Growing Up 90’s: Richard Marx- “Take This Heart”

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“I’ve been where you are before
No one understands it more
You fear every step you take
So sure that your heart will break

It’s not how the story ends
You’ll be back on your feet again”

Although Richard Marx is mostly known for his monster power ballads and pop hits from the late 80’s, he was still churning out great music after the decade came to a close. To this day, Marx still writes music for himself, and for others, penning hit songs for other successful artists. What leads us to this week’s edition of Growing Up 90’s is “Take This Heart” from his album Rush Street, released in 1991.  Continue reading

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Growing Up 90’s: Third Eye Blind- “The Background”

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Although I could happily go the rest of my life without ever hearing “Jumper” again, Third Eye Blind’s debut record has always been a desert island album for me. Top to bottom, the album is littered with amazing songs. Lead singer Stephan Jenkins was an incredible storyteller and lyricist, and this record is a reflection of that talent. What may be my favorite song on the band’s breakthrough recording – and the bar is set high with songs like “Motorcycle Drive By,” “God of Wine,” “Narcolepsy,” and “Losing a Whole Year” – is “The Background.” Continue reading

Growing Up 90’s: The Offspring- “The Kids Aren’t Alright”

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“When we were young the future was so bright

The old neighborhood was so alive

And every kid on the whole damn street

Was gonna make it big and not be beat

Now the neighborhood is cracked and torn

The kids are grown up but their lives are worn

How can one little street swallow so many lives?”

The No Seatbelt Blog is getting serious this week on Growing Up 90’s with a song that has always been powerful but hits much closer to home these days. The Offspring has been one of my favorite bands since I heard their breakthrough album Smash in 1994. Album after album, the blindingly fast guitar riffs from the six-string maestro known as Noodles, the always-shouted vocals from lead singer Brian “Dexter” Holland, and the band’s ability to master both the hilarious and the heart-wrenching with their music have been an easy sell for me.  Continue reading

Growing Up 90’s: The Refreshments- “Banditos”

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“So just how far down do you want to go?

Or we could talk it out over a cup of joe

And you could look deep into my eyes

Like I was a supermodel, uh-huh”

If you lived through the 90’s and were old enough to be cognizant in the least of the popular music scene, you know that the decade was rife with one-hit wonders. That’s no insult – I’ve never recorded a hit song, and many one-hit wonders will be remembered for decades for that singular musical gem, enjoying royalty checks in perpetuity, so there’s that. Continue reading

Growing Up 90’s: Gin Blossoms- “29”

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“Time won’t stand by forever

If I know it’s true

And I’ve learned not to say never

Or else I’ll seem the fool

Twenty-nine, you’d think I’d know better

Living like a kid

‘Cause when my lies may seem less than clever

Is when I fall for it”

Gin Blossoms are one of my favorite bands from the 90’s, and when I got their breakthrough New Miserable Experience on cassette after it came out in 1992, it left a lasting mark on my taste in music. For my money, contemporary rock music has never been so rife with talent, and has never been so utterly enjoyable than it was with this band. Continue reading

Growing Up 90’s: Oasis “Don’t Look Back In Anger”

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“Slip inside the eye of your mind

Don’t you know you might find 

A better place to play

You said that you’d never been

But all the things that you’ve seen

Will slowly fade away”

The musical centerpiece of this week’s edition of Growing Up 90’s comes from Oasis, the band whose guitarist Noel Gallagher pulled a page from the John Lennon playbook and once claimed were “bigger than God.” The aforementioned song is “Don’t Look Back In Anger” from the band’s 1995 breakthrough album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, which is not only my favorite song on the record, but from the band as well. Continue reading

Growing Up 90’s: Reel Big Fish- “Sell Out”

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“Well, I know you can’t work in fast food all your life

But don’t sign that paper tonight

She said, but it’s too late”

A handful of songs by Reel Big Fish (along with No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom, perhaps) was about as close as I ever got to getting into the ska-punk scene. While I’ve always thought bands that featured a horn section were unique and fun, the sight of badly-dressed kids “skanking,” which was typically a stupid circular dance that required aimless flailing as if your skeletal system had been removed from your body, at the ska concerts at which I found myself was vomit-inducing.  Continue reading

Growing Up 90’s: Aerosmith- “Eat The Rich”

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Cause I’m sick of your complainin’

About how many bills

And I’m sick of all your bitchin’

‘Bout your poodles and your pills

And I just can’t see no humor

About your way of life

And I think I can do more for you with this here fork and knife”

Boston’s legendary rockers Aerosmith had a colossal album on their hands with Get a Grip in 1993, as the record was loaded with huge singles such as “Amazing,” “Cryin’,” “Crazy,” “Livin’ On The Edge,” and “Eat The Rich.” Get a Grip became Aerosmith’s best-selling album worldwide, and second-best in the United States behind Pump. “Eat The Rich,” the first song on the record after the intro, is a humorous kick-off to this massively successful album. Continue reading

Growing Up 90’s: Veruca Salt- “Volcano Girls”

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Volcano girls, we really can’t be beat

Warm us up and watch us blow

Now and then we fail and we admit defeat

We’re falling off

We are watered down and fully grown

At any given point, I’m of the opinion that badass girls are sorely underrepresented in rock and roll, but for the last few years of the 90’s, the ladies from Veruca Salt were doing their part to change that. Fronted by Nina Gordon and Louise Post, the band, named after a character from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, had a fairly sizable hit on their hands with “Volcano Girls.” From the 1997 album Eight Arms to Hold You, the song is the epitome of fun, catchy rock music. Continue reading

Growing Up 90’s: Mr. Big- “To Be With You”

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Hold on little girl

Show me what he’s done to you

Stand up little girl

A broken heart can’t be that bad

This week on Growing Up 90’s, I’m reaching back to the beginning of the decade for what might be the biggest campfire sing-along in modern rock history, from none other than Mr. Big. “To Be With You,” from the band’s 1991 album Lean Into It is a hugely successful acoustic jam with an insanely catchy chorus, with lead singer Eric Martin’s incredible voice soaring over the backing vocals of his bandmates.  Continue reading