Every Billboard Modern Rock/Alternative #1 Single (Part 2: The 1990s)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Parachute Woman, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. BZync

    BZync Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    “God” – Tori Amos* - The 90's were a very diverse time for alt rock. Tori was everywhere. She was such an oddball but supremely talented.
    Return to Innocence” – Enigma - This track still sounds fresh to me. When it comes up on shuffle I turn it UP!! Somehow this one and the One Dove track "White Love" always go together in my mind.
    “13 Steps Lead Down” – Elvis Costello - Good track from a pretty strong album. EC rocking with the Attractions was very welcome around this time.
  2. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle TEFL Lord

    "Loser"--brilliant song, catchy, funny, and 90s as f#$%. I bought this album and still enjoy most of it.

    "MMMM MMMMM MMMMMM MMMMMM"- Not for me: boring.

    "No Excuses" was a cool song, a bit less loud and abrasive than a lot of Alice and Chains songs. They had such an interesting, unique sound and approach to vocal harmonies on top of being the most metal of the grunge bands.

    "13 Steps Lead Down" is an enjoyable little pop number.
  3. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    [Just a special note about this video. I don't mind bugs, gross sea creatures, etc. but this video has a lot of rats and if you don't like rodents it's not worth watching the video cause they're unavoidable. I had to turn off the video I since I got a thing about them. So I'm posting the video but viewer beware.]

    95. "God" by Tori Amos

    #1 for 2 weeks starting on March 19th, 1994.
    U.S. CD maxi-single
    Single by Tori Amos
    from the album Under the Pink
    "Home on the Range" (Cherokee Edition) "All the Girls Hate Her/Over It (Piano Suite)" "Sister Janet"
    Released February 3, 1994 (US)
    May 2, 1994 (AUS)[1]
    October 3, 1994 (UK)
    Format 7" picture disc, 12" vinyl, CD, Cassette
    Recorded February 1993
    Genre Alternative rock
    Length 3:58
    Label Atlantic
    Songwriter(s) Tori Amos
    Producer(s) Tori Amos
    Eric Rosse

    "God" is a song by American singer-songwriter and musician Tori Amos. It was released as the fourth single from her second studio album Under the Pink. It was released on February 3, 1994 by Atlantic Records in North America (as a first single), on May 2, in Australia (as a second single), and on October 3 by EastWest Records in the UK.

    The song reached number 44 on the UK Singles Chart.[2] as well as #1 on the US Modern Rock Chart.[3]

    The music video for "God" directed by Melodie McDaniel [4] features Amos in a variety of religiously-themed situations, such as a scene visually comparing a tefillin used by a rabbi with a basketball player using a belt while injecting drugs. The video is often remembered for scenes of Amos singing in front of a lit candle, dancing with a plethora of brown rats (possibly at the Rat temple); this was commented on in an episode of the television show Beavis and Butt-head, and parodying a snake cult.

    Top 10 for the week of March 19, 1994

    1. “God” – Tori Amos
    2. “MMM MMM MMM MMM” – Crash Test Dummies
    3. “No Excuses” – Alice in Chains
    4. “Return to Innocence” – Enigma
    5. “Loser” – Beck
    6. “13 Steps Lead Down” – Elvis Costello
    7. “Get Off This” – Cracker
    8. “Mr. Jones” – Counting Crows
    9. “All Apologies” – Nirvana
    10. “The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get” – Morrissey*

    * = future #1
    superstar19 likes this.
  4. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    Seems like they've changed to the acoustic version of "All Apologies" when you hear it nowadays. They've played the MTV Unplugged version for years. Yeah the REM/Merchant collaboration could have been better.
    bvb1123 likes this.
  5. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    There's a funny video I'm going to post about is lack of annunciation on "Yellow Ledbetter".
    BluesOvertookMe likes this.
  6. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    A lot of bands ended up having that Gin Blossoms sound that wasn't quite alt but had traces. Did you like 'Vitalogy' from Pearl Jam? A lot of folks just like the first 3. "Yellow Ledbetter" was just one of tons that didn't make the albums. They had a lot of songs and B-sides at the time. Love "Today" and "All Apologies" too. A lot of people stopped with The Cure around this time.
    Yes, "Creep" should have been a #1. Didn't expect "Walking In My Shoes" to be your favorite but it's a good song.
    Me too, love Vedder's voice. A few Gin Blossoms shows are so radio ready I'm not surprised you may hear one nowadays.
  7. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian

    Cincinnati Ohio
    "God" by Tori Amos was pretty forgettable. I had to re-listen to it to write this. I mean, it's ok, I'm sure her fandom loved it but I'm surprised it hit #1.
    The only other song I really dig on this chart that I haven't already written about is Morrissey's "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get" which is not only a brilliant title but an awesome song. One of his top 5 IMHO. Hard to believe with some of the dreck he's put out in the last decade that he could once write such sublimely beautiful songs like this.
  8. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle TEFL Lord

    "God" is all right, but it's kind of just another Tori Amos single. Doesn't grab me. There was a big thing with "god" in songs in the early-to-mid-ninties.

    I've already talked about most of the rest of this chart that I recognize.
    Retro Hound likes this.
  9. scratchtasia

    scratchtasia Active Member

    Kansas City, MO
    I wish I could be more positive, but Tori Amos has never appealed to me, and "God" is no exception. She always seemed too derivative of Kate Bush, who I like more. I don't see much I like in this top ten--still just Elvis Costello and Nirvana, and (to some degree) the future #1 from Morrissey.
  10. Planbee

    Planbee Nothing To See Here

    If this comment doesn't bring Tori fan Parachute Woman out of hiding, NOTHING will... :D
    BZync and scratchtasia like this.
  11. scratchtasia

    scratchtasia Active Member

    Kansas City, MO
    I hope it does! She is missed here.

    And Tori -- yeah, I know a lot of people love her, and she inspires a really devoted following. I respect that. She's just really not for me.
    BZync likes this.
  12. Cheevyjames

    Cheevyjames Forum Resident

    Durham, NC
    Tori Amos - God

    This is the first and only time we'll get to talk about Tori. Cornflake Girl, the first single from this album, peaked at #12. I knew who she was back in the 90's, but never really heard her music. I think that it's harder for "weird" female musicians to be successful in the US. I'm glad that she has her dedicated fan base. I was introduced to her music from a good friend about 10 or 11 years ago. Tori had some very good songs from her debut, like Crucify & Silent All These Years. Precious Things is my favorite song by her. The aforementioned Cornflake Girl is quite good, as is Past the Mission. So, God. It's got a nice groove, but those pinch harmonics on the guitar are really unsettling. I love the bass line on this song. The whole groove feels off because of the syncopations; that makes this song a lot of fun. The vocal arrangement on here is just fantastic. I love the "call me crazy" section; the music and melody is fantastic. This is a really original-sounding song. Great song, and a lot of fun. It's too bad that Parachute Woman isn't around to talk about this song or Tori in general. I'd love to hear her thoughts.
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  13. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    96. "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get" by Morrissey

    #1 for 7 weeks starting the week of April 2, 1994.
    Single by Morrissey
    from the album Vauxhall and I
    28 February 1994
    Format 7", 12", CD, cassette
    Recorded June-August 1993 at Hook End Manor studio in Reading
    Genre Indie pop
    Length 3:43
    Label Parlophone (UK)
    Songwriter(s) Morrissey, Boz Boorer
    Producer(s) Steve Lillywhite

    "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" is a song by Morrissey, co-written by Boz Boorer released as a single in February 1994. It was taken from the then-unreleased Vauxhall and I album and was the first Morrissey single to be produced by Steve Lillywhite.

    The extra B-side "I'd Love To." features Kirsty MacColl on backing vocals. The US and UK single releases each contained slightly different mixes of the track. Both mixes use the same take of the song, but the US version featuring less guitars, is three seconds shorter and includes additional synthesized sound effects (a percussive, glassy sound) throughout the song. The same synth effects are barely audible in the UK mix and in sections are completely absent.[1][2] The US version of "I'd Love To" later appeared on the 1998 US compilation My Early Burglary Years. The UK version was included on the track listing on the 1997 cd reissue of Viva Hate, despite not being a contemporaneous recording from those sessions.

    Reaching number 8 in the UK Singles Chart, the single became Morrissey's first top ten hit since "Interesting Drug" in 1989. It is also Morrissey's only charting single in the United States Billboard Hot 100, reaching number 46, as well as becoming a number one Modern Rock Tracks chart hit.

    In Australia, the single peaked at number 85 on the ARIA singles chart, and spent 4 weeks in the top 100.[3]
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  14. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    Top 10 for the week of April 2, 1994

    1. “The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get” – Morrissey
    2. “God” – Tori Amos
    3. “Return to Innocence” – Enigma
    4. “MMM MMM MMM MMM” – Crash Test Dummies
    5. “No Excuses” – Alice in Chains
    6. “Loser” – Beck
    7. “13 Steps Lead Down” – Elvis Costello
    8. “Disarm” – Smashing Pumpkins
    9. “Leaving Las Vegas” – Sheryl Crow
    10. “All Apologies” – Nirvana
    superstar19 likes this.
  15. Cheevyjames

    Cheevyjames Forum Resident

    Durham, NC
    Morrissey - The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get

    It's pleasant to listen to, but there's something I can't quite place that I don't like about it. It feels like a filler song on the radio and not one that would really stand out to me. I guess it's just kind of basic and "there".
  16. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    Okay, I'm playing a lot of catchup. So starting off with the first list of the year...

    90. Pearl Jam – “Daughter”

    Fantastic song with great lyrics that took me some time to figure out and even then I didn’t quite. Their first acoustic based hit despite the heavy rhythm. Great riff for a guitar break and the bridge is awesome. “She holds the hand that holds her down, she will rise above!” It’s a nice breakthrough in the song leading into the short guitar solo. The fadeout is inspired as instruments gradually leave.

    Pearl Jam – “Yellow Ledbetter”

    Absolutely awesome vocal melody and absolutely atrocious annunciation by Vedder on this one sinks it a bit from what it could have been. The opening and closing guitar riffage is excellent. The solo is ridiculous. There’s an article about how hard it is to understand Vedder on this and it has a funny YouTube video.

    The (Often) Misheard Lyrics Of “Yellow Ledbetter”

    James – “Laid”
    I don’t remember when I first heard this but I do remember it was in a TV commercial and it really got stuck in my head. It’s catchy with a British bent and it’s the time of song that can cross the ocean and be a hit in the US. I like the drum rolls that break up the story verses. Great Brit-pop song.

    The Cure – “Purple Haze”
    It charted helped by the names ‘The Cure’ and ‘Jimi Hendrix’ but this is unrecognizable and not as good as Jimi’s version. Credit to The Cure for changing it up significantly to be a brooding electronic pop track with sampling, but it doesn’t do the song justice. I’d prefer something hazier.

    Nick Heyward – “Kite”
    Light Brit Pop with some melody but not much character as it’s pretty forgettable despite being decent.

    Smashing Pumpkins – Today
    The song that got me into the Pumpkins. Awesome elements using low/loud dynamics and a calm vocal over an aggressive backing. It all works and the melodies are great. One of the alt rock’s greatest of the 1990’s.

    R.E.M. /Natalie Merchant – Photograph
    Somewhat commercial oriented rock with Michael Stipe and Natalie Merchant dueting. Merchant had not yet released her first solo album but that voice is the same distinctive one as we’ve always heard. The song is good but not great – there was more potential in this team up than what was produced.

    Kate Bush - Rubberband Girl
    I get a vibe from this that reminds me of Prince music but with Kate singing instead - catchy chorus and interesting textures for the music. A pretty good pop/rocker.
    Planbee likes this.
  17. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    91. Gin Blosssoms – Found Out About You
    I’ll never forget when I first found out that the singer and songwriter of the Gin Blossoms hits Doug Hopkins committed suicide, it had been later after knowing those hits. Hearing them all the time and seeing the videos, I thought the singer was alive like most singers with hits on radio. I think because they sound kind of generic, though very very catchy, I didn’t equate these lyrics to someone that was going to do what he did but it happened so I was in shock. Then when they faded in the late 90’s I understood why.

    92. Nirvana – All Apologies
    The original single version before the MTV Unplugged one became played more, this is awesome with light/loud dynamics as was the lyrics and vocal delivery.

    So I wrote an article for Nirvana's "All Apologies" at the end of last year and I'll post an excerpt here.

    You are being redirected...

    (No, it's not the greatest release of the 90's but more like the best double A-side of the decade. Ignore that headline lol)

    Nearing the finish of another rollercoaster ride of a year for alt. rock’s most popular band, 1993 proved especially fruitful at the very end as Nirvana was in the midst of a heavy promotional cycle that promoted their latest album In Utero.

    “All Apologies”/”Rape Me”, released 25 years ago, is the greatest double A-side in alt rock history and it would rank top ten all-time in rock history when we look back at all the great ones since the now mostly-defunct practice of releasing two potential hits on a single is practically dormant now. Both were in Nirvana’s repertoire since 1991, being performed live with different lyrics, but were released together in late 1993.

    “All Apologies” can be described with one word: amazing. Along with plenty of accolades, it was performed by Nirvana with Lorde at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, paying tribute to Kurt Cobain. Probably the better of the two songs on the single, the lighter sound also features a dichotomy -a mix of the sunny side of life, and the grave. As bright and exhilarating as the refrain is (“in the sun I feel as one”), it ends on a frigid realization (“married, buried”) that life still will end no matter how good or bad things are going. It also refers to the public’s reaction to him being with Courtney Love, and how some guys joke about marriage ending all the fun. An early discarded lyric had Cobain singing “what else can I do, I’m in love with you.”

    Like the “Serve the Servants” lyrics, Cobain is highly conscious of how people view him hence the opening lines: “What else should I be? All apologies,”. Pinning himself down to being cynical, Kurt sings of those in the herd of sheep who go for anything that’s considered cool on radio or MTV-

    I wish I was like you, easily amused [sorry I can’t be as happy as a herd of sheep]

    Find my nest in salt-everything’s my fault [A salty personality-not friendly]

    I take all the blame-aqua seafoam shame [Seafoam leaves salt residue]

    Sunburn with freezerburn [Between a rock and a hard place; hot and/or cold-both will burn him]

    Choking on the ashes of her enemy [‘her’ could be anyone or anything but it’s his ashes since he was burned].

    With his tragic passing less than a year later, the lyrics began looking like thoughts of suicide when viewed in hindsight, especially within the MTV Unplugged context.

    The song is heavenly musically, as every moment has a great hook. Cobain’s quote about it in Come As You Are-The Story of Nirvana

    I like to think the song is for them [Courtney and daughter Frances], but the words don’t fit in relation to us, the feeling does, but not the lyrics.

    It’s commercially accessible in either Steve Albini or Scott Litt’s mix, and the music’s ascending and descending droning cello lines adds drama to Cobain’s fantastic riff. Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl enter with bursting brilliance on each chorus. When Cobain’s accidentally accurate and unfortunate prediction of his own immediate future came true by the spring of the following year (married, buried), the rock world looked once again to this song as it grieved, since it was released as a promotional single in early 1994 but this time, it was the more serene and bittersweet Unplugged version. MTV had been using that performance’s video as the official music video as early as December 1993.
    Grant likes this.
  18. Planbee

    Planbee Nothing To See Here

    Oh man, I was dying during that video! I will NEVER be able to listen to "Yellow Ledbetter" again without hearing "make me fries!" :laugh:

    Other great "lines":

    Mona said I wanna leave Bennigan's

    Can you see Dems?

    I don't wanna shave it off

    Hard to believe that according to that article this song is supposedly about someone who receives a letter notifying them a family member died in a war.

    WilliamWes likes this.
  19. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian

    Cincinnati Ohio
    I've already talked about this chart's #1. The only song I haven't spoken about that I really like is "Disarm" by The Smashing Pumpkins. I like two of there songs and this is one of them. I like 4 other chart entries but I've written about them earlier so this is a short post.
    WilliamWes likes this.
  20. Retro Hound

    Retro Hound Forum Resident

    Pittsburg, KS
    “Leaving Las Vegas” – Sheryl Crow still sounds alternative here. She didn't stay that way for long.
    WilliamWes likes this.
  21. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    You know, I can't believe an entire song's lyrics can be totally re-interpreted with different words all the way through. The lyrics and the pics that go along are so funny and it really sounds like Vedder is singing that stuff. I was so impressed cause sometimes they'd change the lyric if it repeated with a 2nd alternate lyric and it would still fit. LOL
    Planbee likes this.
  22. scratchtasia

    scratchtasia Active Member

    Kansas City, MO
    Funny you should say that. The same album, The Red Shoes, includes a collaboration between Kate Bush and Prince called "Why Should I Love You?" It's kind of a Frankenstein monster of a song, with parts that sound very Kate Bush and parts that are unmistakably Prince, but I do like it quite a bit.

    Doug Hopkins wasn't the Gin Blossoms' vocalist--that's mainly Robin Wilson--but he was their lead guitarist and indeed wrote their best songs. From what I've read, he was a very troubled guy--deeply depressed, severely alcoholic, and so impossible to work with that the band had little choice but to fire him. That the guy who wrote the band's best songs was fired and later committed suicide partly because of his feelings about the band's success with his songs (but without him) caused a few raised eyebrows, including mine, but their perspective finally made more sense to me after I read this 2006 article about the whole mess: http://magnetmagazine.com/2006/11/25/gin-blossoms-broken-flowers/ . That's not to say that parts of it couldn't have been handled better, but it was a difficult situation for everyone. They've done some OK work without him, but I really like Hopkins' songs ("Hey Jealousy," "Found Out About You") best, of their hits.
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  23. Squealy

    Squealy Forum Hall Of Fame

    Yes — there was “Til I Hear It From You,” and “Follow You Down.” They were actually bigger chart hits than the Doug Hopkins songs.
    Planbee likes this.
  24. scratchtasia

    scratchtasia Active Member

    Kansas City, MO
    "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get" by Morrissey was among his better solo singles (my favorites: his first two, "Suedehead" and "Every Day Is Like Sunday"). I'm having a hard time listening to Morrissey in 2019, though, considering some of what he's been on about in recent years (especially lately). The more I know about him, the less I want to bother with him.

    Some of those Smiths songs from 30+ years ago were brilliant, though.
  25. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    97. "Selling the Drama" by Live

    #1 for 3 weeks starting May 21, 1994.
    U.S. commercial cassette single
    Single by Live
    from the album Throwing Copper

    • "The Dam at Otter Creek"
    • "**** Towne"
    • "Lightning Crashes"
    Released February 1994
    Format 7", 10", 12", CD, Cassette
    Genre Alternative rock, post-grunge
    Length 3:27
    Label Radioactive
    Songwriter(s) Live

    "Selling the Drama" is the first single from Live's 1994 album, Throwing Copper. It reached #1 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks, becoming their first of three singles to reach the top of this chart. The song reached #43 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] Live's performance of "Selling The Drama" at Woodstock '94 was their featured song on the Woodstock '94 double album.

    The video is set in a wooded area and filmed in both black & white and color, showing the band playing the song and lead singer Ed Kowalczyk tearing pages out of a book. The video is notable for one of the last appearances of Kowalczyk's long hair, which he shaved off around the time that "I Alone" was released as a single.

    Top 10 for the week of May 21, 1994

    1. Live – “Selling The Drama”
    2. The Pretenders – “Night In My Veins”
    3. Morrissey – “The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get”
    4. Green Day – “Longview”
    5. Sarah McLaughlin – “Possession”
    6. Collective Soul – “Shine”
    7. Soundgarden – “Black Hole Sun”
    8. Counting Crows – “Round Here”
    9. Erasure – “Always”
    10. Enigma – “Return To Innocence”
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