The best of 1998 mix tape
Well, this is a first. I don’t really have all that much to say about 1998 as a whole. It wasn’t the best year, but wasn’t particularly bad either. May as well jump right into the mix tape then. There’s not even anything I feel particularly guilty about leaving off, though Pearl Jam, Garbage, Hole, Elliot Smith and Jeff Buckley had the last five songs that were dropped.
UPDATE: Well dang, in my 1998 stupor I completely skipped over Three EPs by The Beta Band, so apologies to Liz Phair and Pulp for the last minute drop. There’s no way I’m leaving off Dry the Rain.
Dry the Rain – The Beta Band
Given it’s rightful place kicking off the mix. “I will now sell five copies of The Three EPs by The Beta Band.” Forgive me, Rob Gordon.
Polyester Bride – Liz Phair Let’s all have a moment of silence please for the last good Liz Phair album. *awkward pause* Thank you, that was impeccably observed.
King of Carrot Flowers Pts. 2&3 – Neutral Milk Hotel
A cracker of a tune from the brilliant, but undeniably strange, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.
I’m Expanding My Mind – Superdrag
Head Trip In Every Key is a pretty criminally underrated record in my view, swimming with wonderful harmonies and layers of instrumentation. This track is a great example.
A Little Soul – Pulp Considered one of the last vestiges of Britpop, though the this record was anything but Britpop.
Teardrop – Massive Attack
From Britpop to Trip-hop. That has title to an overly earnest British 1990s music documentary written all over it. Somebody make this happen if it hasn’t already.
The Boy With the Arab Strap – Belle and Sebastian
One of the best songs in the Belle and Sebastian catalog. The world could use more songs with hand claps.
Gypsy’s Curse – Calexico
Just a solid tune from a pretty great band. The world could also use more wicked instrumentals suitable for use in Westerns.
California Stars – Billy Bragg & Wilco
Bill Bragg and Wilco taking previously unheard Woody Guthrie lyrics and writing original music for them? I’m all in on that, and for good reason.
Intergalactic – The Beastie Boys
The Beastie Boys meet 2001: A Space Odyssey. Again, what’s not to like about this?
A Perfect Day Elise – PJ Harvey
I’m running out of superlatives for PJ Harvey. Suffice to say this is a really good.
Your Bruise – Death Cab for Cutie
Hey, it’s emo time! Everybody look at your shoes and sway with the music. Or something like that.
Everything is Everything – Lauren Hill
Here’s another album that we all need to stop and appreciate how excellent it really is. It got a ton of deserved praise when it was released, but it seems to have slipped a bit from the public conscienceness.
Lazy Flies – Beck
Another excellent 90s Beck record. He and PJ are slugging it out Bowie/Wonder-style for artist of the decade.
Falls To Climb – R.E.M.
I will defend Up as a great R.E.M. record to anyone. It’s without a doubt the best of their post-Billy Berry output if nothing else.
There you have it, 14 songs that represent the best of 1998.
Somehow delivered in under 500 words. It’s a Christmas miracle! (no long true) Here’s the Spotify playlist for your listening/subscribing pleasure.
Which one of your favorites did I miss?