3 Eternal Classic Rock Songs from the 1990s

For those of us who grew up in the 1990s, the concept that the decade’s rock songs are now part of the classic rock umbrella can feel a little bit unsettling. Now we know what the children of the 1960s and 1970s feel like. Well, either way, the era spawned a plethora of excellent rock songs, from the psychedelic to the rebellious.

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Here below, we wanted to dive into three of those songs that just seem to live on forever. Yes, these are three eternal classic rock songs from the 1990s.

[RELATED: Catching Up with Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic: “Well, Let’s Just Do Whatever We Want to Do at This Point”]

“No Rain” by Blind Melon

Released in 1993 on the band’s self-titled debut LP, this song has one of the catchiest guitar lines in recent history. The track, which also boasted a famous music video complete with Bee Girl, helped the band’s debut album earn Platinum status. As for the song’s content, it’s about a mix of apathy and depression, two words that can sum up much of the decade’s collective feeling. While it’s not a grunge song, it certainly shares some of the same emotional characteristics. And it’s the combination of the bright, sticky guitar melody with the dower lyrical quality that makes this song last forever. On the track, the late lead singer Shannon Hoon sings,

All I can say is that my life is pretty plain
I like watching the puddles gather rain
And all I can do
Is just pour some tea for two
And speak my point of view
But it’s not sane
It’s not sane

I just want someone to say to me
Oh, oh, oh, oh
I’ll always be there when you wake, yeah, yeah
You know I’d like to keep my cheeks dry today, hey
So stay with me and I’ll have it made

“Zombie” by The Cranberries

This anti-war protest song is as relevant today as it was when it was released in 1994 on the Irish rock band’s LP No Need to Argue. Lead singer Dolores O’Riordan sings about the victims of violence during the time known as The Troubles in Northern Ireland. But it could also be a soundtrack for issues today in Eastern Europe or the Middle East. On the rampaging song, O’Riordan offers,

Another head hangs lowly
Child is slowly taken
And the violence caused such silence
Who are we mistaken?

But you see, it’s not me
It’s not my family
In your head, in your head, they are fighting
With their tanks and their bombs
And their bombs and their guns
In your head, in your head, they are crying

“Creep” by Radiohead

Released on the band’s 1993 LP Pablo Honey, this song has taken on something of a life of its own since then. It’s not a favorite of the band’s lead singer Thom Yorke (he’s called the lyrics “crap”), but that hasn’t stopped fans from thirsting for it and for many others to have covered the track, from Prince to Kelly Clarkson to Olivia Rodrigo. The song, at its heart, describes something many can relate to: the feeling of not being good enough and, more so, the feeling of being less in the eyes of someone you love—someone better. On the track, Yorke sings,

When you were here before
Couldn’t look you in the eye

You’re just like an angel
Your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather
In a beautiful world

I wish I was special
You’re so f—-n’ special

But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doin’ here?
I don’t belong here

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Photo by Catherine McGann/Getty Images

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