To quote Sonic Youth, 1991 was the year that punk broke. Nirvana led the charge with "Smells Like Teen Spirit", the stunning first single off "Nevermind", indisputably the rock album of the decade, but if you take a closer look at our Top 50 Singles of 1991 here, you'll notice an abundance of gloriously noisy guitar music.
Other highlights of the year included "Dress", P.J. Harvey's perfectly formed debut single, "Blindfold", the first of the three amazing EPs that introduced us to Curve, "Counting Backwards", one of Throwing Muses' surprisingly pop-friendly moments, the explosive "Siva" by The Smashing Pumpkins, Hole's vitriolic "Teenage Whore", Pavement's dreamy "Summer Babe", "Bed Of Roses", a rare psychedelic gem by Screaming Trees, Mudhoney's mad, broken-brake ride of "Let it Slide" and Teenage Fanclub's storming yet brightly melodic "Star Sign". And that's just the Top 10. Take into consideration the equally awesome releases found elsewhere in our list by the likes of Pixies, Sonic Youth, Babes In Toyland, The Afghan Whigs, Ride or Lush and you start to realize that 1991 was one of the best years in rock history. They just don't make 'em like that any more...
Here's 1991's Top 10 Singles (for the complete Top 50 click here):
1. Smell Like Teen Spirit - NIRVANA
2. Dress - P.J. HARVEY
3. Blindfold EP - CURVE
4. Counting Backwards - THROWING MUSES
5. Siva - THE SMASHING PUMPKINS
6. Star Sign - TEENAGE FANCLUB
7. Summer Babe - PAVEMENT
8. Bed of Roses - SCREAMING TREES
9. Let It Slide - MUDHONEY
10. Teenage Whore - HOLE
You can listen to most of our selections by pressing play below:
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit