throwback tuesday #8

The Throwback Tuesday weekly post is a opportunity for me to revisit the good, cheesy, forgotten or essential parts of music, film, tv and books from my childhood, the past few years or the generations/eras/works of art that have influenced my life in some way.

After watching the recent Danny Baker discussion programmes on BBC4 that looked back at the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s music, it has opened me up to a whole new world of acts to check out and a bit of a rediscovery of old acts. One of those is garbage who I’ve always had a big love for but never really ventured too far into their back catalogue. ‘Stupid Girl’ is one of my all time favourite tracks and after watching the show I purchased the band’s self titled album. The moment it arrived I put it on the stereo and sat back in awe of just how good an album it is and kicking myself that I’d not purchased this sooner. I think the thing that always drew me to the band was their slightly grungey, slightly punk, slightly shoegazey sound, never could they fully be pinpointed into just one genre I always felt.

Self Titled Album
Mushroom Records UK

A lot of people go on about Courtney Love and Hole being the exciting female grunge act of the 90’s but for me it was always Shirley Manson and Garbage. I find the sound more interesting with lethargic vocals almost as if she really can’t be bothered to sing this to the sheer spite and anger running through some lyrics, the flowing repetitive sounds that provide the perfect backdrop of calm and collected or in your face and full on. Manson always had a mysterious and iconic edge to her that I was drawn too and when I look at female musicians today I see none of Shirley Manson in any of them, more Gwen Stefani or Courtney Love which is a shame because though I love No Doubt era Gwen, Shirley Manson just always held this edge for me that was so cool. As a young girl watching her I just wanted to be her and I don’t think that doe-eyed mysticism has ever really gone for me.

The band’s self titled album was also their debut which was released in 1995 and peaked at number 12 in the UK album charts, it was an album that did truly catch the attention of many and saw the band nominated for Brits and Grammys as well as winning an MTV EMA Award for Breakthrough Act. The album itself is wonderful and truly 90’s in sound and to me I think it proves just how underrated Garbage are held in the present day. I’m unaware of the press and their opinion surrounding Garbage back in the 90’s as I was too young to be interested in NME aged 3/4 but I don’t think they are ever really mentioned that much today. Again this is a true shame as they are for me a standout UK band of the 90’s. I guess it’s easy to look back now and talk about how good a band were especially if you are someone who loves digging through the eras for gems and classics and whatever people’s opinions on this I know that it will always be a treasured album in my collection even though I may be slightly late to the party in looking into more than just Garbage’s singles.

That said you can’t deny the sheer brilliance of ‘Stupid Girl’ as a track. I’m sure everyone has heard this and can probably think of at least one person they would love to sing it too. For me, this is one of the best singles from the nineties and my childhood with it’s grunge edge, nonchalant sounds, venomous lyrics and just a sheer catchy rhythm throughout. This one is for my 5 year old self and the current me who still wishes she was Shirley Manson even now.

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