The best of 1992 mix tape
1992 was kind of an odd year in music, as much of the popular music of the year was a carry over from the wave 1991 grunge releases. Nevermind, Ten, etc were all more popular in terms of chart position in 1992 than they were in the previous year. 1992 ends up being a little top heavy as a result, with a few absolute classics (hello Check Your Head) strewn amongst a handful of pretty good releases and a lot of flotsam and jetsam. Apologies go out to Alice in Chains and Tori Amos for being the final two songs cut from this list.
Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead – XTC
Andy Patridge’s ode to JFK and/or Jesus Christ, depending on who you ask or which verses you point to, seems like a fine way to kick off the mix.
Nearly Lost You – Screaming Trees
Hands down one of my favorite songs of the year, this tune gained greater popularity when it was included on the Singles soundtrack.
Tennessee – Arrested Development
Toss up between this track and People Everyday for inclusion here, but Tennessee gets the nod.
Plush – Stone Temple Pilots
Great tune, just don’t listen too closely to the lyrics unless you want your head to hurt.
Weirdo – The Charlatans
Or The Charlatans UK for American audiences. A bit of psych-Madchester pop is always a welcome inclusion in my book.
Bad Luck – Social Distortion
I was never a huge Social D fan, but this song is pretty great and was fairly inescapable at the time. Plus, cowbell!
It’s a Shame About Ray – The Lemonheads
Speaking of inescapable, I remember almost getting sick of this song I heard it so much. It would literally come on at just about any bar, restaurant, or record store I walked into for about 6 months. A pretty great track though.
If I Can’t Change Your Mind – Sugar
My “Desert Island Top 10” records change like the wind depending on my mood, but Copper Blue is probably as close to a sure thing for inclusion as any record I can think of off the top of my head.
I Palindrome I – They Might Be Giants
Such a fun song. Who else could get away with writing a song with palindromes in the title and start it out with the line “Some day Mother will die and I’ll get the money” and not come off looking like idiots and/or murderous creeps?
Tomorrow – Morrissey
Song for song Your Arsenal might be my favorite Morrissey solo album. Funny Moz story, I was cleaning out my gmail inbox the past few days and came across multiple e-mails going back to 2007 with some variation of the phrase “Morrissey Concert Postponed and/or Cancelled” sent from Ticketmaster. Like enough that they had their own thread going. Silly, Moz.
Jimmy James – The Beastie Boys
“This song is the first song from our new record.” It’s also a wicked good one, especially since I get a double name check in the title.
Hey Jealousy – Gin Blossoms
This one ranks high on the “songs that I secretly belt out in the car when nobody else is around” top ten.
Dress – PJ Harvey
Dry is such an incredible record, and it was next to impossible to decide between this, Sheela-Na-Gig, and Oh My Lover. I do love me some Polly Jean Harvey.
100% – Sonic Youth
Such an awesome track, and a great 1-2 sonic punch with Dress.
Candy Everybody Wants – 10,000 Maniacs
I didn’t do intend to line up PJ, Kim Gordon, and Natalie Merchant, but it just worked out that way as a happy coincidence.
Find the River – R.E.M.
Sure, Man on the Moon is the track you’d probably expect from Automatic for the People, but this is one of the dozen or so best R.E.M. songs, and a heck of an album/mix closer to boot. When the harmonies kick in the first time (Mike on the high end and Bill on the low) it still makes the hair on my arms stand up. Just beautiful.
Here’s the Spotify playlist for your listening/subscribing pleasure.
Which of your favorites did I miss?