Four 1990s ridiculously good alternative rock one-hit wonders

One-hit wonders worth a deeper dive.

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Screaming Trees

Screaming Trees were one of those Washington state bands that helped build the infrastructure of what would later be termed "grunge" in the mid-1980s along with The Melvins, Green River, and Soundgarden. Like the band Soundgarden, Screaming Trees were also one of the first grunge bands to release music at the national level when they signed with and released their second album Even If and Especially When on SST Records in 1987.

Like fellow scene staples Alice In Chains and the aforementioned Soundgarden, they were one of the first Seattle bands to sign to a major label deal and released the EP Something About Today on Epic Records in 1990. Uncle Anesthesia would follow in 1991, and later that year fellow Seattle band Nirvana would break into the mainstream with the seminal record Nevermind. Seemingly overnight, the entire world of music shifted on its axis from hair metal to grunge.

By early 1992, grunge was a pop culture phenomenon. Drawn to the raw combination of 1970s classic rock riffs combined with 1980s punk, Generation X had its soundtrack and flannel-clad look. Movie director and former music journalist Cameron Crowe was quick to capture the moment in a quirky romantic comedy released in 1992 called Singles.

Like most films that try to capture a moment in time, some aspects of the film aged poorly. But one thing that didn't age poorly was the soundtrack to Singles. Featuring tracks by Screaming Trees, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, and Mudhoney, this soundtrack is a time capsule of 1990s grunge-era nostalgia.

"Nearly Lost You" would become a massive hit for Screaming Trees. This psychedelic rock meets grunge track is a high-water mark of early 1990s music. Anchored by the gravelly baritone voice of frontman Mark Lanegan, the song takes you on the journey of a person struggling to keep a relationship intact.

Screaming Trees would not be as lucky as their Seattle peers. "Nearly Lost You" would be the closest the band would come to mainstream success. Following the death of Lanegan in February 2022, the band is unlikely to reform.