Quick Hitters: Long Live the 90’s Spectacle

Quick Hitters…well, not this time. I hope you have some time on your hands because the next three songs have some length to them. But believe me, when there is as much musical talent displayed throughout the entire song as three tracks have below, that is most definitely a good thing. One thing I have never prided myself in is my remarkably short attention span. I become bored rather easily. This is especially the case with music. It takes a lot of gall to release a song filled with some of your prime material that is over six minutes in length. First off, you are limiting its radio play as most popular radio stations don’t like to play songs much over 4 minutes. I suppose they either presume that all listeners will lose interest and change the station or perhaps it creates too long of a gap between advertisements. Either way those stations can fuck off. This post is a salute to the artists who, at the risk of it not being exposed to the masses, produced unique, memorable tracks that reward the listener for buying the album. I’ll never forget the first time I listened to Green Day’s Jesus of Suburbia. I’ve never heard that song played on the radio and I only saw the music video on TV once…complete travesty (highlight for me is Billie Joe’s distinct voice singing out “lost children with dirty faces today” with Mike Dirnt yelling out “Hey!”  in the background).

But today, I would like to celebrate some of the most memorable 90’s (as much as I hate to say it…uh…) EPIC songs. The first is a track by an artist you probably haven’t heard of if you were born after 1990. Their name is Ride and their song is “Leave Them All Behind” Prepare to be taken for a trip. It starts out with some keyboard and some bass almost leading you to believe it’s of the techno genre but it ends up being very grungey. That mark starts roughly @ 2:16 (see top comment @ link for excellent description). The vocals are sub-par. They take little away from what is an instrumental masterpiece.They do enough to mix it up and hit you with many different combinations of meaningful lyrics and guitar riffs. My interpretation of the lyrics is that the vocalist is describing  an unearthly experience such as departing this earth for the afterlife and not really caring about what has happened up until then. Turn your headphones up and tune out to “Leave Them All Behind”

The next track I have known about only for a short time thanks to a childhood muddled by car rides where I listened to less-than-inspirational artists. I heard from Chicago more than once that “I” was the inspiration and that Londonbeat has been “thinking about me” when I should have been more exposed to groups like My Bloody Valentine. Let’s take a peak at their closing track “Soon” from their album Loveless. Little description is needed, the quality of the song speaks for itself. Especially Kevin Shields’s gloomy vocals and the kick-in of the guitars, they’re what really make this song (@3:04). My Bloody Valentine is a mysterious group. We were not exposed to all that much and then they disappeared completely it seemed. It was Siruis XMU that re-acquainted me with this artist and the very reassuring fact that they are releasing new material! I still have high hopes for this group and think that their best is yet to come. Time will tell but for now, give “Soon” a try and leave your comments on this beautiful, elongated for the sake of their listeners, work of art.

The last song I will post is by Smashing Pumpkins. They seem to be my crutch when it comes to signifying momentous works of art. The work they produced though their 1st-3rd albums still leaves me speechless…it’s that remarkable. I wanted to use “Thru The Eyes of Ruby,” however, I have already posted a track from Mellon Collie and this appears to be a good opportunity to share what is and will always be my favorite Smashing Pumpkins song “Hummer.” The intro is misleading; it’s a scrambled mess that, while intriguing in itself, does not exemplify the clarity that is achieved for the duration of the song. The first episode of this occurs @ 1:44. Notice a theme between all three songs I’ve posted? They all have long running times, yet by comparison, there are not a whole lot of lyrics. That is because all three artists have the capability to say more than most of us ever could with some simple yet thoughtful lyrics mixed in with powerful instrumentals.  The best part of an already brilliant song starts @3:12 and goes on through the 4:00 minute mark of “Hummer.” It doesn’t drop a beat when the guitars kick right back in @4:04 and rehash the grass roots of this masterful track.  After that, it’s mostly low-key the rest of the way. Still, one cannot downplay the effect that listening to “Hummer” will have on your whole perspective of things…literally (on the link, sit through the ad…it’s worth the excellent sound quality of this player)

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5690210/smashing_pumpkins_hummer_1993/

So young…even they may not have known at that time how much influence they would ultimately have on the alt rock/music scene for years to come

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2 thoughts on “Quick Hitters: Long Live the 90’s Spectacle

  1. Some good finds!! I like the nod to the long-ish non radio friendly tracks…which the 90’s certainly had a lot of. I had not heard those first two, despite being pretty up on 90’s music. Love them both. Am familiar with all Pumpkins stuff…so knew the third. Another good long Pumpkins song they never played on the radio was from their first album, “Gish”, called Rhinoceros. Check it out sometime. Slow start that builds up as it goes along.

    • Rhinoceros…Yes! Probably the best overall song on Gish. I really like those types of songs too. My personal favorite off that album would have to be “Bury Me.” Mainly for the last minute or so of the song and the outro.

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