Alt Rock Deep Cuts: 1993
by Dan Weiss | August 23, 2014
The year 1993 was, perhaps, the first year that alternative rock was a business model, with actual radio and MTV hits cropping up for Blind Melon, as well as for an erstwhile Pixies bassist. By 1993, we had been introduced to Smashing Pumpkins’ sizzling, shoegaze-informed '70s rock (“Geek U.S.A.”), Sugar’s screaming take on power pop (“Tilted”), Stone Temple Pilots spinning grunge into what SPIN used to call scrunge (“Crackerman”), and the aforementioned Blind Melon’s hippie style (“Paper Scratcher”). All these tracks showed us what “alternative” could mean. Pearl Jam’s best-selling vs. contained everything from country songs to funk metal (“Blood”), and even a one-hit wonder like Crash Test Dummies got a lot weirder than humming “MMM MMM MMM MMM” (“How Does a Duck Know?”). Elsewhere, artists like PJ Harvey (“Rub 'Til It Bleeds”), Liz Phair (“Divorce Song”) and the Afghan Whigs (“My Curse”) were starting to show us just how artistically meaningful this alternative stuff could get.