College Countdown: 90FM’s Top 90 of 1996, 86 and 85

86. Ramones, Greatest Hits Live

The Ramones played their final live show on August 6, 1996. Beginning with its very title, they’d made it clear that the 1995 album ¡Adiós Amigos! would be their last, at least barring some major commercial turnaround that made the prospect of continuing as an ongoing concern irresistibly enticing. The necessary surge of interest among record buyers didn’t materialize, and they openly marketed their connected tour as a farewell excursion. They took a spot in the 1996 Lollapalooza lineup before finally reaching their closing headlining gig at the Palace in Los Angeles. The last song of their own that they played live was “Beat on the Brat,” before ending with a cover of the Dave Clark 5 song “Anyway You Want It” featuring a guest appearance by Eddie Vedder. That same song was also the final track on the band’s 1996 album, Greatest Hits Live. Clearly released to capitalized on burgeoning nostalgia for the band, it was their third live release overall and second in a five year span (notably, it was the first live effort for Radioactive, their new label after around fifteen years as a signature act with Sire Records.) Excepting two studio-recorded covers at the end, it was taken entirely from a New York City concert in February of that year. Besides the previously noted Dave Clark 5 song, the Ramones also did their own version of the tribute song “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.,” originally recorded by Motorhead.

85. Velocity Girl, Gilded Stars and Zealous Hearts

After spending time with the unbearably cumbersome band name the Gotterdemocrats, the Washington, D.C. area band led by Kelly Riles and Archie Moore rechristened themselves Velocity Girl, nicking the name from a Primal Scream song. Their debut album, Copacetic, came out on Sup Pop Records in 1993, and was followed just about a year later by ¡Simpatico!, both albums filled with glistening, driving pop songs. Their third album, Gilded Stars and Zealous Hearts arrived in the spring of 1996, and some of the energy seemed to be draining out of the band. The songs were still fine, but they were missing some of the buzzy buoyancy that marked their earlier work. Sure enough, it proved to be their last effort, the band breaking up and playing their last official show later that year in West Palm Beach, Florida.

An Introduction
–90 and 89: Antichrist Superstar and Three Snakes and One Charm
–88 and 87: No Code and Unplugged

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