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Top 75 of the Nineties

Nirvana 1991

Nirvana 1991

This list had to start with Nirvana because they are the last band (in a traditional sense) that really mattered. I chose “Territorial Pissings” instead of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” because it so perfectly and sonically put the lie to that hippie trope, “everybody get together and love one another right now.” But full disclosure: in the mid-90s I did a tropical Latin music show on WPFW-FM so I wasn’t paying attention in those years to Anglo-American music, and in the late nineties I had a kid and was too exhausted to keep up, but in the mid-00s, I did go back to fill the gaping lacunae. I’m sure I missed some major tunes, so feel free to let me know what they are. Also, I kept to one song per artist, only Nick Cave got two, because one was a duet with Kylie. On another day the song order might have been different and I might have chosen a different Beck song. He was the hardest to stick to just one selection.

1. Nirvana: Territorial Pissings (1991)

2. My Bloody Valentine: Soon (1991)

3. Tricky: Black Steel (1995)

4. Emmylou Harris: All My Tears (Be Washed Away) (1995)

5. The Cure: From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea (1992)

6. Nick Cave: Red Right Hand (1994)

7. Beck: Beercan (1994)

8. Hole: Violet (1994)

9. Nine Inch Nails: Piggy (1994)

10. Bjork: Big Time Sensuality (1993)

11. Massive Attack: Daydreaming (1991)

12. Madonna: Vogue (1990)

13. Groove Armada: I See You Baby (1999)

14. Dandy Warhols: Hard On For Jesus (1997)

15. Fiona Apple: Sleep to Dream (1996)

16. Bikini Kill: Alien She (1993)

17. Lucinda Williams: Can’t Let Go (1998)

18. Fatboy Slim: Praise You (1999)

19. Jesus and Mary Chain: Rollercoaster (2000)

20. Mogwai: R U Still In 2 It? (1997)

21. Ride: Seagull (1990)

22. Foo Fighters: Everlong (1997)

23. PJ Harvey: Down By The Water (1995)

24. Spacemen3: I Love You (1991)

25. Black Crowes: Remedy (1992)

26. Catherine Wheel: Black Metallic (1992)

27. Portishead: Glory Box (1994)

28. Steve Earle: Fort Worth Blues (1997)

29. The Beta Band: Dry the Rain (1997)

30. Primal Scream: Don’t Fight It, Feel It (1991)

31. Butthole Surfers: Pepper (1996)

32. The La’s: There She Goes (1990)

33. Alice in Chains: Rooster (Live, Acoustic) (1996)

34. Meg Lee Chin: Heavy Scene (Bag Full Of Fun Mix) (1990)

35. MC Tunes vs. 808 State: Tunes Splits the Atom (1990)

36. Dawn Penn: You Don’t Love Me (1994)

37. Nick Cave & Kylie Minogue: Where The Wild Roses Grow (1995)

38. Shack: Streets of Kenny (1999)

39. Lamb: B Line (1999)

40. 808 State: In Yer Face (1991)

41. Jane’s Addiction: Stop! (1990)

42. Sonic Youth: New Hampshire (2004)

43. Divinyls: I Touch Myself (1991)

44. The Prodigy: Charly (1991)

45. Charlatans UK: Only One I Know (1990)

46. Happy Mondays: Step On (1990)

47. Fugazi: Repeater (1990)

48. Blur: She’s So High (1990)

49. Radiohead: Creep (1993)

50. Weezer: Say It Ain’t So (1994)

51. Swervedriver: Last Train to Satansville (1993)

52. Lush: Sweetness and Light (1990)

53. The Breeders: Cannonball (1993)

54. Yo La Tengo: Autumn Sweater (1997)

55. Arab Strap: The Smell of Outdoor Cooking (1997)

56. Oasis: Wonderwall (1995)

57. Deee-Lite: Music Selector is the Soul Reflector (1996)

58. Moby: Porcelain (1999)

59. OutKast: Spottieottedopalicious (1998)

60. The Verve: Bittersweet Symphony (1997)

61. Old 97s: Wish the Worst

62. Coolio: Gangsta’s Paradise (1995)

63. CeCe Peniston: Finally (1991)

64. Bush: Glycerine (1994)

65. Saint Etienne: Only Love Will Break Your Heart (1991)

66. Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch featuring Loleatta Holloway: Good Vibrations (1991)

67. Underworld: Born Slippy (1996)

68. C&C Music Factory: Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) (1991)

69. Marcy Playground: Sex and Candy (1997)

70. Chris Isaak: Wicked Game” (1991)

71. Mazzy Starr: Fade Into You (1994)

72. Kris Kross: Jump (1992)

73. EMF: Unbelievable (1990)

74. Air: Sexy Boy (1998)

75. Green Day: Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) (1996)

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