Five songs from the 1990s that have no business being as fantastic as they are

These five tracks remain better than anyone should have expected.
Mike Patton of Faith No More
Mike Patton of Faith No More / Gie Knaeps/GettyImages
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Placebo - "You Don't Care About Us" (1998)

The last two songs on this list were produced by talented bands. Each group had a number of great tracks and should be adored. But these two songs might be overshadowed by other bits of excellence in the band's catalog. For instance, more people might know Placebo's "Pure Morning" or "Every You Every Me." Both of those songs are terrific, but "You Don't Care About Us" is their equal.

The song is a proverbial train that is constantly trying to keep itself from skipping its tracks. There is no rest. The bittersweet rage that brims from the soul of the lyrics is only propelled by the speed of the bass. There is hope and loss, love and hate, adoration and despair all contained within the three minutes and fifty-three seconds of the track.

There is no way to describe the track other than it simply being a proper rock song. There are glam elements, sure, and more than a dash of punk, but no matter what subgenre the track falls into, the ultimate goal is to entertain. At that, Placebo achieves its goal with ease.

Manic Street Preachers - "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next" (1998)

After the bombast of their first three albums, the Manics toned things down a bit for Everything Must Go. Even that record would not imply the sheer brutality of the tempo and heartbreaking lyrics of their fifth album, the under-loved This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours (at least how well it has maintained the respect the album deserves). Few bands would have the guts to open an album with "The Everlasting" and then follow that with "If You Tolerate This..."

Next. Brilliant live albums from the 1980s. Brilliant live albums from the 1980s. dark

A song about a group of left-leaning Welsh volunteers who join the fight of the Spanish Civil War? Who wants to listen to that? Only anyone with ears that work should, to be honest. The lush music (plus, the wonderment of James Dean Bradfield playing off the feedback) and incredibly well-sung lyrics will force you to have emotions even if you have no idea what the Spanish Civil War was.

To be fair, the song is another great example of how the Manic Street Preachers can churn out songs with more than one meaning. The Manics are talking as much about the Spanish Civil War as they are about the way the world was in the 1990s. And well, today, too.

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