All it took was a reminder from last week that Kurt had met Courtney in a local bar 25 years ago before I was frantically digging up all my favorite songs from the early ’90s. As I began compiling them into a playlist for all you lovelies it wasn’t long before I noticed almost every one of them was from 1994.
Which is ironic, because I was only 12 that year and lived in the kind of place that didn’t catch on to brand new songs until about a year after they were released. I remember hearing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the jukebox for the first time in ’95, and that was a full four years after it was dropped on the rest of the world. We just didn’t have the radio stations or access to MTV everyone else did, and it left us missing out on the incredible redirection music was taking at that time.
It wasn’t ’til college, when I met my badass, Alice in Chains lovin’ roomie/BFF, that I got full exposure to all the gems of the early ’90s. Call it grunge if you will, but I personally feel that word’s a pretty lazy attempt to lump all the innovative styles of music that were being created into one. Rather, punk and rock music were doing a full 180, picking up pieces of the ’70s & ’80s and smashing them into something of their own, spawning hundreds of mind-boggling albums still relevant in conversation today.
But let’s not get too serious here – I promise to save that for another day, when I’ll surely be discussing the best albums of the ’90s, which include some of the finest soundtracks we’ll ever see and hear (The Crow, Singles, etc.). Instead, let’s focus on the songs. Sure, a few of these were major radio hits, and we’ve heard them a million times by now, but that doesn’t eliminate their quality from when they were first released. And don’t mistake my inclusion of a Weezer or Green Day song as reference to my love for those bands, because I can’t stand anything they did post their respective debuts. Blue Album and Dookie, though? Damn. Brilliance.
So relive your high school and college days with this playlist, and stop to compare the music of these last couple years with that of ’92-’95. Few periods of time have been quite like it for music development, and we should only hope to see another like it in the future.