Thursday, September 2, 2010

Best of Pitchfork's Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s: 150-101

Here is the second part of my coverage of Pitchfork’s coverage of the best tracks of the 1990s. This installment has a much better selection of songs and features many that I constantly keep on my playlists. The first of note is “Good Morning, Captain” by Slint. From the very first time I heard it, the song became one of my all-time favorites. Nothing sounded like it before and not much has sounded similar since. It’s unique in it’s spoken-word style telling the story of a sinking ship which is paired with a dark, ominous post-rock accompaniment. The breakdown includes what I consider one of the greatest screams in the history of rock when vocalist Brian McMahon cries out “I miss you!” in the song’s climatic peak. The lyrics alone make for a nice little narrative. The image above is the cover to Slint’s 1991 masterpiece, Spiderland.

Other standouts include “Falling”, the eerie theme from Twin Peaks, which still stands as the greatest serial drama in television history (Lost can suck it). I was also glad to see legendary Pearl Jam b-side “Yellow Ledbetter” make the list. I have been listening to the song religiously as of late. It has little Hendrix in the guitars and contains lyrics that you desperately want to sing along with but can’t quite decipher from Vedder’s passionate crooning. Watch an amazing live performance of “Yellow Ledbetter” below.

And for good measure this...

“Savory” by Jawbox makes an appearance in this installment but I would have placed it much higher. It contains one of the heaviest, most intense verses that I can think of in alternative rock. The same goes for the relentless, dissonant tale told by The Jesus Lizard in “Mouth Breather”. The haunting “Some Things Last a Long Time” from troubled bipolar artist Daniel Johnston showcases one of his more brilliant moments and is another must-hear. There is also plenty of proof on the list that rap was way better in the 90s. Check out how frightening David Yow of The Jesus Lizard is when performing “Mouth Breather” live in the 1991 video below. The player at the bottom includes my favorite songs from 150-101.

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