Ah, the 90s.
The end of mullets.
The beginning of grunge.
The end of McEnroe & Connors and the beginning of Sampras & Agassi.
The end of VHS & cassette and the beginning of CDs, DVDs, and even the internet itself.
So . . . what’s the soundtrack from those years? Here are my Top Five songs from a decade not quite my own (unlike, say, the 70s) but full of important sound nonetheless.
5. What’s Happened To You, The Call. The Call never quite made it big, but this dreamy, hopeful hymn has Bono in the background and optimism at the forefront.
4. Runaround, by Blues Traveler. One of my favorite harmonica-infused songs of them all.
3. Isn’t It Ironic, by Alanis Morisette. Remember 1995 when she won everything and seemed to be everywhere?
2. One, by U2. Love and hate, pathos and beauty, cynicism and hope . . . in all in perfect balance in this delicate anthem.
1. Learning To Fly, by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. My goodness, this is a great song off a great album, Into The Great Wide Open. I read in Petty’s biography that his manager believed that Great Wide Open would be a smash on the order of Full Moon Fever, the album that featured Free Fallin’. Sales fell far short of expectations, likely a signal of how dramatically the musical landscape was shifting in the 90s and beyond. The live version is the best of the best.