Songs from 1991

After a recent chat filled with joyful nostalgia (the next one’s later today, by the way, although I can’t guarantee what it will be filled with), mainly of the cartoon theme tune variety it has to be said (who remembers The Moomins?), it seems logical if not shamelessly self-indulgent to now focus on 1991.

Bryan Adams, still, was selfishly hogging the UK singles chart’s top spot on this day, as he did around the world, with ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’. He would continue to do so for sixteen months. (OK, so it was really sixteen weeks, but you can’t tell me that it didn’t feel like months.) Just look at what he kept off the top spot during that time: ‘You Could Be Mine’ by Guns n’ Roses, The Prodigy’s ‘Charly’, Scorpions’ ‘Wind of Change’. Sad.

Back then, the Sunday afternoon chart was exciting, something not to be missed and filled with variety – or so I thought. What happened? It used to be so incredibly diverse. Now you don’t know where one song stops and the next one starts, or, for that matter, care to listen long enough to find out. Not that you ought to bother, because it seems the DJs can barely fit that important piece of information in between all that bewildering gum-bumping that they’re so fond of doing. And would you be able to pick it out anyway, even if they did, through the constant moronic whooping and hollering that accompanies each presenter nowadays? It’s Tuesday, everybody! [Rapturous applause.] Did I miss something? Why are we celebrating the fact that it’s Tuesday?

In the main, unlike the DJs of today, I thought the songwriters had something to say which was worth listening to. Even if it was that you should always tell your Mummy before you go off somewhere. Which you should. Videos were worth watching because they weren’t quite all overblown, pretentious Hollywood productions in search of critical acclaim. Some were, it’s true, but for every ‘Black Or White’ there was a ‘Weather With You’ – and thank goodness for that.

Maybe it was just because I was younger, more easy-going, and genuinely liked more than I disliked coming out of the radio back then. Oh well, c’est la vie.

Here are a few of my favourites, most of which have something to say with a video that complements the song quite nicely, I feel. I suspect you may remember many of them, partly because I seem to recall that MTV and VH1 actually played a lot of music videos rather than the inane, vacuous reality shows that they’re so fond of broadcasting currently. If you’d care to don your rose-tinted spectacles (baggy three-quarter length shorts are optional) and take a trip with me back to the early Nineties, I’ve included links so you can enjoy the promo videos all over again. Except for Metallica’s, obviously.

Before anyone notices an omission, there are too many Guns n’ Roses songs to mention. It really was their year, wasn’t it? Hands up who was a fan. I was.

– Crowded House, ‘Weather With You’
– EMF, ‘Unbelievable’
– Extreme, ‘Hole Hearted’
– Genesis, ‘Jesus He Knows Me’
– Michael Jackson, ‘Black Or White’
– Lenny Kravitz, ‘It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over’
– Richard Marx, ‘Hazard’
– Metallica, ‘The Unforgiven’
– R.E.M., ‘Losing My Religion’
– Roxette, ‘Joyride’

A respectful tip of the hat, I haven’t forgotten, as it was the year of ‘The Stonk’.

Oh, and Monty Python’s ‘Spam Song’, which I know some past bloggers have always had something of a soft spot for. Can’t say I ever understood why, though.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

47 thoughts on “Songs from 1991”

  1. Is it only me, or was 1991 a poor year, music-wise? I don’t seem to find any international hits from that year, that I really fancied.

    So therefore I give you a little taste of a song from a Danish album, I rather liked from 1991, Sort Sol/Flow My Firetear. The song is called Siggimund Blue. Music doesn’t begin until about 2 minutes into the video.

    There you go, Michèle. 😉

  2. It is SO hard to believe that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Losing My Religion” are nearly 20 years old already!! Where have the years gone?

    I generally liked a lot of the music of the day. Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians had been around, but I discovered them about that time. Nirvana was a little heavy for my tastes, but there was a place for that. R.E.M provided the soundtrack to my college years, which ended in 1990. And the songwriting was really phenomenal both from Cobain AND from Mike Stipe. A few years later we had whiny, self-centered Jewel, and Alanis Morissette who had some good material even if she was over-hyped to the point that I lost the faith. But the early 90s had songwriting of a quality that was rare in the 80s. And acoustic music came back into vogue, thanks in large part to MTV Unplugged and R.E.M.’s largely acoustic “Automatic For The People.”

    In the early 1990s I was out on my own, young, and discovering things about myself and my place in the world around me. And music was still worth listening to.

    Twenty years later I am much closer to settled with a career (which is not going well at the moment), a wife, a house. Music is not being written for people like me, so much of what’s on the radio grows old within about five minutes, and I don’t even recognize the names of the bands anymore.

    “It’s a sign of the times,” R.E.M. wrote in its wonderfully on-point “Exhuming McCarthy.” It certainly IS a sign of the times!

  3. If I could I would include some entire albums, but if I have to choose a favourite song from each of them:

    Pearl Jam – Alive
    R.E.M. – Losing My Religion
    Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
    RHCP – I Could Have Lied
    Dire Straits – The Bug
    Metallica – The Unforgiven
    Extreme – More Than Words
    Guns n’ Roses – Estranged
    Tesla – Freedom Slaves
    Sting – All This Time
    Queen – The Show Must Go On

    A good year for music, in the end. 🙂

  4. On the G&R… Slash is in top form these days. His new album is excellent.

    YouTube “G&R Dublin 2010” to see how Axl got on with the Dublin crowd.. shocking! 🙁

    1. Hahahah… Oh yeah, he “overslept”. Nice. A little water on the stage and Axl has a meltdown. Never heard more people booing the main act!

      History has all but forgotten about that silly little band.


  5. Dire Straits – On Every Street, Primal Scream – Screamadellica, The Orb – Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld, Massive Attack – Blue Lines albums or AC/DC Live at Donnington?

    I also liked GNR, unfortunately they self destructed before I saw them live.

    Spoiled for choice that year, weren’t we?

  6. Here’s a much better Bryan Adams hit from 1991.

    A few others to ponder from this year include:

    Holding On – Beverley Craven
    I Touch Myself – Divinyls
    The Shoop Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss) – Cher
    Live And Let Die – Guns N’ Roses
    No Son of Mine – Genesis
    One – U2
    The Show Must Go On – Queen
    There’s No Other Way – Blur
    These Are The Days Of Our Lives – Queen
    Unfinished Symphony – Massive Attack
    Walking in Memphis – Marc Cohn
    Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
    Wind Of Change – Scorpions

    And finally here’s something from an Amnesty International Big 3-0 gig in this year.

    OBTW, 1991 also saw the release of The Orb’s first album – Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld. A certain G. Pratt performed on one of the tracks – Spanish Castles in Space. Another track was titled – Back Side of the Moon, no, David didn’t play on it (as far as I know).

    But as we all know he IS on Metallic Spheres which is out next week…

  7. Hello Fed,

    Been a while.

    1991 brings back some memories. I just loved that song Hazard, had a really ominous cello note towards the end – guilty as charged, I think! I went along to my local record shop to buy the album and the young guy behind the counter asked me who the artist was and I replied, “It’s by Karl Marx.”

  8. Can I just say that I know Losing my Religion and Everything I Do… on guitar. Get in there, 91!

    Loving the happy days,
    Simon J

  9. Well all I can add, FEd, is the days of great music have gone, as we don’t have John Peel anymore or The Old Grey Whistle Test, even Top of the Pops. But we do have Jools Holland.

    I did like some Guns ‘n Roses but Mr Slash quite annoyed me. Is he from Cockermouth, the lakes?


  10. Fed, just asking…

    I can’t remember David coming to south America.

    I live in Chile, and we would be very proud to have him here, since the earthquake and everything… but whatever.

    I have known that David had a little bit of trouble when he went to Colombia, but that was a different time, and a different country (without being… harsh against Colombian brothers).

    I’m not the only one in Chile saying that am very interested in David offering a show here in our country, maybe a little tour of South America and stuff. I’m sure we’ll be very grateful, and it shouldn’t be a bad experience to David himself, or his crew.

    By the way, nice post about the nineties.


  11. REM – Losing My Religion.

    This takes me back some and still one of my FAV Karaoke when the booze has sent good old common sense to the recesses of my mind!

    1991 produced some historical songs, and yes GnR rocked! My buddies and I, all in our JBT’s (just before twenties) racing around the countryside (New Zealand) in a beat up Triumph 2.5 listening to Pink Floyd, GnR, Marillion, Simple Minds and some older stuff like the Under Tones and Bowie – those were the carefree days, that get relived frequently, however, usually at 30,000ft and the iPod being the conduit…

    We had a game of lies back then as well, we kept telling each other Pink Floyd were coming to tour again – remember that night…? (Jan 22 1988, Western Springs.)

    1. Damn, can’t find that Metallica video anywhere (I’ve never seen it).


      are you talking about “The Unforgiven” video?

      I’ve never seen it, too, but here is what I found.

      It should be the official one or, at least, this is what’s written near the title, but I don’t know, because I read the song has two different videos.

    2. Thanks Alessandra,

      I’ve now revised my definition of “anywhere” to “on YouTube”. :v

      Creepy, isn’t it?

  12. Ken mentioned the Orb’s first album ‘Beyond the Ultraworld’ from 1991.

    As for their ‘Metallic Spheres’ featuring David, which will come out soon, you can listen to the entire album here.

    Very interesting, I think. I sure will buy it.

    1. Wish I’d known about this before I ordered the CD! I ordered it about a month ago and then there was a problem with my credit card. So I still have not recieved the CD, though they tell me it is on its way.

  13. ‘Lo All.

    Once again, the Blog exceeds itself. ’91, what a year, eh!… Oh joy. “I dissolved” a couple of Walkmans that year, working on a production line. Well, the on-off buttons and the flippy-down bit at least, finger contact with the solvents I used in my job.

    No list as usual, too many to mention. Mrs S’s suggestion did cause some damage to the FF and RR buttons though, for sure. Just had a listen to certain Florb CD – here. I’m now off to investigate two glowing spheres of light in the back yard… they are hovering.

    Have fun all.

  14. I am in shock. R.E.M.’s “Losing my Religion” is almost twenty years old. 8| 1991 was yesterday.

    – Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway”
    – Blue Rodeo’s haunting “Til I Am Myself Again”
    – Susanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner”
    – Tom Petty with the ‘other” “Learning to Fly”

    …are all recent songs in my mind! In France we danced all summer long to “Lambada” on the beach. No back pains yet.

    EMF and “Unbelievable”! Still rocks!

    My children were so young; I miss their littleness and being able to hug them all in one go. Now my grand-children are that age. 😮

    What a nice trip down memory lane.

    Bella xo

    P.S. Happy 70th Birthday, John Lennon. What a privilege to have been alive and walked the world at the same time as all these giants – and breathed in their music, if nothing else.

    1. Might as well cut to the chase, eh? Hasn’t music come a very long way since the Beatles wanted to hold hands?

      Also released in 1991:

      – Cathy Dennis, ‘Touch Me (All Night Long)’
      – The Divynils, ‘I Touch Myself’

  15. Hi again Fed and all.

    Just thought you may like to know Kat and I met in 1991. Brian Adams’ ‘Everything I Do…’ is our little song as it was No1 when we met. She was straight off the boat from Ireland and fell into me arms, ahh.

    Damian :v

  16. Got spam? 😀 I must display my Hawaiian pride, as this is the state sandwich, at least it should be!

    I’m only a little ashamed (well, not at all really) that I never took an interest in Nirvana: it was used as a stereotype for my generation, and I didn’t care for labels in general during my college years.

    R.E.M. and U2 were terrific though. INXS and EMF were quite danceable but didn’t stand the test of time.

    The Wilbury Twist single by the Travelling Wilburys was released in 1991.

    Let’s also remember John Lennon in memory of his 70th birthday: although he had long passed, he was a huge influence to me in 1991.

    Rest in Peace. Peace.

  17. Ahhhh, the musically fertile 90s. 1991. I loved what the “grunge” (aka Seattle) scene did for radio airplay. First and foremost, it got rid of a lot of DRECK on the radio (hair bands, shmaltzy power ballads, and useless pop). In its place we had great hits like the following:

    Pearl Jam: Even Flow
    Nirvana: Lithium, Come as You Are
    Soundgarden: Outshined
    Alice in Chains: Man in the Box

    Sadly many people slagged this period of music. One person in particular liked to say that it was all just “power chords with no thought behind the music”. I still laugh when I think about THAT comment.


  18. The early 90s were all about Grunge and Rap here. You had to love it or hate it but at least it didn’t leave you indifferent and the bands had something deeper to tell you than in the 80s – I think.

    Besides enjoying the obvious Nirvana, Metallica, Michael Jackson, I used to love Guns N’ Roses, too, but I’m no longer a fan. They (well, Axl Rose) have these days absolutely no respect for their fans/audience.

    And how about ‘Into The Great Wide Open’ by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers? I love it.

    While looking for classical music on the web, I discovered that Paul McCartney had composed an album of classical music in 1991: ‘Liverpool Oratorio’. Hmm… Very pompous, I think. Not really my cup of tea…

    1. I am part of a choir. A few years ago my choir and a children’s choir did a performance together (it was really pretty cool) and one of the selections we sang was from “Liverpool Oratorio.” I thought it was the least interesting selection of the night.

      Paul is at his best when he collaborates or competes with someone. His songs for The Beatles are much better than his songs for Wings or under his own name. Yet, his “Electric Arguments” which is a collaboration with Youth (from The Orb) is a great record.

    1. I was sitting by the lovely North Norfolk coast when a large seagull flew over and seemed to say “take a look at the Blog” …and what do I find but a birthday greeting?

      Thank you for remembering, Michèle. 😀

      Unfortunately Enya has always struck me as a particularly dull artist, but the video is very nice to look at with the sound off. 😮

      1991 is the year I joined my current employer and 2011 will be the year I leave.

      I’d say the best of “grunge” was worth celebrating (Nevermind, Pearl Jam etc), injecting some much needed energy into things… and a nod towards the most listenable Metallica album also.

    2. Belated happy birthday Tim.

      Nice link Michèle, you’ve whetted my appetite for my Caribbean cruise in February now. 😉

    3. Hope it was a good one, Tim. May you enjoy many more.

      Enya, a particularly dull artist? I’d have to agree with you.

  19. I didn’t take time to read thru all of the blogs prev.

    I am presently listening to David Gilmour’s DVD with CSN as I do all the time. My wife of recent has really shown me an appreciation to your abilities of music. My wife has been DYING to see David Gilmour and would give about anything to see him. Is there ANY chance you (David) might play a concert again???? If so, are there any plans in the working? She’d literally be beside herself if I could surprise her with tickets to a show!!!!!!!!!!!!! I seriously don’t think she’s ever wanted anything more!

    1. Oh, Fed. Auwe, Fed, Fed, if what you say is true…I’m so utterly sad. May we ask why?

      I loved the show, it was a strong performance, but there was a big karmic void without you, Mr. Gilmour. I sincerely hope all is well.

    2. Thank you. I have to buy tickets for the whole Roger Waters tour as David promised to play in one of them but no one knows which.

      I’m just another south American (Brazil) hoping someday David would play here.

  20. … my collections seems to contain only a few records of ’91. Of course there are G’n’R and I was a fan, too. I actually saw them then live in concert. Then there was Queen with “Innuendo”, RHCP, which I learned to like from my daughter, Motörohead’s “1916”, Gipsy Kings with “Allegria” (love their guitars), Metallica with “Metallica” and that’s it.

    Interesting, that I have far, far more records from ’90 and ’92. 1991 must have been a recovery year for many bands I like..

    Best regards


  21. Hmmm, Black Crowes’ Shake Your Money Maker album and Achtung Baby.

    Zoe’s “Sunshine On a Rainy Day” tickled my taste buds too.

    Rgds Geoff Duffy ( Dublin )

  22. Dan asked where have the years gone? My thoughts exactly!

    I like some of the music from 91, Fed and bloggers have mentioned some great songs.

    A great voice released his debut album, Seal. Great songs from that album are ‘Crazy’ and ‘Killer’. Did I imagine it? Can anyone else remember seeing him perform a capela on Jools Holland? It was much later than 1991, I’ve searched YouTube, can’t find it.

    The Clash’s 1981 hit, ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’, was a chart hit again in 1991 because of a television ad.

    I think I felt old in 91 because it was my kids that introduced me to some of the great music. Oh dear, what does that make me now? My teenage nieces talk about bands and songs now, it all sounds the same to me. 8|

    I wonder if that should be the measure of when you began to get old, your kids are hotter on great new music than you are!


    1. The Clash’s 1981 hit, ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’, was a chart hit again in 1991 because of a television ad.

      I have to admit that in 1991 when ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ was in the charts again it was the most appropriate song for me ever. That was the year I had to make a decision to stay in Bicester or move to Birmingham. What a quandry I was in at the time about deciding too. This song always seemed to be on the radio at the time of wondering what to do. It was a very hard decision to make, but I am glad that I did actually make the move in the end.

      You know reading everyone’s posts on this topic really makes me wish I could go back in time.

  23. R.E.M. – Losing My Religion
    Styx – Show Me The Way
    Bonnie Raitt – Something To Talk About
    Guns n Roses – Welcome To The Jungle

    Best album for 1991 was Metallica, Metallica by a mile at least in my opinion. Nothing Else Matters is my favorite from that album but there’s not a single that I don’t like from it. Metallica comes as close to good British lyrics as I’ve seen by an American Rock Band with the exception of Styx in terms of depth and artistic creativity. You just can’t beat British Bands in those terms.

  24. I like the lighting in Nirvana’s video. It’s like sunlight making their way through the holes in the roof and walls.

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