Garbage–#1 Crush

In the 90s, it was big business being on a hit soundtrack.  Ending up on a popular compilation could make an international career.  One of the greatest soundtracks of the decade, launching multiple massive hits (including Lovefool by The Cardigans), was Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo + Juliet.  And one of the biggest tracks off that massive compilation was Garbage’s #1 Crush.  For as big as they were, the band isn’t talked about that much anymore.  It’s a surprise and not just because their music was everywhere.  Shirley Manson was one of the great feminist icons of the era: tough, cool and stylish.  She was what punk looked like in the waning years of the 20th century.  Garbage was at its strongest when it played up these factors and #1 Crush was among the best tracks they ever recorded.  Heavy, direct and demanding, it’s not the the type of song anyone was used to hearing a woman sing.  The track is an industrial-tinged trudge, mechanical and unrelenting.  Manson’s vocals begin almost seductively, but quickly her yearning becomes unhinged.  What results is not a devoted ode, but a threat.  The song was perfect for the film and for the time it was released, somehow sweeping together everything from girl power to goth.  It’s a shame any track that achieves those feats could be largely forgotten.

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