The best of 1993 mix tape
I’ll be honest with you, I’m surprised at how good the 1993 mix turned out to be, as I went into this one expecting not to like this list very much. There was a period right after I graduated from college that I turned away from new music by and large, turned off by a few too many Nirvana clones and (and way too much Nevermind.) Looking back though 1993 was a really great year for music, thanks in large part to female artists (or female-fronted bands) cranking out three unassailable classic albums (The Breeders, PJ Harvery, and Liz Phair) or just great singles (Mazzy Star and Bjork). Heck, 1993 even had the best Nirvana album, not to mention a killer record by The Rev Horton Heat.
As a result, the mea culpa list for this year is long and exceptionally good, so apologies to The Verve, Fugazi, Radiohead, Blur, and Letters to Cleo (I’m not kidding, Here and Now is a great track) for not finding space for you on the tape.
The Breeders – Cannonball
I wish I was as cool as Kim Deal. You know, just without the crippling heroin addiction and social awkwardness. (Yes, I know, I use that joke too much. Stop pointing it out.)
Ugly Truth Rock – Matthew Sweet
The “Rock” version of this song takes the acoustic version back behind the woodshed and deliveries an old fashion whooping to it.
Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
Such a killer song. Everything about it is just perfect. Definite best of the decade contender here.
Los Angeles – Frank Black
I love the tonal shifts in this song, when it abruptly shifts from acoustic strummer to heavy thrash and back again.
50 Ft. Queenie – PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey can basically do no wrong in my eyes. Note for note she puts out the most interesting and challenging music of just about anyone of her generation.
Wiggle Stick – The Rev Horton Heaton
So glad to be able to find room on here for the good Reverend. Testify!
Jupiter and Teardrop – Grant Lee Buffalo
GLB is this list’s winner for “band I hope some of you go back and discover” award. This one got a decent amount of exposure back in the day, but didn’t get the recognition it deserved.
Big Time Sensuality – Bjork
It’s pretty much impossible to hear this song and not move. A great one for your workout playlists.
Get Off This – Cracker
Cracker are awesome. That is all. There’s not much more that really needs to be said.
Today – Smashing Pumpkins
Another pretty great record from the Pumpkins, I’ll admit. I think my perception of them has been unfairly blotted by Billy Corgan’s general jerkiness. Oh, and Zwan.
Rain King – Counting Crows
I could play the typical hipster music snob card and and try to act all aloof and deny that August and Everything After was a great record, but that would be stupid and pointless because it is great, this song especially.
Divorce Song – Liz Phair
I still try and reconcile the dichotomy of Liz Phair’s career sometimes, but it makes my brain hurt. Anyway, there’s no denying how monumentally great Exile In Guyville is. Take your pick of songs here.
All Apologies – Nirvana
Their best song from their best album.
Laid – James
Once upon a time it took me a while to warm to this song because I thought the central conceit was a little tacky, but the tunefulness just wore me down eventually.
Into Your Arms – The Lemonheads
Evan Dando wrote some ridiculously good and catchy guitar pop songs, this one included.
Stay (Faraway, So Close) – U2
Zooropa kind of ushered in the “pretty good to mediocre albums with a couple of killer tracks” era of U2’s career. Sending out some healing vibes to Bono though. Take it easy on the bike, my Irish cycling brother!
Here’s the Spotify playlist for your listening/subscribing pleasure. (Don’t even try and deny that you’re going to sing along with Rain King at full throat though.)
Which one of your favorites did I shortchange?