Madonna once said:
“Music makes the bourgeoisie and the rebel”
I’ve no idea either.
But it doesn’t matter what she said because she uttered that pile of garbage in 2000 and today young bloods, I’m focusing on the 1990s. A time when Top Of The Pops was still half decent and as far as we knew the audience were safe.
I’ve actually always been a massive fan of the 80s. The music, the style, the toys etc. Largely because I was very young then and have many fond memories linked to it all. However, the 90s were a very awkward time. I became a teenager and I was a little bit dorky (hard to believe cos I’m a gorgeous bastard now). Hence whenever I’ve heard the music of that era it’d inevitably conjure up images of those I fancied from afar but never had a chance with or the time I wet myself in the classroom in my final year at Juniors. Many mid 90s songs I associate with some boys from school who always seemed to be bragging about how they “Just fingered Lucy by the bins at break time”. Good times. For them not me obviously.
So a lot of music in that ten year span has been tarnished irreparably but there was still a LOT of goodness to be had through the radio, MTV (just the one back then) and for those with cable, The Box!
Plus some of the songs I didn’t like then I now DO like as I’ve forgotten with age what was putting me off of them in the first place. Dementia clearly has its good points.
So I’ll take you through a few things I like about the decade that fashion couldn’t be arsed with. But not in that over contrived, long worded, let’s all lick Leonard Cohens ass kind of way the magazines do. I’m not clever enough for that.
Now I stand to be corrected here but wasn’t the 90s the last decade to give us a new musical genre? There were a few such as Grunge, House, Indie, Trance etc
What have we had since then? I’ll give you a moment…..
Nope? Nothing in the naughties? Nor the teenies? Exactly. The 90s crammed them all in first. The best of all being Brit Pop.
The two powerhouses of Britpop were without doubt Blur and Oasis and as fans you were one or the other. You couldn’t cross the streams on this one or the world would scratch it’s head all confused and go to sleep. Except you could. I LOVED Blur and LOVED Oasis in equal measure. Looking back I think I followed the Gallagher style (specifically Liam) over that of Damon Albarn. I even tried to emulate his hair but back then I didn’t have access to GHDs so it was more like Rosie O’Donnells incarnation of Betty Rubble.
Remember the big battle for number one in 1995? Blurs Country House Vs Oasis’ Roll With It.
Bizarrely Blur won that little tussle. Bizarre as Roll With It was (still is) a much better track. Maybe people were getting fed up with Liam being a cock at the time, who knows?)
There were others in the Britpop world mind. Greats like Suede (Trash), Sleeper (Sale Of the Century), Space (Female Of The Species), Pulp (Common People), Dodgy (Good Enough) and definitely maybe even more than that.
Birdhouse In Your Soul – They Might Be Giants
Possibly a grey area this one as I believe it was released in the UK in early 1990 but in America in late 1989. It probably doesn’t matter as I imagine any Americans reading these blogs have no idea what I’m on about half the time and have pissed off.
Back to the song. It’s one of those catchy tunes that could’ve been 100% eighties (had it been around then) that I can never listen to just once. And it’s fun to sing too once you learn the lyrics. Lyrics, by the way, that make ZERO sense. Seriously. Have a look.
“Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch
Who watches over you
Make a little birdhouse in your soul”
I’m sure it does mean something. Something about love or death or home insurance. Dont care it’s just a great song. Here’s a link so you can enjoy it too:
Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm- Crash Test Dummies
Another great one to sing if you can pull off a sleepy, deep Canadian twang. This track was followed by the more upbeat Afternoons & Coffeespoons which I nearly highlighted instead, but Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm has a kind of drab, story telling sound to it that just works really well.
I’ll be surprised if anyone alive then doesn’t remember it. If you don’t, click below. You’re welcome.
Oh the Spice Girls….. Sigh.
They were fantastic weren’t they? Women wanted to be them, men wanted to be with them. And there was something for everyone, so much so they were even categorised! I grew up with a fascination for Posh Spice but as the years roll on I’m firmly in the Baby Spice camp. That’s not to say I didn’t love them all to the extent that I was heavily dehydrated between the years of 1996 to 1999.
I’ll not bang on about the Spices because literally EVERYBODY in the world knows them. Maybe you’re reading this on the bus in Cambodia. Show the old woman on the seat opposite this picture of Geri Halliwell.
She just said “Ginger” didn’t she? Knew it!
Ready To Go – Republica
Another song you’ll know even if you don’t think you do. I have a love/hate relationship with this track as for a long while it was played to death. But it’s just so God damn blood pumping and motivational that if ever I’m going for a run or trying to evade some bad guys in a high speed chase round the M25, I have to put it on.
Mariah Mariah Mariah. What’s become of my wonderful Mariah. Some would say she’s derailed in recent times but I always think back to the decade when she killed EVERYTHING. I think my first ever record was Vision of Love (or maybe Kylie Minogues I Should be So Lucky. Dont judge me I’ve seen Muse live loads) and the first album was Daydream containing Fantasy and One Sweet Day. I’d later gone back to Emotions but my favourite has always been Music Box.
You know when people say a song is haunting? I never really understood that term but when you hear songs like Can’t Let Go, Music Box, All I’ve Ever Wanted, Anytime You Need a Friend etc you get it instantly.
And lest we forget the goddess that is Mariah (not Mimi) Carey released one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time!
Though why in the name of piss did she re-release it as a new, over autotuned duet with serial penis Justin Bieber??
About ten years ago a mate of mine randomly gave me a tenner and said to buy him something good. Bought him Music Box didn’t I. He took it back for a refund. Clown.
Oh and don’t forget her MTV Unplugged performance! And she did this too:
I’m gushing now I know. But I don’t care, it’s my blog, deal with it.
So that’s my run down on a few musical things from the 1990s. And I didn’t even touch on Take That! By the way this album:
Deserves more coverage here but I’m knackered now, sorry Robbie.
My one musical regret from the nineties? Millennium Prayer didn’t get to number one. Gutted for you I was Cliff. Gutted.