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

Live, 'Throwing Copper'
Courtesy of Radioactive Records40/40

40. Live, 'Throwing Copper'

The Pennsylvania-bred Live broke out of the Buzz Bin with their first full-length Mental Jewelry, a self-righteous whirl of pummeling bass lines, arena-ready riffs, and didactic lyrics thrown down by preacher-like frontman Ed Kowalczyk. Throwing Copper (which, like Jewelry, was produced by Talking Heads' Jerry Harrison) continued down the latter path with abandon, and audiences responded in kind — the album spawned four singles that hit the top ten on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, including the jittery "Selling the Drama," the tortured slow-burn "I Alone," the kinda power-ballady "All Over You," and the mini-epic "Lightning Crashes" (Number 12 on the Hot 100) which forever seared the image of a placenta falling to the floor into radio listeners' collective cortex. Maura Johnston