23 June 2010

Music I've been missing - late 90s bands - Fuel and The Goo Goo Dolls

There's something about late 90s music that I love. Some songs I can listen to today in 2010, with fresh ears, with the feeling of the magic I get just hearing a song for the first time.

Tal Bachman's She's So High.
Anything Savage Garden (of course).
Natalie Imbruglia.
The Verve's Bitter Sweet Symphony.
Alanis Morissette.
Matchbox Twenty.
Train's Drops of Jupiter.
The Wallflowers.

I think I'll have to do Music I've Been Missing entries on a number of the bands listed above.

Yesterday's flight home was eased by my iPod playlist, which had a couple of late 90s bands on it. Fuel and The Goo Goo Dolls.

I realised late 90s bands is the music I've been missing.

I bought Fuel's Sunburn album when I was about 18, young and impressionable (read - when anything that wasn't Savage Garden was a risk). I thought having the album would make me cool. Someone I knew who was cool had it. I found it difficult to listen to because it was heavy and thrashy and I couldn't hear the words over the heaviness and thrashiness. (I'm sure if I gave it a go today it may sound less heavy and thrashy).

Then I bought the Cold Live at the Chapel CD after hearing it played in the store I worked in, around 2000. I was a huge fan of the Cold Live at the Chapel series on TV. 'Cold' related to the Carlton Cold beer. Since 2000, it's been sponsored by a number of brands including Vodafone and Kia, so you may not know it as Cold Live at the Chapel. Its was a TV show featuring live recordings of bands, some Australian and some international, filmed at the Chapel off Chapel. Chapel off Chapel is a converted church in little Chapel Street, Prahan (Melbourne). It's beautifully ornate.

In 2006 I won tickets to see Bob Evans play there (for Vodafone Live at the Chapel). That was the best music weekend ever - Make Poverty History concert on Friday, Live at the Chapel on Saturday and U2 on Sunday! The Live at the Chapel show was amazing. It was the first time I'd seen Bob Evans live.We were given drinks and nibbles, sang along to the lyrics and got to meet the band afterward. I recorded a few songs on my dodgy camera. And took some photos too.

This one is dodgy and blurry, or arty, depending on which way you look at it.

Here is me meeting Bob Evans. I'm rarely (openly) self critical of my appearance in photos, but what's with my slouch!?! The stray hand is S's.

Anyhow, the Cold Live at the Chapel CD I bought in 2000 had acoustic songs by The Foo Fighters, Killing Heidi, Tonic Paul Kelly and Fuel, among others. It is an awesome CD and I listened to it a lot, back in the day.

It was through listening to this CD that I really appreciated Fuel. Because I was able to hear the singer's voice. Fuel's songs on the CD were Shimmer and Bittersweet.

Here is Bittersweet.

I could never really understand the (meaning and pronunciation of) lyrics, but I enjoyed the gruff voice.

While I cannot find a link to the Cold Live at the Chapel version of Shimmer, here is a VH1 Storytellers one which is similar.

I really like the verse:

'She dreams a champagne dream
Strawberry surprise, pink linen and white paper
Lavender and cream
Fields of butterfliess, reality escapes her
She says that love is for fools that fall behind
And I'm somewhere in between
I never really know
A killer from a savior
'Til I break at the bend'

It reminds me of the song My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music. Only sung by a straggly-haired, gravelly voiced rock and roll singer.

In my research for this blog entry, I have seen that the original singer Brett Scallions left Fuel in 2006 and has been replaced by a new singer, Toryn Green. Who knew? You Tube videos demonstrate the two singers sound very similar.

Next on my playlist was the Goo Goo Dolls' Slide and Black Balloon from their album Dizzy Up the Girl.

When I was about 16 I bought the City of Angels soundtrack for The Goo Goo Dolls' Iris and Alanis Morissette's song Uninvited. I thought the rest of the album (bar Sarah McLachlan's song) was boring. BORING! And dull. And then I think Alanis's song was available on her difficult second album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie anyway.

I thought the movie was boring too. Nic Cage was a chronic mumbler. The redeeming feature of City of Angels was Meg Ryan's hair. Though my hair is short and curly, I wished it looked as great as Meg Ryan's:

I would listen to Iris on repeat. I was in love with the drama, melancholy and love within the song. And I was probably yearning for some unattainable boy, singing 'I'd give up forever to touch you' in my head and thinking of how my surname would look hyphenated with his.

Then I heard Slide. I was in love with this song too.

I liked this song even more than Iris. I bought Dizzy Up The Girl, maybe in 1999, but similarly to with the Fuel album, it was too heavy for my precious ears and closed mind! In recent years I've appreciated it more and think I overreacted to the supposed heaviness of the CD. It's not heavy at all. And contains another gravelly voiced rockstar which I like so much.

I have wondered whether Slide was about forbidden love, or someone's girlfriend having an abortion and considering the option/pressure to get married (in both situations). It's hard to tell - the lyrics aren't as blunt as the Ben Folds Five song Brick (another great late 90s song). I haven't googled the meaning the lyrics to Slide, because I am content making up my own meaning to the song, but please share your interpretations of the song lyrics.

This was a very convoluted blog entry to write, and I hope it doesn't read in a convoluted way, but in writing it, my memory has been jogged with other fantastic late 90s bands.


  1. All time favourite post.

    I LOVE 90s MUSIC!! Early 90s, mid 90s, late 90s. Ballads (exhibit A: To Be With You, by Mr Big, anything Risk Astley haha), grunge (exhibit B: early silverchair), RnB (exhibit C: Boyz II Men), pop (anything Roxette) - yes I was a dag in the 90s!!!

    Loved Goo Goo Dolls, Savage Garden, Killing Heidi - I wanted dreadlocks like her!! My BFF's nickname was Shimmer after that song; mine was Polly after the movie Pollyanna, hehe. Heard Garbage "When I Grow Up" on Nova this arvo, and thought of you and this post :)

    Need to search itunes for 90s albums to download!

    PS Sorry that this comment is much more incoherant than your post! haha

  2. Polly - ALL of those bands you mentioned I love! I love Roxette and often play their greatest hits.

    Thanks for reminding me. :)


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