I swear i'll be writing more in 2014

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Top 105 Songs of 1991

It's basically Nirvana vs. Pearl Jam.  There's no need for me to argue either way because both have their advantages and disadvantages.  The only difference is one released Nevermind and the other released Ten.  Hmm.  Tribe continues their rap dominance and rap starts to get blunted with Cypress Hill.  Here's the list: 

105.  Pop That Pussy – 2 Live Crew (Rap)91

I have to include this one by law, right?  For some reason I don’t feel the same obligation to include NWA’s “She Swallowed It” which seems more mean spirited.  After all, I'm sure women get more pleasure from getting their pussy popped than they do gargling … okay, that was probably too far for the Deuce.  That's what 2 Live Crew does though, like porn, they save marriages!   

104.  Pop Goes the Weasel – 3rd Bass (Rap)91

The final question for these guys is, is this song better than “Ice, Ice Baby?”  It’s a close one. 

103.  Light Another – Cypress Hill (Rap)91

Rap about pot.  Novel idea.  I wonder if it will catch on? 

102.  Two Gunslingers – Tom Petty (Rock)91
101.  Release – Pearl Jam (Grunge)91
100.  Nighttrain – Public Enemy (Rap)91
99.  Cream – Prince (Pop)91
98.  Jazz (We’ve Got) – A Tribe Called Quest (Rap)91
97.  Don’t Cry – Guns N Roses (Power Ballad)91
96.  Buggin Out – A Tribe Called Quest (Rap)91

Riding on the train with no dope, sucks. 

95.  Live and Let Die – Guns N Roses (Hard Rock)91
94.  Over the Edge – L.A. Guns (Butt Rock)91
93.  Star Sign – Teenage Fanclub (Distorted Alt)91
92.  Lounge Act – Nirvana (Grunge)91
91.  Headlong – Queen (Hard Rock)91
90.  All in the Groove – Blues Traveler (Jam Rock)91

Sometimes it’s just impossible to resist some of Popper’s wonderful harp solos. 

89.  Girlfriend – Matthew Sweet (Hard Rock)91
88.  Right Next Door to Hell – Guns N Roses (Hard Rock)91
87.  Unfinished Symphony – Massive Attack (Electronic)91
86.  Even Better Than the Real Thing – U2 (Alternative)91
85.  Butter – A Tribe Called Quest (Rap)91
84.  I Touch Myself – The Divinyls (Pop Rock)91

Have we regressed as a society to the point this song would be more controversial today, or am I just really out of touch with mainstream music? 

83.  The Freed Pig – Sebadoh (Distorted Alt)91
82.  Lithium – Nirvana (Grunge)91
81.  Oceans – Pearl Jam (Grunge)91
80.  Sexuality – Billy Bragg (Rock)91

I’m ready for this guy to team up with Jeff Tweedy, but I’ll take this for now. 

79.  Good Morning Captain – Slint (Distorted Alt)91
78.  One – U2 (Slow Rock)91
77.  Set Adrift on Memory Bliss – PM Dawn (Rhythm & Blues)91
76.  Something In the Way – Nirvana (Slow Rock)91
75.  No More Tears – Ozzy Osbourne (Hard Rock)91

I really like this song until it turns into a Heart song in the middle.  I have no idea why this happened and will bet you one Brazilian dollars it wasn’t Ozzy’s idea. 

74.  Versus From the Abstract – A Tribe Called Quest (Rap)91
73.  Show Business – A Tribe Called Quest (Rap)91

Phife says “Like Chuck D, I got so much trouble on my mind” on this song, which is Chuck quoting Sir Joe Quarterman.  Phife didn’t do his research apparently.  I GOT YOU PHIFE!  I GOT YOU! 

72.  Mind Playing Tricks – Geto Boys (Rap)91
71.  Aneurysm – Nirvana (Grunge)91
70.  I Have My Moments – Blues Traveler (Jam Rock)91
69.  Sky Pager – A Tribe Called Quest (Rap)91
68.  Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers (Alternative)91

I can’t think of a band who has aged as poorly as the Chili Peppers have.  The coolest thing they have on their resume is the fact that they were on the Simpsons.  A great thing I read about them on Pitchfork once was a writer reviewing them saying that all their songs were either about making love, or California, or making love in California.  They’re basically next generation of the Eagles when all is said and done despite Flea being a likable fella.  I blame Kiedis. 

67.  The Fly – U2 (Industrial)91

U2 really went for it in 1991 between Listen Baby and that whole Zoo thang.  Sometimes it works.  

66.  Higher than the Sun – Primal Scream (Electronic)91
65.  What – A Tribe Called Quest (Rap)91

It may be gimmicky rap song, but the rhymes are funny and it’s got porn music going on. 

64.  Rhinoceros – Smashing Pumpkins (Distorted Alt)91
63.  Optimistic Thought – Blues Traveler (Jam Rock)91

I’m beginning to think Travelers and Thieves is the best album these guys did. 

62.  Territorial Pissings – Nirvana (Punk)91
61.  Losing My Religion – R.E.M. (Alternative)91
60.  Bury Me – Smashing Pumpkins (Hard Rock)91

Are these guys just a great plain old hard rock band? 

59.  I’m Not Alone – Widespread Panic (Jam Rock)91
58.  Sgt. Baker – Primus (Distorted Alt)91
57.  Into the Great Wide Open – Tom Petty (Rock)91
56.  Wherever I May Roam – Metallica (Hard Rock)91
55.  Bring The Noise w/ Anthrax – Public Enemy (Rap Metal)91
54.  Stoned Is the Way of the Walk – Cypress Hill (Rap)91

Did Dr. Dre realize what these guys were doing and just package and produce it better? 

53.  Estranged – Guns N Roses (Progressive Rock)91

You look at a 9 minute song that’s not real a jammer and wonder, what they hell are they doing?  Oh, remember Progrock?  Guns ‘n fuckin Roses man, doing what shouldn’t be done with huge bravado.

52.  When You Sleep – My Bloody Valentine (Distorted Alt)91
51.  I Am One – Smashing Pumpkins (Distorted Alt)91
50.  Double Talkin Jive – Guns N Roses (Hard Rock)91
49.  Porch – Pearl Jam (Grunge)91
48.  The Unforgiven – Metallica (Hard Rock)91

It’s a good song ’n all, but I have no idea why they needed to give it sequels. 

47.  Always Into Something – NWA (Rap)91

According to this fine number, Dr. Dre is "always" going to be “black for life” and he’s “not going to give a hill of beans”. 

46.  Here They Come – Primus (Distorted Alt)91
45.  Love Tractor – Widespread Panic (Jam Rock)91
44.  Right Here, Right Now – Jesus Jones (Alternative)91

This song still sounds pretty good today, but he does have the Bono Breathing Complex thing going on. 

43.  Safe From Harm – Massive Attack (Electronic)91

I’m not a huge fan of drum and bass, but hearing it in its early form by these guys is probably the closest I’ll come to loving it. 

42.  Give It Away – Red Hot Chili Peppers (Distorted Alt)91

This one is for Frusciante and Flea.  They were just way too good to be completely destroyed by the one they call Big Tall Smelly Pete in some circles.  Side note:  There’s nothing quite as scary as hooking up with a girl, starting a small relationship and her revealing that she once had sex with someone you knew to be disgusting about 10 years earlier in college. 

41.  On a Plain – Nirvana (Grunge)91
40.  Even Flow – Pearl Jam (Grunge)91

Remember that desperate look Eddie had before he jumped into the crowd in the video? 

39.  Pretty Tied Up – Guns N Roses (Hard Rock)91
38.  Shut’em Down – Public Enemy (Rap)91
37.  Come As You Are – Nirvana (Grunge)91
36.  Appetite For Destruction – NWA (Rap)91

What ultimately both ruins and secures this group’s timelessness is their hatred.  Sometimes it’s really hard to listen to them because they’re so filled with it.  It’s a little more understandable on their first album when they’ve faced real racism, but they’re successful by the time their second is released and basically just promote the image white people hating black people, while also promoting the image of being a thug, which is someone who deserves to be hated.  This leads to a very dark road rap takes and is still yet to recover from.    You can almost say Dr. Dre ruined rap. 

35.  Man in a Box – Alice in Chains (Grunge)91
34.  Onslaught – Blues Traveler (Jam Rock)91
33.  Moving On Up – Primal Scream (Alternative)91
32.  Drain You – Nirvana (Grunge)91

I love when Nirvana breaks it down in the middle of a song, which they do a great job of here. 

31.  You Could Be Mine – Guns N Roses (Hard Rock)91

I remember it was such a big deal that Steven Adler was no longer part of the band when this song came out, and now 20 years later, you can’t really even tell the difference. 

30.  Can’t Truss It – Public Enemy (Rap)91
29.  Stay Away – Nirvana (Grunge)91

Sometimes Kurt and the boys are so powerful there’s not much you can do. 

28.  A Roller Skate Jam Named “Saturdays” – De La Soul (Rap)91

Tribe and De La to rap are like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin to rock. 

27.  By The Time I Get To Arizona – Public Enemy (Rap)91

It’s incredible that this song, as silly as some parts are, is not only timeless but a great warning.  I wish I listened to Chuck before I moved there.  I never really liked this song back then, but it rings so true today.   Something tells me, the way that State is headed, it will ring even truer in another 20 years. 

26.  Hand on the Pump – Cypress Hill (Rap)91

They may have the same message as NWA, but they don’t nearly have as much hatred.  It’s probably due to B-Real, but they’re the fun-loving gangsters. 

25.  Learning to Fly – Tom Petty (Rock)91
24.  Enter Sandman – Metallica (Hard Rock)91

Here’s the album that Metallica fans gave them shit for for “selling out.”  It’s true to an extent, but what they’re missing is Metallica writes their first great hard rock album, stepping back from all their bombast heavy metal. 

23.  Real Niggaz Don’t Die – NWA (Rap)91

I’d love to not include this song, but it’s just too good.  Another problem, aside from all the hate, is Dre starts out rapping on most of these songs and he’s a subpar rapper. 

22.  Siva – Smashing Pumpkins (Distorted Alt)91
21.  Jesus Christ Pose – Soundgarden (Heavy Metal)91

Being from Seattle in the late 80s, early 90s doesn’t necessarily make you grunge.  Though Soundgarden may have some grungy moments, this song is not one of them. 

20.  Summertime – Will Smith (Rap)91

Chillin in the car you spend all day waxin

This is as great of a summer song as there can be, minus “Nothin But a G Thang” maybe.  The sampling of “Summer Madness” is wonderful. 

19.  Jeremy – Pearl Jam (Grunge)91

This is a tough one due to how much it was overplayed.  This is PJ’s most popular song right?  Also, for you guitar players out there, if you're ever jamming, this one goes into My Morning Jacket’s “One Big Holiday” very well. 

18.  It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over – Lenny Kravitz (Rhythm & Blues)91

This is one helluva throwback to the old rhythm and blues songs of the early 70s.  Sometimes I feel like I don’t give Lenny Kravitz enough credit.  Sometimes. 

17.  Scenario – A Tribe Called Quest (Rap)91

New York, North Cackalacka and Compton! 
Rawr, Rawr, like a dungeon dragon!

This is the rare Tribe song when Q-Tip is probably the weakest on the song.  No disrespek to Q, but everyone who raps on this one brings it except him. 

16.  November Rain – Guns N Roses (Power Ballad)91

Slash has many fine pieces, but this is probably the best guitar solo writing he’s ever done.  Every note is perfect. 

15.  Locomotive – Guns N Roses (Hard Rock)91

There’s a lot of trash on these Illusion albums, but the gems in between are some of GNR’s best work. 

14.  Breed – Nirvana (Grunge)91
13.  Black – Pearl Jam (Slow Rock)91

Somewhere out there, Mike Childs is belting this one out, and that’s a great thing.  In a manner similar to Jane’s Addiction’s “Jane Says”, acoustic guitar players from all over the country jammed with one another with this one upon meeting for the first time. 

12.  Summer Babe – Pavement (Distorted Alt)91

One day I will understand this band.   This is a pretty good song to begin with.  

11.  Jerry Was a Race Car Driver – Primus (Distorted Alt)91
10.  Check the Rhyme – A Tribe Called Quest (Rap)91
9.  How I Could Just Kill a Man – Cypress Hill (Rap)91

It’s all about B-Real’s voice.  How could one not love it? 

8.  Only Shallow – My Bloody Valentine (Distorted Alt)91

While everyone was freaking out with Nirvana and Pearl Jam, these guys went relatively unnoticed because they weren’t from Seattle. 

7.  Tommy the Cat – Primus (Distorted Alt)91

Les Claypool is a badassmotherfucker. 

6.  In Bloom – Nirvana (Grunge)91

When I first heard Nevermind, this was the first song that I fell that I fell in love with, even more so than Teen Spirit at the time. 

5.  Pigs – Cypress Hill (Rap)91

Hating on the poh-poh was apparently en vogue in the era, but the phrase poh-poh was not and En Vogue hadn’t broken through yet. 

4.  Excursions – A Tribe Called Quest (Rap)91

Amidst all the awesomeness of their Low End Theory LP, this stands out because of that great bass line, which I have no idea where they got it from. 

3.  Alive – Pearl Jam (Grunge)91
2.  Once – Pearl Jam (Grunge)91

This song captures the desperateness of grunge as much as any.  This is Pearl Jam at their finest.  Obviously, it’s much harder for them to have this much desperation now that they’re loaded. 

1.  Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana (Grunge)91

I could try to be different and not have this as #1 for the year, but I’ll save that difference when I don’t put it as #1 for the decade.  

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