The best of 1994 mix tape
Hey, would you look at that – 1994 marks the 25th entry in the “best of” project. That’s a lot of mixes, and there are still many more to go, but at least I’m not having to fork over money for a new Maxell every time I make one of these.
On to 1994 then. I doubt there’s been a year thus far where my selections will differ more wildly with what sold massively during the year. Green Day, Alice in Chains, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, the Offspring, Live, Hootie & the Blowfish, the Cranberries, and Nirvana all had albums that moved multi-million copies, but none of them are represented on this list. The reasons vary – some made the long list but were just beaten out for a spot on the final mix (Nine Inch Nails, Live, Soundgarden, and the Cranberries), while others make me want to punch things (Offspring and Hootie. Hi, I’m JLo. I’m South Carolina native and I do not like Hootie & the Blowfish one bit. They seem like nice guys and all, but how they ever had an album that sold 10 million copies I will never be able to explain.) I really wanted to put Nirvana’s cover of The Man Who Sold the World or About a Girl on here, but decided against it since I’ve tried to stay away from live albums on these mixes.
So what did make it? Let’s find out.
Sure Shot – The Beastie Boys
Because I can’t, I won’t, and I don’t stop including the Boys on these mixes. So much goodness.
Boxcar – Jawbreaker
Hi, we’re Jawbreaker. Our album was about 10 times better than Green Day’s but they sleep on piles of money and we almost assuredly do not. Life is unfair sometimes.
California – Luna
Hi, we’re Luna. Our album was about 1000 times better than Hootie & the Blowfish but…um, you get the picture.
Cut Your Hair – Pavement
Well helllloooo, Mr. Malkmus. I’ve been looking forward to your arrival on the scene. Get comfy because I’m pretty sure you’ll be sticking around for a while.
Loser – Beck
It’s time to get crazy with the cheese whiz in the time of chimpanzees at a shot gun wedding. Cut it. Something like that. Got it?
Parklife – Blur
1994 marks the year that shots were fired in the Blur/Oasis Britpop rivalry. Parklife was strong, but the Mancunians were about to drop two musical a-bombs on the world.
Seether – Veruca Salt
Killer tune. Killer Charlie and Chocolate factory reference. Killer AC/DC reference in the album title (American Thighs). No way I was passing this one up. Can’t fight the Seether.
Delia’s Gone – Johnny Cash
And so began one of the most unlikely and amazing musical resurgences the world has ever seen. We’re likely never to see anything the likes of the American Recordings releases in our lifetimes, unless the Rolling Stones decide to put out a series of stripped-down blues records in the future.
Cigarettes and Alcohol – Oasis
The first two Oasis albums really are incredible, and this snarling, T-Rex riffing ball of fury is one of the best tunes they ever did. Plus, it introduced the world to Liam Gallagher’s unique pronunciation of the word “shine.” (Shuuuuu-iiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnneeeeeeee)
Headache – Frank Black
As good as the first couple of Frank Black and Breeders records are, it’s hard not to look back and wonder what kind of records the Pixies would be making had they not broken up (by fax – how 90s) a few years before.
Numb – Portishead
You can have your terrible, terrible Offspring records. I’ll stick with with the sultry, trippy Portishead, thanks very much.
My Name is Jonas – Weezer
One of the hardest decisions on this list was figuring out which Weezer track to include. There are others better known, but I’ve always loved the opener. It’s extra fun in retrospect with the added context of the Jonas Brothers to layer on the song.
Your Favorite Thing – Sugar
Tough call between this one and Gee Angel, but the riff on Your Favorite Thing is too good to deny.
Supernova – Liz Phair
The last of the great Liz Phair records, burning hot like a Supernova indeed.
Machinehead – Bush
Bush were pretty wicked, weren’t they? Some great tunes on their debut record, but this one stands out to me.
Karmacoma – Massive Attack
It’s not my scene, but I’m just guessing this song is really popular now in Colorado and Washington state these days.
Better Man – Pearl Jam
Man this is a great one. Pearl Jam’s contemporaries could have learned a thing or two about crafting songs from them.
Alrighty then, here be the Spotify playlist for your listening/subscribing pleasure.
So let me have it, which of you favorites did I leave out, children of the 90s?