"bunch of crazy white people... "

Every Billboard Modern Rock Chart #1 through 2005, listed in order of preference.  

169. 311, "Down"

September 14 - October 11, 1996

My inner 16-year-old probably thinks this crossover salvo should be a lot lower, but a decade's worth of modern rock hits - "You Wouldn't Believe," "Come Original," "Creatures (For A While)" and "Amber" are but a few - has revealed how much worse their unique brand of rapstafarian metal can get.

Chill! light on my sight as my ego becomes
A funky child with some words onmy tongue
Be like intake of breath and my mouth gets loose
While I scatter my spit I dream of juice
Have you ever made out in dark hallways
Displayed a kiss that made your day or say
Played a track from your record collection
It's your mix, congratulations!


170. Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Otherside"

February 19 - May 19, 2000

Anthony Kiedis coos vulnerable rhymes about his many, many issues while the band adds sympathetic licks & harmonies. There's an awkward bass-plod-yell break, probably for the same reason Van Halen put that guitar solo in "Jump."

Pour my life into a paper cup
The ashtray's full and I'm spillin' my guts
She wants to know am I still a slut
I've got to take it on the otherside


171. U2, "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me"

June 24 - July 15, 1995

Bono gasps, slathers and whoops some self-important, quasi-religious nonsense over a goopy casserole of rawk riff and glitzy techno swirl. As was the style at the time.

They want you to be Jesus
They'll go down on one knee
But they'll want their money back
If you're alive at thirty-three
And you're turning tricks
With your crucifix
You're a star


172. Happy Mondays, "Kinky Afro"

January 19 - 25, 1991

Makes more sense when I Bez-dance to it.

I had to crucify somebody today
And I don’t dig what you gotta say
So come on and say it
Come on and tell me twice


173. Peter Gabriel, "Digging In The Dirt"

September 26 - October 9, 1992

I like TV On The Radio despite myself, and I partially blame a childhood affection for this guy. "Dirt" hasn't gotten more profound with age - the way he sings "this is for real" is ridiculous - but when my housemate shouted from the stairs "why the hell are you listening to that?" I couldn't say it was merely for the purposes of this list. Lightweight grooves help the pomp go down.

The more I look, the more I find
As I close on in, I get so blind
I feel it in my head, I feel it in my toes
I feel it in my sex, that's the place it goes


174. Simple Minds, "See The Lights"

May 11 - May 24, 1991

Wanna-be Bono or proto-Chris Martin? And how did either become Mr. Chrissie Hynde?

Summer's gone winter's in your eyes
I can feel the thunder storms inside
I wake every morning and the cold winds cover me
All I've got's a ghost of what could be
If you can see the lights shine in front of me
If you can see the lights shout out where you'll be


175. Velvet Revolver, "Slither"

July 3 - July 30, 2004

Take out the 30 second solo and this track is at #213 with a joke about a world where Kurt Cobain lived long enough to collaborate with Ian Astbury.

When you seek me you'll destroy me
Rape my mind and smell the poppies
born and bloodied every single time

Always keep me under finger
That's the spot where you might linger
might see some drop of pleasure in my mind


176. Concrete Blonde, "Joey"

July 14 - August 10, 1990

The Rolling Stone review of their farewell show described how lifeless their closing performance of "Joey" was. For all its troubled teen empathy, this wouldn't be the first time it came off a little rote.

But if its love you're looking for,
well, I can give a little more.
And if you’re somewhere out there,
passed out on the floor,
Oh Joey, I’m not angry anymore.


177. U2, "Desire"

October 22 - November 25, 1988

They pull off the Bo Diddley beat alright, but fuck if Bono's stadium-sized overgusto is any kind of worthwhile evolution.

Lover, I'm on the street
Gonna go where the bright lights
And the big city meet
With a red guitar on fire


178. Creed, "Higher"

October 16-22, November 27 - December 3 & December 11-17, 1999

I can still remember the first time I heard the chorus guitar hook. I was getting a hoagie at McLanahan's at the corner of Shortlidge & College. I thought, "Christ, this song is going to be inescapable. They're going to get even more popular. Aw, fuck." I can laugh about it now.

Can you take me Higher?

To a place where blind men see?
Can you take me Higher?

To a place with golden streets?


179. Fastball, "The Way"

April 11 - May 29, 1998

The best Elvis Costello song of the nineties? By default?

They made up their minds
And they started packing
They left before the sun came up that day
An exit to eternal summer slacking
But where were they going without ever
Knowing the way?


180. Tori Amos, "God"

March 19 - April 1, 1994

Playing with the patriarchal nature of religion, asking why God goes when the wind blows, sighing and fluttering.

God sometimes you just don't come through
God sometimes you just don't come through
Do you need a woman to look after you
God sometimes you just don't come through


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