The Ultimate Nineties Alt-Rock Playlist

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By popular demand, you'll find the playlist for the Nineties Alt-Rock Party below. A few words. For one thing, this is just the songs in alphabetical order; at the party itself, the Party Shuffle was in effect. Most important of all, before looking at the list you need to understand what it is and what it is not. This is an effort to recreate the experience of listening to your average "modern rock" radio station during the decade in question. Hence, no hip-hop, no Spice Girls, and no then-obscure indie bands etc. One also gets points for iconicness and the elusive quality of ninetiesness. Hence, "What's the Frequency Kenneth?" represents R.E.M. on the grounds that it's the "most nineites" of R.E.M. songs and "Buddy Holly" represents the Blue Album since it was the monster hit. Arguably, I violated the terms of the arrangement with the Nirvana selections, and it's been put to me that Pavement was sufficiently mainstream to merit inclusion. Be that as it may, the task is inherently subjective and this was my party:

  1. "21st Century Digital Boy," Bad Religion
  2. "About a Girl," Nirvana
  3. "Across the Sea," Weezer
  4. "All Apologies," Nirvana
  5. "Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba," The Mr. T Experience
  6. "Battle of Who Could Care Less," Ben Folds Five
  7. "Been Caught Stealing," Jane's Addiction
  8. "Better Man," Pearl Jam
  9. "Bitch," Meredith Brooks
  10. "Bittersweet Symphony," The Verve
  11. "Black Hole Sun," Soundgarden
  12. "Bound for the Floor," Local H
  13. "Breakfast at Tiffanys," Deep Blue Something
  14. "Buddy Holly," Weezer
  15. "Bulls on Parade," Rage Against the Machine
  16. "Cannonball," The Breeders
  17. "Cherub Rock," Smashing Pumpkins
  18. "Closer," Nine Inch Nails
  19. "Closing Time," Semisonic
  20. "Cumbersome," Seven Mary Three
  21. "Come Out and Play," The Offspring
  22. "Creep," Radiohead
  23. "Disarm," Smashing Pumpkins
  24. "Doll Parts," Hole
  25. "Don't Look Back," Oasis
  26. "Drain You," Nirvana
  27. "Everlong," Foo Fighters
  28. "Every Morning," Sugar Ray
  29. "Firestarter," The Prodigy
  30. "Flagpole Sitta," Harvey Danger
  31. "The Freshman," The Verve Pipe
  32. "Glycerine," Bush
  33. "Graduate," Third Eye Blind
  34. "Head Like a Hole," Nine Inch Nails
  35. "Hey Jealousy," Gin Blossoms
  36. "Hey Man Nice Shot," Filter
  37. "How's it Gonna Be," Third Eye Blind
  38. "Hunger Strike," Temple of the Dog
  39. "I Would Walk 500 Miles," The Proclaimers
  40. "I'll Be There For You," The Rembrants
  41. "I'm Just a Girl," No Doubt
  42. "I'm Only Happy When It Rains," Garbage
  43. "Interstate Love Song," Stone Temple Pilots
  44. "Ironic," Alanis Morisette
  45. "Jane Says," Jane's Addiction
  46. "Jeremy," Pearl Jam
  47. "Karma Police," Radiohead
  48. "Knock on Wood," Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  49. "Lightning Crashes," Live
  50. "Loser," Beck
  51. "Man in the Box," Alice in Chains
  52. "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm," Crash Test Dummies
  53. ""Monkey Wrench," Foo Fighters
  54. "My Hero," Foo Fighters
  55. "Name," Goo Goo Dolls
  56. "No Rain," Blind Melon
  57. "Not an Addict," K's Choice
  58. "One Week," Barenaked Ladies
  59. "Peaches," Presidents of the United States of America
  60. "Push," Matchbox 20
  61. "Radio," Rancid
  62. "Ruby Soho," Rancid
  63. "Run Around," Blues Traveler
  64. "Runaway Train," Soul Asylum
  65. "Santa Monica," Everclear
  66. "Sellout," Reel Big Fish
  67. "Semi-Charmed Life," Third Eye Blind
  68. "Shade," Silverchair
  69. "She Don't Use Jelly," The Flaming Lips
  70. "She Has a Girlfriend Now," Reel Big Fish
  71. "Siva," Smashing Pumpkins
  72. "Slide," Goo Goo Dolls
  73. "Spiderwebs," No Doubt
  74. "Take a Picture," Filter
  75. "Time Bomb," Rancid
  76. "Tubthumping," Chumbawamba
  77. "Two Princes," Spin Doctors
  78. "Violet," Hole
  79. "Volcano Girls," Veruca Salt
  80. "The Way," Fastball
  81. "Welcome to Paradise," Green Day
  82. "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" REM
  83. "When I Come Around," Green Day
  84. "When I Grow Up," Garbage
  85. "Where It's At," Beck
  86. "Wonderwall," Oasis
  87. "You Get What You Give," New Radicals
  88. "You Oughtta Know," Alanis Morisette
  89. "Zombie," Cranberries

It's interesting that listing the tracks in alphabetical order generates, I think, two different instances of the same band going twice in a row and the two bands in question emerged from the same scene in the East Bay. Could be a sign.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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