Growing Up 90’s: Soul Asylum- “Misery”



They say misery loves company

We could start a company

And make misery

Unless you had a predilection towards that “pump up the jams” garbage during the 90’s, you most likely had to find a way to tolerate the dominance of the grunge wave over the popular music scene. Songs about despair, depression, and pill-popping took over rock radio, and you might have had to flip over to a jock jams tune to find anything remotely positive or encouraging. Luckily, there were some gems that came from the grunge movement, and often enough, the MUSIC was good. 

While the title of Soul Asylum’s hit song “Misery” falls directly under the aforementioned tree, it was lyrically unique and undeniably catchy. Released back in 1995 on the band’s record Let Your Dim Light Shine, the song rocketed to the #1 spot on the Modern Rock Tracks in the United States, and found itself as a poignant closer at the end of Kevin Smith’s sequel to Clerks in 2006. The song’s premise involves starting a company called “Frustrated, Incorporated,” and building a factory in which misery would be made. Lead singer Dave Pirner, in his signature grungy rasp, sings “we’ll create the cure, we made the disease.” The music video for the song consists of live performance footage of the band and shots of CDs being pressed.

Put me out of my misery

All you suicide kings and your drama queens

Forever after happily

Making misery

I got the Let Your Dim Light Shine CD for Christmas after it came out twenty years ago, and still have it today. I always loved “Misery,” even though I was only 11 years old when the song came out and had nothing about which to be miserable. I listened to the CD, which had a handful of other good songs on it as well, quite often in the basement of my parents’ house, playing Nintendo after school. It was a much simpler time in life.

The Lithium station on Sirius XM radio has been playing “Misery” quite a bit lately, reminding me how much I loved the song, and spurring me to feature it on this latest installment of “Growing Up 90’s.” Great tune from one of the few tolerable grunge bands that clogged the airwaves during that decade, and they stood out to me because much of their music was more melodic than that of their counterparts. As always, thanks for reading. Drop a comment below and let me know what you think of this song, or recommend your own!


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