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Image for Forgotten singles of the ’90s

Forgotten singles of the’90s

We revisit forgotten classics from an era when music journalists used “alterna” as a prefix to every genre, when songs needlessly opened with samples, when one-hit wonders never stuck around past their used-by date and when penning a novelty single was a sure fire way to get played on triple j. There’s nothing ironic about this list – you won’t see Eiffel 65, East 17 or Aqua here.

Bran Van 3000 – Drinkin In LA (1997)

This Montreal collective put out two great albums – Discosis and Glee – but are best known for this late-’90s single that trades Beck-lite verses with soulful vocals, chilled-out beats and a reference to Snoop Dogg’s ‘Gin and Juice’.

Len – Steal My Sunshine (1999)

A Canadian brother-and-sister duo – neither of whom could really sing – alternate nonsensical verses over a snippet of Andrea True Connection’s 1976 disco hit ‘More, More, More’. Only in the ’90s. An equally memorable video shot in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The Caulfields – Devil’s Diary (1995)

Better known by its declaratory chorus: “I’m bigger than Jesus now.” Fun fact: They toured Australia in the mid-1990s in support of Died Pretty. Did they play any other songs?

Not From There – Sich Offnen (1998)

How did one of the most interesting noise-pop outfits of the late-’90s garner high rotation on triple j? With a novelty single featuring lyrics in German, of course. Frontman Heinz Riegler is still making great ambient music in Brisbane.

Ammonia – Drugs (1995)

Observation #1: Val Kilmer could easily star as Dave Johnstone if anyone was stupid enough to make an Ammonia biopic. Observation #2: This song has a really underrated bassline.

Primitive Radio Gods – Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand (1996)

This ambient bit of mid-’90s melancholy is all about the BB King sample (“I’ve been downhearted baby, ever since the day we met”) which only appears twice. It’s a clever device that forces you to listen to this song the whole way through. All four minutes, 42 seconds of it.

Violetine – You Know (1998)

Q: Whatever happened to Violetine? A: They’re still paying off the debt from this needlessly expensive video that bands in the ’90s were conned into thinking they needed to make.

Tokyo Ghetto Pussy – I Kiss Your Lips (1995)

Tokyo Ghetto Pussy was actually a German duo who performed under a bunch of aliases, most notably Jam & Spoon. This driving trance lullaby scored them a top 10 hit in Australia and the Netherlands – and pretty much nowhere else.

Fastball – The Way (1998)

A morbid true story about an old couple that gets lost in the desert set to a spaghetti-western backdrop. See also: ‘You’re An Ocean’ (2000).

Spacehog – In the Meantime (1996)

Was the sample of The Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s ‘Telephone and Rubber Band’ really that crucial to the alterna-glam pay-off? Likewise, did the drummer really need that double kick?

Continued on the next page

Comments

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Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 8th Nov, 2012

Heh. I knew Drinkin in LA would be in there. Grattan loves that song (as should everyone).

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 8th Nov, 2012

The Way freaked me out so much when I was a kid.

Stugalug

Stugalug said on the 8th Nov, 2012

Violetineeeeeee!!!!!!

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 8th Nov, 2012

would it surprise anyone to know I have a bunch of these bands' albums? :)

BV3000 - I loved Glee, but Discosis not as much.

Ammonia had two albums - Mint 400 is great, but Eleventh Avenue is a stone cold classic.

Primitive Radio Gods' album was okay.

Fini Scad's Wider Screen was fantastic.

Geggy Tah's album was woeful :)

Sneaker Pimps' Becoming X was great - it would probably be a world-beater if it came out now.

Fountains Of Wayne have always been great, Radiation Vibe so not the high point. Their last two albums have been a bit forgettable tho. Still hoping they might tour Aus again one day.

green-faerie

green-faerie said on the 8th Nov, 2012

i loved some aussie pop/rock back in the day and violetine, ammonia and fini scad were great!

Stugalug

Stugalug said on the 8th Nov, 2012



Love that record. It's not reeeeaaaalllllll, forget about it, blah blah, ba, blah blah!!!!

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 8th Nov, 2012



If I ever get my shit together bandwise, would love to do a cover of Just A Show.

Stugalug

Stugalug said on the 8th Nov, 2012



Can't recall that one by name, but I'll know it from the opening lick. Sonic Boy is a cracker too.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 8th Nov, 2012

It's the opening song on the album.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 8th Nov, 2012

Here are a couple more forgotten '90s classics to add to the list.

[youtube]sTUIHK7gHRE[/youtube]

Propellerheads feat. Shirley Bassey - History Repeating

[youtube]Gj-XN2TD7_Y[/youtube]

Who can forget Toad the Wet Sprocket? (probably most people).

[youtube]GFxVMfBfQDY#![/youtube]

Ned's Atomic Dustbin!

katiecunningham

katiecunningham said on the 8th Nov, 2012

still love sneaker pimps, gotta say.

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 8th Nov, 2012

Harumph. [URL="http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=23905"]Awesome Songs That Time Forgot

Fastball, Len and Tokyo Ghetto Pussy deserve to be forgotten. Absolute shite.
Good call on Spacehog though. If I see Babylon Zoo tomorrow I will vom. Filter are never forgotten so don't get any ideas.

I am inspired so... I see your twenty videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSdeqwO6FHA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVhNi5cU8mo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVOD5D4IArw

humanracin

humanracin said on the 8th Nov, 2012



I loved the first album, Kelli Ali has released 5 good solo albums that have gone mostly unnoticed.

This would be my pick for most classic yet forgotten 90s track:

Toni Halliday is a real fox in the clip too...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdX5KKQDRwg

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 8th Nov, 2012

Move aside, and let the man go through.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRqP52c0OLU

Fell between the cracks of the brit pop explosion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFybl7lF35s

Remember Rob Zombie's little brother?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsV500W4BHU

Kiwi band's track that is Kirsten Dunst's tap dancing song of choice.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoSiPatxzDU

batdan

batdan said on the 8th Nov, 2012

Some OZ music faves from the 90's

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZNlABLaoMI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u0mhHet7Ug

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 8th Nov, 2012

Radha Mitchell never forgot...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2iJYZbICiw

In the 90s this used to pull all the bitches in Year 10.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S_R13jV11Q

Maynard James Keenan voiced the Three Little Pigs in this Top 10 Australian hit. The more you know...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CYwNWHZuT0

That's Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook playing the vibraphone...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkKxGzm98AU

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 8th Nov, 2012

The only band from Perth ever.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvcbICkOfEs

I'm amazed when people have never heard this classic.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUb450Alpps

Space-Rock was a cool genre.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfbn3ieVUYU&feature=fvst

Stugalug

Stugalug said on the 8th Nov, 2012

Stone Gossard side project, still love it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNI9dNmNGRE

Pollen, great band.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrSRoi1oepg

This is the only clip of Automatic I could find, obviously its a cover, but they had heap of good tracks on their LP Transmitter, like Sick, Five, Another Up, It's Like Sound. My CD is scratched.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lrHkIU62yo

kaydee

kaydee said on the 8th Nov, 2012

I loved that Moler song. Australia's answer to Elastica.

This is still one of my favourite songs. Certainly not forgotten in my world. Best thing to come out of Canberra ever (along with the rest of the Hayes clan and Nic Dalton).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2n6Z592oMk

Pre-cult Tim DeLaughter

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYI99xuI9CM

THERE'S DUST ON MY GUITAR YOU F*CK

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SCYoNUk7G0

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 8th Nov, 2012

So much insane nostalgia, this is brilliant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w28ZREQe3_Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1_NtckgpXU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NFbwgE6YQ8

musickeepsusalive

musickeepsusalive said on the 8th Nov, 2012

lit are not one hit wonders. they have released 5 albums so far and have a huge following. they lost their drummer to brain cancer a few years ago and still came back with a kick ass album this year. so go suck it and do your research

jacegalvin

jacegalvin said on the 8th Nov, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vpVM7gVciM

Still as good as ever.

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 8th Nov, 2012

Good call on Brad, Stugs. I love that album, The Day Brings is an amazing track.

Hmmm I need six more...

Criminally underrated band.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n_p9ManFBQ&feature=youtu.be

Pow! We're on the move!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79WOWjezU0Y

Did someone say "More Space-Rock"? Still a cool as fuck video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMrGxC49cS8

jacegalvin

jacegalvin said on the 8th Nov, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MLzjVL8EOE

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 8th Nov, 2012



That's Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook playing the vibraphone...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkKxGzm98AU

I love that song!

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 8th Nov, 2012

This at full volume on the macca's run in my shitty celica trying to beat the end of lunch bell.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2Oe5YKhzCE

One of the most beautiful songs of the era.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILpq6LDrUWQ

Superchunk should never be forgotten.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvqbA263yZA

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 8th Nov, 2012

Those last three were phenomenal.

Local H also had a banger a bit later on in the 90s, too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF_oW1KxdzA

RocknrollHendo

RocknrollHendo said on the 8th Nov, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGUMsxVt4YU

I feel this track needs to be posted. Easily the most popular song to come out of NZ in the '90s and one of our most popular of all time. This track takes me back to a '90s summer in NZ.

snapcrackleROCK

snapcrackleROCK said on the 8th Nov, 2012

This thread is such a happy land.

...this thread needs more Happyland.

snapcrackleROCK

snapcrackleROCK said on the 8th Nov, 2012

PS - Matthew Sweet - Sick Of Myself (also contains the greatest guitar solo ever)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzQ8ef-RpQo

PPS - Is it possible to like an entire thread? This would save me time.

Stugalug

Stugalug said on the 8th Nov, 2012

We can't talk about Local H and not mention this.
Still easily one of my all time favourite gigs, wish that t-shirt still fit.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGWpRxnyeGg

Hendo, this is easily the best song to come out of NZ during the 90's. Might not be the most popular, but its the best.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gEy2FJ_AiA

THIS IS STILL SICK!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzEn5tSCoNo&feature=related

RocknrollHendo

RocknrollHendo said on the 8th Nov, 2012

I'd say Shihad were responsible for NZs best music in the '90s. But Supergroove are solid! caught them live about 4 years ago, were amazing.

snapcrackleROCK

snapcrackleROCK said on the 8th Nov, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdCshniqwQ0

Infatuation - Moler.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 8th Nov, 2012

If you don't mind Local H, check out Here Comes The Zoo - easily their best, most consistent album, beginning to end.

They're on my bucket list, they were supposed to come out a few years ago but the tour got cancelled :(

Stugalug

Stugalug said on the 8th Nov, 2012

If you don't mind Local H, check out Here Comes The Zoo - easily their best, most consistent album, beginning to end.

They're on my bucket list, they were supposed to come out a few years ago but the tour got cancelled :(

They were so awesome. It was just the two of them, but they had a second guitarist who would ran out onto stage mid-song, plug in, smash out a riff, un-plug and run off stage. Happened a few times during the set. Never seen anything like it since.

Would you believe they supported The Superjesus, and the first band up was Stephanie Ashworth's Sandpit? Absolutely love those guys.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHWMAsS8mIA

justjeans

justjeans said on the 9th Nov, 2012

haha thanks to a very dodgy playlist-making machine we had at my old job in retail, fastball's 'the way' and len's 'steal my sunshine' will never be forgotten. great list.

kaydee

kaydee said on the 9th Nov, 2012

Surely Grant Lee Buffalo haven't been forgotten?
Seeing Grant Lee Phillips at The Zoo in Brisbane in the early 2000's is one of the highlights of my life.

lateleigh

lateleigh said on the 9th Nov, 2012

'Drinking in LA' is a brilliant song, but there's quite a lot of songs here that probably aren't worth remembering really. Lit, Len, Fini Scad, Ammonia... yawn! Strawpeople on the other hand were amazing - got everything they did. ...So where was the Addict song, "My Monster Side" on this list?? ...
Anyone???

Luke Henriques-Gomes

Luke Henriques-Gomes said on the 9th Nov, 2012

"radiation vibe" was written by chris collingwood, not adam. great tune though.

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 9th Nov, 2012

Surely Grant Lee Buffalo haven't been forgotten?
Seeing Grant Lee Phillips at The Zoo in Brisbane in the early 2000's is one of the highlights of my life.

I think highly likely, they killed this thread. [URL="http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=20830&highlight=name+band&page=8"]Name that Band.

kaydee

kaydee said on the 9th Nov, 2012



That's a disgrace. Never would have happened had I been around then.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 9th Nov, 2012

updated with second half, although I think we got most of them here in the thread already :)

Great to see Lucas With The Lid Off get a mention, I have that album around somewhere...

snapcrackleROCK

snapcrackleROCK said on the 9th Nov, 2012

[URL=]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePo0ppIS4JI

Sunday - Mr Blonde. Should have been bigger than Powderfinger.

jacegalvin

jacegalvin said on the 9th Nov, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sg1rFsrCrZ8

postman_pm

postman_pm said on the 9th Nov, 2012

This has made my Friday.... add a few more to the list

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0j0xBfRasw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIQWt3oMids&feature=endscreen&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYBIRHi5-o8
Bam Magera on base :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFSLFBAJdBI
This one just sums up 90s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNc45FTenhg

Tweaksta

Tweaksta said on the 9th Nov, 2012

what about jimmy rogers by fur??

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 9th Nov, 2012

This has made my Friday.... add a few more to the list

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0j0xBfRasw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIQWt3oMids&feature=endscreen&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYBIRHi5-o8
Bam Magera on base :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFSLFBAJdBI
This one just sums up 90s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNc45FTenhg

I can't tell if you are saying Bam Margera played bass in 311 or FLC. Either way it's fucking stupid.

SF23k

SF23k said on the 9th Nov, 2012

brings back some of those foggy memories i had of the 90's, it's good

batdan

batdan said on the 9th Nov, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk2ISOa2jEQ

Brian B

Brian B said on the 10th Nov, 2012

Well done all of you.

Dirk Chanley

Dirk Chanley said on the 10th Nov, 2012

that local h track is a banger! ill have to check them out more.

Annies boobs

Annies boobs said on the 10th Nov, 2012

Awesome article. Forgive me if these have been posted already and for not posting videos, Shockwave Flash keeps crashing (my computer is the Britta of computers)

The Verve Pipe - The Freshman
The Wallflowers - One Headlight
Rhubarb - Excerciser

snapcrackleROCK

snapcrackleROCK said on the 11th Nov, 2012

Sick Day - Daisycutters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOnp4LH6Ypc

grattan

grattan said on the 13th Nov, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YCGtT_FRYg

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 13th Nov, 2012

His album was fantastic. Still waiting for a follow up, its almost always "right around the corner"...

cassiecash

cassiecash said on the 16th Nov, 2012

well done guys great tunes, good times!

Wahzammo

Wahzammo said on the 26th Nov, 2012

best ffn selection! awesome stuff, i grew up on this stuff!

Victim

Victim said on the 1st Dec, 2012

I've been meaning to post in here for a while, but awesome list/thread. Here's a couple I remember from the 90's that I think fit with the rest but haven't been posted yet! I could probably post a lot more if I had a look through my collection though, maybe one day...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_06W2zTh9ds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jsj-37UrxeM

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 1st Dec, 2012

Bis and Liquido were both great, the At The Rocks album for Liquido (the one after the one with Narcotic on it) was a fantastic pop rock album.

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 1st Dec, 2012

I used to love that Liquido track, hasn't aged well in my opinion. Bis is a good choice always loved that track. Would still bang the chick in Bis.