1. Dirty Laundry - Don Henley
    This song won't win any awards for its skin deep indictment of network news or its yawn worthy keyboards but it has a truly FUCKING GREAT atonal guitar solo that makes it all worth it, and an almost "I Am The Walrus" quality to the background vocals that carry the song out on the shoulders of some really great session musicians (Don Henley is the least important contributor here, let's be real).
  2. Everybody Hurts - REM
    If you lived through 1993 you know this song was the I Will Always Love You of alt rock: omnipresent and full of in-your-face pathos. It played for months between the things you actually liked on MTV; at first you were annoyed, then you didn't even hear it when it was on. But REM are some of the best when it comes to bridges and this song has one of their finest: from the 2:20 mark on it builds to a Spectoresque crescendo of strings arranged by John Paul Jones and perfectly restrained drums.
  3. Witchita Lineman - Glen Campbell
    At first glance this is a slow failed bastard country ballad. If you listen again you'll find one of the best mixed records of the era (the SPACE between instruments!), an unusually complex vocal melody and an outstanding performance by Glen Campbell that gets disguised by his "aw shucks" inflection. Yes, Rolling Stone ranked it as one of the best 500 songs of all time but most people I show this song to say they are hearing it for the first time.
  4. The Crystal Ship - The Doors
    Probably the outlier song on the first Doors record full of what seems like in retrospect made-for-radio pop anthems, this song gives a taste of the best that they were capable of. This is one of the few times they weren't trying so hard at finding a way for everyone to have a solo in a single song, and Jim Morrison's lyrics are the best distillation of his style: dark, sexual and with a touch of hallucinogenic mystery that make you feel you just woke from a dream but still remember it all.
  5. Eye - Smashing Pumpkins
    This song just shouldn't work. Billy Corgan was supposed to write an album with Shaquille O'Neal that was derivative of Dr Dre. Yes, it's true. (Close your eyes and you can hear it.) Divorced from Jimmy Chamberlain and left with a drum machine Corgan would go on to churn out a bunch of shit on Adore, including a song rejected by David Lynch for Lost Highway. Forced to come up with something fast he finished this and it's ironically one of his best because it doesn't have 113 overdubs on it.