My top 50 alternative songs of 1990...Dreams Burn Down

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 7, 2020 06:08pm | Post a Comment

Top 50 Alternative Songs of 1990...Part IV #11-20

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

nick cave weeping song

#20 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds "The Weeping Song" (Mute)

How could I have this top 50 alternative countdown without Nick Cave! I can usually pinpoint around when I first heard some of these artists. I really don't think I had heard of Nick Cave before 1990. It really took a video on MTV or a song on the radio or a friend introducing me. Like so many other artists, this was the year for Nick Cave. I listened to this album so many times over the years. "The Weeping Song" and "The Ship Song" are both my favorites from The Good Son. Nick Cave has one of those voices and personalitles that I just sort of fell in love with. He for sure has a cult following and it is not hard to see why. He is like the goth Elvis. Heartbreaking and beautiful. A worldwide treasure.

book of love alice everyday

#19 Book Of Love "Alice Everyday" (Sire)

This was the first single from their 1991 album Candy Carol. I was already hooked on this band from their first two albums and songs like "Boy" and "Pretty Boys & Pretty Girls." The song "Modigliani" was featured in one of the best films of all time Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Their second single from Candy Carol album would go on to be featured in another amazing movie The Silence of the Lambs. Band member Lauren Roselli was also featured in the movie! It was like my two worlds colliding and I could not be happier. This band were just perfect. Queer tinged Dance Pop at its finest. I always feel happy when listening to this band and still listen to them a ton all of these years later!

happy mondays step on

#18 Happy Mondays "Step On" (Factory)

Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches was the third album released by Happy Mondays but another first album for me. "Step On" was the first single from the album and I was hooked after the first time I heard it. "Bob's Yer Uncle" is another favorite from the album. Yet another song that could only exist at the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s. I was hooked on everything Madchester and loved the sampling and house music influences happening throughout a lot of music in this period. 90s dance music was truly the best. This album was produced by DJ Paul Oakenfold and you can tell. Such a fun album that takes me right back to 1990!

ride fall

#17 Ride "Dreams Burn Down" (Creation)

There are many bands that came into my life in 1990 that I can't imagine my life without. Some of them just got popular in 1990. But many like Ride put other their first EP or album in 1990. We got Ride, Slowdive, Lush & Chapterhouse all coming out in 1990! Did we really deserve all this greatness in one year! The Shoegaze sound had started a couple of years earlier with My Bloody Valentine. But these new bands of 1990 made me wake up and forever changed me with their sound. "Dreams Burn Down" is still one of my favorite songs. Ethereal obscured vocals with loud guitars and feedback. Not sure why or how it worked but a generation of fans like me were forever in love with all things shoegaze.

pixies velouria

#16 Pixies "Velouria" (4AD)

I was already a huge fan of the second Pixies album Doolittle and its song "Monkey Gone To Heaven" from the previous year. But this was the album that got me obsessed. I love every song on this album and have all the lyryics memorized. "Velouria" is just a perfect song. Frank Black and Kim Deal singing together is just alternative music magic. Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. were the perfect bridge between late 80s/early 90s alternative and the grunge music right around the corner. The songs were a bit gritty but also catchy and brilliant. Once you are a Pixies fan you are really a Pixies fan for life. I can listen to Kim Deal's voice all day long.


#15 Blur "She's So High" (Food)

I was always way more of a Blur fan than an Oasis fan. But many of my friends were more of an Oasis fan. Blur would always be first because they had their first single in 1990. Blur were the bridge between Madchester and Britpop. That term would not come around for a couple of years still. But I always loved British pop. So it was only natural that I would soon become a proud fan of Brit Pop. Blur were my everything. It never hurt that they were adorable and style icons for many of us. But the music was just simply fun. And oh so British. It was what all us alternative and goth kids needed. Even if we didn't know it at the time. Blur always had a good video and this video got me hooked on this band for the next two decades. Graham Coxon forever!


#14 Morrissey "November Spawned A Monster" (Sire)

My love for Morrissey was really like no other. And I love a lot of things. But this was special. Me and my friends that loved Morrissey in high school acutally really loved him and everything about him. By the time I got into Morrissey he was already solo and The Smiths were no longer. His first solo album had come out in 1988. This was always one of my favorite singles of his and I watched the video hundreds of times. It has never been easy to be a fan of Morrissey and he has always had his haters. But his legacy and what he meant to an entire generation can never be taken away. This non album single showed up on the Bona Drag compilation.


#13 The Charlatans "The Only One I Know" (Situation Two)

The Charlatans were another Madchester band to break out of 1990 with their debut Some Friendly. I really only liked this band's first two albums but they would go on to put out thirteen albums total! "The Only One I Know" and "Then" were both great songs off this album but I did love the whole album. Another great British band that were able to perfectly combine elements of dance and perfect pop music. I never really called them The Charlatans UK because I always knew what band my friends and I were talking about. This is always a fun album to revisit.

cocteau twins

#12 Cocteau Twins "Iceblink Luck" (4AD)

What can I really say about this band that has not already been said. Elizabeth Fraser and Cocteau Twins basically invented their own sound. Elements of goth, shoegaze, ethereal and dreampop create the most perfect band if there ever was one. The band had already been arond for a decade. Heaven Or Las Vegas was their sixth album and their last on the lable 4AD. It is one of their best among a perfect catalog of music. I love so many songs on here and "I Wear Your Ring" is another favorite. But "Iceblink Luck" was the first single and my introduction to the band. I still remember seeing the video for the first time. A truly unique band that I will love forever.

lush mad love

#11 Lush "De-Luxe" (4AD)

I am sure you can tell by now that I was a fan of 4AD! They were just so consisent. I could always trust them to introduce me to so many great new songs and artists. Miki Berenyi and Lush were the 90s to me. Lush always make me a think of an ethereal goth version of Bananarama. Just try and listen to this song and not think of them. I can't even begin to explain to you what this band meant to me. I listened to their first three albums too many times to count and went to sleep to these albums all the time. They were always so comforting to me like a warm shoegaze blanket. I got to see them back in the 90s but also on their reunion tour a couple of years ago. So many of these bands of 1990 became my favorites for the next two decades.

Continue on to Part V...