I swear i'll be writing more in 2014

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Top 75 Songs of 1997

1997 is going to be Modest Mouse vs. Radiohead in a manner similar to Nirvana vs. Pearl Jam in early 90s, except the early 90s were a much better time for music than the mid to late 90s.  In fact, now that I've completed this list, I almost feel like an apology is necessary for all the Modest Mouse … wait a minute.  What would Isaac do?  He doesn't strike me as the type of guy who would apologize or explain himself.  The fact of the matter is, between the years 1996 and 1997, when they first started, they released around 50 songs, most of which are good and many are indeed great.  These were Isaac's prime song writing years.  Radiohead on the other hand released what many believe to be their best album.  Does Radiohead rock like Modest Mouse?  Well …

75.  Tubthumping – Chumbawumba (Pop Rock)97

It’s a fun song.  I have no choice ranking it even though it probably set back being Irish more than Gangs of New York. 

74.  Stockholm Syndrome – Yo La Teng (Indie)97
73.  Cupid’s Trick – Elliott Smith (Indie)97
72.  Waving My Dick in the Wind – Ween (Bluegrass)97
71.  No Surprises – Radiohead (Britchester)97
70.  Rose Parade – Elliott Smith (Indie)97
69.  Heart Cooks Brain – Modest Mouse (Indie)97
68.  Ain’t Than Enough – Teenage Fanclub (Indie)97
67.  Super Bon Bon – Soul Coughing (Distorted)97

This sounds like more Anthony Kiedis inspired music.  I’m sure there’s more to the Soul Coughing story than this though. 

66.  Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Green Day (Pop Rock)97
65.  Blood Red Bird – Smog (Indie)97
64.  Into My Arms – Nick Cave (Piano Ballad)97

Love many of his songs, still don’t understand him completely. 

63.  Sunshine – Jay-Z (Rap)97
62.  Styrofoam Boots – Modest Mouse (Indie)97

Now I get on bands for separating tracks every now and then, and here’s an example of the opposite.  As soon as the drums come in I suppose this turns into “It’s All Nice On Ice” which is terrible, whereas the lyrics to “Styrofoam Boots” are wonderful. 

61.  Help the Aged – Pulp (Britchester)97
60.  Out of Site – Built to Spill (Indie)97
59.  I Know What Girls Like – Jay-Z (Rap)97

Jay-Z finds a perfect balance between not being obnoxious gangsta rap and still having the edge of the time. 

58.  Tall Boy – Widespread Panic (Jam Rock)97
57.  I Would Hurt a Fly – Built to Spill (Indie)97
56.  One PM Again – Yo La Tengo (Alt-Country)97
55.  The Mollusk – Ween (Psychedelic Rock)97
54.  Jesus Christ Was an Only Child – Modest Mouse (Indie)97
53.  Little Honda – Yo La Tengo (Indie)97
52.  Risingson – Massive Attack (Trance)97

I don’t know how much I like these guys, but I always love their sound effect button on the keyboard.

51.  I Was A Stranger – Smog (Alt-Country)97
50.  Action Satisfaction – Jurassic Five (Rap)97

If these guys came out a couple years earlier, the golden age of hip hop may have been saved.  Instead, we’re given what my friend Bez once referred to me as “Backpack Rap”, which I imagine means rap that doesn’t beat women and shoot other rappers. 

49.  A Life of Artic Sounds – Modest Mouse (Indie)97

1100 Miles is too far inside a car. Actually, Isaac should’ve stopped well before then, but that’s what makes his desperation so beautiful. 

48.  Angeles – Elliott Smith (Folk)97

The film based on the book Into the Wild would’ve been much better if they went with an Elliott Smith soundtrack rather than Eddie Vedder. 

47.  I’ll Be Your Johnny on the Spot – Ween (Distorted)97
46.  Amputations – Death Cab For Cutie (Indie)97

I love the way these guys, B2S and the Mouse use artificial harmonics. 

45.  Speed Trials – Elliott Smith (Indie)97
44.  In the Flesh – Jurassic Five (Rap)97
43.  Ocean Man – Ween (Indie)97
42.  Radio Child – Widespread Panic (Jam Rock)97

Widespread is so unaware of the times, yet produce one hell of a funky hippie song.  What I like about Widespread so much is that they’ve never cared about what’s happening in the current music environment, they just do their thing like good southerners.   

41.  Randy Described Eternity – Built to Spill (Indie)97
40.  Staring at the Sun – U2 (Alternative)97

Did U2 go dark in the late 90s?  Not that I have many music related recollections from this era, but I don’t remember U2 being popular at all, whereas I know they were again once the new millennium hit. 

39.  The Drugs Don’t Work – The Verve (Slow Rock)97
38.  Spin Spin Sugar – Sneaker Pimps (Electronic)97

I’m pretty sure this isn’t the version I grew up with, but I read a little, and of course there was a remix.  It's amazing how many times I know the remix of non-rock songs rather than the original. 

37.  Convenient Parking – Modest Mouse (Indie)97
36.  Lucky – Radiohead (Britchester)97
35.  The Distorted – Cake (Distorted)97
34.  The Rain – Missy Elliott (Rap)97

I didn’t know Missy went back this far.  I’m pretty sure she’s the best female rapper of all-time, that is, unless you consider Yeastie Girl #2. 

33.  Summer – Modest Mouse (Indie)97
32.  Jayou – Jurassic Five (Rap)97
31.  Hypnotize – Notorious B.I.G. (Rap)97

I could be part of a small school that likes Biggie due to hearing him remixed by Girl Talk. 

30.  President of What? – Death Cab For Cutie (Indie)97

Death Cab’s abbreviation is DCFC, whereas AC/DC’s abbreviation is ACDC. 

29.  Song 2 – Blur (Britchester)97
28.  Between the Bars – Elliott Smith (Folk)97
27.  Miss Misery – Elliott Smith (Indie)97

“Let’s go to a Hav-ahd bah and beat up some smaht kids!” 

26.  Mutilated Lips – Ween (Psychedelic Rock)97
25.  Lounge (Closing Time) – Modest Mouse (Indie)97
24.  Le Pastie De La Bourgeoisie – Belle and Sebastian (Indie)97
23.  Your Woman – White Town (Electronic)97
22.  Hey Country Boy – The Charlatans (Britchester)97

I’m officially a Charlatans fan, meaning any time I’m in public or private, and someone disses them, I have to defend them.  I doubt I’d ever be in a situation where someone makes fun of the Charlatans though, which means I must talk about them incessantly until the point someone makes fun of them, so I can defend them. 

21.  Ballad of Big Nothing – Elliott Smith (Indie)97

Either Or remains one of Smith’s finest pieces of work, mainly due to songs like this. 

20.  Autumn Sweater – Yo La Tengo (Indie)97

Here’s another wonderful band I missed out on in the late 90s due to too much Phish.  Though I’m not sure what they’re best album is, I Can Hear The Heart … is probably my favorite. 

19.  My Little Corner of the World – Yo La Tengo (Indie)97
18.  Teeth Like God’s Shoe Shine – Modest Mouse (Indie)97
17.  Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve (Britchester)97
16.  The City is Mine – Jay-Z (Rap)97
15.  Subterranean Homesick Alien – Radiohead (Britchester)97
14.  Ex-Con – Smog (Indie)97

Whenever I get dressed up, I feel like an ex-con trying to make good. 

13.  Baby Blue Sedan – Modest Mouse (Indie)97

It’s hard to be a human being.  It’s harder than anything else. 

12.  Cowboy Dan – Modest Mouse (Indie)97
11.  Airbag – Radiohead (Britchester)97

Let me do a quick “Best Bands from the UK” to see where Radiohead probably ranks …
1 would be the Beatles.  2 would be the Stones.  3 would be Pink Floyd.  4 would be the Kinks.  5 would probably be Radiohead.  6 would be the Clash and I’m going to stop here. 

10.  Pictures of Me – Elliott Smith (Indie)97

This is probably the closest Smith ever gets to writing a pop song. 

9.  Polar Opposites – Modest Mouse (Indie)97

Primer gray is the color when you’re done dying. 

8.  Bankrupt on Selling – Modest Mouse (Indie)97

I’ll go to college and I’ll learn some big words and I’ll talk real loud god damn right I’ll be heard

7.  Concrete Schoolyard – Jurassic Five (Rap)97

I don’t like dwelling on this, but I sincerely feel hip hop would be entirely different if they came out right when Tribe lost their mojo.  The gap in between killed good rap (see Coolio). 

6.  Walkin’ on the Sun – Smash Mouth (Pop Rock)97

Of course I hate being the guy that likes a Smash Mouth song, but c’mon, this is a great tune for all, especially when that psychedelic organ sound kicks in for the solo.  The purpose of music is writing a unique song for all to enjoy right? 

5.  Karma Police – Radiohead (Britchester)97

I’m a big fan of a Mouse vs. Radiohead rivalry.  I don’t really care about one bands domination over the other in critics eyes or popularity, I care about them producing great rock songs with awesome lyrics, and with that, the Americans have the edge.   The Brits get the edge for adapting to technology better, but is that really rock ‘n roll?  (To be continued). 

4.  Moby Octopad – Yo La Tengo (Indie)97

To this day this remains my favorite Yo La Tengo song. 

3.  Trailer Trash – Modest Mouse (Indie)97

Seeing this is my “favorite song to jam too”, I suppose it should be ranked high here too.  Oh, it also has some of Isaac’s best lyrics. 

2.  Doing the Cockroach – Modest Mouse (Indie)97

Another rider, he was a talker, talking about TV, PLEASE SHUT UP!

1.  Paranoid Android – Radiohead (Progressive Rock)97

Back to the Mouse vs. Radiohead debate, adapting to technology better is awesome when it makes a band create songs like this, one of the best songs ever.  No one could write a song like this aside from Radiohead.  It’s just a shame that it’s their 2nd to last rock song ever (2+2=5 is the last).  

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