Oasis – Champagne Supernova

Speaking of iconic albums celebrating 25 years this month, Oasis‘ legendary album, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? also fits the bill. It featured hit after hit and if you ask different people what their favorite song from this record is, you will likely get different answers each time. For example, Some Might Say that it is that song; or Wonderwall, which usually tops ‘Best of’ chats and lists; or Don’t Look Back In Anger, recently crowned as the greatest song of the 1990s by listeners of Absolute Radio. However, if you ask me, the best track is one that wasn’t even released as a single in the UK (it was a single in the US though), Champagne Supernova, which is why I chose it as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry.

At “just” 07:30 minutes, I love the way this song starts. People complain about the lyrics being psychedelic –i.e: making no sense–, but I think they are great. You give them the meaning you want . You can complain about the track being too long (up to you), but everything else is spot on. Oasis might not exist as a band anymore, but thankfully, we’ll always have this record and, in particular, Champagne Supernova.

This writer, he was going on about the lyrics to “Champagne Supernova”, and he actually said to me, “You know, the one thing that’s stopping it being a classic is the ridiculous lyrics.” And I went, “What do you mean by that?” And he said, “Well, Slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonball — what’s that mean?” And I went, “I don’t know. But are you telling me, when you’ve got 60,000 people singing it, they don’t know what it means? It means something different to every one of them.

Noel Gallagher, Oasis

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No Doubt – Don’t Speak

This iconic album, No Doubt‘s Tragic Kingdom, is 25 years old this month, and, as a homage, I decided to feature one of its songs as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry. Usually, with bands or albums this popular, I try to highlight the lesser-known gems, but I can’t do that this time around. I got a soft spot for Don’t Speak and can’t pick another song (which would probably have been Just A Girl, which is pretty popular anyway) over it. I’m sorry.

Enjoy this classic song from 1995.

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Desoto Jones – Nonfiction

Back in 2007, a little alternative rock band from Pennsylvania released Aurora, their debut album, which got overlooked despite being one of the best rock albums of that year, perhaps even of that decade. I’m talking, of course, of Desoto Jones and for this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry, I thought we could reminisce about one of the gems in that record.

Three of the five members of Desoto Jones –they are still active– are brothers and while they were recording Aurora, their father passed away. Nonfiction is a an emotional song the brothers dedicated to him. Its acoustic overtones and the heartfelt lyrics intertwine into a beautiful track that doesn’t get old. Listen to this song and then play the whole album. You will see why it is a shame this record didn’t become more popular.

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Tonic – Do You Know

I got a request last week for this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry: “If You Could Only See” from American alternative rock powerhouse, Tonic. So, naturally, I complied by featuring a different song from the same band (=. I got nothing against “If You Could Only See”. It’s a great song, possible Tonic’s best and undoubtedly their most iconic track to date (after all, it was 1997’s most-played song in rock radio), but that is precisely the reason I opted to talk about a different, lesser known gem included in their 2002 album, Head On Straight, Do You Know.

This song is a guitar-driven alternative rock song with a melodic chorus, but the reason why I’ve always liked it so much is that it got terrific lyrics, which shine the most during the great chorus. I don’t think this tune got much attention back then when it came out, but it’s not too late to give an overlooked outstanding song a second chance. Tonic and Do You Know certainly deserve it.

Do you know how it feels to be angry

Do you know how it feels to be hurt

When you live all your life for a moment

Just to prove that you know what it’s worth

Do you know

Tonic, Do You Know

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Bush – Glycerine

We mentioned Bush last week and they recently released a new album as well (unfortunately, it didn’t move the needle for me), and since I’ve been away until now, it makes sense to feature them as today’s #ThrowbackThursday entry. After all, this British band got several legendary rock songs plenty of people love.

I actually wanted to write about Swallowed, but it is impossible to find the album version of that song on Spotify/Apple Music. Anyway, Glycerine is not a bad substitute at all. Bush released this track as the fourth single from Sixteen Stones, their debut album, in November 1995. It reached number one on the modern rock charts and is, to date, the band’s biggest pop hit, peaking at number 28 on Billboard’s Hot 100. As with most of their songs, Glycerine‘s lyrics are cryptic but it is an accepted fact that Gavin Rossdale wrote this tune about his girlfriend at the time (no, it wasn’t Gwen Stefani yet). The track is basically just Gavin’s raspy voice with a guitar and some strings here and there, yet it gets stuck on your head pretty much for the rest of your life.

Without a doubt, this is one of the greatest rock tracks from the 90s. Enjoy it again, here.

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The Smashing Pumpkins – 1979

In case you missed it, The Smashing Pumpkins dropped two new singles this week. They are okay, I guess, but don’t expect anything close to the band’s legendary hits from the times when MTV used to broadcast music. This made the decision about which artist to feature on this week’s Throwback Thursday entry very easy. It was choosing which song that was incredibly hard. I knew they had a lot of hits but I think I hadn’t really processed how strong Smashing‘s back catalogue was.

I recently finished watching all 3 seasons of Netflix’s great sci-fi show, Dark (I loved it), in which the phrase, “The beginning is the end and the end is the beginning”, was repeated ad infinitum by some characters. Each time that phrase was mentioned, I couldn’t help but think about one of the few positive things 1997’s film Batman & Robin left us: The Smashing Pumpkins‘s single, The End is The Beginning Is The End. Naturally, that was my first choice for this entry, only to discover that its original version wasn’t available on any of the major streaming platforms. There’s only a remix version that doesn’t do it any justice.

That took me back to square one, deciding between featuring my favorite song from Billy Corgan & Co, even though it is very popular; other famous songs such as Disarm or Tonight, Tonight; or a lesser known gem suck as Stand Inside Your Love or Untitled. In the end, 1979 won. I simply had to have that song, which was the second single off Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, in my mixtapes. It is that good. The music video, which you can watch below, is pretty great too.

There’s nothing else I can say about this #musicalcrush. Just enjoy this stroll down memory lane.

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Sister Hazel – Come Around

When it comes to the Throwback Thursday entries, I’m playing it by ear. It’s not easy to pick one relatively old good song amongst hundreds or thousands of them. For that reason, I’m letting random coincidences to choose one for me. For instance, in yesterday’s post I mentioned Sister Hazel and that was all it took for me to write today about that act from Gainesville, Florida. The band, named after a local missionary who took care of homeless people, formed in 1993 and besides being extremely productive with over 10 studio albums (plus EPs, live albums and compilations) over that span, they have also been shockingly stable, maintaining the same line-up throughout all these years. That’s pretty unusual to say the least.

Sister Hazel has had several minor hits and some loyal followers, but if there’s only one song you know from them, then it’s probably All For You. This track was part of the band’s debut album from 1994 but it was re-recorded for the follow-up from 1997and it was then when the song became a hit, peaking at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It remains Sister Hazel’s most successful single to date.

However, the song that I want to highlight today is one of those minor hits Sister Hazel had, Come Around, from their excellent 2003 album: Chasing Daylight. This great tune is just as good as All For You but far less popular. It’s also a good example of the band’s trademark blend of alternative touch with southern rhythms.

Let’s remember this classic song today. Enjoy Come Around.

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Kristian Montgomery and the Winterkill Band – Razor Wire Heart

After two days of grunge pop and indie punk, it’s time to slow things down a bit with this mellower track from Kristian Montogomery and the Winterkill Band. The first thing that jumps out at you when listening to Razor Wire Heart is, besides the chords from his guitar, Kristian’s husky and pleasant voice, especially in such an emotional and personal track for him. He’s had quite a tumultuous life, going from singing in heavy rock bands to travelling around the world, getting married and divorced, and even spending six months in jail. Only somebody who has lived through all of those experiences could have written lyrics like these.

This song is part of Gravel Church, an album that Kristian wrote upon his release from prison and his first as Kristian Montogomery and the Winterkill Band. It is a varied album with some alternative rock songs as well as alternative country and other genres. In terms of style, it reminds me a bit of Sister Hazel. If you like that style, you definitely should check this band out, and you can start by listening to Razor Wire Heart here.

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Mazzy Star – Fade Into You

Earlier this week, I mentioned that Teen Idle was going to get compared to Mazzy Star. Now, depending on your age, you might not be aware of who they were (I love ’90s music and I wasn’t aware of them until the late ’00s!), which is why I thought it fitting to feature Fade Into You as this week’s Throwback Thursday entry. A song that is widely considered one of the best tracks of that decade.

This song was a huge hit for the band in 1994, reaching number 3 on Billboard‘s Modern Rock chart (back when that chart meant something) and peaking at #44 on the Hot 100 chart. No other song from the band appeared on that Hot 100 chart and only two other tracks charted on the Modern Rock Top 40 (Halah and Blue Flower), which in part explains why people who were not active music listeners at the time might not know about this band. That and the fact that the band broke up in 1997 and didn’t regroup until 2012.

Mazzy Star consisted of Hope Sandoval, as lead singer and lyricist; and David Roback, as composer and main producer, who also played most of the instruments. Hope has a reputation for being shy, which made her focus on her singing while on stage instead of interacting with the audience. When you have a voice as angelic and beautiful as hers, I don’t see the problem in that. Sure, having a charismatic singer is nice, but we don’t need every single lead singer to be like that. Anyway, I guess that was another reason preventing the band from achieving super stardom.

Unfortunately, David Roback died earlier this year but he and Hope (who’s still active) left behind a legacy of great music that won’t be forgotten. Isn’t that the ultimate goal for any artist?

Watch a live performance of this iconic song here, or find it in the mixtapes below.

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