Top 10 Alt-Rock Videos From 1998
As you’ll see by our list of the Top 10 Alt-Rock Videos From 1998, modern rock was reaching the crisis stage. Everything from big pop ballads and hip-hop beats to retro-rock crunch and goofball novelty tunes hit No. 1 that year, as record companies and fans sorted out what they wanted in their post-Nirvana landscape. There’s not a whole lotta timeless music from the year — most of it is made up of one-shots who got lucky with a great tune.
Everlast, ‘ What It’s Like’
Everlast used to be in the rap crew House of Pain (you may remember them from the excellent ‘Jump Around’). By 1998 he restyled himself as a bluesy singer who combined front-porch acoustics with hip-hop beats. His first solo single stayed at No. 1 for nine weeks.
Fastball, ‘The Way’
Part of the large group of ’90s alt-rockers who had one big hit and then promptly disappeared, Fastball were a rootsy trio from Austin that managed to stay at No. 1 on the modern-rock chart for seven weeks in 1998 with the catchy ‘The Way.’
Semisonic, ‘Closing Time’
‘Closing Time’ is one of the few songs on this list that has actually grown in stature since its No. 1 standing 15 years ago. It’s since become a last-call anthem for barflies. Recently, Semisonic frontman Dan Wilson has written songs for Adele, Taylor Swift and Pink.
The Goo Goo Dolls, ‘Iris’
‘Iris’ is one of the few songs on this last that was also a massive hit on the pop chart, where it also reached No. 1. It stayed at the top of the modern-rock list for five straight weeks. It’s the second of the Goo Goo Dolls’ three No. 1s.
Barenaked Ladies, ‘One Week’
Say what you will about these Canadian goofballs — they’re cloying, annoying and not very good at what they do — but ‘One Week’ packs one hell of a hook. Their only No. 1 modern-rock hit is also their only No. 1 song on the pop chart.
Eve 6, ‘Inside Out’
The debut single by these Los Angeles rockers sounds like a leftover from an earlier time — like 1994. ‘Inside Out”s crunchy guitars, generic alt-rock thrust and dirty production wouldn’t sound out of place on an equally blah Stone Temple Pilots song.
Hole, ‘Celebrity Skin’
It took Courtney Love four years to make Hole’s follow-up to 1994’s terrific ‘Live Through This.’ By then, she needed Billy Corgan’s help and shinier production to get her through the rest of the decade. ‘Celebrity Skin’ is the tougher of the album’s two singles.
Cake, ‘Never There’
If you would have told music fans in 1998 that Cake would be the only artist with a No. 1 modern-rock hit that year to still have some sort of chart presence 15 years later, they would have laughed at you. Seriously. ‘Never There’ is their only No. 1.
The Goo Goo Dolls, ‘Slide’
The Goo Goo Dolls followed up their hugely popular ballad ‘Iris’ with the ridiculously catchy ‘Slide,’ which stayed at No. 1 on the modern-rock chart for two weeks in 1998. The band has basically repeated the song’s formula ever since.
Lenny Kravitz, ‘Fly Away’
Kravitz’s retro-rock muscle crunch was still clicking with modern-rock fans in 1998, when ‘Fly Away’ hit No. 1 for two weeks (he’s had almost 20 hits on the alt chart; this is his second No. 1). It’s more classic rock than alternative, but whatever.