My favorite songs from 1996


This was a big year for music in my life.

In 1996 I moved in with my girlfriend in May. At the end of October we broke up – and it was a pretty rocky summer leading up to that. So in the early months, the music was during happy times. In the middle months, we had combined our CD collections to make this one massive collection – and so again, music was a big part. Predominantly alternative. By the end of the year I was a wreck. A Long December really put the cap on this year – and on my rough breakup.

I bought myself a shitty pickup truck (all I could afford) so I wouldn’t be stranded, since she had the vehicle all this time. I couldn’t focus on my final year in University, but still got by. I did lots of traveling home – and back then road trips always meant music. A lot of the songs that came out in the second half of ’96 got plenty of play in Guelph’s The Trashateria when I frequented there in 1997 (I still think of ‘The Trash’ every time Pepper plays). They also got lots of play during my stint as a delivery driver (with my shitty old/new truck). These songs remind me of sitting in my truck waiting for my next call, listening to The Edge. I really fell in love with the MTV Unplugged album by Alice in Chains. Ahead By a Century quickly became one of my favorites from the Hip. And I still think of my ex whenever Santa Monica plays – and my time living in that tiny apartment.

Unlike most rankings, I haven’t been simply tossing these up in a numerical order. Because we can all agree that on some days, certain songs kick more ass than other songs – yet other days they do not. It all depends on mood and situation. A song that is ranked 14th today could very well rank 1st tomorrow – if it suddenly comes on the radio during the perfect moment and I start singing along. So I group them instead of presenting a hard-and-fast order:

Not Bad
…with some inter-group splitting.


46 Great Songs from 1996

California Love – 2Pac


Let It Rain – Amanda Marshall


Diggin’ a Hole – Big Sugar


Fire Water Burn – Bloodhound Gang


In The Meantime – Spacehog


Greedy Fly – Bush


The Distance – Cake


Naked – Goo Goo Dolls


One More Astronaut – I Mother Earth


Killing Me Softly With His Song – Fugees



Scooby Snacks – Fun Lovin Criminals


Leave It Alone – Moist


If It Makes You Happy – Sheryl Crow


The Good in Everyone – Sloan


Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart – Stone Temple Pilots


Banditos – The Refreshments


Too Much – Dave Matthews Band


The Freshman – The Verve Pipe


If You Could Only See – Tonic


Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman


Hail Hail – Pearl Jam


The Devil in the Kitchen – Ashley MacIsaac


Brenda Stubbert – Ashley MacIsaac


Sleepy Maggie – Ashley MacIsaac


One Of Us – Joan Osborne


So Much To Say – Dave Matthews Band


Popular – Nada Surf


E-Bow the Letter – R.E.M.


A Change Would Do You Good – Sheryl Crow


Lady Picture Show – Stone Temple Pilots


Springtime in Vienna – The Tragically Hip


One Headlight – The Wallflowers


Crossing a Canyon – 54-40


Over Now – Alice in Chains


The Old Apartment – Barenaked Ladies


Devil’s Haircut – Beck


No Diggity – Blackstreet


Crash Into Me – Dave Matthews Band


Tripping Billies – Dave Matthews Band


Used to be Alright – I Mother Earth


I Want You – Savage Garden


Everything You’ve Done Wrong – Sloan


Wannabe – Spice Girls


Salvation – The Cranberries


Hollywood – The Cranberries


Free To Decide – The Cranberries



23 Truly Awesome songs from 1996

Radiation Vibe – Fountains of Wayne


Pretty Noose – Soundgarden



Heaven Beside You – Alice in Chains



Pepper – Butthole Surfers


A Long December – Counting Crows


Santa Monica – Everclear


Hero Of The Day – Metallica


Blow Up The Outside World – Soundgarden


What I Got – Sublime


Ahead by a Century – The Tragically Hip


Swallowed – Bush


Novocaine For The Soul – Eels


Another Sunday – I Mother Earth


Push – Matchbox Twenty


Off He Goes – Pearl Jam


Who You Are – Pearl Jam


Bulls On Parade – Rage Against the Machine


Burden In My Hand – Soundgarden


Big Bang Baby – Stone Temple Pilots


When You’re Gone – The Cranberries


Open Up Your Eyes – Tonic


El Scorcho – Weezer


Love Rollercoaster – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Reminds me of ‘The Trash’ in Guelph. This song is a real pick-me-up


You can listen to these great songs as a playlist on YouTube here


Here is the full list…

Awesome – 1Heaven Beside You Alice in Chains
Awesome – 1Pepper Butthole Surfers
Awesome – 1A Long December Counting Crows
Awesome – 1Santa Monica Everclear
Awesome – 1Hero Of The Day Metallica
Awesome – 1Blow Up The Outside World Soundgarden
Awesome – 1What I Got Sublime
Awesome – 1Ahead by a CenturyThe Tragically Hip
Awesome – 1Swallowed Bush
Awesome – 1Love RollercoasterRed Hot Chili Peppers
Awesome – 11Novocaine For The Soul Eels
Awesome – 11Another SundayI Mother Earth
Awesome – 11Push Matchbox Twenty
Awesome – 11Off He Goes Pearl Jam
Awesome – 11Who You Are Pearl Jam
Awesome – 11Bulls On Parade Rage Against the Machine
Awesome – 11Burden In My Hand Soundgarden
Awesome – 11Big Bang Baby Stone Temple Pilots
Awesome – 11When You’re Gone The Cranberries
Awesome – 11Open Up Your EyesTonic
Awesome – 11El Scorcho Weezer
Awesome – 11Radiation Vibe Fountains of Wayne
Awesome – 11Pretty Noose Soundgarden
Great – 24Killing Me Softly With His SongFugees
Great – 24Scooby SnacksFun Lovin Criminals
Great – 24California Love 2Pac
Great – 24Let It RainAmanda Marshall
Great – 24Diggin’ a HoleBig Sugar
Great – 24Fire Water Burn Bloodhound Gang
Great – 24In The MeantimeSpacehog
Great – 24Greedy Fly Bush
Great – 24The Distance Cake
Great – 24NakedGoo Goo Dolls
Great – 24One More AstronautI Mother Earth
Great – 24Leave It AloneMoist
Great – 24If It Makes You Happy Sheryl Crow
Great – 24The Good in EveryoneSloan
Great – 24Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart Stone Temple Pilots
Great – 24Banditos The Refreshments
Great – 24The Freshman The Verve Pipe
Great – 24If You Could Only See Tonic
Great – 24Give Me One Reason Tracy Chapman
Great – 24A Change Would Do You Good Sheryl Crow
Great – 24Brenda StubbertAshley MacIsaac
Great – 24All I KnowScreaming Trees
Great – 24Santeria Sublime
Great – 47The Devil in the KitchenAshley MacIsaac
Great – 47Sleepy MaggieAshley MacIsaac
Great – 47One Of Us Joan Osborne
Great – 47Popular Nada Surf
Great – 47E-Bow the Letter R.E.M.
Great – 47Lady Picture Show Stone Temple Pilots
Great – 47Springtime in ViennaThe Tragically Hip
Great – 47One Headlight The Wallflowers
Great – 47Crossing a Canyon54-40
Great – 47Over NowAlice in Chains
Great – 47The Old Apartment Barenaked Ladies
Great – 47Devil’s Haircut Beck
Great – 47No Diggity Blackstreet
Great – 47Crash Into Me Dave Matthews Band
Great – 47Tripping Billies Dave Matthews Band
Great – 47Used to be AlrightI Mother Earth
Great – 47I Want You Savage Garden
Great – 47Everything You’ve Done WrongSloan
Great – 47Wannabe Spice Girls
Great – 47Salvation The Cranberries
Great – 47HollywoodThe Cranberries
Great – 47Free To DecideThe Cranberries
Great – 47Bound For The FloorLocal H
Great – 47Hail HailPearl Jam
Great – 47Too MuchDave Matthews Band
Great – 47So Much To SayDave Matthews Band
Solid – 73Ready To GoRepublica
Solid – 73Bittersweet MeR.E.M.
Solid – 73How Bizarre OMC
Solid – 73Lies to Me54-40
Solid – 73Love You All54-40
Solid – 73The New Pollution Beck
Solid – 73Desperately Wanting Better Than Ezra
Solid – 73Around The World Daft Punk
Solid – 73Follow You Down Gin Blossoms
Solid – 73Long Way DownGoo Goo Dolls
Solid – 733 AM Matchbox Twenty
Solid – 73Everyday Is a Winding Road Sheryl Crow
Solid – 73Art School Girl Stone Temple Pilots
Solid – 73Gift Shop The Tragically Hip
Solid – 736th Avenue Heartache The Wallflowers
Solid – 73The DifferenceThe Wallflowers
Solid – 73BirminghamAmanda Marshall
Solid – 73Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) Backstreet Boys
Solid – 73Criminal Fiona Apple
Solid – 73Right Hand Man Joan Osborne
Solid – 73Not An Addict K’s Choice
Solid – 73Sunday MorningNo Doubt
Solid – 73Trigger Happy JackPoe
Solid – 73HelloPoe
Solid – 73Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand Primitive Radio Gods
Solid – 73Hard to Make A Stand Sheryl Crow
Solid – 73Lovefool The Cardigans
Solid – 73IncarnateThe Watchmen
Solid – 73Pony Ginuwine
Solid – 102Mother MotherTracy Bonham
Solid – 102Where It’s At Beck
Solid – 102Two StepDave Matthews Band
Solid – 102I Love You Always Forever Donna Lewis
Solid – 102Don’t Let Go (Love) En Vogue
Solid – 102SoakedKilljoys
Solid – 102Govinda Kula Shaker
Solid – 102The Beautiful People Marilyn Manson
Solid – 102Excuse Me Mr.No Doubt
Solid – 102Red Mosquito Pearl Jam
Solid – 1026 Underground Sneaker Pimps
Solid – 102Breathe The Prodigy
Solid – 102700 ft. CeilingThe Tragically Hip
Solid – 102You’re Makin’ Me High Toni Braxton
Solid – 102Amish Paradise Weird Al Yankovic
Solid – 102Tahitian MoonPorno For Pyros
Solid – 102What Do I Have To Do?Stabbing Westward
Solid – 102Return Of The Mack Mark Morrison
Not Bad – 120Mach 5The Presidents of the United States of America
Not Bad – 120Everything Falls ApartDog’s Eye View
Not Bad – 120King of New Orleans Better Than Ezra
Not Bad – 120Until It Sleeps Metallica
Not Bad – 120Say You’ll Be There Spice Girls
Not Bad – 120Butts Wigglin’ The Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 120Apartment SongThe Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 120Un-Break My HeartToni Braxton
Not Bad – 128I CryBass is Base
Not Bad – 128Because You Loved Me Celine Dion
Not Bad – 128Lie In Our Graves Dave Matthews Band
Not Bad – 128Beautiful Freak Eels
Not Bad – 128Change The World Eric Clapton
Not Bad – 128Ready Or Not Fugees
Not Bad – 128Til I Hear It From You Gin Blossoms
Not Bad – 128Macarena Los del Rio
Not Bad – 128Naked Eye Luscious Jackson
Not Bad – 128King Nothing Metallica
Not Bad – 128I Don’t Want To Wait Paula Cole
Not Bad – 128I Believe I Can Fly R. Kelly
Not Bad – 128Neil ArmstrongStarkicker
Not Bad – 128Tumble In The RoughStone Temple Pilots
Not Bad – 128Wrong Way Sublime
Not Bad – 128Setting Sun The Chemical Brothers
Not Bad – 128Everything and AfterThe Doughboys
Not Bad – 128Down Together The Refreshments
Not Bad – 128Don’t Wake DaddyThe Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 128Put It OffThe Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 128I Don’t Want to Think About ItWild Strawberries
Not Bad – 128I Saw You FirstJohn Mellencamp
Not Bad – 128Mission ImpossibleAdam Clayton
Not Bad – 128Angels Of The SilencesCounting Crows
Not Bad – 128I Was WrongSocial Distortion
Not Bad – 128PhotographThe Verve Pipe
Not Bad – 128AgainAlice in Chains


1990   1991   1992   1993   1994   1995   1996   1997   1998   1999

1960s   1970s   1980s   1990s

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