The 10 greatest songs from the grunge era- Part I
This short list does not intend to portrait the entire grunge era, it is just my top 10 favourite featuring bands that I grew up listening to while a teenager, hope you enjoy at least one of them !
10-Outshined ( Soundgarden)
No presentations needed: its the unique voice of Chris Cornell combined with 3 great band mates and musicians. Despite being worldwide known only after Superunknown, the 1991 album badmotorfinger gave Soundgarden the first boost towards another level in composition, fan base and even awards as they were for the first time nominated for a Grammy award.I saw them in 1992 opening with Faith no More for Guns n Roses and from that moment I became fascinated with their music.
The song is heavy and has great guitar riffs with the distinctive mark of Cornell and Kim Thayil . It has reached a wide audience as the album where it comes from , Bad Motorfinger, reached a top 40 position at the Billboard 200, an astonishing achievement for a heavy rock band with an alternative fan base.
9-Man in the Box ( Alice in Chains)
Alice in Chains made the transition between hard rock\Metal and a more alternative audience that was skeptical to music that appeal to masses. The distorted and dark guitar riffs played by Jerry Cantrell matched perfectly with the agonized voice of the great late Layne Staley. Unfortunately I never had a chance to see them while Staley was still alive,however they are still a band constantly playing on my ipod as their sound never gets old. Despite the come back with a new singer, AIC is not the same and honestly to me they sounded better while a trio because Jerrys voice is very good and has always been an essential part of their songs .
Despite being heavily stoned while composing it, like Staley admitted, it is one of their greatest songs and almost every rock fan recognizes it as soon as they hear the distinctive guitar riff that is only faded at the chorus. Did I mention it features an amazing guitar solo?
8-Even Flow ( Pearl Jam)
Pear jam was and still is a force of nature. They have a terrific electricity on-stage that contaminates the audience , a place where they begin their steady rock climb to legends. If other bands are essentially great artists following a charismatic vocal singer, on this band the central spot is disseminated within many personalities that together create unique power.Their début work, Ten, was and still is one of the most important rock albums of the past twenty years, and their continuous production demonstrates they will not retire soon. I saw them in 1996 at a post-grunge hungover, then in 2001 at a stadium : two great shows but two different moods.
Believe it or not, this song is Eddie Vedder talking about Homeless people , using a rage tone that when singed live takes the audience to an insane session of crowd surfing and riot dance.
7-Interstate Love Song ( Stone Temple Pilots)
Despite coming from California, Stone Temple Pilots are one of the most preeminent bands of the Seattle sound movement. The band experienced a great success with their first album Core, while the following work, Purple, included this great song.
Interstate Love song is a great music to listen to while driving under a spring\summer sunny day, with a southern rock touch that transmits us a good laid-back approach to life. The lyrics are all about Scot Wieland’s love triangle that included his girlfriend, Heroin and himself.
This was one of the best songs I heard them performing back in 2002 at a rock festival. Side note: On stage Scott is a force of nature.
6 - In Bloom ( Nirvana)
Nothing much left to say about Nirvana. They were and still are one of the most influential bands since rock n` roll, mainly to hordes of teenagers that for the first time found a band that truly represented their rage and agitated spirits.
In Bloom is the fourth single from Nevermind their most successful album and a fundamental legacy to rock music. The song alternates between a relaxed tone and the explosion that is common to many Nirvana songs-and how that worked live! The lyrics are a well imagined satire around the way their fan base exploded which lead many unfamiliar to alternative music people to their shows. It is a joy to listen to and the video is great.
I saw them back in 1994 with a new member ( a cello player) at one of their last shows and I remember quite well singing with the crowd:
He’s the one
Who likes all our pretty songs
And he likes to sing along
And he likes to shoot his gun
But he knows not what it means
Knows not what it means
when I say yeeeaaahhh