My top 50 alternative songs of 1990...Half Life Remembered

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 27, 2020 03:09pm | Post a Comment

Top 50 Alternative Songs of 1990...Part II #31-40

I am counting down my top 50 favorite alternative songs of 1990!.This is part two in my series. So in case you missed the first entry you can find it here. Come join me as I relive the year that started the greatest decade in music.

dinosaur jr.

#40 Dinosaur Jr. "The Wagon" (Sub Pop)

Green Mind was the fourth album by Dinosaur Jr. But this was another new band for me in 1990. I was immediately hooked on this band the first time I heard this song on the radio. They were always somewhere between shoegaze and grunge. It was a sound that just not any band could pull off. But J Mascis always pulls it off. I'm not even sure how he gets that voice of his to sound appealing. But this band has consistently been in my life since 1990 and I could not be happier.

the beloved

#39 The Beloved "Hello" (Atlantic)

The Beloved were another British alternative dance band that came into my life in 1990. This song was all over the radio and I loved their videos. Happiness was their first studio album and also featured "Your Love Takes Me Higher." Bands like this were my perfect transition from new wave to early 90s alternative. I always love anything with synths and this band helped solidify my love. These were also the bands that continued to introduce me to British pop culture and politics.

gene love jezebel

#38 Gene Loves Jezebel "Jealous" (Beggars Banquet)

Kiss of Life was this band's fith album but another first for me. I was a little bit too obsessed with this album and I remember listening to it every day for a while. I even rememberr the first time I heard this song on the radio. I was in the car with my mom and I remember thinking to myself that I need to get into this band. Jane's Addiction was sort of like the LA version of Gene Loves Jezebel. They are dark and spooky and spiritual and glam all at the same tiime. This song may have been slightly overplayed but I never stopped loving it. I would later go back and discover their earlier albums which is always a fun journey to embark on.

the darling buds

#37 The Darling Buds "Crystal Clear" (Epic)

British Indie music was really starting to be a thing at the same time as Alternative music. They all kind of got lumped together. Shoegaze and dreampop and grunge and indie all kind of became the same thing to most people. "Crystal Clear" was from this band's second album Crawdaddy. It was just one of those perfect pop songs. You just know this song is going to be great from that very first note. Like all great songs from this era it takes my right back to 1990. They sit somewhere between bands liks Heavenly and Lush.


aztec camera

#36 Aztec Camera "The Crying Scene" (Sire)

Stray was Roddy Frame's fourth album with Aztec Camera. They were a sort of jangly new wave band from Scotland. I would continue to love bands like this the rest of my life. So I always remember bands like this that got me embarked on that journey. I really fell in love with these guys back in 1984 when "Oblivious" came out on their first album. And then again with "Somewhere In My Heart" in 1987. So it is always cool to still like a band four albums later. Most peoople might have forgotten about this song. But this great little song still holds up. And Roddy was always pretty dreamy.

concrete blonde

#35 Concrete Blonde "Joey" (I.R.S.)

This goth rock ballad for sure crossed over many genres. A song that goths and their soft rock loving moms could both love. I saw this video like 100 times and heard it on the radio multipe times every day for a while. But somehow I still love this song. The whole entiire album is a great. Bloodletting was the third album by this Hollywood based band. Johnette Napolitano has one those distinct voices that you love or hate. But I have always loved her.

social distortion

#34 Social Distortion "Story Of My Life" (Epic)

This song and this band was also everywhere in 1990. At least in Southern California. I feel like I still hear this song and "Ball & Chain" often at shops and bars in Long Beach. This was the major label debut for this little band from Fullerton. I think we all fell in love with Mike Ness in 1990. They were a punk band but also much more than that at the same time. I feel like I had no choice in liking this band. It is just something I had to do.


the lightning seeds

#33 The Lightning Seeds "All I Want" (MCA)

Ian Broudie and The Lightning Seeds were sort of brit pop before it existed. Cloudcuckooland was their brilliant debut album and of my favorites of the year. Pure British nerdy pop. A perfect album. He had such a soft and pretty voice and was my dream nerdy boyfriend. Ian Broudie produced this album and played every instrument! He got me ready for years of being in love with Jarvis Cocker and Damon Albarn.

ned's atomic dustbin

#32 Ned's Atomic Dustbin "Kill Your Television" (Columbia)

God Fodder was the debut album by this British band. I bonded over this album with many a friend over the years. Me and my first college roommate both loved this album and The Pixies so I knew we would be friends. They were one of only a few bands in the Grebo scene. Sort of like the UK version of grunge with more electronics. I really loved this whole album and spent many days of my life listening to it. I loved their vidoes too.

pale saints

#31 Pale Saints "Half-Life Remembered" (4AD)

I really loved almost everythign 4AD put out in the 90s. But Pale Saints were one of my favorites. Shoegaze was just starting to become a thing. So many beautiful layers in this band's songs. They really take you on a journey. Their songs are always sad and melancholy but never made me sad. This band put out three great albums and multiple EPs and singles. The compilation Mrs. Dolphin includes this early song from 1990 and is getting reissued for Record Store Day in August of 2020.