Can you guess these 90's grunge and alternative songs? What were you doing in the 90's? Whether you were piling into cars and vans with your friends to go to giant sweaty outdoor festivals or watching these amazing songs show up on MTV, you couldn't escape the alternative and grunge movements that took over our lives and the airwaves. If you had a crush on Dave Grohl or loved everything Jane's Addiction, this quiz is for you. If you loved seeing female artists finally taking the stage with their guitars and gusto, this quiz is for you.
Did you used to wear a lot of flannel? Do you still wear a lot of flannel? How about jeans and combat boots? Do you know at least 5 dudes with that weird chin-strap beard? And why oh why did we pierce our eyebrows?
Remember Coneheads (1993), Empire Records (1995), Pauly Shore, payphones, dial-up internet, shady chat rooms, smoking in public places, Riot Grrrl, punk shows, and zines? Us too. Those were the days. R.I.P. to so many of our grunge era legends including Kurt Cobain. We still miss you, Kurt.
This quiz will take you from the early 90's into the early 2000's. Ready? Let's go.
What Nirvana music video featured anarchist high school cheerleaders?
"Here we are now, entertain us / I feel stupid and contagious" No one could resist this 90’s grunge anthem that seemed to single highhandedly kick-off the MTV alternative rock scene. The blond and beautiful, self-hating, head banging, riff pounding, abstract genius that was Kurt Cobain and Nirvana gave us anarchist cheerleaders, angst and existentialism, minimalist lyrics like “Oh well, whatever, nevermind... Hello, hello, hello, how low / Hello, hello, hello / Hello, hello, hello, how low / Hello, hello, hello / Hello, hello, hello, how low / Hello, hello, hello..."
In which Goo Goo Dolls song does Johnny Rzeznick ask, "Why don't you ____?"
This Goo Goo Dolls song sounds like a love song about a midnight booty call, "I wanna wake up where you are / I won't say anything at all." Sweet right? Like you just want to spend some time together but you don't want to make a big deal about it. But it's actually about an accidental pregnancy and two kids deciding what they should do: "Don't you love the life you killed / the priest is on the phone / your father hit the wall / your ma disowned you." That's a deep conversation.
In which song does Natalie Imbruglia sing, "Wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is ___"?
Classic. Natalie Imbruglia, why were you “lying naked on the floor?” And why are they taking apart your house? Holy heck! "Illusion never changed / Into something real / Wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is ___." This song showed us how the perfect man crush was nothing more than his game. He showed up with his hurt and disillusionment and filled our hearts with it. After we fixed all that ailed him, he changed his mind and walked away. Natalie, thanks for reminding us of what a player really looks like. “That’s what’s going on.”
Which No Doubt song implores, "____ ____. I know what you're thinking."?
No Doubt rocked the late 90’s and early 2000’s with their pop-revision of the ska movement. Gwen Stefani (lead singer) wrote this bittersweet breakup song with her brother Eric Stefani to memorialize that moment when you know it’s over but you’re just not quite ready to let go. “Our memories / Well, they can be inviting / But some are altogether / Mighty frightening.” A little strange to write a love song with your brother, but hey, it turned out brilliantly. Don’t worry, we understand. “I know just what you're saying / So please stop explaining.” We know you’re good.
In which 3 Doors Down song does Brad Arnold sing "Hold me when I'm scared and love me ____ __ ____" ?
If your sweetheart or family member joined the Navy (or any branch of the military) after September 11th, you definitely know this song. 3 Doors Down’s epic live performance and subsequent music video on board the U.S.S. George Washington on the Mediterranean Sea perfectly encapsulated the sacrifice military families were making. “So hold me when I'm here, right me when I'm wrong / You can hold me when I'm scared you won't always be there / So love me ________ .” They rightly dedicated this song to military personnel fighting overseas.
In which Foo Fighters song does Dave Grohl sing, "Don't want to be your _____ _____" ?
Hearkening back to the Rolling Stones song “Beast of Burden,” Dave Grohl tells us, “I’d rather leave than suffer this.” This eloquent ask requests the listener to let us dip out on relationships that only make us feel like we’re the bad guy. With three guitars and unending energy, the Foo Fighters lifted us up and gave us confidence when all our best music was sad. Instead of self-loathing and boredom, they took their angst and drove it out with explosive riffs and precise leads.
What Beastie Boys music video features a 1970's style police drama?
Directed by Spike Jonze, the Beastie Boys went all out on this music video that we couldn’t wait to get a glimpse of every time it came on MTV. This video came complete with a motley crew of 1970s cop characters played by none other than Adam Yauch as Sir Stewart Wallace / Cochese (as Nathan Wind), Adam Horovitz as Bobby, 'The Rookie' (as Vic Colfari), Mike D as The Chief (as Alasondro Alegré), and guest DJ Hurricane as Bunny (as Fred Kelly).
Which Weezer song from the blue album takes place on the set of Happy Days?
Another Spike Jonze joint, Weezer made this song into a throwback video, this time a parody of the popular sitcom Happy Days. Weezer, known for unforgettable breakdowns that showcase their lead guitarists Rivers Cuomo’s spunk and class, brought us back to better times and made us jump up and down like the B-52’s singing, “Bang bang, knock on the door Another big bang, get down on the floor. Oh no, what do we do? Don't look now but I lost my shoe.”
Which Red Hot Chili Peppers song goes "Insanity it seems / Has got me by my ______ __ ______" ?
Chris Farley, smoking a cigar and squinting out into the desert sun, made an appearance as a truck driver on this black and white Red Hot Chili Peppers 1991 music video directed by Kevin Kerslake. This laid-back track is an ode to wandering in the desert to escape one’s own inner demons and featured the scat lyrics “Doo doo doo doo dingle zing a dong bone / Ba-di ba-da ba-zumba crunga cong gone bing.” This song was also featured on the soundtrack to the 1993 film Coneheads.
Which Jane's Addiction song is about petty theft?
Jane’s Addiction brought Soul Train to the grocery store isles with this rollicking release. The music video directed by Casey Niccoli (vocalist Perry Farrell’s girlfriend) from the album Ritual de lo Habitual glorifies petty left with band members appearing in the grocery store in drag. It came complete with an actor putting on a fake pregnant belly to hide stolen produce, most notably, a pineapple. Side note: When accepting their MTV Best Alternative Video Music Award, drunken guitarist Dave Navarro kissed Casey Niccoli on stage. Scandal.
In which 4 Non Blondes song does Linda Perry sing, "And I scream from the top of my lungs / What's going on" ?
Dread-locked lead singer Linda Perry carried the 90’s band 4 Non Blondes with this breakthrough single chanting, “And so I wake in the morning / And I step outside / And I take a deep breath and I get real high.” What could be more charming? These lady rockers gave hope to us all. For a brief moment in time all-female bands were not only a thing, but they could also be popular and well received. Too bad they disbanded in 1994. Sad.
In which Soundgarden song does Chris Cornell ask, "Won't you come and wash away the rain?"
Early in his career, Howard Greenhalgh directed the apocalyptic video for this Soundgarden release. Chris Cornell wrote this cry for an escape from the unbearably ordinary American existence that plagued us all in the early 90’s. This song was the embodiment of the Alternative genre followed by bored middle-class kids. We know you meant something deeper by it and we’re sorry. R.I.P. Chris Cornell. We hear you now softly crooning “Hang my head, drown my fear / Till you all just disappear.”
Which Third Eye Blind song goes, "I want something else / To get me through this / __________" ?
Mopeds, motorcycles, and the man on the moon.. this Third Eye Blind (3EB) music video featured Stephen Jenkins walking around singing his insanely catchy ear-worm of a song that seemed to be written and released simultaneously with Hanson’s MMMbop. I don’t know why I keep singing along to “Doing crystal meth / Will lift you up until you break” even after seeing the before and after pictures from the 2004 project Faces of Meth (compiled by Sheriff’s Deputy Bret King from Portland Oregon). Eww. Make it stop.
Which Eve 6 song goes, "I would swallow my doubt, turn it _____ ____, / Find nothing but faith in nothing." ?
Similarly catchy, this 1998 Eve 6 song had crunchy guitar riffs and hooks, hooks, hooks - like, “I alone am the one you don't know you need, / Take heed, feed your ego.” Eve 6 has been on and off since the 90’s when they originally formed. Possibly because their songs tend to reflect the fragile feelings of the privileged Southern California dudes that they are. They may have had trouble connecting to an audience that was slowly being drawn away from alt-rock into the more unsettled world of hip-hop and gangsta rap.
In which Garbage song does Shirley Manson scold a young woman with "All you had you wasted" ?
In 1995, singing about, what else, but low self-esteem and the privilege to pretend that you’re in pain for the adoration of others - Shirley Manson of Garbage planted into our psyches this gem of a line: “Can't believe you fake it.” She subtly let us know that we shouldn’t have to fake our organisms. Right? That’s totally what I got out of this song, and you should, too. “Don’t believe in fear / Don’t believe in pain” and go ask for what you want.
Which Veruca Salt song goes, "Can't fight the ______ / I can't see her till I'm foaming at the mouth" ?
Released in 1994 on the album American Thighs, this Veruca Salt song describes the roiling rock goddess within us all.“I try to rock her in my cradle./ I try to knock her out…/ _______ / I can't see her till I'm foaming at the mouth.” Veruca Salt was named after the spoiled little rich girl from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory who turned into a giant blueberry after disobeying Willy Wonka’s directions. The band today consists of the original line-up of dual vocalists/guitarists Nina Gordon and Louise Post, drummer Jim Shapiro and bassist Steve Lack.
Which L7 song goes, "They've got us in the palm of every hand / When we _______ that ____ ____” ?
From the 1992 album Bricks Are Heavy this L7 song was a pop-powerful riot grrrl war cry for passive-aggressive people everywhere. I don’t know exactly who “the man” is in this scenario specifically but the lyrics start out "Cramping styles is the plan / They've got us in the palm of every hand / When we ...” Far from passive aggressive: During a concert in 1992 the band was having technical difficulties and the crowd was getting upset. In response, Donita Sparks (lead vocals) removed her tampon and threw it out at the crowd yelling, “eat my used tampon, [expletive]!”
In which Hole song does Courtney Love sing, "I am ____ _____, bad skin, doll heart" ?
Courtney Love of Hole made us feel the pain of acting synthetic for a world that just wants to use you. Rumor has it the song was inspired by a doll she placed in a heart-shaped box that she gave to Kurt Cobain after a particularly bad fight. She told us “I love him so much it just turns to hate / I fake it so real, I am beyond fake.” My heart goes out to you Courtney. Thank you for ushering in the enlightenment (not single-handedly, but, you know…). Thank you.
Which Rage Against the Machine song goes, "Now you do what they told ya" over and over again?
Pointing out racism in the criminal justice system, Rage Against The Machine told us succinctly, over and over again, “Some of those that work forces / Are the same that burn crosses.” Sorry kids, there is no possible alternate meaning. If you’ve been turning this up on your radio and head banging with your windows down, keep doing that. Good Job. Cool story about the cover of this single: it’s a real picture of a Buddhist Monk who burned himself alive protesting the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government.
In which Bikini Kill song does Kathleen Hanna sing, "_____ ____ you are the queen of my world" ?
Kathleen Hanna and Bikini Kill stole our hearts with this besties love song. Breaking down the oppressive divide and conquer past of women hating on each other for no logical reason at all, she has always celebrated our unity. She tells us, “I think I want to take you home / I want to try on your clothes.” Me too. The band fiercely advocated to change the punk scene at their shows by demanding the audience of aggressive young men to step back and let the women come up to the front so they could see and enjoy the show.
In which Stone Temple Pilots song does Scott Weiland sing, "I wanna run through your ______ ______" ?
I don’t know why but this Stone Temple Pilots release always felt like a love/hate relationship with the ungroomed 90’s female bush. Does he want to run through it or does he want to burn it down? Quoting Scott Weiland – “a song about people allowing all their innocence and purity to be lost from their lives.” So…. he wanted us to shave? Or look like adult females? I, for one, am confused. I’ll do what I want. R.I.P. Scott Weiland who died of an accidental overdose in 2015.
In which heart wrenching Pearl Jam song does Eddie Vedder sing, "______ spoke in class today" ?
This Pearl Jam song recounts Eddie Vedder’s impression of a young man who shot himself in front of his class at a school in Dallas, Texas. For those who don’t remember, school shootings were nowhere near as common in the 90’s as they are now. Teen suicide was common, however, and this song played non-stop. This song is a touching tribute to the pain of teenagers suffering from depression and friends and family touched by suicide. The song ends, “Try to erase this / try to erase this / from the blackboard.”
In which Radiohead song does Thom Yorke sing, "You're so very special / But I'm a ____" ?
Atmospheric and bittersweet, the lonely drifting lyrics of this languid love song by Radiohead are unmistakable. With the amount of radio play this song has gotten and still receives, I know that you’ll guess it right away. In fact, I’m trying so hard to make this difficult that I’ll give you just two lines, “Whatever makes you happy / Whatever you want.” .. This song was released on their first studio album Pablo Honey. At the time, the song was compared to Nirvana’s work. Additionally, the radio version replaced the word “f***in'” with “very.”
In which Alice in Chains song did Jerry Cantrell sing, "____ __ _ ____, feelin' so small / ____ __ _ ____, losin' my soul" ?
This power ballad by Alice in Chains was another bitter sweet love song. In this song about his long-time love, Jerry Cantrell sings, “Bury me softly in this womb / Oh I want to be inside of you / I give this part of me for you / Oh I want to be inside of you ” Obviously hurting and needing some love (or some love making), Cantrell’s vocals are deep, dark and alluring. Like everything else grunge and 90’s, it received constant airplay. Over the years it has been covered by various artists including Fuel.
In which Sonic Youth song did Kim Gordon sing, "____ ____ walkin' like a panther / Come on and give me an answer" ?
Inspired by an interview with LL Cool J, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon asks the sexy black guy in this music video, “I just wanna know, what are you gonna do for me? / I mean, are you gonna liberate us girls / From male white corporate oppression?” At the time of the writing she was really attracted to males associated with the Black Panther party. However the interview revealed LL’s misogynists attitudes. In one reply he said to her, “The guy has to have control over his woman” which was obviously out-of-step with Gordon’s feminist perspective.
Which Queens of the Stone Age song goes, "What a gift here below / But __ ___ _____ / The gift that you give to me" ?
The video for this Queens of the Stone Age song features a psychotic dear that steals the bands truck and drives through the forest on what appears to be a rampage. "We get these pills to swallow / How they stick / In your throat / Tastes like gold." At the breakdown finale, Josh Homme (lead guitar) plays a particularly fast and explosive piece with Nick Oliveri (bass) providing an impressive lead in that fades and then carries them thumping back into the last verse “Heaven smiles above me / What a gift her below.”
Which Three Days Grace break-up song goes, "Why do I love you / ____________________ / Why do I love you" ?
From the self-titled album by the Canadian rock band Three Days Grace this song is a reckoning for bad relationships everywhere. The music video starts with a close up of a dusty ashtray with a lit cigarette and Adam Gontier singing, “Every time we lie awake / After every hit we take.” In a 2004 interview, Gontier said the band's name was apparently chosen to reflect the urgency of needing to change one’s life in a short period of time - three days is pretty short - and asking it’s listeners, what would you do with those three days?
Which Soul Asylum song goes, "Bought a ticket for a _______ _____ / Like a madman laughin' at the rain" ?
The video for this moving acoustic song by Soul Asylum was a powerful homage to missing children which began with the phrase “There are over one million youth lost on the streets of America.” The video was directed by Tom Kaye and played over and over again on MTV and VH1 when it came out. In 2013 it was revealed that 26 missing children that were featured on the video were found. Notable lyrics: “Can you help me remember how to smile / Make it somehow all seem worthwhile / How on earth did I get so jaded.”
Which song by The Breeders goes, "You're the rod I'm water / I'm just looking for the ______ ______" ?
The music video for this Breeders hit featured flying laughing nuns and a black and white montage of the band playing. The video was directed by Spike Jonze, Kim Gordon and Richard Kern. Kim Deal (lead singer) wrote this song which goes, “I'm just looking for a faith / Waiting to be followed.” She later told Rolling Stone Magazine that the song was about her disappointment when the message that she grew up hearing and believing in Sunday school turned out to be out of step with real life.
Which Screaming Trees song goes, "I ______ ____ ___ there / And it's taken us somewhere / I ______ ____ ___ there" ?
This Screaming Trees song seemed to mark the beginning of the end. Mark Pickerel (drummer) had just left the band and was replaced by Barrett Martin. This song carried the album Sweet Oblivion into 300,000 copies sold but was not able to make up for the momentum that was lost at Mark Pickerel’s departure. The music video takes place at an empty dirt race track and some notable lyrics are “Drag me far enough to know / I'm blind every mile that you burn / There's a rider that's fallen and / It's clear there's no time to return.”
Which Presidents of the United States of America song is about a guy that really likes one particular type of fruit?
"______ come from a can, / They were put there by a man / In a factory downtown / If I had my little way, / I'd eat _______ every day." For this song, the Presidents of the United States of America (POTUSA) was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1996. Although this band was nominated for a pop award, most fans considered them alternative rock. In case you didn't know, this band is steadfastly liberal and has performed for Bill Clinton and John Kerry, respectively.,
Which Stone Temple Pilots song goes, "Here I come, I come, I come, I come / I am I am I am I said I wanna get next to you" ?
Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Weiland (lead singer), shirt off, screams the chorus of this song "I know you want what's on my mind / I know you like what's on my mind / I know it eats you up inside / I know you know, you know, you know" The video looks like S&M dungeon complete with hanging chains and naked women touching themselves in the dark. Apparently this song was influenced by In the Light by Led Zeppelin and has been covered live by Velvet Revolver, Evanescence, Fuel, Papa Roach and Theory of a Deadman.
Which No Doubt song goes, "I'm walking into _____ / so leave a message and I'll call you back" ?
Remember letting the landline ring through to the answering machine so that you and everyone in the house could hear who it was from? When caller ID was an extra charge? Gwen Stefani spelled out our sentiments about obnoxious ex-boyfriends singing, "I'm walking into _____ / so leave a message and I'll call you back." The video, directed by Marcus Nispel, shows No Doubt playing the song at a wedding reception. When the new bride throws her bouquet it accidentally goes to Gwen Stefani. Then old-school phones start falling out of the sky and entangling people in their cords.
Which Temple of the Dog song makes you want to make Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder a sammich?
Featuring a duet with Eddie Vedder, this Temple of the Dog song was written by Chris Cornell. The rhythm and lead guitar parts on this song have an intricate interplay that rolls the listener along almost the whole way through with very little change. They provide more of an ascending and descending feel, like that of waves on a beach with the occasional crash. Notable lyrics include, “I don't mind stealin' bread from the mouths of decadence / But I can't feed on the powerless when my cup's already overfilled, yeah.” R.I.P. Chris Cornell who died in 2017 from suicide.
Which Candlebox song about his friend's unexpected death goes, "So soon you should have told me / But you left me ___ ______" ?
This song by Candlebox has one of the most recognizable guitar solos. It doesn’t stray too far from the songs melody, it’s short and sweet, and placed just right. Originally written after Andy Wood (Mother Love Bone), a mentor to the Candlebox lead singer Kevin Martin, died of a heroin overdose. Since then it has received extremely consistent airplay. Martin admits 25 years later that he was glad he made the song a little more vague and accessible. “Shame you left my life / So soon you should have told me / But you left me ____ _____”