Song of the Day #1,331: ‘Lithium’ – Nirvana

Two and a half years ago I counted down my 20 favorite 80s songs. At the time I figured I’d tackle the 90s next but I never got around to it.

The reason is simple: 90s music basically sucks. Certainly lots of quality songs and albums were released during that decade, but the overall sound that defines the period — a mixture of alterna-grunge pseudo-seriousness and boy band superficiality — is a loser.

That said, I do love a countdown. So over the next two weeks I will list not my favorite songs from the 90s but my favorite artists and bands.

I will not rank bands that shone in the 90s but don’t really belong to the decade. R.E.M., for example, put out some of their strongest — and most culturally resonant — music in the 90s, but they made an earlier impact (on both me and the music world) in the 80s. I wouldn’t say they belong to either decade.

It’s tempting to include Counting Crows here — most people lost track of them after the 90s, and they’ve released only two albums since the turn of the century. But my favorite of their albums, Hard Candy, was released in 2002 and I suspect (and hope) they have strong work ahead of them.

My list will focus on acts that defined the decade musically and then pretty much stopped in their tracks, cemented in the 90s like a fly in amber.

Best 90s Artists – #10 – Nirvana

No self-respecting music fan can create any sort of tribute to the 90s without including Nirvana. I suspect they would be #1 on most people’s list.

I’ve never been headbanger enough to enjoy Nirvana wholeheartedly but I do enjoy the hits — ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and ‘Lithium,’ in particular. And I definitely acknowledge their importance to the music world. That’s what earns them an honorary spot at #10 on my list.

I’m so happy. Cause today I found my friends.
They’re in my head. I’m so ugly. But that’s ok.
‘Cause so are you. We’ve broke our mirrors.
Sunday morning. Is everyday for all I care.
And I’m not scared. Light my candles. In a daze cause I’ve found god.

Yeah yeah yeah yeah…

I’m so lonely. And that’s ok.
I shaved my head. And I’m not sad, and just maybe
I’m to blame for all I’ve heard. And I’m not sure.
I’m so excited. I can’t wait to meet you there.
And I don’t care. I’m so horny. But that’s ok. My will is good.

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah…

I like it. I’m not gonna crack.
I miss you. I’m not gonna crack.
I love you.I’m not gonna crack.
I killed you. I’m not gonna crack.

I’m so happy. Cause today I found my friends.
They’re in my head. I’m so ugly. But that’s ok.
‘Cause so are you. We’ve broke our mirrors.
Sunday morning. Is everyday for all I care.
And I’m not scared. Light my candles.
In a daze cause I’ve found god.

Yeah yeah yeah yeah…

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,331: ‘Lithium’ – Nirvana

  1. Dana says:

    Well, I love a countdown as well, and look forward to seeing the rest of your picks.

    Following up on what I said yesterday regarding Zeppelin, Nirvana is one of those bands that critics tell me I should like/love, but I, like you, never took the plunge. I certainly appreciate their influence on music at the forefront of the Seattle grunge sound, but it’s just not a sound I particularly enjoy hearing.

    Even as today’s song plays through my comment, I just feel no need to ever hear this song again. Perhaps further exploration into their catalog would build a greater interest, as it did a bit with Zeppelin, but I suspect not. Zeppelin tapped into acoustics and blues, forms of music I generally enjoy, while my assumption is that listening to more Nirvana would sound like what I already know of them, and it just ain’t my bag.

  2. Amy says:

    Heading back to Oklahoma…

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