Its Friday So Lets Go Back to 1999 and SPIN’s List of the Greatest Alt Rock Songs

I am in a full blown tailspin of nostalgia today after hearing songs I haven’t heard in years. 1999 had some BANGERS from the wildly popular bands like Blink-182 to the groups people don’t like to admit they actually enjoy like Limp Bizkit to the one hit wonders like LIT. It was an awesome year for angsty kids. Lets take a look at SPIN’s 69 best songs of 1999 as I pick out the best songs I liked the most from the list.

1999 was a simpler time and was the absolute height of music videos. Record labels and it’s artists poured a shit ton of time and money into making these 4-minute movies so we’ve got highly produced vids to go with each song. Enjoy wasting the next 20 minutes of your day with me.

It probably helps that all of these songs came out in my most formative years, but a ton of them were also featured in the video games I played endlessly so these songs are burned into my brain. Featured at No. 34 on this list, remember Powerman 5000’s “When Worlds Collide”? No? How about now?

No. 65 – Smashmouth – “All Star”

Smashmouth really is peak 90s as they were poppy and bubbly, but still sang/rap about getting blackout drunk. All Star was a mega hit before becoming a legitimate meme after being featured on the Shrek soundtrack. Also, shoutout to Dane Cook making an apperance in the All Star video as he was the King of the early 2000s when he was a comedy god.

No. 30 – Sugar Ray – “Someday”

I’m still beyond jealous that Papa Giorgio has seen Sugar Ray in concert not once, but multiple times and has even received a high five from Mark McGrath.

No. 29 – Kid Rock – “Cowboy”

Before Lil Nas X made rapping about cowboys and country cool again, Kid Rock invented the entire style. Never forget the pioneer that Robert Richie was in the 90s.

No. 26 – Creed – “Higher”

Surprise of the century is that Scott Stapp is still touring. I saw he

No. 25 – Limp Bizkit – “Nookie”

I vividly remember how big of a deal it was when “Nookie” beat out the Backstreet Boys for the No. 1 spot on TRL. Holy shit do I feel old having just written that sentence.

No. 24 – The Offspring – “The Kids Aren’t Alright”

These guys vanished into thin air, but not after dominating MTV and becoming the soundtrack for basically every movie made in the late 90s/early 2000s like American Pie 2, Orange County, The New Guy, Tomcats, Idle Hands, Varsity Blues, and The Faculty. I challenge you to show me a better run from that era because you can’t.

No. 20 – Santana feat. Rob Thomas – “Smooth”

20 years later and this song still fucks.

No 18. – Beastie Boys – “Alive”

I feel like this will wind up being one of those groups that I opine about the older I get and the more I start to despise the popular music of today because the Beastie Boys changed the damn game.

“While it’s not as flashy or seminal as singles like “Intergalactic” or “Sabotage,” the understated majesty of “Alive,” from their two-CD anthology, showcases the consistent brilliance of the crew as talented MCs, feeding off each other like they share one brain.”

No. 16 – Sugar Ray – “Every Morning”

Absolute kings of 1999.

No. 15 – Blink-182 – “What’s My Age Again?”

So Papa Giorgio and I actually saw Blink twice in the span of a week back in senior year of college and its one of the few bands that I would ever do that. These guys have 20+ years of hits to pull from and I mean this in the best way, but it feels like you’re back in high school any time you throw them on. Unlike just about every artist on this list Blink has found their stride with excellent new music to ride out the second act of their career. They even remade the same goddamn video with a slight twist.

No. 14 – Korn – “Freak on a Leash”

Korn was a clear line of demarcation between kids in high school. Freak on a Leash was a banger, but it was definitely the single that crossed over because I was never a huge Korn guy until I heard this single. Even better though is the Korn rap crossover with Dem Franchise Boyz on “Coming Undone With It” because the early 2000s were a breeding ground for mashups that in theory sound like an abomination, yet somehow work.

No. 12 – Kid Rock – “Bawitdaba”

If you had the Kid Rock CD in middle school you were definitely already rolling blunts before you could drive. Dope song though.

No. 9 – Foo Fighters – “Learn to Fly”

Full disclosure, Foo Fighters is my favorite band of all time so I stan for Dave Grohl. Hell I had them on the Must Play List at my wedding. So I’m glad to see this song so high up on the list. If you haven’t seen the video of them playing this live alongside a thousand people simultaneously, stop whatever you’re doing and watch it right now. Incredible.

No. 8 – Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Scar Tissue”

I don’t know why, but the SPIN description of this song hit the nail right on the head.

“As with many great Chi Peps tunes, Frusciante provides a cover for all of the band’s worst instincts here: His guitar and background vocals manage to make Anthony Kiedis’ lyrical gibberish ring true and forlorn, transforming the track into a classic of late ’90s rock ballads.”

No. 7 – Lit – “My Own Worst Enemy”

I vividly remember the teenage, probably drunk, camp counselors blaring this on the bus every goddamn day at Summer Camp when I was a kid, which is probably why its worked its way into my brain and never left.

No. 5 – Fatboy Slim – “Praise You”

Not my favorite song to be honest, but you’re lying if you don’t *taste* 1999 when you hear this song.

No. 4 – Len – “Steal My Sunshine”

Another cringeworthy level of 90s nostalgia, this song was a massive hit in 1999, but probably wouldn’t get played anywhere other than Soundcloud if released today. Also, this video always creeped me out because the Canadian brother-sister duo just seemed a little too close. Even the front man didn’t love the album, but this song popped.“Some of it’s terrible. A lot of it’s terrible,” Marc said about Bum Rush, but hit single “Steal My Sunshine” was huge with fans and critics alike.

No. 3 – Eminem – “My Name Is”
Hi kids, do you like violence?

Massive Eminem fan here so shoutout to Marshall for making No. 3 on the ALT ROCK list as a rapper from Detroit. That my friends is what they call crossing over and I’m not talking about that shitty TV show where John Edward conned grieving people into believing he was talking to their dead relatives. But I digress, this along with The Real Slim Shady is when Eminem exploded onto the scene as the angry yet funny white guy who could rap better than anyone I’d ever heard. The Real Slim Shady video that doesn’t even try to hide the fact that its ripping on Tom Green, another MTV darling in 1999, probably didn’t hurt either.

No. 2 – Blink-182 – “All the Small Things”

I’ve already said my piece on Blink, but aside from the actual music these guys just knew how to make a video that would get played all day on TRL. This looks incredibly dated now, but it was massive at the time because it poked fun at the way too serious slo-mo boy band videos of the era.

No. 1 – Fiona Apple – “Fast As You Can”

Fiona Apple is the soundtrack for any movie scene where the main characters are strung out doing heroine, not the No. 1 alt-rock song of 1999. I reject this.

Anyways, you’re welcome for this trip down memory lane now excuse me while I go grab my chain wallet and slip into my JNCO jeans.

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