My top 50 alternative songs of 1991...Can You Dig It?

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 21, 2020 01:30pm | Post a Comment

Top 50 Alternative Songs of 1991...Part I #41-50

I am counting down my top 50 favorite alternative songs of the 90s!. I just finished up 1990. So in case you missed that last entry you can find it here. I am now moving on to 1991. This is part one of five parts for 1991. I am starting with #50. Come join me as I relive the greatest decade in alternative music.

#50 Northside "Take 5" (Factory)

What a fun band that only lasted for one album back in 1991! Chicken Rhythms was produced by my favorite Ian Broudie of Lightning Seeds fame. So it was not too surprising I would like this song. I never really knew much about this band or this song but it takes me right back to 1991. It is fun to go back and research some of these bands that I knew so little about way back in the early 90s. They are of course from Manchester. So many of my favorite bands at the time were coming out of Manchester. It was super important for me to visit when I went to England a couple of years ago. Think of Northside as a less serious Stone Roses. A more fun Charlatans. A Super catchy radio friendly song. A song that I was destined to love. And I still can listen to it all these years later.

marys danish

#49 Mary's Danish "Julie's Blanket" Morgan Creek)

I always loved the name of this band. I loved their song "Don't Crash The Car Tonight" from 1989. There are a couple bands that I always remember exact conversations about. I remember a friend in high school asked me "Do you like Mary's Danish?" It was obviously much more common to be asked if you liked The Smiths or The Cure. But I did love this song. This band got me ready for years of loving female fronted alternative bands. And it was always nice to add an LA band to my list of bands I liked. They were like our version of Throwing Muses. This song is snarky and angsty. It reminds me of an Elastica song from years later. Mary's Danish even got a song on the Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie soundtrack the following year!

the dylans

#48 The Dylans "Godlike" (Situation Two)

This song is from one of those underrated albums that most people have forgotten or never knew about. The Dylans were from Sheffield and also part of the madchester scene. They are similar to bands like The Ocean Blue & Insprial Carpets. Doing a late 80s take on cool 60s psychedelic sounds. "Godlike" was from their first self titled album and also included "Planet Love." They only went on to put out one more album a couple of years after this one. There are some albums that are just a perfect time capsule of a certain time in music history. And this is one of those bands and albums. 


#47 The Judybats "Native Son" (Sire)

KROQ was the alternative LA radio station of the 80s and 90s. They introduced me to a ton of bands. They put out a calendar every year that I was obsessed with. One year there was a Sire Records/KROQ cassette that came with it that featured The Ocean Blue, Book of Love, The Mighty Lemon Drops, Throwing Muses, MBV & Dinosaur Jr. It also featured this song by The Judybats. I remember organizng my cassette collection in the 90s and realizing half of my cassettes were put out by Sire! These guys might be the only band from Tennessee on my Alternative countdown. Another catchy and happy early 90s alternative gem. This song was from their self titled first album Native Son.

manic street preachers

#46 Manic Street Preachers "Stay Beautiful" (Columbia)

Some songs I remember first hearing on the radio. But this is one of those songs I remember first seeing the video of. This band released the amazing album Generation Terrorists the following year. But this song was for sure my introduction to the band. I was into this band for many years and albums after this. They were the perfect combination of British punk rock and glam. I loved this song so much. I often listen to it on repeat. It is like a big huge catchy rock anthem. Their first couple albums featured guitarist Richey Edwards. He went missing in 1995 and was pronounced dead over a decade later. But his body was never found! A real 90s unsolved mystery! I like to thing that he is still living his best life on some far away island.

the other two

#45 The Other Two "Tasty Fish" (Factory)

I was a huge fan of Joy Division and New Order in the 80s and was excited for all these side projects in the early 90s. I loved that first Electronic album that featured Bernard Summer. The other two Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris released The Other Two & You. Imagine a more fun and dance pop version of New Order. Maybe Pet Shop Boys with a femaie vocalist. It was great to see and hear Gillian sing and I loved this song. So fun and still after all these years something I love listening to. I love going back and watching these videos that I have not seen in almost 30 years. It really is like jumping into the best kind of time machine. I would love nothing more than to go back to 1991 and watch all these bands perform live!

the psychedelic furs

#44 The Psychedelic Furs "Until She Comes" (EastWest)

I know that I love a lot of bands. But I just can't help it. I was obviously a big John Hughes fan and I loved "Pretty in Pink." But I really did love a lot of their songs. I can never get enough of the songs "Love My Way," "Heaven" or "Ghost In You," And how great to have a great new song by them in 1991 off their album World Outside. I discovered so many new bands in the early 90s. But it was nice to still have some of my favorites from the 80s putting out good new material. They even have a new album out this year called Made of Rain that is also great! Richard Butler has an amazing voice. I just fall in love with it every time I listen to these guys. I got to see them live in 2000 and they did not disappoint.

american music club

#43 American Music Club "Rise" (Alias)

I am sure if  I was a bit older and had moved to San Francisco in the last 80s I would have known about this band much earlier. I would have obsesively seen them live as much as I could. But they didn't make there way into my life until the album Everclear in 1991. I was destined to love this genre of sadcore or whatever you want to call it. I fell in love with bands like Low and Red House Painters as soon as I heard them for the first time. This album is just simply beautiful and Mark Eitzel is a beautiful songwriter and musician. That voice is so achingly sweet. Try and listen to this album and not fall in love. "Rise" actually had a video that I must have seen late at night one night on 120 minutes.

the mock turtles

#42 The Mock Turtles "Can You Dig It" (Siren)

I have to admit I really only liked this one song by these guys. But I just never listened to the whole album until this week! It's actually pretty good. They released the album Turtle Soup the previous year in 1990. This single "Can You Dig It" is great though. It is like something Greg Brady would sing if he was around in England in 1991. Super catchy in that very special early 90s way. I really was loving most things British at this point. I loved all these bands coming out of Machester more than anything. This song got reissued in 2003 and became a hit again. Which is kind of crazy.



#41 Jellyfish "That Is Why" (Charisma)

Another San Francisco band on my list! This song was off their first album Bellybutton released in 1990. They would only release one more album Spilt Milk in 1993. I sometimes forget that I do love power pop. But then I listen to a song like this and rembember that I do. I was certainly intrigued by this band back in the early 90s. They looked like they came out of some crazy psychdelic dream. Tim Burton could have featured them in Alice in Wonderland if he had remade it in 1991. It is amazing that songs like this stay in my memory so many years later. I still love this song like I did the first time I heard it.

Continue on to Part II...