While I grew up in the 1980s, I was a teenager in the following decade, so my prime years of music listening were all in the 1990s, making that music special to me. Now there were many bands during that time period, but my focus in this post is on what I would characterize as ’90s bands. The definition of a ’90s band is a group most known songs and albums produced and/or released between the year 1990 and 1998. They also have to have played their own instruments (sorry, N*Sync), and written their own music. During that time period there were numerous bands who fit this description, so this was difficult to do, but here are my personal Top 5 Bands of the ’90s…
5. Counting Crows
Mr. Jones and me, we were big stars. Well, at least Mr. Duritz was. That song was huge in 1993, and the Counting Crows kept it rolling with Round Here, Goodnight Elisabeth, A Long December, and Angels of the Silences. The Counting Crows represented the ’90s in every way with their quirky lyrics and enigmatic frontman. Standout song: A Murder of One.
4. Goo Goo Dolls
Baby’s black balloon makes her fly. Or at least we thought it did when the Dolls sang about it. It seemed like every time they released a song, it was amazing. From Name, to Slide, to my favorite, Iris, the band could do no wrong. But they inextricably belong to the ’90s. Standout song: Broadway.
3. Gin Blossoms
Hey Jealousy! The Gin Blossoms fell into the Blind Melon trap and broke up after a band member died, but they did no wrong until then. Their debut album was full of cool songs like Mrs. Rita, Last Horizons, Found Out About You, and Allison Road. And to follow it up with Til I Hear It From You, and Follow You Down just added icing to that cake. Standout song: Hey Jealousy.
2. Better Than Ezra
They were Good from the start, and they got better with every album. If I knew an Ezra I would certainly ditch him for this band. With songs like Desperately Wanting, In the Blood, Rosealia, and King of New Orleans, the band proved its worth again and again. Standout song: Porcelain.
By far the best of the so-called ’90s bands, Live was fronted by Ed Kowalczyk, a singer and songwriter who has few equals. Their second album, Throwing Copper, was one of the biggest selling records of the ’90s, but their first album rivals it for lyrical excellence. Live epotomizes the ’90s in every way. Standout song: Iris.
**Special mention to these other ’90s bands in my top 20 (in no particular order): Spin Doctors, Stone Temple Pilots, The Cranberries, Oasis, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Blind Melon, New Radicals, CandleBox, Collective Soul, Everclear, and Incubus.