a sunny day in a familiar territory, and take a series of tubes to find yourself emerging somewhere new a half an hour to an hour later in another part of that same sunny day. Where you left is hustling and bustling because it is situated at a subway station, and where you emerge has the same feeling because once again it is at an another important subway station. It makes you feel as if the town is always in motion.

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For some of the bigger cities in the world this might be the case. There might be so many people out there that there will always be somebody that will be wandering around the streets, no matter what time of day or night it is.

You don’t have this same feeling when you travel around in a car. Granted, there are times when you find yourself in the middle of a mad rush hour as you slowly push your car closer to its destination. As you get closer to where it is you are going to, you have to start taking the side streets to get there. The crowds slowly get smaller, and smaller until you find yourself all by your self.

There is also the distinct advantage of finding yourself above ground. There is a whole world around you that you can enjoy. The scenery isn’t just the long tunnel that takes you from one place to another. It give you context to how you got from one place to another. You do not feel like you have been magically transported to some other place in the city; instead, you took a journey to get there.

You are also in control of your route when you take a car. Granted the more complicated subway systems will give you a few options of how to get from point A to point B, but it is still through a tunnel that is as straight as day. There is no option to take a side path if you feel that it might get you there quicker, or make the trip more enjoyable. There is only one path that you can take in a subway.

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With all of these advantages a car has to offer, why would anybody choose to live in a subway community? What could it possibly have to offer that would rival the ones rules by the automobile?

There is a peace of mind that comes from riding on a subway, as opposed to driving a car. You no longer have to worry about how to get to the destination; you just let the train whisk you off to it. And in the meantime you can enjoy the ride there. Whether this is reading a book, or playing your favorite video game on your phone, you are not forced to experience the stress traveling by car can give you. Add on to the fact that traffic can be one of the worst things possible to experience, and you will relish every moment you get to spend on the relaxing subway.

But this is not the best part of a subway society. When you are on a subway, you are forced to interact with your fellow human beings. In a car, you are in isolation. In America, on the rare occasion that you are in the car with another individual, it is still somebody that you are so comfortable with that you usually spend the time in the car in silence. On a subway, you are forced to be right next to complete strangers and try to find a way to get along during the short time you are on the train together.

If you start to think about it, how does this constant connection with our community affect our perspective on life?

In the car culture, do we hide in our automobiles even more? Are we willing to let more people into our lives, or do we only allow the ones we feel comfortable with into our little box? How does the world look from behind a bullet proof windshield?

Or do we engage in the unknown every time we move from one location to another? Do with look with anticipation every time the door of our vehicle opens to see who might enter into our world? Are we willing to let those people into our lives just so we can share the joy of being alive?

How far does this go? Do we scream from our computer screens or do we engage in conversation with our neighbor? Do we hide behind our walls, or do we open our borders to new ideas?

It sometimes strange the things we think about while we are on a subway.

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