Friday, September 04, 2009

Top 5 '90s One-Hit Wonders I'd Still Go See in Concert

Writing about the Blessid Union concert got me thinking about some of the other great one-hit wonder bands of the ‘90s, and today’s Top 5 List is about which of those groups I’d actually still take the time and money to go see in concert. Of all those bands, these are the ones I think have the best potential to still put on a fun show:

#5 – Tonic – “If You Could Only See” – Back in 1997 this song just sort of spoke to me in ways other alternative ballads did not, and even now the lead singer’s smoky baritone paints a lovely musical picture. As far as a concert is concerned, I’ve actually seen them, and it was apparently right before the group went on a five-year hiatus. It was back in 2004 (I think) at DePaul, and they were actually really good. Of course I bought their first two albums and enjoyed them immensely. The song they did for the “American Pie” soundtrack was what kept me interested. That wasn’t a huge hit by any means—not like “If You Could Only See”—but still a good track. And a pretty good show, too.

#4 – Sister Hazel – “All For You” – As far as harmonies go, these guys are awesome. And yes, I’ve seen them live, too, at Milwaukee’s Summerfest probably six or seven years ago. It was a beautiful night and everyone in attendance was absolutely into the music, dancing and having a great time, so it was hard not to get swept up in that mood. There from Florida and I think my buddy Kevin said they one of them went to his high school or something. I don’t know. In any event, they rock (still), and put on a really fun show. A lot of their other songs sound familiar, and I’m not sure why…

#3 – Fastball – “Out of My Head” – Technically I’m not sure we can call these guys one-hit wonders since “The Way” earned two Grammy nominations in 1998, but “Out of My Head” was their huge hit, and it still holds up. Considering I heard the new song from these guys recently and enjoyed it very much, I can only assume that they’d still be a pretty relevant and fun group to see live.

#2 – Cake – “The Distance” – One of the weirdest styles I’ve ever heard in a band, but Cake does some really cool electronic-sounding stuff. Remember “Short Skirt Long Jacket”? There’s a newer song of theirs called “No Phone” that I love, too. I guess these guys aren’t quite as obscure as other folks on this list, but other than that one hit they really haven’t been topping charts since the mid-90s. I still love them, though, and would be completely content at a Cake concert. Also, goats go to hell.

#1 – Silverchair – “Tomorrow” – They were like 16 when this song came out and rocked the world, but the combination of fame and anorexia for the lead singer sort of put a hamper on how well things went from there. Their “Neon Ballroom” album saw some moderate success with “Ana’s Song,” but the next album, “Diorama,” barely got out of the gate and went pretty much unknown despite it being, in my humble opinion, their best work. They’re sort of fallen by the wayside the last decade, but they rock. No amount of time can change that. Just ask BB King (the blues musician, not my cat).

Honorable Mention:

Fiona Apple – “Criminal” – One of the only rocker chicks I could ever really get into. Did some cool experimenting with rhythms and stuff, which I always dug. Plus, deep down, I always thought she was kinda hot.

Duncan Sheik – “Barely Breating” – I think the only other Duncan Sheik song I’ve ever even heard is “Half-Life,” but that’s okay because I liked that one, too. Clearly I’ve got a penchant for singer-songwriters, and Sheik fits that mold.

Blessid Union of Souls – “Hey Leonardo” – Obviously I just saw these guys and had a great time. They inspired this whole list, so how could I not include them?

Eagle Eye Cherry – “Save Tonight” – The son of jazz artist Don Cherry has a voice born for folk music. This song made him hot in the U.S. for a short time, but none of his newer stuff caught on here. Over in Sweden (the motherland for him) and other parts of Europe he’s huge. Most recent album came out in 2006 but didn’t even sniff at any charts, domestic or international. I hope he doesn’t suck, having put him on my list of honorable mention candidates. I have the feeling his shows would be relatively worthwhile.

Cypress Hill – “Insane in the Membrane” – Something about the way B Real raps just gets me excited. And boy was he great on the “Space Jam” soundtrack, right?

Did I miss anybody? Keep in mind that I’m basing this off which groups would put on the best overall show, not which groups had the best overall songs. Add in your two cents, gang. It’s always welcome…


Anonymous said...

How can Cake and Cypress Hill be one hit wonders when they've had several singles, several albums and been around for almost 20 years?

Jason said...

Insane in the Brain. :)