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The Best Songs of 1995 by willtopsmusictv

1995 :: The Year In Music
Throwback Thursday

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After a bit of a “Throwback Hiatus” I am back with a nostalgic vengeance, sliding on my favorite crushed velvet leggings and slipping on that Thrift Store baby doll dress that still hangs in my closet (I still love it), and return to the year of Before Sunrise, Leaving Las Vegas, Friends on the TV (and that relentless hand-clapping theme song that everyone kept asking for), and my life as a Tower Records Singles Buyer, living in music nearly 24/7.

I was 26, living back at home with my young daughter, trying to get back on my feet and back on my own. I would take a trip to Las Vegas that at the time I thought to be inconsequential, a fun weekend away with friends, but would end up including an unexpected meeting with the proverbial “one that got away” that I still think about often, and have written about much more than often. That blue eyed boy with the messy hair still haunts my dreams now and then.

Some poor decisions were made this year, as well as some incredible ones. There were moments where I acted both brave and crazy, embracing a kind of freedom I had been scared of before, and there were moments where I let fear take over and tripped over my insecurities. All in all though, I look back at this year with a smile, as I can’t help but recall the friends I had, the experiences, the kisses and concerts and days taking the Balboa Ferry with my daughter to see the ocean, and ride on the ferris wheel to be closer to the nighttime stars.

Another year of memorable music and moments, music always there with me, watching me falter and fail, watching me soar and succeed, saving my life every single day. Following are my Top 10 favorites (a hard list to narrow down).

10. Common People :: Pulp

You’ll never watch your life slide out of view,
and dance and drink and screw,
because there’s nothing else to do
.”

Money problems and feeling young and lost, but still overwhelmed by responsibility, can make you crazy if you let it. The stress and worries can be staggering and all-consuming in ways only people who struggle can relate to. Sometimes all I could do was turn the music up, get messed up and mess around with someone, the temporary solution of oblivion and fleeting bliss that you can really only get away with when you are young.

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9. My Darling :: Juliana Hatfield

“Sweet on the outside,
but bitter on the inside.
I’m giving up now,
but I swear to God I really tried.”

This was the year of severing ties and finalizing my brief young marriage for good. There was bitterness and cruel words, and the unfortunate tug-of-war revolved around our child. We were young, and we were hurting, and even though it was well past time to give it all up, it was rough to leave kindly, but I tried, sometimes I think he tried, too.

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8. Fader :: Drugstore

“Life can be so ordinary,
I did try to make mine good,
but I’ve made so many mistakes,
down in my youth.”

I felt like this song was my theme that year. I played this song, and the whole album, obsessively for months and was thrilled to get to see them play in a tiny club in Hollywood that year (they were fantastic). I was making mistakes while trying to make my life mine, sometimes that’s all you can do.

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7. Nothingman :: Pearl Jam

“She once believed in every story he had to tell.”

Without exception, this song always makes me cry. It was my go-to song when I was feeling low and overwhelmed with loss and losing. Healing takes time when things you wanted so badly to work out fail and fall apart, and sometimes music was the only cure.

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6. Down by the Water :: PJ Harvey

Little fish,
big fish,
swimming in the water.
come back here man,
gimme my daughter
.”

Hauntingly gorgeous and sad. I vividly remember sitting in a car in the parking lot of a movie theater with this song playing loudly out of the stereo and feeling like the night was taking us over. We were all there, four of us, friends through our record store job, wide eyed awe over the song.

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5. Country House :: Blur

He lives in a house,
a very big house in the country.
Watching afternoon repeats and the food he eats in the country.
He takes all manner of pills and piles up analyst bills in the country.
Oh, it’s like an animal farm lot’s of rural charm in the country.”

This song was often on repeat this year. Catchy as hell, it was one of those “have to turn up and sing-a-long” songs that I’d blast when I was in my car, or in the backroom checking in boxes of singles at Tower. I still have those moments with this song, like this morning in the car with the stereo turned up high (push play and turn it up, and try not to sing-a-long – I dare you).

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4. Don’t Look Back in Anger :: Oasis

Take me to the place where you go,
where nobody knows,
if it’s night or day.
.”

We were standing in the midst of a city that does not know the difference between day or night, music and machines making a cacophony of sound around us, but in that moment we did not hear any of it. I had been travelling around through the year filled with anger and sadness and loss, but in that brief snapshot of time that was all behind me. I should have kept moving forward, ignoring the persistent pull of my demons and doubts, if I had I may not keep looking back at this moment.

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3. It’s Oh So Quiet :: Bjork

You’ve never been so nuts about a guy,
you wanna laugh,
you wanna cry,
you cross your heart and hope to die
.”

I remember feeling this song, singing it with that glow and shine of that first falling feeling for someone. I also remember this song when I saw Bjork play live for the first time, dancing around with friends, head spinning drunk and a little delirious. The song still makes me smile and want to dance around and scream and sing.

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2. Roads :: Portishead

How can it feel,
this wrong?
From this moment,
how can it feel,
this wrong
?”

There was darkness at times, lonely moments where I made choices to mask the pain, to numb my feelings, in order to get by. The cracks in my heart were not easily visible by those around me, no one noticing the struggle I had sometimes to just exist. We all fight these little wars though, don’t we?

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1. Violet :: Hole

You should learn when to go.
You should learn how to say no
.”

I needed a battle cry, an anthem, a song to help fire me up on my weaker days, to scream-sing-a-long when I needed to feel strong and alive. Courtney has always held a special place in my heart, a kindred spirit, flaws and all, and this song, and the entire Live Through This, resonated completely with me. This is still one of my top five go-to songs when to release my anger and frustration, and when I need to conjure up all my will to survive in this life.

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me

Me, in 1995

2 thoughts on “1995 :: The year in music :: Throwback Thursday

  1. Another great list, though truth be told, I’ve never been a big Hole fan. Pulp and Blur and Oasis are all on my list from this era too.

    1. Thanks! Hurrah for 90’s Brit Pop!

      Hole and Courtney are not every one’s cup of tea, that’s for sure, I’ve just always been a fan.

      Thanks for reading/commenting.

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