Friday, August 22, 2008

The 40 greatest grunge songs (10-6)

(Click here for the whole list.)

And the top 10 grunge songs are...

10. The Toadies - Possum Kingdom

Unusually intelligent rock music.

Everything about this music -- the chord progressions, the asymmetrical meter, the adventurous song structure -- shows that they're thinking things through more than most bands. This only enhances, doesn't detract from, the emotion.

9. Nirvana - All Apologies

1-chord verse + 2-chord bridge = greatness

This is performance is from 1992, before the band recorded the song, so it's wonderfully rough around the edges:

8. Jane's Addiction - Mountain Song

One of those "this is what it's all about" songs. Very straightforward, but everything just comes together here.

Don't miss the guitar solo, in which Dave Navarro reins in his virtuosity just enough to avoid glam-rock territory.

7. Sonic Youth - Bull in the Heather

They're such a monumentally important and influential band that it feels wrong to pigeonhole them as "grunge." But I think this song fits in pretty well, with Kim Gordon's "I'm too lazy to sing an actual melody" ethos.

And those guitar noises!

10, 20, 30, 40...

6. Radiohead - Just

This is why Jonny Greenwood is an acclaimed guitarist. How many rock bands are even aware of the existence of the octatonic scale (a.k.a. diminished scale), let alone able to use it to such wonderfully stomach-churning effect?

Here's the famously enigmatic video:

ANNOUNCEMENT: Next week will be 100%, solid, uninterrupted grunge, as I unveil the top 5 songs, Monday through Friday, one day at a time! Stay tuned...

>>> #5 >>>


TJ said...

Yes, yes, yes. I could write 500 words on each of these songs. That bass line in "Mountain Song." That's teenage summertime to me forever.

"Just" was the Radiohead song when I became a fan. When I knew they were going to be more than the one-hit wonders they seemed to be with "Creep." Plus that video: I'd never seen anything like that.

"All Apologies": Before The Breeders took the stage at Lollapalooza '94 (Mpls), the loudspeakers played this song and the 20,000-person crowd--still dealing with Cobain's suicide--had a moment of thinking about what could have been.