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Monday, August 8, 2011

The Top 75 Songs of 1998

There are some new fresh sounds in 1998.  I won't drown you with Modest Mouse songs, but I may with Neutral Milk Hotel songs.  Fortunately, only one NMH album came out this year (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it) so even though they may dominate towards the top, it won't be anything like what Modest Mouse did between 1996 and 1997.  Also, the last time I listened to Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire was many years ago in the wee hours of the night.  What Bird does is transcendent to what other musicians do, just not sure how rock 'n roll it is.  Lastly, the Beastie Boys start rapping again and Hello Nasty is much better than I remember it.  I've always thought of it as their worst album, and maybe it's not.  Here's the list:

75.  The Dope Show – Marilyn Manson (Industrial)98

What is a long music list without Paul Phieffer from “The Wonder Years.”  You wanna diss the Pheiffer but you still don't know the half. 

74.  Freak on a Leash – Korn (Heavy Metal)98

They were on South Park, so I may as well rank a song of theirs. 

73.  Bottle Up and Explode – Elliott Smith (Indie)98
72.  Steve McQueen – Drive-By Truckers (Alt-Country)98

They call Arec Barwin a pussy in this song as they should.  In 1998, he was a complete douche.  The fact that he’s re-invented himself as a douche is what has made him so likable. 

71.  Ice Hockey Hair – Super Furry Animals (Britchester)98
70.  El President – Drugstore (Indie)98
69.  Frozen – Madonna (Electronic)98

Um, this is Madonna and it doesn’t sound cheesy as fuck.  It does go on a little too long though. 

68.  Getting Jiggy With It – Will Smith (Rap)98
67.  Flagpole Sitta – Harvey Danger (Punk)98
66.  Love Unlimited – Fun Lovin’ Criminals (Funk)98
65.  No Ke Ano Ahiahi – Medeski, Martin & Wood (Instrumental)98
64.  Picture This – Beastie Boys (Psychedelic Rock)98
63.  My Favorite Game – The Cardigans (Alternative)98
62.  Car Radio – Spoon (Indie)98

Spoon continues their early greatness by making good songs about driving.

61.  Can I Get A … - Jay-Z (Rap)98
60.  Birds of a Feather – Phish (Jam Rock)98
59.  Celebrity Skin – Hole (Distorted)98
58.  Goddess on a Hiway – Mercury Rev (Britchester)98
57.  At My Window Sad and Lonely – Billy Bragg & Wilco (Alt-Country)98

Tweedy wrote much better sad songs before he got famous, which I guess is only natural. 

56.  Just a Test – Beastie Boys (Rap)98
55.  Not If You Were the Last Junkie On Earth – Dandy Warhols (Alternative)98
54.  Gris-Gris – Andrew Bird (Blues)98

Seeing the Bowl of Fire is trying to sound like they're from the 20s, they may as well touch on the blues.  If someone were to say Andrew Bird is one of the best songwriters ever, I wouldn’t argue.  He’s not my favorite due to his style, but I definitely wouldn’t argue with that, and so few people know who he is. 

53.  I Don’t Know – Beastie Boys (Slow Rock)98
52.  It’s Alright – Jay-Z (Rap)98

Jay-Z has to be the first rapper to sample the Talking Heads. 

51.  Waiting in the Velvet Sea – Phish (Slow Rock)98

I’m a sucker for songs that follow the “Let it Be” rock ballad path. 

50.  Nuthinduan Waltz – Andrew Bird (Bluegrass)98

So Bird comes on the scene, dominates music of the pre-rock era, and few people care?  I bet everyone who does care knows their shit musically. 

49.  Hesitating Beauty – Billy Bragg & Wilco (Alt-Country)98
48.  The Fool – Neutral Milk Hotel (Instrumental)98
47.  Slave – Percy Hill (Jam Rock)98
46.  Hard Knock Life – Jay-Z (Rap)98

This kid choir gets annoying after awhile on an otherwise fun song. 

45.  50 Pieces – Andrew Bird (Baroque Pop)98
44.  All I Need – Air (Electronic)98

This song feels like a wonderful breath of really clean … well … air. 

43.  Limb by Limb – Phish (Jam Rock)98

This song has aged pretty well for Phish to the point I’d kinda like to see it live if I were to see them again.

42.  Chrissy Reid – Percy Hill (Jam Rock)98
41.  Canceled Check – Beck (Alt-Country)98
40.  La Femme D’Argent – Air (Electronic)98
39.  Wifebeater – Drive-By Truckers (Alt-Country)98

The subject matter is a little dark, but these guys know how to do country, which is considered alt-country because everyone who does country pretty much sucks. 

38.  Sweet Adeline – Elliott Smith (Indie)98
37.  One By One – Billy Bragg and Wilco (Alt-country)98
36.  313 – Percy Hill (Smooth Rock)98

So I basically missed out on some smooth ass hippie band in the late 90s due to Phish overload?  Sucks.  These guys are much better than I thought they were. 

35.  Holes – Mercury Rev (Britchester)98

Australians are British. 

34.  The Cedar Room – Doves (Indie)98
33.  Demonic Possession – Drive By Truckers (Alt-Country)98
32.  Utilitarian – Spoon (Indie)98
31.  Independence Day – Elliott Smith (Indie)98
30.  Unite – Beastie Boys (Rap)98

A forgotten song, but the B-Boys are again firing on all cylinders.

29.  Rosa Parks – Outkast (Rap)98
28.  Ghost – Neutral Milk Hotel (Indie)98
27.  Neverending Math Equation – Modest Mouse (Indie)98
26.  The Move – Beastie Boys (Rap)98
25.  Nobody’s Fault But My Own – Beck (Psychedelic Rock)98
24.  Church of Logic – Medeski, Martin & Wood (Instrumental)98

It’d be great to jam with these guys just so I’d have the opportunity to watch them all go crazy while I just sit there with a stunned expression on my face as I have no chance of keeping up.  The Dropper is coming in 2000 and I can’t wait. 

23.  Communist Daughter – Neutral Milk Hotel (Indie)98

Semen stains the mountain tops

22.  Metal Detektor – Spoon (Indie)98

This is my first great Spoon song.  They’ve finally put it all together and have done a little more than a fragment of a song. 

21.  Guyute – Phish (Progressive Rock)98
20.  Tropicalia – Beck (World)98

This is a Coolidge house spectacular. 

19.  Pure Morning – Placebo (Britchester)98

A friend in need is a friend indeed, a friend with weed is better. 

18.  Bottle of Blues – Beck (Alt-Country)98
17.  Two Headed Boy – Neutral Milk Hotel (Indie)98
16.  Ghetto Superstar – Pras (Rap)98

Here’s another great example of getting a member of Wu-Tang to make a good song great. 

15.  Sugarcraft – Medeski, Martin and Wood (Instrumental)98
14.  Body Movin – Beastie Boys (Rap)98
13.  Grey Ice Water – Modest Mouse (Indie)98

Grey ice water, desolate Alaska, the more desolate Antarctica, and even more desolate moon are the heart of Modest Mouse which loses it’s deserted desperateness after the year 2000. 

12.  Cold Brains – Beck (Alt-Country)98

On Mutations, Beck starts making a more “normal” form of music and most of it is fantastic.  Beck proves he can do alt-country with the best of them. 

11.  Untitled – Neutral Milk Hotel (Instrumental)98

When this song happens, it brings an elation that reminds you this is one of the greatest albums of all-time. 

10.  Ghost – Phish (Jam Rock)98

Though this song is textured as great as any Phish song, they can jam this one out for a long time and it always seems to be good. 

9.  Negotiation Limerick File – Beastie Boys (Rap)98

I know this isn’t one of their biggest hits from Hello Nasty but somehow it reminds me of the summer of 1998 more than any other song from that year. 

8.  Holland, 1945 – Neutral Milk Hotel (Indie)98

Almost every song on this album is a classic.  This may be its truest rock song. 

7.  Super Disco Breakin’ – Beastie Boys (Rap)98

After the 4 year layoff after Ill Communication, the B-Boys come out rappin’ like it was 1989 all over again. 

6.  California Stars – Billy Bragg & Wilco (Alt-Country)98

This is another one of those songs that I can’t imagine someone not liking. 

5.  Intergalactic – Beastie Boys (Rap)98
4.  Minor Stab – Andrew Bird (Jazz)98

This song just blew me away.  I believe it’s six people and it sounds like 30.  It’s hard to say other songs are better than this but …

3.  The King of Carrot Flowers Parts 2 & 3 – Neutral Milk Hotel (Indie)98
2.  The King of Carrot Flowers Part 1 – Neutral Milk Hotel (Indie)98

Here’s an instance where I wish the Hotel would have made this one song rather than break it up.  Maybe that would’ve been a little too proggy though. 

1.  In the Aeroplane over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel (Indie)98

It took me until 2005 to hear this song for my first time and it’s a shame it took that long.  I wish I heard this song at birth just so I would have known it for 36 years.  

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