The Box Set Series: '90s Alt Rock

Various Artists

Legacy, 2015

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/12/2021

A few years ago, Benjamin Ray and I took separate stabs at a seven-disc box set assembled by Rhino Records that tried to encompass the whole decade of the ‘90s through music and failed rather spectacularly. It was just a pretty useless box comprising of some hits but a lot of unnecessary filler. Since that time, I’ve been looking for something comparable. I believe I’ve come as close as ever with this budget box that can be purchased for under twenty bucks.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Put together by a former Spin magazine contributor who was briefly famous for a time, the box has a lot of Sony affiliated music like Spin Doctors, Sponge, Social Distortion, Screaming Trees, Eve 6, Verve Pipe, and others. Luckily, it did manage to license a few notable tracks from outside sources, so we have EMF, Blind Melon, Spacehog, Harvey Danger, Toadies, and Cracker, so there’s a little bit more variety here. You also get to hear some overrated tripe like “Tomorrow” by Silverchair and “MMMx3” by Crash Test Dummies, but those wind up on just about every ‘90s disc so you’re stuck with them.

Disc four is where they seemingly throw everything in whether it makes sense or not, like “Pride” by Living Colour when they should have used “Type.” You also hear “Gun” by Uncle Tupelo, the weak “Jump Right In” by The Urge, and the lame “Cold Beverage” by G. Love and Special Sauce. You also inexplicably get a live cover of “Detroit Rock City” by freakin’ Bullet LaVolta and the completely forgotten and weak cover of “You Oughta Know” by 1000 Mona Lisas, a version I bet hardly anyone remembers.

That’s enough of the weaknesses. Overall, for the money spent, you get a good amount of variety and you really end up cranking the volume and bumping your car speakers with a lot of songs here. Where else can you get Hum, Stone Roses, For Squirrels, and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin alongside Len, Bare Jr., Lit, and Fuel? They just should have put more than eleven songs on each disc.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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