back to top

37 Alt-Rock Songs You Loved In 1997

Hard to believe, but yes, you've been rocking out to these songs for 20 years!!!

Posted on

1. Third Eye Blind, "Semi-Charmed Life"

What you didn't realize at the time about this song: That this peppy number was actually about being in the midst of a meth addiction.
WMG / Via youtube.com

What you didn't realize at the time about this song: That this peppy number was actually about being in the midst of a meth addiction.

2. Beck, "The New Pollution"

Most WTF Beck-esque lyrics: "She's got a carburetor tied to the moon/Pink eyes looking to the food of the ages."
UMG / Via youtube.com

Most WTF Beck-esque lyrics: "She's got a carburetor tied to the moon/Pink eyes looking to the food of the ages."

3. Sugar Ray, "Fly"

What two things you associate most with this song: Sunny summer days and Mark McGrath's epically frosted tips.
WMG / Via youtube.com

What two things you associate most with this song: Sunny summer days and Mark McGrath's epically frosted tips.

4. Blur, "Song 2"

What your one music snob friend said about this song: That Blur sold out and they were into them way before everyone else.
EMI / Via youtube.com

What your one music snob friend said about this song: That Blur sold out and they were into them way before everyone else.

5. Foo Fighters, "Everlong"

What this song proved at the time: That Dave Grohl was TALENTED AF, and that his real legacy wasn't going to be Nirvana.
UMG / Via youtube.com

What this song proved at the time: That Dave Grohl was TALENTED AF, and that his real legacy wasn't going to be Nirvana.

6. Marcy Playground, "Sex and Candy"

Where you heard it most: On almost every rock radio station during the fall of 1997 — you basically couldn't escape it.
EMI / Via youtube.com

Where you heard it most: On almost every rock radio station during the fall of 1997 — you basically couldn't escape it.

7. Fiona Apple, "Criminal"

What the music video remind you of: Those creepy CK Jeans basement ads — but seriously what the hell was going on at this party and why was everyone asleep?!
Sony Music / Via youtube.com

What the music video remind you of: Those creepy CK Jeans basement ads — but seriously what the hell was going on at this party and why was everyone asleep?!

8. The Verve Pipe, "The Freshman"

Where you listened to it: Sitting in your car in some random parking lot, staring out into the distance, pondering life, and getting all misty-eyed.
WMG / Via youtube.com

Where you listened to it: Sitting in your car in some random parking lot, staring out into the distance, pondering life, and getting all misty-eyed.

9. Dave Matthews Band, "Crash Into Me"

Where this song likely ended up most in 1997: On mix tapes people made for their crushes.
RCA / Via youtube.com

Where this song likely ended up most in 1997: On mix tapes people made for their crushes.

10. Jewel, "You Were Meant For Me"

Frustrating thing about this track: The song was different from the one on the album — it was slightly remixed for radio to be a bit faster and poppier — so if you owned the album, but wanted this version, you were forced to buy the CD single.
WMG / Via youtube.com

Frustrating thing about this track: The song was different from the one on the album — it was slightly remixed for radio to be a bit faster and poppier — so if you owned the album, but wanted this version, you were forced to buy the CD single.

11. The Wallflowers, "One Headlight"

What you didn't give a shit about at the time: That Jakob Dylan was Bob Dylan's son...likely 'cause you associated Bob Dylan with your parents' generation.
UMG / Via youtube.com

What you didn't give a shit about at the time: That Jakob Dylan was Bob Dylan's son...likely 'cause you associated Bob Dylan with your parents' generation.

12. Green Day, "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)"

Things you remember most about this song: That it became a graduation anthem immediately.
WMG / Via youtube.com

Things you remember most about this song: That it became a graduation anthem immediately.

13. Chumbawamba, "Tubthumping"

Lyric you sang wrong: It's "PISSING the night away," not "KISSING the night away."
UMG / Via youtube.com

Lyric you sang wrong: It's "PISSING the night away," not "KISSING the night away."

14. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "The Impression That I Get"

What was so great about this song: It was just fun and made you want to get up and dance along.
UMG / Via youtube.com

What was so great about this song: It was just fun and made you want to get up and dance along.

15. Smash Mouth, "Walkin' On The Sun"

What this song made you wonder: What the hell were they singing about..."You might as well be walkin' on the sun" were basically the only lyrics you could comprehend.
UMG / Via youtube.com

What this song made you wonder: What the hell were they singing about..."You might as well be walkin' on the sun" were basically the only lyrics you could comprehend.

16. Reel Big Fish, "Sell Out"

Fact this song reminds you of: How big the ska revival was in the mid-to-late '90s.
Via youtube.com

Fact this song reminds you of: How big the ska revival was in the mid-to-late '90s.

17. Veruca Salt, "Volcano Girls"

Things it makes you miss most about ’90s music: Badass female vocals on songs with big drums and chunky chords.
Outpost Recordings / Via youtube.com

Things it makes you miss most about ’90s music: Badass female vocals on songs with big drums and chunky chords.

18. Blink-182, "Dammit"

What you probably thought about this song at the time: That even though the song was catchy, the band was probably just a one-hit wonder.
UMG / Via youtube.com

What you probably thought about this song at the time: That even though the song was catchy, the band was probably just a one-hit wonder.

19. Sublime, "The Wrong Way"

What this song reminds you of: Your pothead friend who was deeply, deeply affected by Bradley Nowell's death.
UMG / Via youtube.com

What this song reminds you of: Your pothead friend who was deeply, deeply affected by Bradley Nowell's death.

20. The Offspring, "Gone Away"

Other ’90s things this reminds you of: Dep Gel, ringer tees, Airwalks, and wallet chains.
UMG / Via youtube.com

Other ’90s things this reminds you of: Dep Gel, ringer tees, Airwalks, and wallet chains.

21. Tool, "Stinkfist"

The thing you might not remember about this song: The CREEPY AF music video that looked like it was filmed in a warehouse during the apocalypse.
Sony Music / Via youtube.com

The thing you might not remember about this song: The CREEPY AF music video that looked like it was filmed in a warehouse during the apocalypse.

22. Luscious Jackson, "Naked Eye"

The song this song kinda remind you of: "Cannonball" by The Breeders.
EMI / Via youtube.com

The song this song kinda remind you of: "Cannonball" by The Breeders.

23. Daft Punk, "Around the World"

Three things you definitely knew about this song: 1. It wasn't The Chemical Brothers. 2. It was fuckin’ catchy as hell. 3. You loved it.
UMG / Via youtube.com

Three things you definitely knew about this song: 1. It wasn't The Chemical Brothers. 2. It was fuckin’ catchy as hell. 3. You loved it.

24. David Bowie, "I am Afraid of Americans"

’90s soundtrack you could totally imagine this being on: The soundtrack to American History X — but, believe it or not, it was actually on the soundtrack to Showgirls.
UMG / Via youtube.com

’90s soundtrack you could totally imagine this being on: The soundtrack to American History X — but, believe it or not, it was actually on the soundtrack to Showgirls.

25. Depeche Mode, "It's No Good"

What this song reminded you of: Just how great Depeche Mode are, and it was a great return to form.
WMG / Via youtube.com

What this song reminded you of: Just how great Depeche Mode are, and it was a great return to form.

26. Smashing Pumpkins, "Eye"

Most ’90s fact About this song: The instrumental arrangement was originally meant for a Shaquille O’Neal record.
UMG / Via youtube.com

Most ’90s fact About this song: The instrumental arrangement was originally meant for a Shaquille O’Neal record.

27. Garbage, "#1 Crush"

Where you heard this song the most: Aside from every rock radio station, your constant replaying of the Romeo + Juliet CD.
UMG / Via youtube.com

Where you heard this song the most: Aside from every rock radio station, your constant replaying of the Romeo + Juliet CD.

28. U2, "Staring at the Sun"

What this song proved at the time: That U2 were great songwriters who didn't need gimmicks (aka the whole "selling-out" Pop-era thing).
UMG / Via youtube.com

What this song proved at the time: That U2 were great songwriters who didn't need gimmicks (aka the whole "selling-out" Pop-era thing).

29. Ben Folds Five, "Brick"

What took you a few listens to realize: That the song was actually about a teen couple who had to secretly get an abortion.
Epic / Via youtube.com

What took you a few listens to realize: That the song was actually about a teen couple who had to secretly get an abortion.

30. Matchbox Twenty, "Push"

What this song probably just reminded you of: That Matchbox Twenty was once considered alternative rock.
WMG / Via youtube.com

What this song probably just reminded you of: That Matchbox Twenty was once considered alternative rock.

31. Everclear, "Everything To Everyone"

Thing this song reminds you of: How many hits Everclear had in the late-'90s.
EMI / Via youtube.com

Thing this song reminds you of: How many hits Everclear had in the late-'90s.

32. Sneaker Pimps, "6 Underground"

Place you most likely heard this song for the first time: Playing on the overhead speakers at Virgin Records.
One Little Indian Records / Via youtube.com

Place you most likely heard this song for the first time: Playing on the overhead speakers at Virgin Records.

33. White Town, "Your Woman"

Interesting fact: That insanely catchy muted trumpet was NOT sampled from Star Wars' "Imperial March." According to White Town, it was actually sampled from a 1932 song titled "My Woman."
Via youtube.com

Interesting fact: That insanely catchy muted trumpet was NOT sampled from Star Wars' "Imperial March." According to White Town, it was actually sampled from a 1932 song titled "My Woman."

34. Jamiroquai, "Virtual Insanity"

The truth about this song: You probably loved the music video more than the actual song.
Sony Music / Via youtube.com

The truth about this song: You probably loved the music video more than the actual song.

35. Radiohead, "Karma Police"

Lyrics that still gets you: "For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself/Phew, for a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself."
EMI / Via youtube.com

Lyrics that still gets you: "For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself

/Phew, for a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself."

36. Oasis, "Don't Go Away"

What the song probably reminds you of: How good Oasis was at infusing heartbreaking lyrics into damn catchy songs.
Sony Music / Via youtube.com

What the song probably reminds you of: How good Oasis was at infusing heartbreaking lyrics into damn catchy songs.

37. The Verve, "Bitter Sweet Symphony"

What the hell was all the controversy at the time about this song? Well, it was about money. The Verve had gotten permission to use a five-note string sample from an obscure orchestral version of the Rolling Stones song, "The Last Time." After the song became a hit the former-manger for the Rolling Stones, Allen Klein, who also happened to own the copyright for the song, sued the band. Klein alleged that the band used more the agreed upon five-notes. Eventually the Verve just settled the lawsuit, it gave co-songwriting credits to both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and handed over 100% of their royalties.
UMG / Via youtube.com

What the hell was all the controversy at the time about this song? Well, it was about money. The Verve had gotten permission to use a five-note string sample from an obscure orchestral version of the Rolling Stones song, "The Last Time." After the song became a hit the former-manger for the Rolling Stones, Allen Klein, who also happened to own the copyright for the song, sued the band. Klein alleged that the band used more the agreed upon five-notes. Eventually the Verve just settled the lawsuit, it gave co-songwriting credits to both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and handed over 100% of their royalties.

Listen to the songs here:

embed.spotify.com
The best things at three price points