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My top 50 alternative songs of 1991...Super Electric

Posted by Brad Schelden, September 29, 2020 03:17pm | Post a Comment

Top 50 Alternative Songs of 1991...Part III #21-30

I am counting down my top 50 favorite alternative songs of the 90s! This is part three of five parts for 1991. In case you missed the last entry you can find it here. Come join me as I continue my journey through the greatest decade in alternative music.

this mortal coil

#30 This Mortal Coil "You & Your Sister" (4AD)

This song was from Blood which was my first introduction to This Mortal Coil. These collections of covers were put together by Ivo Watts-Russell who had already put out two albums in the 80s that I soon became obsessed with. I was already a fan of Kim Deal and Tanya Donnelly who are featured on this song. Each song is really a beautiful little masterpiece. The covers are dark and spooky and very 4AD. This was also a great gateway to many artists that I had never listend to like Nick Drake, Tim Buckley, Alex Chilton, Gene Clark & Chris Bell. This song brought me to these albums that I've listened to probably more than anything. These heartbreaking collections of  songs have really been life changing to so many of my friends.

voice of the beehive

#29 Voice of the Beehive "Monsters & Angels" (London Records)

I love this song. It always makes me so happy to hear it. Just try not to smile when you hear this song or watch this video. Voice of the Beehive were sort of like the alternatiive Wilson Phillips. Tracey Bryn and Melissa Brooke Belland were the two daughter of Bruce Belland from The Four Preps and The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet. The band also featured members of the band Madness. They were just one of those super fun alternative pop bands of the late 80s and early 90s. Like a Californian version of Strawberry Switchblade or B-52's. They were a bit of a throw back to a different era but with the bright colors and fun of the modern era. "Monster & Angels" was a single off their 2nd album Honey Lingers.

the candy skins

#28 The Candy Skins "Submarine Song" (DGC)

This song was featured on their debut album Space I'm In. The album also features a cover of "For What It's Worth." These dudes were from Oxford, England. But They reminded me of the alternative power pop bands of the United States. I kind of get a Replacements vibe from them too. I could of seen this song featured in the movie Singles or an episode of the Real World. Britpop did not quite exist yet but they guys put out another four albums after their debut and kind of fell under that umbrella. I can't remember if I first heard this song on KROQ or on an episode of 120 minutes. These guys never got near as big as bands like Radiohead or Supergrass. But I always loved this song.

The Wonder Stuff

#27 The Wonder Stuff "Caught In My Shadow" (Polydor)

I never really stopped listening to the Wonder Stuff album Hup from 1989. It was seriously in my tape player for like 3 years. I was forever a fan of them because of that album. The band released Never Loved Elvis in 1991. It featured this single, "The Size of a Cow" and "Welcome to the Cheap Seats." These guys opened up for Siouxsie & The Banshees with this album. I would love to go back in time for that show! This is just another great song by these guys. The kind of song that I always want to sing along to.

material issue valerie loves me

#26 Material Issue "Valerie Loves Me" (Mercury)

Another power pop band that I loved from Chicago. If you would have asked me what power pop was in 1991 I would have had no idea. I never even really knew that I loved that genre until many years later. Sort of like shoegaze. I just loved the sound and the bands and didn't know it was a genre! This song takes me right back to 1991. It was on heavy rotation on the radio and I rememember the video and that haircut. I had that haircut!  And I always wanted to have a friend named Valerie so I could sing her this song but it never happened. This was the single from their debut album International Pop Overthrow.

 

cranes

#25 Cranes "Tomorrow's Tears" (Dedicated)

I didn't really get obsessed with these guys until their second album Forever. They toured with The Cure in 1992 and put out their second album in 1993. But this song was always one of my favorites. It was off their debut album Wings of Joy. This band was pretty much a goth band. But they crossed the lines of dreampop, shoegaze and goth. I don't always love bands with baby voiced singers. But it really worked for this band. I went to sleep to their albums for many years of my life in college. This song is sweet and spooky like a gothic lullaby. A really great album by a unique band that really made a big impression on me. Their album Loved in 1994 was one of my favorites of that year too.

smashing pumpkins

#24 The Smashing Pumpkins "Rhinoceros" (Hut Recordings)

I will always remember two conversations I had with my dad about music. Once he asked me if I was "grunge" when I started listening to Nirvana. And he then asked me if I was "alternative" when I started listening to Smashing Pumpkins. These were the first bands I liked that he actually had heard of. This song and the album Gish were my introduction to this band. I hadn't really heard anything like this band. But my years of loving British alternative bands had got me ready for these guys. It all made sense that I loved this band. I loved this entire album and was a big fan of these guys for much of the 90s. There were dirty and messy but wrote some beautiful songs.

stereolab super electric

#23 Stereolab "Super Electric" (Too Pure)

I love the early 90s for many reasons. These were the years I was introduced to so many new bands that would be a part of my life forever. Stereolab was one of those bands. I had no idea the ride I was in for when I first discovered these guys. They had released a couple of EPs in 1991 and 1992 that got included on the Switched On compilation. Peng! also came out in 1992 as their first real album. But it all started with this song. This band was the coolest. They sang in French and English and were just all over the place with their sound and influences. They were weird avant-pop electronica, krautrock and 60s psychedelic all in one. I was so happy to find these guys and to live through the 90s with them.

losing my religion

#22 R.E.M. "Losing My Religion" (Warner Bros.)

This song and this album were unavoidable in 1991. You either loved or hated it. This song was the first single from their seventh album Out Of Time. I was already a fan of these guys because of the album Green from 1988. I was pretty obsessed with that album so I remember being excited to buy this new album. This song and the album were a bit more melancholic but I still loved it. I remember seeing this video for the first time like it was yesterday. Michael Stipe and his weird dancing and those shirtless angels. This song was probably a bit overplayed but I still loved it and loved Michael Stipe. It is a fun song and album to revisit after all these years.

 

the ocean blue

#21 The Ocean Blue "Ballerina Out Of Control" (Sire)

David Schelzel and the Ocean Blue were sort of my style icons of the early 90s. I had that haircut. I wore white t-shirts and button down shirts. I was dressing like a preppy indie band from Hershey Pennsylvania who were dressing like a British indie band. I honestly always thought these guys were British when I liked them in the 90s. They seemed like the dream and jangle pop bands that I loved from the UK. They could have easily been on Sarah Records. These guys were dreamy and cool and everything I loved. This song was off their second album Cerulean. Those first three albums are all excellent albums. Another great 90s band that was birthed at the end of the 80s.

Continue on to part IV...