Let’s Guess Pitchfork’s Top 20 Tracks of the 90s

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09/02/2010 12:56 PM |


So, we’ve been talking a lot about Pitchfork’s Top 200 Tracks of the 90s list: about the obvious difference in age, and thus musical trajectories, of many of the Pitchfork writers; about the mix of nostalgia and bad memories and the difference between bands Pitchfork did actually like in the 90s vs. more popular music that people have come around on, or that younger people grew up with; and about the merits and demerits of the one-track-per-artist rule. The last, though, makes it easier to guess what bands will place their best/most memorable songs in the Top 20, which will be unveiled tomorrow.

So, after the jump, are 20 songs and artists that haven’t placed in the Top 200 yet, in alphabetical order. Go ahead, tell me how I’m wrong:

Beck, I guess if it’s obvious enough to be in the Top 20 it’d have to be “Loser”

Belle & Sebastian, “Get Me Away from Here, I’m Dying”

Björk, oh Christ who knows, really, but impressive that her 90s discography hasn’t split the vote

Blind Melon, “No Rain” (This was already listed as a “See Also,” but I refuse to believe it’s not on the list)

The Butthole Surfers, “Pepper” (am I kidding? I might be kidding)

Folk Implosion, “Natural One”

Mazzy Star, “Fade Into You”

Michael Jackson, “Black or White”

My Bloody Valentine, [something from Loveless, I don’t necessarily differentiate them]

Neutral Milk Hotel, “Holland, 1945”

Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Notorious B.I.G., “Juicy”

Outkast, “Rosa Parks”

Pavement, “Cut Your Hair”

Portishead, [something from Dummy; see note on My Bloody Valentine above]

Prince, “Cream”

Pulp, “Common People”

Radiohead, “Creep” or “Karma Police” [Enough younger people would pick “Creep” but I don’t think the older P4k dudes would allow it]

Violent Femmes, “American Music”

Weezer, “Buddy Holly” (or “El Scorcho”?)

Something by U2, I guess, might make it, but I can’t possibly guess what the ‘fork thinks of U2 in this context. I suppose there might be a Luna song on there, except which one? And I really thought “Personal Jesus” was ’90 or ’91, not ’89. (I suppose “Enjoy the Silence” or “Policy of Truth,” but that might be a stretch for the top 20.) Some Herbert, maybe, from 100 lbs?

No Doubt and Salt ‘n’ Pepa will probably not place a track in the Top 20. Neither will Sublime, Tori Amos, the Ben Folds Five, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Fastball, the Dave Matthews Band, Live, Soul Coughing, The Bloodhound Gang or Rage Against the Machine. Or the Cranberries or Screaming Trees.

Or, more actually disappointingly, Black Grape, Superdrag, the Old 97s, any band on Jade Tree, awesome Britpop also-rans “Ready to Go,” “Ladykillers” and “Statuesque”, or, apparently, Teenage Fanclub.

I have no comment on the evident exclusion of “Tootsie Roll.”

7 Comment

  • I should also note that I brainstormed this list while listening to Sugar’s ‘Copper Blue’. Or should I? Too late.

  • I’m obviously wrong about Prince and possibly MJ too. There’s definitely too much indie rock and not enough hip-hop and techno.

    Is Everything But the Girl’s “Missing” considered actually good or slightly embarrassing at present?

  • Although… Madonna was actually not bad in the 90s, and if it’s permissible for “The Humpty Dance” to have been included on this list I’m pretty sure it’s cool to like “Vogue”.

    I could keep going, and probably will.

  • did I miss this or is there no Ministry on this list? I’d include NWO or Just One Fix.

  • Perhaps also of note is the fact that it’s currently really, really cool to like the blond girl who sang “Show Me Love” in 1997.

  • i was disappointed to see superdrag as a “see also” really early on, and even more disappointed that it was beat out by “Flagpole Sitta.”

  • Saves the Day didn’t make it on the list, thus the list means nothing.