1994: The 40 Best Records From Mainstream Alternative's Greatest Year

Green Day, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and 35 other bands who made the word "alternative" lose all meaning

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Meat Puppets, 'Too High to Die'
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Courtesy of London Records13/40

13. Meat Puppets, 'Too High to Die'

Thanks to the promotional efforts of Nirvana, who'd covered three 1984 Meat Puppets songs with brothers Curt and Chris Kirkwood in their MTV Unplugged set the previous fall, Too High to Die is the only gold album of these brain-dusted desert rats' long career; Top 50 single "Backwater" would be the biggest Neil Young hit since "Old Man" if it was one, which it almost is. But Too High is of a piece with their whole three-decade catalog: two-step mirages ("We Don't Exist"), Appalachian spirituals ("Comin' Down"), white blues ("Roof With A Hole"), surf twang ("Evil Love"), Oktoberfest oompah ("Station"), Marshall Tucker cowboy choogle ("Flaming Heart") and classic rock shuffles (check the Cheap Trick and Blue Öyster Cult echoes in "Things"). And if you need more roots clues, the album's promo singles featured covers of Marty Robbins' border-country "El Paso City" and Arizona anarcho-punk brats the Feederz' "Fuck You." Chuck Eddy

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