Honoring Scott Weiland: 37 Alt Rock Songs You Haven’t Thought About Since The Late ‘90s


Scott Weiland, best known as the lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, passed away in his sleep while on a tour stop in Bloomington, Minnesota, with his band The Wildabouts, an official statement posted to Weiland’s Facebook page says.

The members of Velvet Revolver released a statement as well, saying:

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of our old friend and bandmate, Scott Weiland. We experienced a good chunk of life with Scott, and even in his darkest times, we all had hope and love for him. His artistry will live on, of that, there is no doubt.”

“Deepest condolences and sadness are for his children, Noah and Lucy. We all travelled around this world together on tour; our band, wives, and kids…and we grew to a big family that still remains to this day.”

“It’s just so sad and brutal from any perspective.”

Rest In Peace Scott
Slash, Duff, Matt, and Dave

To honor Weiland, Aaron Miller compiled a list of 37 rock songs you haven’t thought about since the late ’90s, but should definitely revisit.

1. Stone Temple Pilots, “Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart”

STP at maybe their most catchy and copacetic. Lots of shots of the band actually playing music together and not looking harrowingly depressed or just plain bored. Favorite shot is Weiland casually making and then eating a chicken sandwich in a kitchen apropos of nothing.

2. Third Eye Blind, “Losing a Whole Year”

The song that opens their debut album follows the loud/quiet/loud formula except the quiet part is a little too jolly and frolicky and shoulder-jaunting. Also 3 white women (one brunette, one blonde, one redhead) dancing and hair flipping in slow-mo always.

3. The Verve, “Bitter Sweet Symphony”

Sounds nothing like the Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time” but because the symphonic sample was from The Andrew Oldham Orchestra’s re-imagination of that song, Mick and the boys took all The Verve’s money for the track that got them famous.

Bitter. Sweet.

4. Sugar Ray, “Some Day”

DJ Homicide has almost no DJ-ing duties in this video. He’s just chillin’ with his beach bros and occasionally letting sand slip through his fingers like oh so many moments lost in time.

5. Len, “Steal My Sunshine”

“I was lying on the bench slide in the park across the street L-A-T-E-R that week”

6. Everclear, “Local God”

Off the seminal 1996 Romeo + Juliet Soundtrack, this is basically Everclear’s version of The Boys are Back in Town except The Boys are Leo DiCaprio and the open-Aloha-shirted Montague’s gallivanting around fair Verona (aka director Baz Lurhman’s bizarre stylistic conceptual dystopian Mexico City). Art Alexakis actually sounding like he is enjoying himself for goddamn once.

7. Cake, “Sheep Go To Heaven”

Cool little cut-out animated video for a quirky little song about nothing probably who even cares. Cake at its most playful and childish.

8. Dave Matthews Band, “Stay (Wasting Time)”

Ok, relax, hear me out. This is DMB post-Crash just on the precipice of leaping into the void of infinite jamming. He got some great back up singers to harmonize over his weird voice and some real bass be a slappin’.

9. The Wallflowers, “Heroes”

Forget “6th Ave Heartbreak” and “One Headlight” for just a moment. “Heroes” is a legendary David Bowie song and Jakob Dylan does very little to change it. Wise. This was on the Godzilla soundtrack so the video needs to have the band playing in a tall crumbling building in the rain with added monster shrieks to remind you that Bowie’s song was really about us as a people standing up to an enormous, violent, prehistoric sea monster awakened and empowered by nuclear radiation.

10. Fuel, “Shimmer”

Sweet riff, floppy bleached-blonde singer, some simple strings to make it sound “mature,” lots of strobe lights the whole time. All in all just a very catchy tune probably about a manic pixie dream girl the way he goes on about champagne dreams, strawberry surprise, pink linen and white paper, Lavender and cream, fields of butterflies, reality escapes her, ad infinitum ad nauseum. Catchy enough to not be butt-rock but the Vedder-esque tinged voice and the low end distortion is a stark clue that this is proto-butt rock.

11. New Radicals, You Get What You Give

Going wild in a mall is a thing of the past. This video is a document of one generation being young and communal in a capitalist paradise. Shots fired at Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson towards the end of the song in some weird chanting almost-rap thing for some reason? Because they were rich rock stars? Jury’s still out. Manson won’t reply to any of my emails and Courtney replies all too often but never about The New Radicals. Lots of points to make about the legalities of Nirvana LLC and chateaus in Monaco.

12. Eagle-Eye Cherry, “Save Tonight”

Did you know that Eagle-Eye Cherry is his actual birth name and is from Sweden? Great song.

13. Bush, “Greedy Fly”

Ah, Gavin at his most “In Utero” even using Steve Albini to record the album. This video is some weird take on Se7en or Silence of the Lambs or some dark thriller. Gavin is being interrogated by detectives while wearing one of those lamp shade collars dogs wear when they’re not supposed to be licking their wounds. Even if that is the exact metaphor he is going for he looks splendidly ridiculous.

14. Bush, “Mouth”

Bush deserves 2 songs on this list, both from “Razorblade Suitcase.” This one was used in the campy American Werewolf in Paris movie. The “Sting-Ray Mix” off their “Deconstructed” remix album further embraces the late-90’s electronica influence and might actually better than the band version with Albini, but to each his own. Everything Gavin made after this is pretty bad, so 2 on this list is plenty.

15. Savage Garden, “I Want You”

The band name was taken from Anne Rice’s The Vampire Lestat: “In spite of all the refinements of civilization that conspired to make art – the dizzying perfection of the string quartet or the sprawling grandeur of Fragonard’s canvases – beauty was savage. It was as dangerous and lawless as the earth had been eons before man had one single coherent thought in his head or wrote codes of conduct on tablets of clay. Beauty was a Savage Garden.”

16. Hole, “Celebrity Skin”

Hole’s most commercially successful single, being the only one to reach #1 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. Billy Corgan wrote it.

17. Aerosmith, “Pink”

49-year-old Steven Tyler just singing about all the things that he loves that are pink, but if you pay attention you notice that it’s allllllll sexual innuendo. Classic Steve. Also the video is just an overdose of CGI morphing on a white backdrop. Joe Perry turns into a guitar solo-ing centaur at one point (which really should’ve been his aesthetic from the get go) and won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video in 1998.

18. Dishwalla, “Counting Blue Cars”

Calls God a Her but the rest of the lyrics might as well just be hummed. Music video is entirely in soft focus for whatever reason.

19. Wax, “California”

Spike Jonze video filming a guy running down the street in slow motion completely engulfed in flames. Iconic.

20. Wheatus, “Teenage Dirtbag”

OK, so technically this came out in the summer of 2000 but really the 00’s didn’t start until after 9/11. Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari are in the video as their characters in the movie Loser (the song was on the soundtrack).

21. Foo Fighters, “Monkey Wrench”

This is the apex of the Foo’s Weezer-esque career of having two really amazing albums then tons of shitty ones. This song has all the intensity left over from Nirvana without trying to be U2 or some watered down populist gigantic stadium act.

22. Duncan Sheik, “Barely Breathing”

Ubiquitous sub-par catchy soft alt rock. It encapsulates the radio sound of the mid-90’s.

23. The Prodigy, “Breathe”

“Firestarter” put them on the map and “Smack My Bitch Up” was their magnum opus with its video’s Shyamalanian twist ending, but “Breathe” almost felt more rock than electronica. Rock & electro, weirdo singer with the multi-colored devil horn hair & weirdo singer with the black face paint, inhale & exhale, open shirts & no shirts. Smash cut to an alligator under strobe lights.

24. Oasis, “D’You Know What I Mean?”

Substitute the masterpieces from the first two albums with just shit-tons of cocaine.

25. Lit, “Zip-Lock”

“My Own Worst Enemy” skyrocketed rock legends Lit to stardom and “Miserable” had Pam Anderson in the video, but this is the most Lit-sounding song ever. Even nude blink-182 streaks by in a cameo.

26. Goldfinger, “Superman”

Tony Hawk Pro Skater might as well been one of the most successful record labels of the 90’s. I promise not to put any more ska-punk on here because, shamefully, there are other lists I could write about that. However, lest we forget, this was still mainstream alt-rock music in the late 90’s.

27. Marcy Playground, “Sex And Candy”

This song just feels so dumb and very very gross but people loved it. This song beat Oasis’ 10-week run at #1 with “Wonderwall” in 1995. People loved Marcy Playground. Disgusting.

28. Silverchair, “Ana’s Song (Open Fire)”

Best song about anorexia that I know of. I could be wrong. Feel free to leave suggestions for better songs about anorexia, but I think this one will still take the cake. Or. I guess. Not take that cake.

29. Cranberries, “Salvation”

Cranberries’ straight edge anti-drug hardcore song.

30. Jimmy Ray “Are You Jimmy Ray?”

OK I am aware that this is beyond ridiculous and I guess it’s not exactly alt rock and more regular pop or whatever but Buzzfeed’s list had some questionable entries and this song peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and he’s dressed all Rockabilly in this dumb video so it goes on the list. Literally no idea how this song was made or why or who Jimmy Ray even is but I’ll keep asking.

31. Matchbox Twenty, “3AM”


32. Goo Goo Dolls, “Iris”

The standout hit song from the 1998 film “City of Angels” in which This is the story of Nicolas Cage is an angel who wanders the Los Angeles area invisible to humans. I think he falls in love with human Meg Ryan and so he turns non-angel and full human. I think that’s what the song is about too.

33. Sister Hazel, “All For You”

One stupid catchy chorus sang 800 times can get you to #2 on Canada’s RPM Top Singles chart.

34. Tal Bachman, “She’s So High”

Tal thinks of his crush as a Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, or Aphrodite-type.

Cleopatra was married to her young brother and eventually either poisoned herself or was murdered.

After Joan of Arc was executed by burning, the English raked back the coals to expose her charred body so that no one could claim she had escaped alive, then burned the body twice more to reduce it to ashes and prevent any collection of relics.

Aphrodite cursed a young woman who chose virginal life with Artemis instead of marriage and children, causing her to have children by a bear. The resulting offspring were wild cannibals who incurred the hatred of Zeus. Ultimately the whole family were transformed into birds and more specifically ill portents for mankind.

35. Semisonic, “Closing Time”

It’s actually about the singer taking his baby home from the hospital. Listen again.

36. Counting Crows, “Hanginaround”

At this point Adam Duritz had already had relations with Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston. He made music like this.

37. Barenaked Ladies, “It’s All Been Done”

The whole video is basically a go-pro with a fish-eye lens.

RIP Scott.