Top Ten ’90s Female Alt-Rock Songs That Rocked My World


I love to think back on life during the late ’80s and ’90s. I feel like the movies, music, and shows of the ’90s are a big part of who I am. ’90s pop culture form me into this fabulous crazy lady I am today. After meeting Courtney Love last Friday, I have been listening to a ton of female Alt-Rock from the ’90s. I have been dancing in my underwear and singing into brushes all week. I couldn’t help but realize that some of these songs helped shaped my womanhood. With all of this said, I made a “Top Ten ’90s Female Alt-Rock Songs That Rocked My World” list. So put on a flannel shirt and take a walk down ’90s memory lane with me.

10. Alanis Morissette, “You Oughta Know”

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Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” album came out in 1995 and it was hard hittin’! “You Oughta Know” was the first single off of this album and man did it teach us young ladies a hell of a lesson. It taught us the feeling that we didn’t know we were going to have the first time we saw and ex with his new lady. It’s like, you’ve always wanted a way to express that feeling and Alanis did it with a brilliant single.

9. Garbage, “I’m Only Happy When It Rains”

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Garbage released this song as their third single on their self-titled debut studio album. This song was my emotional pain anthem. Shirley Manson sang about getting used to being emo but embracing and accepting it. It was a pretty powerful song for my young ass to be dancing around to but I am happy it happened.

8. Fiona Apple, “Criminal”

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When this video would come on, I was always hypnotized. At the time, Fiona was 19, full of soul and beyond her years. “Criminal” was the third single off of her album Tidal. The song is about using your sexuality to get what you desire but feeling bad about doing so. Yeah, we listened to some deep chick rock in the ’90s.

7. The Breeders, “Cannonball”

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When I discovered The Breeders it was one of those young kid “bad ass” moments. I was up way later than I should have been and the video for Cannonball” came on MTV and I instantly turned into a huge music snob. It was love at first listen/watch.

6. Hole, “Violet”

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Courtney Love makes me want to walk around in vintage dresses, with a flask and combat boots. This song would come on and I instantly would feel like I was a rock and roll Goddess. Violet is timeless. My mother never was a fan of Hole or the fact that Courtney Love always appeared to be a hot mess but this didn’t stop me from jumping on the sofa to this jam.

5. Veruca Salt, “Volcano Girls”

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Veruca Salt made it okay to be whiny with this one. “Volcano Girls” was released as a single on their album “Eight Arms to Hold You”. My favorite memory of this song was used in the beginning of the film “Jawbreaker” which is one of my favorites. It was perfect for the intro to such a dark and twisted comedy.

4. The Cranberries, “Zombie”

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I am pretty sure I try to hum along to most The Cranberries songs but this one is just fun. I think everyone howls along once the chorus comes in…”Zombie, zombie, zombie! Hey, hey, hey, hey, oh, dou, dou, dou, dou, dou…” It is so ’90s and so perfect. This song has been on heavy rotation all week.

3. No Doubt, “Just a Girl”

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Men and women alike can not resist the powers of No Doubt’s perky ska infused rock jam “Just a Girl”. This neo-feminist song was way more than just another novelty item. The video was so vibrant and Gwen made her mark as a style icon. I watched the video earlier this week since I haven’t seen it in years and I had to watch it two times in a row. So good!

2. Bjork, “It’s Oh So Quiet”

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Aside from the song being catchy and wonderful, this has to be one of the most memorable music videos ever made. It starts with Bjork coming out of a dirty bathroom in an auto shop and then all dancing/singing hell breaks loose. It was a modern day musical of a music video and we all loved it. Bjork has the gift of making something quirky and weird but not over doing it to where people wouldn’t understand. This video completely suits her style.

1. Tracy Bonham, “Mother Mother”

For some reason everyone I know forgets about this song. It’s sad because it’s so so good. Tracy Bonham’s “Mother Mother” stood out among the angry girl female rock of the ’90s. The song is in the format of a manic phone call to her mother to check in. The concept of the video is fucking fantastic. I had to include the actual video so you can look for yourself and remember the greatness. Please take note of her OCD mother. I can appreciate a clean house but gosh! I am rather sure if I would have called my mother with an update like this my mother would have probably called the police.

The ’90s were full of songs that spoke to us and shaped our brains I am going to take a moment to be old and say “They don’t make music like they used to”.

Stay sexy Gotham!



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6 Responses to “Top Ten ’90s Female Alt-Rock Songs That Rocked My World”

  1. Jamie says:

    Love this! I just started watching ‘Portlandia’ and now have “The Dream of the 90s is Alive in Portland” stuck in my head. Which in turn makes me think of your recent Portland adventures!

    Anyway, great list, though would direct your attention to the Mia Zapata of the Gits. Tragic story and tbh I’ve only just discovered the Gits music in the past few years. Fantastic stuff, and Zapata had such an incredible, soulful voice.

    I need to do one of these lists now too! Love it! 😀

  2. Da Vinci - The Blog Workshop says:

    Just a girl is an anthem, LOL

  3. Monique says:

    This is the next playlist I’m creating in iTunes! Well, the beginning of a new playlist… Thanks!

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