Best #1 Modern/Alternative Rock Song of the Year: 1996

I’ll be honest: this is where I start getting off the boat with these lists. There are a total of 3 songs here I’d ever listen to of my own free will, and one of them I already voted for in the '95 poll. Except for the Butthole Surfers, none of these acts even remotely resembles my idea of “alternative”, though I admit my idea comes from the '80s, when “alternative” meant an alternative to top 40. By this point, that’s no longer the case - instead of artists influenced by punk/garage/art, we have artists influenced by grunge (and terrible 3rd wave ska). I’ll still cast a vote, but I’m not thrilled about it.

“1979” is one of my favorite songs of the 90s, so that’s my easy choice.


311 is one of the few bands that successfully combined rap and metal. I’m looking at YOU Linkin Park.

Mark Oliver Everett & Co., easily. Were they not on this list, it’d be a toss up between “1979” (SUCK IT, HIPSTERS!) and “Champagne Supernova”.

WooHoo! I finally got to vote for the Surfers in one of these polls! :smiley:

Me too. By the mid 90s I was really into EDM. I need a list that includes the Chemical Brothers, Underworld, Moby, Daft Punk, KLF, Oakenfold etc.

Voted for “Wonderwall” last time so Oasis was out of the running. Dishwalla got my vote but it could easily have gone to Alanis, Primitive Radio Gods and many others.

Voted “1979”

Here’s the Playlist Research list of Modern Rock also-rans for 1996.
Reviewing that playlist (and it’s counterparts for 1995 and earlier), I realize why at the time I didn’t think modern rock was as boring as Woodstockbird seems to think - lots of great songs I liked (and still do today, to some degree) just didn’t hit #1, for example:

SMASHING PUMPKINS - Tonight, Tonight
GARBAGE - Only Happy When It Rains
GARBAGE - Stupid Girl
ALICE IN CHAINS - Heaven Beside You
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS - Trippin’ On a Hole In a Paper Heart
SOCIAL DISTORTION - I Was Wrong (<-- My Un#1 Favorite of the year)
NO DOUBT - Spiderwebs
CATHERINE WHEEL - Wish You Were Here
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS - Love Rollercoaster

For me, from this list, it was down to these three.

And ultimately, I’d have go with Republica.

I would vote for Republica also, great forgotten mid 90’s song! Or “In The Meantime” by Spacehog.

Partly because I was living in Mexico* that year, I recognize very little from this list. I have heard, and do like, the Pumpkins song (“1979”), so I voted for that.

*Here’s another chance for me to plug Café Tacuba! [sombrero smiley]

The good 90s ska was happening in Latin America – acts like Pericos, from Argentina.

Woe to the individual who votes, unironically, for Seven Mary Three.

1979 for me. Damn, that was a great song.

Hey, I liked the song ‘Cumbersome’ - unironically, as not every song needs to be deep and profound. The rest of the album, well, meh (thank goodness for Mr. Cheapo and Empire Disk, great used CD sellers of the era), which is why the songs were also-rans, not the top #1.

I’ve looked into the future, many songs in 1997 which got way overplayed at the time (and were roundly criticized because of it), but after enough years, you realize they actually sound pretty good.

*1979 *just never really did it for me, though I can’t fault the people who chose it here. My vote went to Champagne Supernova.

I don’t mind the sun sometimes, the images it shows…

Surf’s up!

And somehow I completely missed the presence of *Wonderwall *on the list; it would have gotten my vote if I had been using my eyes properly.

I gotta go with Butthole Surfers for this one - the spoken-word verses are catchy in their unique-ness, and it paints a picture of how disaffected the singer is with the idea of dying a nasty death that he simply recites it all in a dry monotone, and the sung chorus adds just enough aggression and angst to show that under his shell he’s not as cold as he seems, and to remind us that you never know just how you’ll look in other people’s eyes.

Why don’t you consider Eels to be alternative?