By Jack Sharkey, May 26, 2017

 

1996

The year was marked by a dance hit that spawned a thousand imitators (Gangnam Style anyone?) outshined the last gasps of the Classic Rock and Blues derived mainstream hit. 

 

Macarena - Los Del Rio (Bayside Boys Mix) With no Youtube and very little Internet, there was not a human who escaped this song in 1996. Kids were forced to dance it in school, parents were forced to learn it from their kids, yet nobody cared that Macarena was a girl who cheated on her boyfriend (who just happened to be going into the Army) with two of his friends. Hey Macarena!

 

 

Give Me One Reason - Tracy Chapman A simple 1-4-5 Blues wrapped around Chapman's plaintive yet forceful reading, even in the cover she does her with Eric Clapton, had us all feeling just a little bit more self-confident as our spouse or significant other tried to put us in our rightful places.   

 

 

Ironic - Alanis Morissette Less a bunch of ironies and more a series of really coincidental bummers, Morissette's song about how seriously horrible life is no matter what we try to do had us examining our own personal ironies all summer long, and sighing "it figgers" under our breath. 

 

 

Change the World - Eric Clapton In the Sixties he was God, in the Seventies he was Slowhand, and in the Eighties he was a pop star with the two obligatory backup singer babes. But midway through the Nineties, Clapton rediscovered front porch Blues and reminded us all about the beauty of organic music.  

 

 

One Of Us - Joan Osborne Much hand-wringing and manufactured outraged ensued when this song hit the airwaves, in spite of the fact that it's the closest Top 40 radio had gotten to playing a Spiritual or hymm since Eres Tu twenty-three years earlier.     

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