Thirty years ago, John Lennon and his mates recorded the upbeat ”I’m a Loser” for Beatles for Sale—a song the liner notes said was ”a lesson to other artists.” In the ’90s, a generation of alterna-rockers are taking Lennon’s lesson to their twisted hearts-and doing quite well commercially, thank you:
Song: ”Creep,” by Stone Temple Pilots Sample Lyric: ”Guess I’m livin’, I’m a mouse/Alls I gots is time.” Degree of Inferiority Complex: Lukewarm—in the video, singer Weiland is slightly more slumped over than usual. Ironic Success: Sold over 3 million copies of its debut album, Core.
Song: ”Loser,” by Beck Sample Lyric: ”I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me?” Degree of Inferiority Complex: Minimal—that tongue in his cheek is at least a foot long. Ironic Success: Sold 315,000 copies and counting of first album, Mellow Gold.
Song: ”Weirdo,” by Five-Eight Sample Lyric: ”There’s a pain in my heart/What did you say? You said, ‘Weirdo, weirdo, weirdo.”’ Degree of Inferiority Complex: Intense—singer Mike Mantione sometimes performs the song naked. Ironic Success: Invited to open for buzz band Cracker.
Song: ”Creep,” by Radiohead Sample Lyric: ”You’re so f — -in’ special/I wish I was special.” Degree of Inferiority Complex: Acute—and cute singer Thom Yorke effortlessly plays the MTV generation’s heartstrings. Ironic Success: Debut album, Pablo Honey, went gold.