My top 50 alternative songs of 1991...Sing Your Life

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 9, 2020 12:55pm | Post a Comment

Top 50 Alternative Songs of 1991...Part IV #11-20

I am counting down my top 50 favorite alternative songs of the 90s! This is part four 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.

drive that fast

#20 Kitchens of Distinction "Drive That Fast" (One Little Indian)

Kitchens of Distintion were another sort of dream pop and shoegaze band from England. They never got as popular as they should of. But I really do love this song. They remind me of 80s bands like Echo & The Bunnymen or The Chameleons. Maybe mixed with the swirly shoegaze of 4AD bands like Lush and Cocteau Twins. It is easy to fall in love with this song. I love disappearing into it. "Quick As Rainbows" was the first single off their second album Strange Free World. But this was their second single off that album and I liked it a bit better. 

electronic get the message

#19 Electronic "Get The Message" (Factory)

Electronic were the super group that I didn't know I needed. The Smiths, New Order & Pet Shot Boys were some of my absolute favorites of the era so this was the perfect group for me. Electronic was Johnny Marr from The Smiths and Bernard Sumner from New Order. The Pet Shop Boys Chris Lowe and Neil Tenant also were featured on their debut album. "Getting Away With It" was the first single that came out in 1989. But we had to wait until 1991 for "Get The Message" and the debut self titled album Electronic. This album has remained a favorite of mine ever since it came out. The perfect British alternative dance album with not a bad song on the album. "Gangster" and "Tighten Up" are absolutely perfect.

ned's atomic dustbin grey cell green

#18 Ned's Atomic Dustbin "Grey Cell Green" (Columbia)

I was already a fan of these guys with "Kill Your Television." Their debut album God Fodder was on heavy rotation on my walkman. I was obsessed with these guys in the early 90s and loved this video and song. It almost made me want to start my own grebo band and get dread locks and wear tie-dye outfits. Maybe this genre will come back and this band can get popular again now that tie-die is back. They never got as popular as they should have been. But they were such a fun band and this song is one of their best.The whole album is great.

kiss them for me

#17 Siouxsie & the Banshees "Kiss Them For Me" (Geffen)

How can I possibly explain my love of Siouxsie Sioux. I can't remember the exact year I got into Siouxsie & The Banshees but I think Tinderbox was my first album I got by them. Superstition was their 10th album and was released in 1991. They only had one album after this. What an amazing career and catalog of album they had. I got obessed with them probably around this time and went back and got all their old albums in the early 90s. This song was for sure overplayed and I couldn't listen to it for a while. But I love revisting it now and it is still a good song. Their songs are always dark and spooky. And there is just something about this band that I can never get enough of.

pale saints flesh balloon

#16 Pale Saints "Hunted" (4AD)

The second Pale Saints album In Ribbons did not come out until 1992. But this song had it's debut on the Flesh Balloon EP released this year. They were one of the greats of shoegaze but always more on the dream pop side. This song is one of my favorites of theirs. It is a bit of a downer but I still love listening to it. And like many albums of the early 90s this is one I revisit quite often. I seriously want to dive in this album sometimes and never come out. Such a multi-layered great song and album. Dreamy and perfect in every way. I never got to see this band live unfortunately. But I wish I could go back in time and see them. They played at the I-Beam in SF in 1992 and they played in LA in 1992 and 1994.


soundgarden outshined

#15 Soundgarden "Outshined" (A&M Records)

Soundgarden had already put out two albums but I think "Rusty Cage" and "Outshined" were my frist introduction to Soungarden. Badmotorfinger was their third album and was released in 1991. I know I heard these songs on the radio. But I probably really got into them when I saw their videos. And I for sure remember seeing "Rusty Cage" on Beavis & Butthead. Chris Cornell was hard not to look at. His voice and presence on the screen was something like I had never seen. I was hooked. They were my gateway to Seattle and the other grunge bands of the era.


sugarcubes hit

#14 The Sugarcubes "Hit" (One Little Indian)

Bjork would soon take over my life with her debut album a couple of years later. But I was already a fan of her band The Sugarcubes. Stick Around for Joy was the band's third album and would be released in 1992. But the single "Hit" was released this year. I think I saw the video on 120 minutes before I actually heard the song on the radio. It quickly became one of my favorite songs of the year. You either loved or hated Bjork but this is one of the songs that really made me love her. I loved how unique and weird she was. But it was really that voice that got me and made me a lifelong fan.


morrissey sing your life

#13 Morrissey "Sing Your Life" (Sire)

Morrissey's second solo album Kill Uncle was released in 1991. "Our Frank" was the first single from the album. But I always loved "Sing Your Life" a bit more. I saw Morrisey many times over the next couple of decades but this was the first tour I saw him on. This album was another album I listened to a ton in 1991. Probably every single day for a while. Me and most of my friends were hooked on everything Morrissey. I loved the videos of this era and this song will always be special to me. No matter what I will have my memories of one of my first musical obsessions who really spoke to me and many of my generation.

throwing muses not too soon

#12 Throwing Muses "Not Too Soon" (4AD)

The Real Ramona was the band's fourth album but the first for me. But how could I not love this band after hearing "Not Too Soon." Some songs are just perfect and this is one of those songs. It is instantly recognizeable and fun to sing along to. This song sounds like a 60s girl group song but in a modern indie rock way with some 4AD style production. My many years of Tanya Donelly and Kristin Hersh obsession all started with this song and this album. Such a special song and it takes my right back to the early 90s from that very first second of the song.


erasure love to hate you

#11 Erasure "Love To Hate You" (Sire)

I was already a big fan of Erasure when this album came out. I was obsessed with their album Wild! from 1989 so was anxiously anticipating this new album. Chorus was released in 1991 and it did not disappoint. Every song on this album was perfectly Erasure. "Love To Hate You" was the second of four singles released from this album. There really is nobody like this band. Vince Clarke and Andy Bell were the perfect combination to make this very special band. They put out some of the best dance pop songs of the 80s and 90s. They always make me happy and it is always fun to revisit their albums all these years later.


continue on to part V...