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

Load Previous
Various Artists, 'Reality Bites: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack'
40
Courtesy of RCA Records30/40

30. Various Artists, 'Reality Bites: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack'

This blend of tweaked radio standards (Squeeze's revisiting of their pensive "Tempted"; Big Mountain's island-tinged cover of Peter Frampton's "Baby, I Love Your Way") and new tracks from alt-nation flag-bearers (Juliana Hatfield, Dinosaur Jr.) was more of a hit than the slacker romantic comedy that spawned it. The inclusion of "My Sharona" helped spark a mini-comeback for the Knack ("[The song] sends me right back to my high-school lunch room," Bites director Ben Stiller told USA Today) and Lisa Loeb's breakup-chronicle "Stay (I Missed You)" brought lady-led confessionals to the top of the Hot 100 a full year before Jagged Little Pill. Loeb was quite literally the "girl next door" for Ethan Hawke, the movie's enfant terrible — the two lived near each other in New York City, and Hawke wound up directing the song's single-shot video. Maura Johnston

Back to Top