Admitting that maybe I was wrong about The Spin Doctors

As I said on Facebook, my friend Steve tricked me into playing one of his dirty Facebook games. In this one your friend gives you a year and then you list the 10 best albums from that year. Steve got 1993 and left Liz Phair’s “Exile in Guyville” off the list. Of course I had to say something.

He then gave me the year 1991. Because I am a rebel, I made my own rules and listed albums that I’m pretty sure I listened to and enjoyed in 1991 — not the greatest albums released in 1991 or the albums I loved the most from 1991, these are albums I actually listened to in actual 1991.

For the most part I am not embarrassed by any music I’ve ever loved at any point in my life. We’re humans we change. Also, I’m sentimental about music and I love certain songs/bands/records regardless of goodness/badness because of the memories they conjure up.

Now, for the past 22 years I have claimed true love for the Spin Doctors even though “Pocket Full of Kryptonite” is generally recognized as one of the worst things to happen to the 90s. I remember back in college arguing with my friend Chuck about how the album was good and “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues” was a great, great song. And to counter he’d just sing a few lines from “What Time is It?“. I never had a good comeback.

Well today, thanks to getting stuck in 1991, I listened to “Pocket Full of Kryptonite.” It is awful. It is beyond awful. Most of the songs are unlistenable. There were more than a few that I had to skip after less than a minute. And the lyrics? “You never loved your frozen freight. Perishables and bloodless meat. You rolling snowball soul of sleet. You never wait.” — From “Refrigerator Car.” Yuck.

And yet, I still dance when I hear “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.” Plus, I fully believe, that if you are a woman of a certain age with a penchant for stating opinions you were probably called Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong about 82,305 times in the 90s. I know I can’t be alone.

The other one from my list that was tough to get through: “Fear” by Toad the Wet Sprocket. It sounds a little too precious, though musically I can hear things in it that I went on to really love in bands like The Decemberists or Netural Milk Hotel. [Musicgeeks everywhere are falling off their chairs because I just mentioned these bands together.]

I put this list together pretty quickly and without much thought. Allegedly, I had many productive things to do today. Truthfully, I spent all day thinking about, listening to, and talking about this list. The more I think about it, the more I really love it.

1991 was a transition year for me. I started college in January (a semester later than I had planned) after a ridiculous struggle with finances and parents who knew absolutely nothing about what it took to actually get to college. It was a brutal year in ways I don’t feel like explaining right now, but it was probably one of those years where I started to become the person I am now. This list of albums really reflects that.
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  • Pearl Jam, Ten. (This album will forever belong to Sister #2 in my heart and brain. And it’s probably why “Vs” is my favorite Pearl Jam album.)
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blood Sugar Sex Magik (Shut up, you know this album was the shit in 1991)
  • Another Bad Creation, Coolin’ at the Playground Ya Know! (I am not ashamed to admit that I still know most of the words to the songs on this album)
  • R.E.M., Out of Time
  • Joe Jackson, Laughter & Lust
  • Spin Doctors, Pocket Full of Kryptonite
  • Toad the Wet Sprocket, Fear
  • Prince & The New Power Generation, Diamonds & Pearls
  • Material Issue, International Pop Overthrow
  • Matthew Sweet, Girlfriend

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2 Comments

  1. telrev 26.Aug.13 at 9:54 am

    Quick Spin Doctors story…I actually couldn’t stand them back in the day.

    Just before Soul Asylum went big with their “Grave Dancers Union”, I saw the Minneapolis boys at the Boat House in Virginia Beach, for what I still believe was the best concert experience I’ve ever had. The opener was The Lemonheads…truly unbelieveable show. When that album blew up on MTV, and I saw they were coming back around, I knew I had to see them again…however, it was for an MTV sponsored festival, in which Spin Doctors were playing. As it turned out, Soul Asylum only played the “hits”…no cool covers or medleys, no interaction with the audience…it was just like they were playing along with the record…not fun at all. I was a bit disappointed leaving the venue, but on my way I ran into the lead singer from the Spin Doctors…literally. I looked at him, and his outstretched hand, and instead of shaking it, I flipped him off. I still feel pretty good about that moment…the look of hurt on his face pretty much summed up the way I felt about the whole show.

    Reply
    1. Jodi 26.Aug.13 at 9:56 am

      I love this story! It cracks me up.

      Reply

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