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.

50 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

Santeria – Sublime

Brenda Stubbert – Ashley MacIsaac

Sleepy Maggie – Ashley MacIsaac

One Of Us – Joan Osborne

Bound For the Floor – Local H

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

Rags to Rags – Eels

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

Symbolistic White Walls – Matthew Good Band

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

Follow me here on Spotify (lots of great playlists…)

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 – 1Symbolistic White WallsMatthew Good Band
Awesome – 12Novocaine For The Soul Eels
Awesome – 12Another SundayI Mother Earth
Awesome – 12Push Matchbox Twenty
Awesome – 12Off He Goes Pearl Jam
Awesome – 12Who You Are Pearl Jam
Awesome – 12Bulls On Parade Rage Against the Machine
Awesome – 12Burden In My Hand Soundgarden
Awesome – 12Big Bang Baby Stone Temple Pilots
Awesome – 12When You’re Gone The Cranberries
Awesome – 12Open Up Your EyesTonic
Awesome – 12El Scorcho Weezer
Awesome – 12Radiation Vibe Fountains of Wayne
Awesome – 12Pretty Noose Soundgarden
Great – 25Rags to RagsEels
Great – 25Killing Me Softly With His SongFugees
Great – 25Scooby SnacksFun Lovin Criminals
Great – 25California Love 2Pac
Great – 25Let It RainAmanda Marshall
Great – 25Diggin’ a HoleBig Sugar
Great – 25Fire Water Burn Bloodhound Gang
Great – 25In The MeantimeSpacehog
Great – 25Greedy Fly Bush
Great – 25The Distance Cake
Great – 25NakedGoo Goo Dolls
Great – 25One More AstronautI Mother Earth
Great – 25Leave It AloneMoist
Great – 25If It Makes You Happy Sheryl Crow
Great – 25The Good in EveryoneSloan
Great – 25Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart Stone Temple Pilots
Great – 25Banditos The Refreshments
Great – 25The Freshman The Verve Pipe
Great – 25If You Could Only See Tonic
Great – 25Give Me One Reason Tracy Chapman
Great – 25A Change Would Do You Good Sheryl Crow
Great – 25Brenda StubbertAshley MacIsaac
Great – 25All I KnowScreaming Trees
Great – 25Santeria Sublime
Great – 49The Devil in the KitchenAshley MacIsaac
Great – 49Sleepy MaggieAshley MacIsaac
Great – 49One Of Us Joan Osborne
Great – 49Popular Nada Surf
Great – 49E-Bow the Letter R.E.M.
Great – 49Lady Picture Show Stone Temple Pilots
Great – 49Springtime in ViennaThe Tragically Hip
Great – 49One Headlight The Wallflowers
Great – 49Crossing a Canyon54-40
Great – 49Over NowAlice in Chains
Great – 49The Old Apartment Barenaked Ladies
Great – 49Devil’s Haircut Beck
Great – 49No Diggity Blackstreet
Great – 49Crash Into Me Dave Matthews Band
Great – 49Tripping Billies Dave Matthews Band
Great – 49Used to be AlrightI Mother Earth
Great – 49I Want You Savage Garden
Great – 49Everything You’ve Done WrongSloan
Great – 49Wannabe Spice Girls
Great – 49Salvation The Cranberries
Great – 49HollywoodThe Cranberries
Great – 49Free To DecideThe Cranberries
Great – 49Bound For The FloorLocal H
Great – 49Hail HailPearl Jam
Great – 49Too MuchDave Matthews Band
Great – 49So Much To SayDave Matthews Band
Solid – 75Ready To GoRepublica
Solid – 75Bittersweet MeR.E.M.
Solid – 75How Bizarre OMC
Solid – 75Lies to Me54-40
Solid – 75Love You All54-40
Solid – 75The New Pollution Beck
Solid – 75Desperately Wanting Better Than Ezra
Solid – 75Around The World Daft Punk
Solid – 75Follow You Down Gin Blossoms
Solid – 75Long Way DownGoo Goo Dolls
Solid – 753 AM Matchbox Twenty
Solid – 75Everyday Is a Winding Road Sheryl Crow
Solid – 75Art School Girl Stone Temple Pilots
Solid – 75Gift Shop The Tragically Hip
Solid – 756th Avenue Heartache The Wallflowers
Solid – 75The DifferenceThe Wallflowers
Solid – 75BirminghamAmanda Marshall
Solid – 75Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) Backstreet Boys
Solid – 75Criminal Fiona Apple
Solid – 75Right Hand Man Joan Osborne
Solid – 75Not An Addict K’s Choice
Solid – 75Sunday MorningNo Doubt
Solid – 75Trigger Happy JackPoe
Solid – 75HelloPoe
Solid – 75Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand Primitive Radio Gods
Solid – 75Hard to Make A Stand Sheryl Crow
Solid – 75Lovefool The Cardigans
Solid – 75IncarnateThe Watchmen
Solid – 75Pony Ginuwine
Solid – 104Mother MotherTracy Bonham
Solid – 104Where It’s At Beck
Solid – 104Two StepDave Matthews Band
Solid – 104I Love You Always Forever Donna Lewis
Solid – 104Don’t Let Go (Love) En Vogue
Solid – 104SoakedThe Killjoys
Solid – 104Govinda Kula Shaker
Solid – 104The Beautiful People Marilyn Manson
Solid – 104Excuse Me Mr.No Doubt
Solid – 104Red Mosquito Pearl Jam
Solid – 1046 Underground Sneaker Pimps
Solid – 104Breathe The Prodigy
Solid – 104700 ft. CeilingThe Tragically Hip
Solid – 104You’re Makin’ Me High Toni Braxton
Solid – 104Amish Paradise Weird Al Yankovic
Solid – 104Tahitian MoonPorno For Pyros
Solid – 104What Do I Have To Do?Stabbing Westward
Solid – 104Return Of The Mack Mark Morrison
Solid – 104TinfoilLimblifter
Not Bad – 123Rave + DroolThe Killjoys
Not Bad – 123Mach 5The Presidents of the USA
Not Bad – 123Everything Falls ApartDog’s Eye View
Not Bad – 123King of New Orleans Better Than Ezra
Not Bad – 123Until It Sleeps Metallica
Not Bad – 123Say You’ll Be There Spice Girls
Not Bad – 123Butts Wigglin’ The Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 123Apartment SongThe Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 123Un-Break My HeartToni Braxton
Not Bad – 132I CryBass is Base
Not Bad – 132Because You Loved Me Celine Dion
Not Bad – 132Lie In Our Graves Dave Matthews Band
Not Bad – 132Beautiful Freak Eels
Not Bad – 132Change The World Eric Clapton
Not Bad – 132Ready Or Not Fugees
Not Bad – 132Til I Hear It From You Gin Blossoms
Not Bad – 132Macarena Los del Rio
Not Bad – 132Naked Eye Luscious Jackson
Not Bad – 132King Nothing Metallica
Not Bad – 132I Don’t Want To Wait Paula Cole
Not Bad – 132I Believe I Can Fly R. Kelly
Not Bad – 132Neil ArmstrongStarkicker
Not Bad – 132Tumble In The RoughStone Temple Pilots
Not Bad – 132Wrong Way Sublime
Not Bad – 132Setting Sun The Chemical Brothers
Not Bad – 132Everything and AfterThe Doughboys
Not Bad – 132Down Together The Refreshments
Not Bad – 132Don’t Wake DaddyThe Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 132Put It OffThe Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 132I Don’t Want to Think About ItWild Strawberries
Not Bad – 132I Saw You FirstJohn Mellencamp
Not Bad – 132Mission ImpossibleAdam Clayton
Not Bad – 132Angels Of The SilencesCounting Crows
Not Bad – 132I Was WrongSocial Distortion
Not Bad – 132PhotographThe Verve Pipe
Not Bad – 132AgainAlice in Chains
Not Bad – 132Screwed It UpLimblifter

1990   1991   1992   1993   1994   1995   1996   1997   1998   1999

1960s   1970s   1980s   1990s


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