‘90s make comeback in new form

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‘90s make comeback in new form

English rock band Oasis performs at a concert. ‘90s music has been one of the greatest decades of music, influencing other artists since the decade’s end. Ten songs that I believe should be on every teen’s playlist now are from artists including TLC, Pearl Jam, and Radiohead.

English rock band Oasis performs at a concert. ‘90s music has been one of the greatest decades of music, influencing other artists since the decade’s end. Ten songs that I believe should be on every teen’s playlist now are from artists including TLC, Pearl Jam, and Radiohead.

Photo via Flickr (wonker) under Creative Commons license

English rock band Oasis performs at a concert. ‘90s music has been one of the greatest decades of music, influencing other artists since the decade’s end. Ten songs that I believe should be on every teen’s playlist now are from artists including TLC, Pearl Jam, and Radiohead.

Photo via Flickr (wonker) under Creative Commons license

Photo via Flickr (wonker) under Creative Commons license

English rock band Oasis performs at a concert. ‘90s music has been one of the greatest decades of music, influencing other artists since the decade’s end. Ten songs that I believe should be on every teen’s playlist now are from artists including TLC, Pearl Jam, and Radiohead.

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Teens nowadays are listening to all the new music being released from pop to rap. While most of the styles from the ‘90s are coming back, such as scrunchies and fanny packs, most of the music is only kept alive by our parents and the small number of teens who are passionate about ‘90s music. 

Here are the top ten ‘90s songs I believe every teen should have on a playlist. 

Number 10

“Evenflow” by Pearl Jam (1991)

Pearl Jam was formed by Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Mike McCready, and Dave Krusen. Formed in 1990, the band originated in Seattle, Washington.

[Pearl Jam] spent much of the past decade deliberately tearing apart their own fame.”

— Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone

Pearl Jam was formed from the downfall of Gossard and Ament’s earlier band, Mother Love Bone. They were part of the grunge movement and would not make music videos or give interviews. However, in an interview in 2006, Rolling Stone reportedly said “that they spent much of the past decade deliberately tearing apart their own fame.”

According to Eddie Vedder, the song “Even Flow” talks about a homeless veteran also named Eddie that Vedder had met while rehearsing. Vedder would buy Eddie a sandwich and would sit down and talk during breaks. Later Eddie had died and in the song, Vedder talks about how the veteran did not get help and would not take it either.

The grunginess of the guitar truly forms the song. Without it, the song would have been hollow. Eddie Vedder’s distinctive voice brings a uniqueness to the song. It is that classic ‘90s rock song with a bit more grunginess.

Number 9

“Ants Marching” by Dave Matthews Band (1993)

The Dave Matthews Band, formed in 1991, is an American rock band. Originally formed in Charlottesville, Virginia, the band was created by Dave Matthews, Stefan Lessard, Carter Beauford, and LeRoi Moore.

…the first band to have seven consecutive debut albums at the peak.”

— Staff Writer Joslyn Weber

Their debut album, “Under the Table and Dreaming,” acquired worldwide fame for the band and was certified platinum six times. Their most recent album, “Come Tomorrow,” released in 2018, reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart making them the first band to have seven consecutive debut albums at the peak.

The bluegrass song is centered around the idea that people get caught up in the routine and repetitiveness of their lives and how they forget to focus on what is truly important. The metaphor is that people are similar to ants marching in a line.

The hook is truly one of the most unique parts of this song. The use of the fiddle is something so unexpected yet so grabbing to the listener. Not only that but Dave Matthews’s unique voice rings out in front of the fiddle and the other instruments used.

Number 8

“What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes (1992)

Active from 1989-1994, 4 Non Blondes is an American band from San Francisco.

[I]t is just the way the song makes people feel that has meaning.”

— Staff Writer Joslyn Weber

Their members included Christa Hillhouse, Roger Rocha, Dawn Richardson, and Linda Perry. In 1993, they hit the charts with their major hit single, “What’s Up?” and recently after, the members disbanded.

According to the bassist, Christa Hillhouse, the lyrics to the song “What’s Up?” do not necessarily have a meaning, it is just the way the song makes people feel that has meaning. 

Linda Perry’s unique and high-pitched vocals give the song its distinct sound. During the chorus, when she changes from a high to a low pitch, it makes the song wonderful to sing along to. 

Number 7

“Waterfalls by TLC (1994)

TLC is an American girl group formed in Atlanta, Georgia, featuring Tionne “T-Boz”  Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Rozanda “Chili” Thomas. With the spelling of each of their nicknames, it formed one of the most well-known band names today, TLC. 

It wasn’t until the music video came out that the public truly realized the dark but significant meaning behind the song.”

— Staff Writer Joslyn Weber

They produced nine top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100 including four number one singles: “Creep,” “Waterfalls,” “No Scrubs,” and “Unpretty.” 

The song “Waterfalls” tells two meaningful stories in the same song. It wasn’t until the music video came out that the public truly realized the dark but significant meaning behind the song.

On the one side it’s about a guy who hits the streets to make money which disappoints his mother and results in him getting murdered. The other side is about a guy whose life is eventually taken by HIV. 

The late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’ rap verse is the one that possibly conveys the most meaning and talks about drug abuse and gun violence. Ultimately, it tells people to not get caught up in negative habits and actions while chasing dreams.

The song’s pop-ish vibe makes it the perfect song for singing along to with your friends. The different pitches make it such a unique song that people can be drawn to almost immediately. 

Number 6

“1979 by The Smashing Pumpkins (1995)

The Smashing Pumpkins are an alternative American band from Chicago, Illinois. 

The band was formed in 1988 and is still active today. Their original line up consisted of Billy Corgan, D’arcy Wretzky, James Iha, and Jimmy Chamberlain. The Smashing Pumpkins may have been through various members but it doesn’t compare to the number of diverse genres they fit into. Some of the genres include gothic rock, heavy metal, dream pop, electronica, and alternative. 

With 30 million albums sold worldwide, they quickly became one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 1990s.”

— Staff Writer Joslyn Weber

With 30 million albums sold worldwide, they quickly became one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 1990s.

After being active for 12 years, the band eventually broke up in 2000. Though six years later, Corgan and Chamberlain reunited and formed the band again. This time they recruited a new guitarist named Jeff Schroeder. 

“1979” doesn’t necessarily have a specific meaning. Like many pop songs, the lyrics invite you to interpret their meaning on your own. But ultimately, the track is about teenage freedom and adolescent boredom.

The unusual sounds and the breathy voice of Billy Corgan make the song sound unique. While the verses are normal and repetitive, the impact of the song comes when the chorus kicks in. It has such a “rock-ish” vibe while still staying true to its calm roots.

Number 5

“Champagne Supernova by Oasis (1995)

“Champagne Supernova” is a song that is open to interpretation, but the lyrics actually mean something. 

The main core of the song is about jealousy and anger toward people who you don’t fit in with…”

— Staff Writer Joslyn Weber

Some of the lyrics of the song were written while Noel Gallagher was under the influence of drugs so they have different meanings. The main core of the song is about jealousy and anger toward people who you don’t fit in with and sadness for being lonely.

This song is the most important one on this list, in my opinion, because its calm and relaxing melody makes the song sound smooth and tranquil. It’s the perfect song to relax to. But when you get closer to the end of the song, the calm chorus turns into this perfect rock chorus that brings in the electric guitar with such a crisp sound. 

The hook truly comes when the song opens with the sounds of the sea. Waves crashing and sounds of the ocean are unusual for a song and when the guitar starts behind the ocean noise, it makes a person curious to listen to the rest of the song.

Number 4

“Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve (1997)

The Verve was formed in Greater Manchester in 1990 by Richard Ashcroft, Nick McCabe, Simon Jones, Peter Salisbury, and Simon Tong.

The violins, along with the cello, bring a type of orchestral feel…”

— Staff Writer Joslyn Weber

Their commercial breakthrough was attributed to their 1997 album, “Urban Hymns,” which is one of the best selling albums in UK chart history. This album features their hit single “Bittersweet Symphony.” 

The Verve won a Grammy for Best Rock Song which was awarded to “Bittersweet Symphony.”

Lead singer Richard Ashcroft conveys the meaning of life through “Bittersweet Symphony.” He refers to life itself and considers the whole “experience” to be bittersweet. He has sort of a pessimistic outlook on life. While he finds himself on the same course, he wants to change but finds that he can’t because he is stuck in what he calls his “mold” or stereotype of a singer. 

“Bittersweet Symphony” is truly a symphony of its own. The violins, along with the cello, bring a type of orchestral feel that is so rhythmic and gives a crescendo-type feeling. That, combined with Ashcroft’s vocals, ties the song together perfectly.

Number 3

“One Headlight by The Wallflowers (1996)

The Wallflowers are an American rock band that was formed in Los Angeles in 1989. They have been active since 1989. 

When it launches into the chorus, it pulls the whole song together into a perfect bow.”

— Staff Writer Joslyn Weber

The band was formed by Jakob Dylan and Tobi Miller. In 1996 they released their best-known and highest-selling album, “Bringing Down The Horse,” which featured the songs “One Headlight” and “6th Avenue Heartache.” 

Singer-songwriter Jakob Dylan says that the meaning of the song is conveyed through the first verse. When the song says “the death of the long broken arm of human law” in the first verse, he says it’s talking about the death of ideas and at times it seems like people should know to respect people and appreciate them. 

“One Headlight” is another one of those songs that can make a road trip playlist complete. Its calm verses sound somber but meaningful. When it launches into the chorus, it pulls the whole song together into a perfect bow. That, combined with a hint of the banjo, makes the song whole.

Number 2

“Creep by Radiohead (1993)

Radiohead, an English rock band, was formed in 1985 by Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Ed, and Philip Selway. 

[The guitar solo at the beginning] has such a dirty yet clean sound to it…”

— Staff Writer Joslyn Weber

“Pablo Honey,” their debut album, containing their debut song, “Creep,” quickly became a worldwide hit. Radiohead has been active since 1985 and has been recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. 

The song “Creep” is about a man who tries to get the attention of a woman he is attracted to but finds he lacks the self-confidence to go up to talk to her because he feels he is not good enough for her.

“Creep” is definitely an interesting song but the guitar “solo” in the pre-chorus sounds incredible. It has such a dirty yet clean sound to it and to successfully obtain that sound and produce it well, is unbelievable.

Number 1

“Wonderwall” by Oasis (1995)

English rock band Oasis was established in 1991 in Manchester, England. It was formed by brothers Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher, and Paul Arthurs, Paul McGuigan, and Tony McCarrol. 

[T]he meaning of the song was taken away from me by the media who jumped on it.”

— Noel Gallagher in an interview with BBC

Oasis lasted 18 years, from 1991-2009 and they fall into two genres, rock and Britpop. Collectively, they have eight UK number-one singles, and eight UK number one albums. The album that contains “Wonderwall,” was published in 1995, “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” was the fifth best selling album in UK chart history and the UK’s biggest selling album of the 90s.

The true meaning of “Wonderwall” is one that only lead guitarist Noel Gallagher knows. In an earlier interview in 1996, Noel told “New Musical Express” that the song was about his girlfriend at the time. But in another interview in 2002, he backtracked and told the BBC that “the meaning of the song was taken away from me by the media who jumped on it.”

“Wonderwall” is definitely one of the most important songs on this list. Not only does it have great guitar playing by Paul Arthurs, but it has meaningful lyrics and wonderful vocals by Noel Gallagher.

With the perfect range from grungy to pop, this playlist hits most of the famous genres in the ‘90s.

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