Why is Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit considered the quintessential song of the 90s? It’s not even Nirvana’s best song. And, yet, there it sits at the top of every 90s music list like some sort of shining beacon of awesome.
Don’t get me wrong. I’d put it on my list of top 100 90s songs, but it would probably be in the 20s. It is not my number one. I’d probably pick something by Oasis or Garbage. Maybe Alanis Morissette or Pearl Jam. I still listen to all of those groups.
I haven’t listened to Nirvana since the 90s. Let that say what it will about me. Dave Grohl’s later work was better. Consider me a blasphemer, but I just don’t think Kurt Cobain was the rock god everyone claims to remember him as.
Hell, he’s not even my favorite songwriter in his marriage. I’m not the only one who thinks that.
There. Now that I’ve alienated 90% of the world, I want to cut right to the marrow of my problem with the “professional” music critic’s list of best 90s songs:
The leave off so many awesome songs and bands.
Hole was left off this list, but at least Courtney Love still gets recognized in other places, like Rock Band.
Today, I want to cover a band I think too many people forget about. A band who’s claim to fame was being the key-point song on the greatest soundtrack album of all time.
I’m talking about Sponge.
The most underrated band of the 1990s.
Since Napster reinvented the consumption of music, I have very rarely bought entire albums. Since Pandora came into existence, I haven’t even bothered to buy singles all that often. And, yet, I own Rotten Pinata as both a CD (one of 9 actual CD’s I own) and digital.
And, its an album I still listen to from start to finish.
So. Why does Sponge as a band and Plowed as a song get left off every list? How does the anchor song of the Empire Records soundtrack—the movie that freakin’ defines the 90s—get left behind?
I just don’t know. I can’t explain it. I can only continue to fight against the injustices in a world of human wreckage.
Fight… and rock.