Friday, September 07, 2007

What the hell does VH1 know about music?

Wherein is the answer (A) A little (B) Some (C)VH who?

At A List of Things Thrown Five Minutes Ago everyone is picking their top songs from the 1990s. I didn't realize we were supposed to pick from VH1's list of crap, so I picked songs that are actually fun to listen to:
  • Rub 'Til It Bleeds, PJ Harvey
  • Mint Juleps and Needles, Brenda Kahn
  • Girlfriend, Matthew Sweet
  • Gunslinging Bird, Chuck D, Bill Frisell, Michael Blair, Don Alias, Greg Cohen, Art Baron (from Weird Nightmare, Meditations on Mingus)
  • Window Seat, John Wesley Harding
  • Fuck the Creationists, MC Hawking
  • I Am Wondering, Laura Love
  • Beeswing, Richard Thompson
  • Over the Rainbow, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
  • Not My Brotha, Me Phi Me
  • Can I Kick It?, A Tribe Called Quest

None of these made VH1's list proving that channel is run by brain dead morons. What sort of gerbil would ever pick Alanis Morrisette over PJ Harvey? I wouldn't consider this list definitive, but not bad for 10 minutes of iPod scrolling. Put that on a CD, crank the car stereo, and start bouncing down the street.

update. Others to be considered:

  • Personal Jesus, Depeche Mode
  • Acoustic Motorbike, Luka Bloom
  • Brrrlak!, Zap Mama
  • Prodigal Daughter, Michelle Shocked
  • Egoverride, Bob Mould
  • Eurotrash Girl, Cracker
  • Buck Naked, David Byrne
  • Italian Leather Sofa, Cake
  • Feels Like Home, Randy Newman/Bonnie Raitt (Faust)
  • Gett Off, Prince
  • Superman Song, Crash Test Dummies
  • California Uber Alles, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
  • Big Spender, The Robustos
  • What's the Buzz, Indigo Girls, et. al. (Jesus Christ Superstar)
  • Happy Phantom, Tori Amos
  • Hip Length, Ursula 1000
  • Hotwax, Beck
  • Never Be, Prudence Johnson and Gary Rue
  • Second Time Around, Rickie Lee Jones
  • Pray to the Junkiemaker, Fishbone
  • So In Love, k.d. Lang (Red Hot + Blue: A Tribute To Cole Porter)
  • True Dreams of Wichita, Soul Coughing
  • Foolish Love, Rufus Wainwright
  • Sledgehammer, Peter Gabriel
  • Someone To Love, Charles Brown
  • 20th Century Man, Ray Davies (The Storyteller)
  • 911 is a Joke, Duran Duran
  • Moby Dick, Dread Zeppelin
  • Mistress of the Senator, Audra McDonald
  • I Know, Dionne Farris


Blogger XWL said...

How many of these songs would sound out of place in the 60s, 70s, 80s, or 00s?

The 90s were all about the post-post pop era.

Hard to pick any popular song from the 90s that definitively says '90s' and only '90s'.

Either it was recycled 60s jangly garage, recycled 70s punk with a metal tinge, recycled Eagles-ish soft country-rock, recycled 70s serious singer-songwriter anthems, recycled 80s hair band without the hair, recycled 80s Prince grooves (even the ones by Prince himself), electronica was the most semi-original form to arrive in the 90s, but a lot of that was applying a disco sensibility through a new wave filter using improved equipment.

And yet, all that said, it was a pretty good decade for music.

Interesting to see how few acts from that time (that weren't popular in the 70s or 80s already) are still touring big venues.

9/08/2007 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

I missed a bunch of stuff because I thought it was 80s music. I guess the 80s ended for me January, 1992 when I moved to Atlanta. Atlanta does have some good college/community stations and that's what I primarily listened to. Also DJed when I went back to college and usually played the music no one else knew what to do with.

Just realized I forgot to add a Muffs song. They'd definately have to be in the top 10 for me. I never finished my "40 years of music" because after 1992 I really have no idea what is going on in popular/commercial music. Picking 20 songs from the top 100 for each year was futile as I didn't recognize enough to bother with. Artists I collected in the 90s were The Muffs, John Wesley Harding, and Laura Love. Everyone and everything else was hit and miss, whatever grabbed my interest.

9/08/2007 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Leo said...

I'm no pretender - I liked a lot of those VH-1 songs! :) But I also thought the VH-1 list lacked songs with any kind of definitive quality. Perhaps this is due to the reasons xwl cites, but I think it could just be a shoddy list. Anyway, I didn't recognize much off your first list, but your updated one has some reminders and more to work with, giving me something to do in my free music surfing time.

9/09/2007 08:38:00 AM  

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