I swear i'll be writing more in 2014

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Top 100 Songs of 1992

1992 was the first year I started buying CDs.  The first couple I bought were Check Your Head and Southern Harmony and the Musical Companion and they're both still good today.  The others I bought from that time, well, not as good.  I did win Metallica's Black Album in a raffle, and traded it for Dr. Dre's The Chronic which surprisingly isn't my best album trade ever because I once traded Exodus' Fabulous Disaster to Peter Roche for Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back.  That one will never be topped. 

Something that needs to be said about the success of the early 90s is the musicians got back to the roots of rock.  You hear 60’s experimental sounds again.   It’s not about writing hits for everyone.  It’s about writing types of songs people haven’t heard before.  Everyone wants to be different.  Somehow this idea was lost in the 70s and really hasn’t returned until now. 

100.  Everybody Hurts (REM)92
99.  Cavern – Phish (Jam Rock)92
98.  Everything About You – Ugly Kid Joe (Butt Rock)92

I keep thinking butt rock will die, but there’s one more song.  In 1991 it was the LA Guns, and now the immortal “I hate everything about you” song. 

97.  Murder She Wrote – Chaka Demus (Dance Hall)92

It’s been awhile since I’ve listened to a reggaeish song. 

96.  Primal Scream – Rusted Root (Jam Rock)92
95.  Pass the Mic – Beastie Boys (Rap)92

It must have been very hard for them to go from sampling everything on Paul's Boutique to sampling very very little on Check Your Head.   

94.  Harvest Moon – Neil Young (Alt-Country)92
93.  Sheela-Na-Gig – PJ Harvey (Distorted)92
92.  They Reminisce Over You – Pete Rock and CL Smooth (Rap)92
91.  Back to the Earth – Rusted Root (Jam Rock)92

These guys perfected hippie rock, as they’re the one drum circle that “made the big time.”

90.  Be Aggressive – Faith No More (Distorted)92
89.  Don’t Get Too Close To My Fantasy – Ween (Psychedelic Rock)92

I love these guys but Godweedsatan and most of Pure Guava are worthless. 

88.  The Drowners – Suede (Hard Rock)92
87.  The Landlady – Phish (Instrumental)92

Seeing I can’t include “Punch You in the Eye” because it was never released by the band and I have no idea when “it first came out,” I must include the great change in the middle of it, otherwise known as “The Landlady.” 

86.  Still Is Still Moving To Me – Willie Nelson (Pop Rock)92

It seems really out of place for 1992, but it’s Willie Nelson, the guy shouldn’t even be arrested when he’s caught with pot.  He and Snoop Dog should have free pot passes, it's only fair. 

85.  My Lovin (Nevergonnagetit) – En Vogue (Pop)92

Here’s another song I thought it’d be great for a good rock band to cover. 

84.  The Maestro – Beastie Boys (Rap)92

A downside of Check Your Head’s experimentalism is that very few songs have all 3 boys rapping together and exchanging rhymes, which is was the Beastie Boys do best. 

83.  Frogs – The Flaming Lips (Distorted)92
82.  Push Th’ Little Daises – Ween (Psychedelic Rock)92
81.  Sleepyhouse – Blind Melon (Psychedelic Rock)92

Two things that bring back psychedelia well are a sitar sounds, and backwards music.  You hear them both here. 

80.  Bombtrack – Rage Against The Machine (Rap Metal)92
79.  Martyr – Rusted Root (Jam Rock)92
78.  Motorcyle Emptiness – Manic Street Preachers (Hard Rock)92
77.  Everything’s Ruined – Faith No More (Distorted)92
76.  Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover – Sophie B. Hawkins (Pop)92
75.  Return of the B-Boy – The Pharcyde (Rap)92
74.  My Drug Buddy – The Lemonheads (Slow Rock)92
73.  What’s Up – 4 Non Blondes (Rock)92
72.  Gangsta’s Fairytale – Ice Cube (Rap)92
71.  Tweezer – Phish (Jam Rock)92

This is one of those songs that I hear that makes me understand why Phish may be off pudding to some.  It’s not their most mature studio recording, but at the heart of it is a phenomenal song. 

70.  Slide – Luna (Slow Rock)92
69.  It’s A Shame About Ray – The Lemonheads (Alternative)92
68.  Rump Shaker – Wreckx-N-Effect (Rap)92

Aside from this being the worst spelling of Rex I’ve ever seen in my life, he was never part of Jim Rome’s “Rex” streak.  I wonder if it was because of the spelling. 

67.  Drifting – 4 Non Blondes – 4 Non Blondes (Folk)92

This confessional could be the best song they have, even though “What’s Up?” was so much fun. 

66.  Soak the Sin – Blind Melon (Distorted)92
65.  4 Better or 4 Worse – The Pharcyde (Rap)92
64.  Nearly Lost You – Screaming Trees (Grunge)92
63.  The Choice Is Yours – Black Sheep (Rap)92
62.  Let Me Ride – Dr. Dre (Rap)92
61.  Change – Blind Melon (Folk Rock)92

This kinda sounds like “Hey Hey What Can I Do” by Led Zeppelin, which I surprisingly don’t have on my ipod.  Shoulda bought that box set way back when for those 2 extra Zep songs! 

60.  Drive – REM (Folk Rock)92
59.  I Don’t Wanna Grow Up – Tom Waits (Rock)92
58.  Magilla – Phish (Jazz)92

Sometimes I wonder if Phish would’ve been better off as a straight-up jazz band. 

57.  Dear Ol’ Dad – Blind Melon (Distorted)92
56.  What Was It You Wanted – Willie Nelson (Slow Rock)92

I didn’t know Willie Nelson was doing interesting things in 1992.  So far, this is the most he’s broken away from being pure country, and what I’ve heard works real well. 

55.  Tennessee – Arrested Development (Rap)92

Take Tribe, mix in a little De La and add a few lbs of Tracy Chapman and walla!  

54.  Sexy MF – Prince (Funk)92

Now that he’s Prince again, was he ever a symbol? 

53.  Jimmy James – Beastie Boys (Rap)92
52.  Know Your Enemy – Rage Against the Machine (Rap Metal)92

My girlfriend always makes a “Rage Against the Snack Machine” joke when these guys come up.  I just googled that phrase thinking it may be some internet, blog, or  youtube sensation (all of which are American dreams), but I can’t find anything.  Hmm …

51.  The Future – Leonard Cohen (Rock)92
50.  Baby Got Back – Six Mix-A-Lot (Rap)92

Do you think Mr. Mix-A-Lot did more for women's asses than Bruce Willis did for the bald head look for guys? 

49.  Officer – The Pharcyde (Rap)92

De La Soul and Tribe really opened many doors for creative rappers.  Dr. Dre opened the door for the other kind. 

48.  Shitlist – L7 (Grunge)92
47.  Bullet in the Head – Rage Against the Machine (Rap Metal)92
46.  No Speak No Slave – Black Crowes (Hard Rock)92
45.  Who Got the Camera? – Ice Cube (Rap)92
44.  100% - Sonic Youth (Distorted)92
43.  Tones of Home – Blind Melon (Distorted)92

Blind Melon was the perfect cog between the grunge music, the hippie jam bands and interesting rock that was going on in the early 90s. 

42.  Guelah Papyrus – Phish (Reggae)92

I’m not sure if something is really reggae if it has a complex composition in the middle. 

41.  Sting Me – Black Crowes (Hard Rock)92
40.  Wish – Nine Inch Nails (Industrial)92
39.  Scattered – Rusted Root (Jam Rock)92
38.  Man on the Moon – REM (Alternative)92

I still have no idea why my high school class sang this song at our hockey games. 

37.  Yo Mama – The Pharcyde (Rap)92

Somewhere Mike Keena is laughing about how much I love the Pharcyde. 

36.  Jesus Built My Hotrod – Ministry (Heavy Metal)92

I probably can’t listen to too much of these guys, but every now and then they can be a lot of fun. 

35.  Talkin’ Bout the Smiling Death Porn Immortality Blues – Flaming Lips (Distorted)92

The title obviously says it all.

34.  Fuck Wit Dre Day – Dr. Dre (Rap)92

Oooh, it’s the doctor, and heeeeeee’s maaaaaaaaad.  Could you imagine how much The Chronic would have sucked without Snoop Dog?  Aside from losing Snoop’s great rapping voice, he’s the character adding ganja cred to the gigantic pot leaf on the disc.  Dre may as well just have put a dollar sign on that thing.    

33.  Hermeto’s Daydream – Medeski, Martin & Wood (Jazz)92

These guys are tough to label.  They don’t fit in with anything labeled jazz on my ipod and are a little too classy (at least on their debut album) to be considered jam rock.  I’ll go with jazz for now, but it won’t last. 

32.  Oh Shit – The Pharcyde (Rap)92
31.  Jump Around – House of Pain (Rap)92
30.  Them Bones – Alice In Chains (Grunge)92

Aside from being great at grammatically incorrect song titles, they’re the only grunge band that comes close to matching Nirvana’s depth of guitar sounds. 

29.  Llama – Phish (Jam Rock)92

Ahh, the first Phish song I ever heard … HERE’S MY FIRST SHOW:

Encore: Nellie Kane > Cavern
[1] Fishman on vacuum.
[2] Manteca teases; no whistling.
[3] Frankenstein teases.
Notes: The first set included the complete Gamehendge saga, including narration between songs from N02 through Divided Sky. NO2 featured Fishman on vacuum. Reba contained Manteca teases and did not have the whistling ending. This version of Stash appears on A Live One. Mike teased Frankenstein during the bass and drums segment of YEM.

28.  Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton (Slow Rock)92
27.  A Small Victory – Faith No More (Distorted)92
26.  Halloween On the Barbary Coast – The Flaming Lips (Psychedelic Rock)92

These guys have been great for a very long time (poor performances at The Hangout festival aside). 

25.  Uncle Chubb – Medeski, Martin & Wood (Jazz)92
24.  Pretend We’re Dead – L7 (Grunge)92
23.  Stand Together – Beastie Boys (Rap)92
22.  Freedom – Rage Against the Machine (Rap Metal)92
21.  Check Yo Self – Ice Cube (Rap)92

I appreciate that Ice Cube is giving good health advice on this one. 

20.  Deep Cover – Dr. Dre (Rap)92
19.  Waiting For the Miracle – Leonard Cohen (Folk Rock)92

I've decided that the only reason I like the movie Natural Born Killers so much is because of this song playing during the intro. 

18.  Land of Sunshine – Faith No More (Distorted)92
17.  Poor Heart – Phish (Bluegrass)92

The bass to guitar to piano solo in the middle of this is amazing. 

16.  Creep – Radiohead (Distorted)92

In 1992, they seemed like Nirvana rip-offs which astounds me now (I also thought Beck “looked” like a Kurt Cobain ripoff).  Time has obviously proven otherwise, as I doubt Nirvana had the creativity Radiohead and Beck did to make consistently great music for about two decades now, but Kurt Cobain, in a manner similar to Elvis and the Beatles, spawned lots of impersonators. 

15.  Soul Flower – The Pharcyde (Rap)92

If Magic can admit he has aids, fuck it, I got herpes. 

14.  Stash – Phish (Jam Rock)92

Trey’s best guitar riff ranks here. 

13.  Something’s Got To Give – The Beastie Boys (Psychedelic Rock)92
12.  Remedy – Black Crowes (Hard Rock)92
11.  Pack the Pipe – The Pharcyde (Rap)92

Not that I would ever turn on a specific song if a blunt was being passed around (I imagine the person who brought the blunt would get musical choice anyway), but this would be my selection.  Any time you get a 4 year old high in a song, you get a +1 in my book (for Charisma of course … it’s a Dungeons and Dragons book obviously). 

10.  No Rain – Blind Melon (Pop Rock)92

To write a song so happy in this era would’ve been suicide for most bands of this ilk, but it worked here because they’re celebrating rain which is so dark and mysterious … and so Seattle. 

9.  Killing in the Name Of – Rage Against the Machine (Rap Metal)92

I’m pretty sure Zack De La Rocha isn’t going to do what someone tells him.  He’s not too high on my Zack power rankings though. 

8.  Chalkdust Torture – Phish (Hard Rock)92
7.  Midlife Crisis – Faith No More (Distorted)92

If these guys were on all the time, they’d have been one of the best bands ever, but that’s the downside with making creative music.  All the experimentation leads to a lot of crap. 

6.  Would? – Alice in Chains (Grunge)92

Like “Once” by Pearl Jam, this song has a fantastic desperation. 

5.  Thorn In My Pride – Black Crowes (Slow Rock)92

It’s very hard to match the Stones when it comes to a bluesy rock song, but the Crowes do it here.  It’s always interesting when really skinny white boys have tons of soul.  I can’t believe the Black Crowes wrote a song this incredible. 

4.  So What’cha Want – Beastie Boys (Rap)92

1992 has many more classic songs than I thought it did.  Going into this year, this was a stone cold lock to be #1, and I’m having a tough enough time putting it here. 

3.  It Was a Good Day – Ice Cube (Rap)92

I can’t imagine running into anyone my age and them saying they hate this song.  This one is for everyone.  We’ve all seen our name on that blimp, played dominos, got triple-doubles, and not had to use our AKs.  It’s easy to relate to.  Seriously, some of the best rap lyrics I’ve ever heard. 

2.  Passing Me By – The Pharcyde (Rap)92

As much as this song reminds me having a crush on my lesbian best friend of the time and obviously not getting her, those are wonderful memories now.  We used to get into her Nissan S13 (that’s the best Gear-Head Zach can do), get blunted, listen to the Pharcyde, the Beatles, and the Beastie Boys.  Great times. 

Perhaps the most memorable story from this era is when she took a turn onto a one way street the wrong way and had to hop the curb to avoid oncoming traffic.  Naturally, the first car coming was a cop and he yelled, “You’re going the wrong way!”  Fortunately nothing bad happened, though Lisa took the cop’s statement as a metaphor for her entire life because we were so high.    

1.  Nothin’ But a G Thang – Dr. Dre (Rap)92

Even though this is the song that would lead to the demise of rap due to lame imitations that STILL happen, it’s a game changer.  I’ve heard it a million times, and I will hear it a million more.  What this song did for rap is similar to what Cobain was doing for rock.  

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