The holidays are here, so we here at JACK thought we’d bring you a gift in the form of these mostly forgotten 90’s songs. Just like the holidays, some of these are great, some of these are purely nostalgic, and some of these are full of regret. In chronological order, we present to you these, um, presents.
1. Divinyls – I Touch Myself (1990) diVINYLS: This one might bring regret for some, but at JACK FM, watching Australian Chrissy Amphlett strutting around, talking how much she misses someone is nothing short of pure nostalgic bliss. It’s pure pop, but admit it, you loved it too.
2. Jesus Jones – Right Here Right Now (1990) Doubt: The early 90’s were a unique period in American history, full of optimism we haven’t seen since. In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell. In 1991, Soviet Russia followed, ending the Cold War that had lasted over 4 decades. In fact, aside from Operation Desert Storm, the 90’s were an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity. Jesus Jones perfectly captured that short lived new reality.
3. Urge Overkill – “Girl, You’ll be a Woman Soon” (1992) Stull: Most people will recognize this song from Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 classic, Pulp Fiction, but Urge Overkill actually released this song two years earlier. What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that Neil Diamond originally wrote and recorded the song way back in 1967. Check that out here.
4. Gin Blossoms – Hey Jealousy (1993) New Miserable Experience: Gin Blossoms are one of those bands that people seem to either love as talented musicians and song writers, or hate because they’re seen as a cookie cutter 90’s band. Whatever you think of them, “Hey Jealousy” is catchy as hell.
5. Sonic Youth – Superstar (1994) If I Were A Carpenter: Sonic Youth is one of those super influential bands that no one has ever listened to; kind of like The Velvet Underground. Somewhere in between Daydream Nation and Washing Machine, Sonic Youth managed to record “Superstar” for the Carpenters Tribute album, If I Were a Carpenter. “Superstar” had a brief revival in 2007 after being included in the Juno soundtrack.
6. Velocity Girl – Sorry Again (1994) ¡Simpatico!: “Sorry Again” is probably one of the most forgotten songs on this list. Velocity Girl came around the same time a number of other prominent female fronted bands dominated the music scene, bands like Hole, The Breeders, Elastica, and No Doubt. Though forgotten by time, “Sorry Again” still rocks to this day.
7. Pavement – Cut Your Hair (1994) Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: Another forgotten classic of the 90’s. At first you may think this is Pavement’s ode to the eternal battle between a parent and their kid’s haircut. But if you look closer at the lyrics, you see it’s a actually a scathing criticism of the music industry.
8. PJ Harvey – Down By The Water (1995) To Bring You My Love: So you may be asking yourself, what the hell is this song about? Who knows, but that’s a cool bass rift, right?
9. OMC – How Bizarre (1995) How Bizarre: Not to be confused with OMD, OMC actually stands for Otara Millionaires Club. “How Bizarre” is a hodgepodge of music, all capped with singer’s Pauly Fuemana’s cartoon like voice. Unfortunately, Pauly died 2010.
10. Spacehog – In The Meantime (1996) Resident Alien: You remember this song? You remember this song. As soon as its infectious opening scream hits your eardrum, it all comes back. Just don’t ask what it’s about. Seems a lot of 90’s lyrics were nebulous in that way.
11. Luscious Jackson – Naked Eye (1996) Fever In Fever Out: A wonderfully crafted song that just seems to flow, from the harmonizing to the potentially clumsy lyrics, “with my naked eye I saw.”
12. Primitive Radio Gods – Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand (1996) Rocket: This takes the cake for the longest title on this list. The melancholy sounding song, which features a sample of B.B. King’s “How Blue Can You Get,” gained popularity after being featured in The Cable Guy. The 90’s were a strange time.
13. Smashing Pumpkins – Eye (1997) Lost Highway Soundtrack: This song. This movie. This soundtrack. Where to begin? Let’s start with the movie. David Lynch had earned a reputation in the early 90’s as”that weird director guy” after creating Twin Peaks. Lost Highway continued Lynch’s obsession with film noir and psychological thrillers. By 1996, Smashing Pumpkins were already considered alt-rock guitar gods, which is why “Eye,” with its synth heavy aesthetics and conspicuous lack of guitars, stands out from their previous work.
14. Nine Inch Nails – The Perfect Drug (1997) Lost Highway Soundtrack: Hell, Lost Highway had such a awesome soundtrack, we’re including two songs for the album, this time from soundtrack producer Trent Reznor’s band, Nine Inch Nails. “The Perfect Drug” is one of the finest examples of NIN’s manic, desperate sound that constantly keeps the listener off balance.
15. Fastball – The Way (1998) All the Pain Money Can Buy: If you listen at the beginning of the song, you can clearly hear Jewel as a radio scans through the stations. But did you know you can also hear Roy Orbison and Madonna? And yeah, let’s just ignore the fact that this song was inspired by a real life account of an elderly couple that died after driving off into the desert and getting lost. Happy holidays!