Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Rock & Roll in the NEWS: Where New Rock Meets Old Rock...January 17, 2018 (20 Iconic Rock Songs "Happy 20th Birthday!")

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Here Are 20 Rock Songs That Turn 20 in 2018

From left: Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz & Marilyn Manson 

1998 was an interesting year for rock music. America was a few years removed from the grunge explosion, in between two different pop-punk booms, and just starting to feel the impact of rap-rock and nu-metal. A pair of very different rock bands topped the Billboard Hot 100 and, oddly enough, they appear in the first two spots of our alphabetized list.
Below, get nostalgic and look back on 20 iconic rock songs that celebrate their 20th birthdays in 2018.
Aerosmith, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”

After 28 years and 12 studio albums, it took a power ballad made for the Armageddon soundtrack to finally bring Aerosmith its first No. 1 on the Hot 100. Written by Diane Warren, “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” stayed atop the chart for four weeks and continued the band’s improbable run of success into the new millennium.

Barenaked Ladies, “One Week”
Is there such a thing as too catchy? The Barenaked Ladies threw caution to the wind on their biggest hit, along with similarly reckless abandon for pop culture references that probably wouldn't age too well. In the end, they wound up with a happy-go-lucky bubblegum jingle of a song -- technically rap-rock, but for the nerdy Canadian set, minus the distortion, turntables and angst. It reached the top of the Hot 100 and stayed there for, alas, one week. 
Cake, “Never There”
The Sacramento band’s first and only Alternative Songs No. 1 is classic Cake, a slice of groovy, jittery minimalism, highlighted by John McCrea’s speak-singing and Cince DiFiore’s slick trumpet interludes. Released two years after “The Distance” and three years before "Short Skirt/Long Jacket,” it stands smack-dab in the middle of Cake’s alt-rock heyday.
Dave Matthews Band, ”Don't Drink the Water"
The banjo-laced lead single from 1998’s Before These Crowded Streets was a heavy one, with Matthews’ lyrics calling out colonial injustices against both Native Americans and victims of apartheid in his birthplace of South Africa: “There’s blood in the water/ Don’t drink the water,” it concludes ominously. Thank banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck for a poignant guest performance, as well as Alanis Morissette, who appears on backing vocals. On the lighter side, don’t forget the image of a Native American man holding up Matthews’ severed-yet-still-singing head in the music video.
Eve 6, “Inside Out”
Eve 6 had a handful of hits, but none peaked higher on the Hot 100 than their debut single (it went all the way to No. 28). “Inside Out” is nothing if not catchy, and bassist-vocalist Max Collins’ proclivity for tongue-tied wordplay (“SoCal is where my mind states/ but it’s not my state of mind”) hammers home the rubbery hook to the nth degree.
Fastball, “The Way”
The first single from the Austin, Texas, band’s breakthrough album was a crossover smash, driving all the way to No. 1 at Alternative Songs and to No. 2 at Adult Top 40. Successful as it was, it came from sinister source material; “Where were they going without ever knowing the way?” refers to an elderly couple found dead in a ravine after getting lost en route to a faraway Texas festival. 
Garbage, “I Think I’m Paranoid”
Garbage proved its staying power with 1998’s Version 2.0, a stylish, confident sophomore album to follow up 1995’s self-titled debut. You definitely remember Shirley Manson sneering the titular line over that big, brazen guitar riff, but don’t forget how seamlessly Butch Vig and company injected a little Dust Brothers-y record scratching into this song’s sonic structure. Alongside lead single “Push It,” “I Think I’m Paranoid” kept Version 2.0 all over rock radio to close out the 20th century.
Goo Goo Dolls, “Iris” 
Fans got to hear it early, on the City of Angels soundtrack, released six months ahead of the Goo Goo Dolls’ ballad-packed powerhouse LP Dizzy Up the Girl. By the time the year was over, “Iris” was inescapable. Frontman Johnny Rzeznik took a mandolin riff, an odd time signature, equally strange tuning and turned song that doesn’t even include its title in the lyrics -- a Goo Goo Dolls rarity -- into the band’s signature track. Safe to say, "Iris" is one of the greatest rock ballads of all-time.
Hole, “Celebrity Skin”
The scorching opener from Hole’s third album of the same name, “Celebrity Skin” sets the tone for the whole LP: brash, hooky, laced with sneering observations from frontwoman Courtney Love on sex and celebrity. Fun fact: It was co-written by Billy Corgan.
Kid Rock, “Bawitdaba” 
After starting the song by absolutely, 100 percent making sure we know what his name is, Kid Rock maps out his rap-metal world by shouting out a barrage of working-class bad boys and their vices across this song's verses. And the chorus, that’s just pure, near-wordless karaoke gold.

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