OK, Fine, Never Mind


Here's my '90s list, plus lists from a couple of friends. I haven't written any comments--many of these songs I've already written about twice, first in RADIO ON and then again as part of various year-end polls. Trying to think of something a little bit different the second time was hard enough. 1990 was a write-off for me, but I've voted in year-ends every year since. Twenty-eight of the songs listed below are right from my yearly Top 10s, including "Beautiful Stranger" and "We Like to Party!", which will sit 1-2 on this year's list when I draw it up sometime next week. Only half of my previous #1s made the final 40: I'm still able to hear "Fantastic Voyage," "Doo Wop (That Thing)," "People Everyday," and "Moby Octopad" almost as if for the first time, but "Let's Talk About Sex," "Man on the Moon," "Be Happy" and "Peaches" I used up. "Reality Used to Be a Friend of Mine," my #1 for the decade, I didn't discover until three or four years ago--I'm not even sure that it was released as a single anywhere. Other songs I either underrated or overlooked the first time around: "O.P.P." (I guessed in RADIO ON that "Let's Talk About Sex" would outlast it--as predictions go, not within the acceptable margin of error), "Come Rain Come Shine," "Even Grable." Mostly, though, what- ever made an impression on me at the time still sounds better than everything that didn't. I have changed my mind about Joe Carter (won't make the Hall of Fame), Al Hunt of "The Capital Gang" (truly annoying), and the librarian at the New Toronto branch who used to give me a hard time. She's really OK. 1. "Reality Used to Be a Friend of Mine," P.M. Dawn (1991) 2. "Jump Around," House of Pain (1992) 3. "Summertime," D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince (1991) 4. "Let's Get Down," Tony Toni Tone (1996) 5. "Right Here (Human Nature)," SWV (1993) 6. "O.P.P.," Naughty by Nature (1991) 7. "Self Esteem," Offspring (1994) 8. "Freak Like Me," Adina Howard (1995) 9. "Walking Contradiction," Green Day (1996) 10. "Fantastic Voyage," Coolio (1994) .............................................................................. "Beautiful Stranger," Madonna (1999) "Come Rain Come Shine," Clubland (1992) "Cut Your Hair," Pavement (1994) "Divorce Song," Liz Phair (1993) "Deeply Dippy," Right Said Fred (1992) "Doo Wop (That Thing)," Lauryn Hill (1998) "Do You Wanna Get Funky," C & C Music Factory (1994) "The Emperor's New Clothes," Sinead O'Connor (1990) "Even Grable," Treblecharger (1995) "Fireworks," Tragically Hip (1998) "Flagpole Sitta," Harvey Danger (1998) "Gin and Juice," Snoop Doggy Dogg (1994) "Got You (Where I Want You)," Flys (1998) "Graduate," Third Eye Blind (1997) "I Can't Make You Love Me," Bonnie Raitt (1991) "Insane in the Brain," Cypress Hill (1993) "Jump," Kris Kross (1991) "Moby Octopad," Yo La Tengo (1997) "No Deeper Meaning," Culture Beat (1991) "No Rain," Blind Melon (1993) "Nothing Has Been Proved," the Strings of Love (1990) "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang," Dr. Dre (1993) "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," St. Etienne (1992) "Pay No Mind," Beck (1994) "People Everyday," Arrested Development (1992) "Pretty Noose," Soundgarden (1996) "Two Steps Behind," Def Leppard (1993) "Violet," Hole (1995) "We Like to Party!" Vengaboys (1999) "Wonderwall," Oasis (1996)

Chris Buck: FAVOURITES OF THE '90s

Neutral Milk Hotel: IN THE AEORPLANE OVER THE SEA (1998) Smog: RED APPLE FALLS (1997) American Music Club: SAN FRANCISCO (1994) Guided By Voices: BEE THOUSAND (1994) Rollerskate Skinny: HORSEDRAWN WISHES (1996) Ben Folds Five: WHATEVER & EVER AMEN (1997) Hole: LIVE THROUGH THIS (1994) My Bloody Valentine: LOVELESS (1991) They Might Be Giants: FLOOD (1990) Guns N' Roses: USE YOUR ILLUSION (1991)

Scott Woods: TOP 100 SINGLES OF THE '90s

This list reflects nothing so much as it reflects my employment situation in the '90s: first as a Top 40/alternative/dance DJ (1990-95), second as an employee in a very large record store (1993-present). I spent very little time in the '90s a) seeking out music (it all just seemed to find me at work), and b) listening to music at home (there wasnít a lot of need to do so--I heard enough of it every day anyway). The only rule I followed in compiling this list was the one-song-per- artist rule, which I didnít actually follow: Daft Punk = Stardust, surely. That one glitch aside, a perfectly honest Top 100 might have included one (in some cases two) more by Madonna ("Ray of Light"), Oasis ("Supersonic," "Whatís the Story Morning Glory"), Beck ("Loser," "Jackass"), Sonic Youth ("Kool Thing"), Hole ("Awful," "Rock Star"), the Cranberries ("Dreams," "Salvation"), Nirvana ("Heart-Shaped Box"), the Pet Shop Boys ("Being Boring," "Where the Streets Have No Name"), Stone Temple Pilots (ďVasoline"), and Treble Charger ("Red"). Instead, I copped out to affirmative action in order to make way for White Town, Semisonic, BKS, and Third Eye Blind. 1. "Right Here (Human Nature)," SWV (1992) -- Floating on a sample of one of Michael Jacksonís prettiest riffs ever, itís only because they werenít British, they werenít white, and they didnít make lethargic stoner music that nobody thought to call them "dream pop," though thatís exactly what this is. 2. "Wonderwall," Oasis (1996) 3. "O.P.P.," Naughty By Nature (1991) -- Michael Jacksonís second finest moment of the '90s. 4. "People Everyday," Arrested Development (1992) -- Rolling on the river. 5. "The Funk Phenomenon," Armand Van Helden (1996) -- cf. "Rockafeller Skank" (#38). 6. "Miss World," Hole (1995) -- Stevie Nicks and Exene Cervenka are obvious touchstones, but itís not a stretch to imagine Dylan in one of his incendi- ary mid-60s shows, eyes receding into his head, taking on the verses: "Iím...miss...world..." 7. "Beautiful Stranger," Madonna (1999) 8. "Even Grable," Treble Charger (1996) 9. "Flagpole Sitta," Harvey Danger (1998) 10. "Hyper-Ballad," Bjork (1995) -- Itís all about the hi-hats. .............................................................................. 11. "Da Funk," Daft Punk (1996) -- Itís all about the bass, which happens to be "Good Times" sawed down to a single note. 12. "Justified and Ancient," KLF (1992) -- Token country pick. 13. "Common People," Pulp (1995) -- Fop goes the world. 14. "Linger," Cranberries (1993) -- Unless my memory fails me--I saw the thing once, about five years ago--the video is a tribute to Kenneth Anger: a dreamy whisper of a tune on the soundtrack, a motorbike and some black leather on the screen. (Whether or not thatís the actual scenario for this video, thatís the image implanted in my head.) 15. "I Wouldnít Normally Do This Kind of Thing," Pet Shop Boys (1993) -- Ray Davies, London '66. 16. "Impatience," Fastbacks (1991) 17. "Looking Through Patient Eyes," P.M. Dawn (1993) -- Floating on a sample of one of George Michaelís prettiest riffs ever, itís only because they werenít British, they werenít white, and they didnít make lethargic stoner music that nobody thought to call them "dream pop," though thatís exactly what this is. (Actually, they did a pretty good job at the lethargic stoner music part.) 18. "Summertime," D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince (1991) 19. "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," Saint Etienne (1992) 20. "Music Sounds Better With You," Stardust (1998) 21. "Doo Wop (That Thing)," Lauryn Hill (1998) 22. "Gin and Juice," Snoop Doggy Dogg (1993) -- Lethargic stoner music. 23. "In a Room," Dodgy (1997) -- Pop art. 24. "Song 2," Blur (1997) -- Songs mean a lot when songs are bought. 25. "Nobodyís Fault," Beck (1999) 26. "Missing," Everything But the Girl (1994) 27. "Cut Your Hair," Pavement (1994) 28. "The Emperorís New Clothes," Sinead OíConnor (1990) -- Amazing what you can accomplish over two chords (C and F as far as I can tell). 29. "Anna," Pure (1996) -- Suede, but harder and cheaper. 30. "Life in Mono," Mono (1998) 31. "Naked Eye," Luscious Jackson (1996) -- Rarely has a band with so little done so much with what they donít have. 32. "Something Good," Utah Saints (1992) 33. "Universal Heartbeat," Juliana Hatfield (1995) -- Dear Kurt: "Beauty can be sad/Youíre the proof of that." 34. "Superstar," Sonic Youth (1994) -- If anything can sum up WILD PALMS, my favourite '90s movie, in five words or less, itís "but youíre not really there." 35. "Bittersweet Symphony," Verve (1997) 36. "Pretty Noose," Soundgarden (1996) 37. "In Bloom," Nirvana (1991) 38. "Rockafeller Skank," Fatboy Slim (1998) -- cf. "Tubthumping" (#78). 39. "Where You Are," Sleater-Kinney (1995) 40. "Mr. Vain," Culture Beat (1993) 41. "Jump Around," House of Pain (1992) 42. "You Got Me," Roots w/Erykah Badu (1999) 43. "Buddy Holly," Weezer (1994) -- Be true to your school. 44. "Too Funky," George Michael (1992) 45. "Brimful of Asha," Cornershop (1997) -- Rolling on the river, blasting ďSave It For Later." 46. "Use a Sua Caneca," Money Mark (1996) 47. "All That She Wants," Ace of Base (1993) -- For the word 'day' in "it's a day for passing time." 48. "Groove Is in the Heart," Deee-Lite (1990) 49. "Moby Octopad," Yo La Tengo (1997) -- How bizarre. 50. "Self-Esteem," Offspring (1994) 51. "Another Night," MC Sar & the Real McCoy (1994) 52. "Fireworks," Tragically Hip (1998) 53. "Right Here Right Now," Jesus Jones (1990) 54. "Oh Carolina," Shaggy (1993) -- First three seconds always fool me into thinking Iím hearing "Old Time Rock 'n Roll" again, when in fact I'm merely hearing old time rock 'n roll. 55. "Mesmerizing," Liz Phair (1994) -- Sheís a sweet white angel/not a riot grrrl. 56. "Big Bang Baby," Stone Temple Pilots (1996) -- Earth, Wind, and Fire to Pearl Jamís Funkadelic: trendier, sillier, more crass, less original, and a hell of a lot catchier. 57. "Fantastic Voyage," Coolio (1994) 58. "No Rain," Blind Melon (1993) 59. "Cannonball," Breeders (1993) -- Hip-hop: violent and scratchy. 60. "Rhythm Is a Dancer," Snap (1992) 61. "Turn Around," Phatts & Small (1999) 62. "Kellyís Heroes," Black Grape (1995) 63. "Two Princes," Spin Doctors (1991) 64. "Dress," PJ Harvey (1992) 65. "Show Me Love," Robin S (1993) 66. "Connection," Elastica (1995) 67. "Pets," Porno For Pyros (1993) 68. "Ordinary World," Duran Duran (1993) 69. "You Get What You Give" New Radicals (1998) 70. "Lump," Presidents of the United States of America (1995) 71. "Hippychick," Soho (1990) 72. "Semi-Charmed Life," Third Eye Blind (1997) 73. "Headache," Frank Black (1994) -- Jeff Lynne nursing a hangover. 74. "Born Slippy," Underworld (1996) -- Token rave anthem. 75. "Bills, Bills, Bills," Destinyís Child (1999) -- Fierce, skittish, machine- washable R&B. 76. "I Want You," Savage Garden (1997) -- Token pretty-boy pop. 77. "Feels So Good," Lina Santiago (1997) -- Token freestyle anthem. 78. "Tubthumping," Chumbawamba (1997) -- cf. "The Funk Phenomenon" (#5). 79. "How Bizarre," OMC (1997) 80. "Informer," Snow (1992) -- Token Canadian dancehall. 81. "Ice Ice Baby," Vanilla Ice (1990) 82. "Chorus," Erasure (1991) -- Eco-disco. 83. "Wannabe," Spice Girls (1997) 84. "Closing Time," Semisonic (1998) 85. "Even Better Than the Real Thing," U2 (1991) 86. "Canít Let Go," Mariah Carey (1992) -- Airy and delicate. 87. "Glycerine," Bush (1994) -- "Iím never alone/Iím alone all the time" must shoot straight into the heart of every teenager whoís heard it. 88. "Return of the Mack," Mark Morrison (1997) -- In the very least the return of Larry Blackmon. 89. "My Lovin'(Youíre Never Gonna Get It)," En Vogue (1992) -- Mmmbop. 90. "If It Makes You Happy," Sheryl Crow (1996) 91. "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You," Bryan Adams (1991) 92. "Too Close," Next (1998) -- Late Jack Swing. 93. "Cassius 99," Cassius (1999) 94. "Cold Feelings," Social Distortion (1992) 95. "Rendez-Vu," Basement Jaxx (1999) -- Santa Esmeralda is coming to town--or, Ricky Martin, eat your corculum out. The Latin/Rock/Bossa-Fever scorcher of '99 by two guys Iím tempted to call the Rolling Stones of disco (but donít have the space here to explain) (nor the explanation, come to think of it). 96. "Iím in Love With You," BKS (1992) 97. "Your Woman," White Town (1997) 98. "Midnight in a Perfect World," DJ Shadow (1997) -- Moments in love. 99. "Protection," Massive Attack (1996) 100. "Roam," B52ís (1990)

TOP 10 ALBUMS OF THE '90s

1. Pet Shop Boys: VERY (1993) 2. Oasis: (WHATíS THE STORY) MORNING GLORY (1995) 3. My Bloody Valentine: LOVELESS (1991) 4. Daft Punk: HOMEWORK (1997) 5. DJ Shadow: ENDTRODUCING (1996) 6. P.M. Dawn: THE BLISS ALBUM...? (1993) 7. Sleater-Kinney: CALL THE DOCTOR (1996) 8. Hole: LIVE THROUGH THIS (1994) 9. Bjork: POST (1995) 10. Destinyís Child: THE WRITINGíS ON THE WALL (1999)

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