College rock music is exactly what you think it is; Alternative rock was made famous by being the go-to in student universities and colleges in the 1980s and 1990s. Afterwards, these students shunned mainstream rock, opting to go with this funky beat. This is how he became popular.
The rock genre rose when the two most influential alternative rock bands, REM and the Smiths, rose to fame. Their songs dominated the radio waves and were an anthem at all top colleges in California and the United States. These two paved the way for other college rock bands like U2, The Cure, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and more.
Although many bands enjoyed success, the term college rock has now given way to alternative rock. However, for the purposes of this article, we will describe some of the famous college rock songs for people who are feeling melancholy or curious and would like to listen to them again.
1. “Take the Skinheads Bowling”, by Camper Van Beethoven
It’s kind of the hallmark of the Californian alternative rock band Camper Van Beethoven. It received major airplay on nearly every college radio station at the time, peaking at number 8 on the Indie chart.
It was part of their 1985 album “The Telephone Free Landslide Victory” written by David Lowery. Part of its appeal was that it had no specific meaning, unlike what was so prevalent at the time. This is one of the reasons many people resonated with the song, because it was all fun without any contextual meaning.
2. “Radio Free Europe”, by REM
This is the popular pop band’s debut single from 1983. It was one of the most famous college rock songs of the time and was consistently played on both the BBC and commercial radio at home. ‘era.
It was part of their “Murmur” album for IRS Records, and it peaked at number 78 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
The song was named after the United States broadcast channel, and REM sought to change the manipulation and misinformation caused by that station, by lending their vocals.
3. “Sheila Take A Bow”, by the Smiths
This became the band’s highest charting single throughout their musical life. After its release in April 1987, it reached number 10 on the UK Singles Chart.
Written by Johnny Marr and Morrissey, this song paved the way for many English rock troupes for years to come, even among Hard Rock bands. This piece resonated more with young people because it was about a romance between a couple; and how they so wanted to be together despite the obstacles.
4. “There’s Your Man” by Pixies
Another of the best songs of the 1980s was this beautiful piece written and sung by Pixies’ best man, Black Francis. It was part of their 1989 second album called “Doolittle”. Black wrote the song as a teenager, and after joining the band, the others were reluctant to do it at first because it sounded a bit out of genre to them.
Luckily they did, and it was a huge win for them. According to Black, the piece reminds him of the calm before a disturbing earthquake. He had been through four himself and said he was impressed by the circumstances around him.
Metaphorically, earthquake could also refer to volatile human emotions and how to deal with them successfully.
5. “The Perpetual Nervous Boy” by the Feelies
Crazy Rhythms was released in April 1980, and this song was the album’s biggest hit.
It featured post-punk and jungle pop, influencing many singers at the time.
It became increasingly fashionable among middle schoolers as it addressed key issues young people face on a daily basis, with the main highlights being laziness and social awkwardness. “Music is an expression of the soul in a way that anyone who hears it understands,” says Julie Hord, writer at PapersOwl business. “You may be singing about life, death, pleasure, conflict, and whoever listens to the lyrics relates most to what is theirs at the time. That’s what makes it so universal.
6. “Teen Age Riot” by Sonic Youth
This was performed by Sonic Youth and was the lead single from their album titled “Daystrean Nation”. It went viral and became very famous, receiving a lot of airplay and recognition.
It debuted at number 28 on the US alternative games chart in December 1988. In 1989 it rose to number 20. The song is about an area where J. Mascis is the president of “alternative rock” .
7. “Blister in the Sun” by Violent Femmes
It was published in 1983 by violent women as a debut album, and soon after it started making waves. It was released by Slash Records and written by Gano Gordon of Violent Femmes when he was just 18 years old.
He first wrote this as an entry for an audition he hoped to win, and although – for some undisclosed reason – the audition didn’t happen, he joined a band in 1980 and continued his song.
Gano says the article describes a whole range of issues, from substance abuse to lack of sexual control, which is likely why he has a cult following among college kids after his release.
Although rock may not be as popular as it was back when most of these songs were written, there are still so many people interested in the genre. You should know that music doesn’t need to explode the charts before you enjoy it. You can start your journey with the songs in the list above and then venture into others if you wish.