Very Best Years mix cover art

A couple posts back, I mentioned that I once had assembled a playlist of lost classics from the early and mid 90s.  While that playlist is long gone, I felt inspired to put together a new mix based on some of the best of that stuff.

A couple of the tracks on here are pretty obscure; most of them should be at least passingly familiar to anyone who spent a lot of late Sunday nights watching 120 Minutes on MTV from, say, 1991 to 1995 or so.  I tried to include stuff that, for one reason or another, has been left out of the 90s narrative today.  A lot of these tracks are great songs by one hit wonders who, their bands having been mostly forgotten, have slipped through the genre playlists of the period-recreation radio of today.  A couple are the lesser-known (and clearly superior) second single from some of those one-hit artists.  A few are from non-American artists who never broke through here.  And one or two are from folks who made great, sustained underground careers but never quite caught the ear of the mainstream.

There seems to be a strange rift in how the 90s are presented today; there’s the early-mid 90s when grunge ruled the world, and then the alternative hits of the mid-late 90s that people usually just think of as “90s music” now (your 3EB, Goo Goo Dolls, Eve 6 etc.). This is an attempt to collect some of the alt-rock that was going on in those earlier years but seems to have eluded the canon under grunge’s long shadow, the college rock and Lilith pop and industrial rock and all the other genrelets that were happening during that surprisingly fertile era.

I mostly steered away from dance music here; that could easily be an entire comp of its own. The few dancier tracks I let slip on here were the ones that I (at least mentally) cluster in with “indie dance”, as opposed to either the house and techno of that time or stuff from the Madchester/baggy scene, both of which I love dearly.

Enough blather. Download; enjoy!

Very Best Years: Lost In The Alternative 90s

Disc 1:

  1. The Grays – Very Best Years
  2. Ass Ponys – Little Bastard
  3. Dada – Dizz Knee Land
  4. Deadeye Dick – New Age Girl
  5. Dink – Green Mind
  6. Spot – Moon June Spoon
  7. Odds – Heterosexual Man
  8. The Psyclone Rangers – Christie Indecision
  9. Machine In Motion – World In Fascination
  10. Stakka Bo – Here We Go
  11. Tripping Daisy – Piranhas
  12. Shakespeare’s Sister – Stay
  13. Possum Dixon – Watch The Girl Destroy Me
  14. Mansun – Wide Open Space
  15. Hoodoo Gurus – The Right Time
  16. The Caulfields – Devil’s Diary
  17. Luna – California (All The Way)

Disc 2

  1. Magnapop – Open The Door
  2. The Murmurs – You Suck
  3. Dig – Believe
  4. Fury In The Slaughterhouse – Every Generation Got Its Own Disease
  5. Machines Of Loving Grace – Butterfly Wings
  6. Gumball – Accelerator
  7. Green Jellö – Three Little Pigs
  8. L7 – Pretend We’re Dead
  9. For Squirrels – Mighty K. C.
  10. Tracy Bonham – Mother Mother
  11. Local H – Fritz’s Corner
  12. My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult – Sex On Wheelz (Radio Edit)
  13. Patti Rothberg – Treat Me Like Dirt
  14. Frente! – Labour Of Love
  15. Mary Lou Lord – Lights Are Changing
  16. The Lightning Seeds – Pure
  17. Happyhead – Digital Love Thing
  18. The Polins – Drag

(click album cover or click here to download)