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Monday, July 19, 2010

The Top 25 Songs That Killed Glam Rock

25. She Don't Use Jelly – The Flaming Lips

Before the Lips became the Lips, they were once known as one hit wonders from the early 1990s for this song. They'll be one of a few bands on this list that will also be featured in my "Top 25 Songs That Killed Grunge" list.

24. Heart-Shaped Box – Nirvana

I'm sure most would agree that the one-two punch of Pearl Jam and Nirvana are most responsible for Motley Crue getting haircuts.

23. Freedom – Rage Against The Machine

That singer was really pissed off.

22. Unsung – Helmet

I guess these guys turned out to be one hit wonders in the end. They were one of a few bands that I felt kind of ripped off Nirvana. Oh hell, after Nevermind, almost everyone ripped off Nirvana. My high school even fired all of its hot cheerleaders and signed up some ugly ones.

21. Gratitude – Beastie Boys

I had to include them in this list, because Check Your Head was somehow part of the grunge movement, even though it was done by rappers from New York City. It was one of those "fringe" songs.

20. In Bloom – Nirvana

Okay, my short list of bands who seemed like they ripped off Nirvana in the early 90s … Weezer (Buddy Holly video vs. this video); Radiohead (Creep's powerful chorus vs. Teen Spirit's); Beck (his I just got out of bed look vs. Cobain's) and Helmet (who just strutted the same strut as Nirvana).

19. Hunger Strike – Temple of the Dog

THE GRUNGE SUPER GROUP! Eddie Vedder! Members of Soundgarden! Kurt Cobain! Heath Ledger! Layne Staley! Adam Yauch!

18. Wish – Nine Inch Nails


Remember "Industrial" music? It never reached the same height as grunge, but it did help it in making sure nobody bought Poison's Native Tongue album.

17. Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden

They were one of the biggest grunge bands out there, and were grunge to the extreme so it'd be wrong not to include them. Even though this was one of their pussier songs, (pussier is not a word evidently), this is chosen because I can't think of one GRUNGE song that's video was played on MTV more. I swear this was on more than Teen Spirit.

16. Remedy – The Black Crowes

You could still rock, help kill glam rock and not be totally depressed and hopeless, though, like grunge, you apparently had to do a lot of heroin.

15. Midlife Crisis – Faith No More

I'll never forget the day I bought this at Record Express in West Hartford Center. The guy behind the counter said I was buying a classic, and I thought that guy was so cool because he got to work at Record Express. Time has certainly been cruel to Faith No More and the position of "Record Express Cashier".

14. Give It Away – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Although it pains me to include Anthony Kiedis on this list, Blood Sugar Sex Magic was cooler than watching "Northern Exposure" in the early 1990s, and that's obviously tough to top. It's incredible that these guys still sell records. People must love songs about California.

13. Teenage Riot – Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth just doesn't get enough credit. It's probably because so many of their songs are unlistenable. Granted, I missed out on good music in the late 80s because of glam rock, some of the grunge era because I was listening to classic rock, and the latter half of the 1990s because I was listening to Phish, but I still didn't even hear this song for my first time until a few years ago. What's the significance, what does this all mean you say? I DON'T KNOW!

12. Once – Pearl Jam

To me, this is the anthem of what's it's like to be someone who wears ripped jeans and flannels and is constantly depressed.

11. Cannonball – The Breeders

When you have a former member of the Pixies in your band and a huge hit, you know you're part of the reason why glam rockers have to turn to VH1 for jobs so they can comment on the best Hair Metal Songs with witty quotes that VH1 writes out for them because 60% are too burnt out to have original thoughts.

10. No Rain – Blind Melon

Though it's difficult to call Blind Melon grunge (though basically everything that wasn't glam was grunge in the early 90s as far as I'm concerned), it's not difficult to see how big this song was in the 1990s. They say marijuana is a bridge drug, to harder things like LSD. Well "No Rain" was a bridge hippie song, to hippier music like Phish and the Dave Matthews band (who will also be featured in my "Rock that Killed Grunge" list).

9. Today – The Smashing Pumpkins

Now, a huge grunge fan would tell me, "No way man, you gotta take something from Pisces Incariot" (or whatever) because that's when the Pumpkins were "the Pumpkins" and an even bigger grunge fan would say "The Smashing Pumpkins weren't grunge man!" It doesn't really matter to me, because when I think of the Pumpkins, I'll always remember the time I met the lead singer and he said, "Hi! I'm Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins!" and I said, "I'm Homer Simpson, Smiling Politely!"

8. Creep – Radiohead

If Radiohead didn't turn out to be such a great band that survived grunge by two decades and counting, I'd say this had too much Teen Spirit in it. How do I know this is a grunge song?

Is it depressing? Check
Is it someone concerned about their identity within mainstream culture? Check
Is it full of pretentiousness? Check.

7. Killing In the Name Of – Rage Against the Machine

What's strange is I stopped listening to these guys for nearly 10 years. Basically from the time their second album was released and realized every song sounded exactly the same, until I got my first IPOD in 2004. They were really fun to listen to again for a brief period in 2004, but they sure do get real old real fast.

6. Loser – Beck

Basically what I said about Thom York also applies to Beck.

5. Where Is My Mind – The Pixies

When you heard that crushing guitar riff in the beginning, you realize guitar driven rock can still kick ass, and doesn't have to be some cheesy shit put together by Capitol or Arista records.

4. Would? – Alice In Chains

I found this interview with Layne Staley, explaining how he came up with the name of this song:

"Well, you know, me and the band man, we were going though all of the question words, and putting a question mark after them like Who? What? When? Where? Why? and then we came upon Would? and it didn't really make sense when you put a question mark after it, so we were all like woah man, that's sooooooo grunge! We gotta go for it!"

3. Been Caught Stealing – Jane's Addiction

Aside from Sonic Youth and the Pixies, Jane's Addiction is probably the most overlooked band when it comes to the bands that really made sure Firehouse, Trixter and Nelson came around and went away real fast.

2. Alive – Pearl Jam

It was either this for #1 or …

1. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

This is pretty much a no-brainer. It's pitiful when you have to put this Nirvana song atop any list because it's #1 on so many different lists already, but we all know this is the main reason that C.C. DeVille left Poison which is the day glam rock officially died.

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