Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Stuff VH1 Missed

I've already told you what I think about VH1's "Greatest Songs of the 90's[sic]"

Now it's time to talk about what they left off.

Since VH1 seemed to have quotas to fill based on various genres and categories, I'm going to do the same. I thought it was interesting no one had two songs on the countdown, except Dr. Dre, and one of his was with Tupac and the other with Snoop Dogg, so that's a little different.

I know it's unrealistic to include all these, but pick at least one from each category.

Career artists who weren't one hit wonders, but not alternative enough either:
This is where the VH1 list really falters. It leans heavily towards the Right Said Freds of the world. But look at whose expense.
Janet Jackson. Hello?! I can think of like 8 or 9 hits she had in the '90s right off the top of my head. This is a glaring oversight. Marcy Playground makes the VH1 list, but not Janet?
Bryan Adams - "Everything I Do (I Do it for You)" This song must not be hip enough.
Amy Grant - "Baby Baby" is the obvious choice here.
Tom Petty - I think "Free Fallin'" was '89, but he had a string of hits into the '90s.
George Michael "Freedom" still sounds great.

Non-American alt rock bands with names that don't have radio or head in them:
Depeche Mode "Enjoy the Silence"
The Cure "Friday I'm in Love" was '90s, right?

Christian Music:
So we left off Amy Grant, but there were other Christian artists who broke into the mainstream.
Sixpence None the Richer - "Kiss Me" was more popular than anything by the Geto Boys that made the list.
Jars of Clay "Flood"

Straight up pop music, that's neither hip nor ironic:
Paula Abdul
New Kids on the Block
Ace of Base
Boyz II Men "Motownphilly", "End of the Road", etc.

Pop punk:
Offspring "Come Out and Play", "Pretty Fly for a White Guy"
Blink 182 "What's My Age Again?"
Any single from Green Day's Dookie

Remnants of the '80s hair metal days, even though that music lasted into the '90s:
Extreme "More than Words"
Poison and Motley Crue had some '90s hits
Guns N Roses "November Rain"

Third Wave Ska Influence:
No Doubt "Just a Girl", "Don't Speak"
Mighty Mighty Bosstones "The Impression that I Get"

Fatboy Slim "Going Out of My Head", "Praise You", etc
Moby "South Side"
Garbage "Special"

Alternative Artists Who Aren't Soundgarden:
Blur "Song 2"
Nine Inch Nails "Closer". This omission really surprises me. I totally saw VH1 carving out a spot for this song, as the quintessential '90s industrial-pop song.
Smashing Pumpkins "Bullet With Butterfly Wings", "1979", "Disarm", "Tonight, Tonight". Again, this really surprises me.
Bjork "Human Behavior"

Jangly College Rock that's not R.E.M.
Soul Asylum "Runaway Train"
Gin Blossoms "Hey Jealousy"

Friday, December 21, 2007

Somebody's Top Songs of the '90s

Tonight we finished watching VH1's "Greatest Songs of the 90's[sic]". Hey, Viacom graphics people, the apostrophe goes before the decade. It stands in for the omitted characters, like do not is don't. So it's '90s, not 90's.

Grammatical blunders aside, on to the rest of the list. I'll post some stuff left off the list later.
Again, selections on my iPod in bold.

100 Greatest Songs Of The '90s Full List
01. Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Guh. Didn't see that coming. ;) I get why it's here, but I'm 31, not 15, so the teen angst just do it for me anymore. Yeah, I know, it blew out the '80s pop and hair metal, yada yada yada. The song still has this visceral appeal, and I get it. Just too predictable on this list.
02. U2 "One" - No argument here. This would be on top of my list. It beautifully captures this kind of gripping ambiguity. But whatever it is, it's got just one of those songs that makes my hair stand on end.
03. Backstreet Boys "I Want It That Way" - I must admit, it's a perfectly crafted pop song.
04. Whitney Houston "I Will Always Love You"
05. Madonna "Vogue" - I'm a little surprised she's not on the list again, but I'm not sure anyone showed up more than once, did they?
06. Sir Mix-A-Lot "Baby Got Back"
07. Britney Spears "...Baby One More Time"
08. TLC "Waterfalls"
09. R.E.M. "Losing My Religion" - When it got to the top ten and I hadn't seen R.E.M. I nearly freaked it wasn't going to be on the list.
10. Sinéad O'Connor "Nothing Compares 2 U"
11. Pearl Jam "Jeremy" - I know there's plenty of grunge on this list, but where's the Smashing Pumpkins? Disarm, 1979, Bullet With Butterfly Wings, something?
12. Alanis Morissette "You Oughta Know"
13. Dr. Dre (featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg) "Nuthin' but a "G" Thang"
14. Mariah Carey "Vision of Love" - I was struck by how young (and modest) Mariah looks in this video. I'll give her one thing, she can sing.
15. Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge"
16. MC Hammer "U Can't Touch This" - I still remember seeing, and getting close to Hammer at Cornerstone '98, where I was bummed he did none of his hits, not even Pray. Plus I remember The Echoing Green's poster that said, "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt Us." Heehee
17. Destiny's Child "Say My Name"
18. Metallica "Enter Sandman" - Oh my goodness, I just remember how big this song was among the guys I knew in high school.
19. Beastie Boys "Sabotage" - Classic video, plus they showed they weren't just party rappers, they could rock too.
20. Hanson "MMMBop"
21. Celine Dion "My Heart Will Go On"
22. Beck "Loser" - I remember cranking the radio when this came on. And I remember thinking we'd never hear from this guy again. I love songs that feel on the verge, like the whole time you're just a step from losing it.
23. Salt-N-Pepa with En Vogue "Whatta Man"
24. House of Pain "Jump Around"- They got more rhymes than the bible's got psalms.
25. Soundgarden "Black Hole Sun" - I have a cover of Copeland doing this. Weird.
26. Eminem "My Name Is"- Never got into Eminem, but I see the appeal.
27. Counting Crows "Mr. Jones"
28. Ricky Martin "Livin' la Vida Loca"
29. Vanilla Ice "Ice Ice Baby"
30. *NSYNC "Tearin' Up My Heart"
31. Radiohead "Creep" - Anberlin covered this. Personally, I would have put "Karma Police" on the list over "Creep", but whatever.
32. BLACKstreet "No Diggity" - I had totally forgotten about this song, but I dig the beat.
33. Spice Girls "Wannabe"
34. Third Eye Blind "Semi-Charmed Life" - I never got into these guys, or Matchbox 20.
35. Oasis "Wonderwall" - Not as good as say U2's "One", but I do like the song. Green Day apparently does too. "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is essentially the same song.
36. C+C Music Factory "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)"
37. Green Day "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" I like how people think it's this sweet sentimental song, when the title is "Good Riddance." Come on people, think about it. He's telling someone to get lost.
38. Christina Aguilera "Genie In A Bottle"
39. Goo Goo Dolls "Iris"
40. Color Me Badd "I Wanna Sex You Up"
41. Spin Doctors "Two Princes"
42. Collective Soul "Shine" - Glad to see the guys make this list.
43. En Vogue "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)"
44. The Fugees "Killing Me Softly With His Song"
45. Hootie & the Blowfish "Only Wanna Be With You" - I would have picked "Hold My Hand" but you have to include Hootie on this list.
46. Shania Twain "You're Still the One"
47. Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch "Good Vibrations" - Come on, who out there figured this guy would not only still be around, but would be an A list actor. I mean, he was the brother of a New Kid.
48. Matchbox Twenty "3 AM"
49. Jewel "Who Will Save Your Soul"
50. Alice in Chains "Man in the Box"
51. Tupac (featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman) "California Love"
52. Sugar Ray "Fly"
53. Naughty by Nature "O.P.P." - They don't do rap anthems like they used to, what with stuff like this and "Jump Around."
54. Joan Osborne "One of Us"
55. Fiona Apple "Criminal"
56. L.L. Cool J "Mama Said Knock You Out"
57. Jay-Z featuring Amil and Ja Rule "Can I Get A..."
58. Sophie B. Hawkins "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover"
59. Weezer "Buddy Holly"
60. Bell Biv DeVoe "Poison"
61. Sheryl Crow "All I Wanna Do"
62. Live "I Alone" - I forgot how compelling Live was.
63. The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Mase & Puff Daddy "Mo Money Mo Problems"
64. The Presidents of the United States of America "Peaches"
65. Digital Underground "The Humpty Dance" - I can't believe I have this song. It was on some compliation.
66. Edwin McCain "I'll Be" - Edwin apparently has some time on his hands. I think he commented on like half the songs on the countdown.
67. Deee-Lite "Groove Is In The Heart"
68. Will Smith "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"
69. Korn "Freak on a Leash" - Can. Not. Stand. Korn.
70. Jamiroquai "Virtual Insanity"
71. Arrested Development "Tennessee" - I really liked this album. The whole positive rap vibe works for me.
72. Barenaked Ladies "One Week" - OK, why is this not on my iPod? That's got to be some mistake. I'm glad there was a pop song name checking Smoking Man from the X-Files, one of my favorite '90s shows.
73. Marcy Playground "Sex and Candy"
74. Cher "Believe" - You've got to be kidding me.
75. Kris Kross "Jump"
76. Blues Traveler "Run-Around" - The royalty checks must still be coming in on this. I still hear this on the radio.
77. Ice Cube "It Was a Good Day"
78. Lenny Kravitz "Are You Gonna Go My Way" - Probably my favorite song of his. He hasn't done anything I've been interested in yet this decade.
79. Meredith Brooks "Bitch"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Darn You, VH1, Darn You to Heck

VH1, don't you know I'm closing on my first house, getting ready for Christmas, and getting married in four months? I don't have time for you. Yet, you sucker me in with another one of your insipid countdowns, this time from a decade I lived.

Some thoughts on songs 100-81... songs on my iPod in bold:

81. Paula Cole "I Don't Want to Wait"
82. Geto Boys "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" - I barely recognized this. Have no idea why it's on here. There's much better '90s hip hop than this. What about Coolio (Fantastic Voyage, Gangsta's Paradise), or something poppy like PM Dawn, or even Biz Markie's "Just a Friend".
83. The Breeders "Cannonball" - Reminds me of Viva Voce's Wrecking Ball, another low-fi catchy girl rock song with ball in the title.
84. Snow "Informer" - You've got to be kidding me. This made the list why?
85. Cypress Hill "Insane In The Brain"
86. The Cranberries "Linger" - Why don't I have this on my iPod? I kinda dig the Craberries.
87. Billy Ray Cyrus "Achy Breaky Heart"
88. Duncan Sheik "Barely Breathing" - Saw him open for Jars of Clay at the Fargo Dome. Can you say that?
89. Liz Phair "Never Said" - Never got Liz Phair, to be honest.
90. New Radicals "You Get What You Give" - Dang this song is catchy. From the moment it came out, it just sounded like a classic. Reminds me of Fine Young Cannibals "Good Thing", a band who in similar fashion disappeared as quickly as it came.
91. Sarah McLachlan "Building a Mystery"
92. Public Enemy "911 Is A Joke" - If this is on the list, surely "Fight the Power" will be on the list, unless it came out in the '80s.
93. Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories "Stay" - Great song, cool chick with glasses, what's not to like?
94. Fastball "The Way"
95. Montell Jordan "This is How We Do It" - Another one of those stupidly catchy songs. If I could write something half as catchy, I'd be happy.
96. Nelson "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection" - Didn't three generations of Nelsons hit the charts? Ozzie, Ricky, Nelson?
97. Prince & The New Power Generation "Gett Off" - I'd have picked "Thieves in the Temple" or "7" or something else from the '90s, but Prince needs to be on this list.
98. EMF"Unbelievable" - Another one of those riffs that will never die.
99. Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)"
100. Gerardo "Rico Suave"

20 songs so far, only four on my iPod. Let's see where this takes us...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Hey Vikings fans, your team is back, and so are your Zubaz pants! (not that I would ever wear them).

Relive the days when we thought Herschel Walker would be the Vikings savior, when an endless string of QBs (Wade Wilson, Rich Gannon, Sean Salisbury, et al) got AC and CC* their touchdowns.

Why there's a clamor to return these puffy pants, I don't know. They were favorites of fans of pro-wrestling and upper midwest football teams, who could munch away knowing the elastic in the Zubaz would grow with their bellies.

* before Randy Moss, the Vikings had Anthony Carter and Cris Carter as two pro-bowl receivers.