College Countdown: 90FM’s Top 90 of 1996, 66 and 65

cardigans moon
66. The Cardigans, The First Band on the Moon

First Band on the Moon was the third album released by the Swedish pop band the Cardigans, but for most U.S. listeners, it was the first one that registered. That was thanks almost entirely to the incessantly catchy “Lovefool,” the lead single, although it really took off when it was included on the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s take on Romeo and Juliet. I’d guess that the band’s Black Sabbath cover also got plenty of play at 90FM, which is exactly why it’s there, of course. There are few tactics more effective at capturing the attention of college radio programmers–or at least this was the case around 1996–than quasi-ironic covers of songs the students were likely to already enjoy quasi-ironically. Though the Cardigans never achieved the same level of success stateside, they remained reasonably popular across Europe, continuing to release albums with some regularity through 2006. Following an extended break, the inevitable reunion gigs started last year.

 

bush suitcase
65. Bush, Razorblade Suitcase

I usually build these posts by pulling up the raw text from the previous entry, making necessary alterations to the headers and other information. As a new starting point, I often cut the actual summaries the individual albums down to the first and last word of the what was written in the slot one week earlier, which just so happened to lead to me starting with the following two words under the bolded listing of Razorblade Suitcase: “This nonsense.” As tempted as I am to leave it at that, I’ll go ahead and note that this was the second album from the British band Bush, the group that caused me the most dismay whenever it cycled up on the playlist of the commercial radio station where I was working during the mid-nineties. And their songs cycled up a lot. Their 1994 debut, Sixteen Stone, spawned five charting singles on Billboard‘s Modern Rock Tracks, an accomplishment I believe was only matched by Hole’s far superior Live Through This. For their follow-up, they looked to up their cred by working with producer Steve Albini, but they just wound up with the same inane, sludgy nothingness.

Previously…
An Introduction
–90 and 89: Antichrist Superstar and Three Snakes and One Charm
–88 and 87: No Code and Unplugged
–86 and 85: Greatest Hits Live and Gilded Stars and Zealous Hearts
–84 and 83: To the Faithful Departed and God’s Good Urges
–82 and 81: Billy Breathes and Sweet F.A.
–80 and 79: The Process and Test for Echo
–78 and 77: Supersexy Swingin’ Sounds and Breathe
–76 and 75: Bob Mould and Walking Wounded
–74 and 73: It’s Martini Time and Trainspotting soundtrack
–72 and 71: Aloha Via Satellite and Fever In Fever Out
–70 and 69: Hi My Name is Jonny and One Mississippi
–68 and 67: Everything Sucks and The Aeroplane Flies High

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