Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sydman Top 50: 90's OPM bands (Complete version)




You might have seen this article at my www.sydrified.blogspot.com website. 

Anyway, I love listening to music. I can’t stand 80’s foreign ballad and new wave but I can be flexible with regards to other genres.

I love listening to OPM the most though.

My addiction to Original Pilipino Music started with the Apo Hiking Society, VST & Company, and Gary Valenciano. As I kid, I had a Yoyoy Villame Greatest Hits tape that I listen in my tape recorder every time there is brownout (during Cory Aquino’s administration). And then in the 90’s, I started listening to bands. The Eraserheads, Rivermaya, Parokya ni Edgar, The Dawn, The Youth, Introvoys, Alamid, Yano, After Image, Color It Red, and all those others made me realize that listening to boy bands is not doing shit for my existence.

And then just when I thought the Pinoy alternative scene masked my essence, I suddenly tuned in to ABC 5’s Music Bureau, IBC-13’s Club Dredd Sessions, Channel V, and MTV Asia and I get to see Wolfgang, Razorback, and all those other indie bands that rarely get any spotlight.

It was awesome.

The 1990’s is perhaps the music generation I loved the most. I was still checking out all sorts of music but this is the music I love the most. The OPM Band scene didn’t have any partition then. When you a have vocalist, a guitarist, and a drummer – whether you’re a rocker, a showband, or a pogi rocker – you’re automatically a band.


THE TUNOG LATA MOVEMENT

I can explain the term tunog kalye via a group of phrases.

And it goes a little something like this:


College students in need of money
College students in need of honey
Surviving heartbreak
Surviving sembreak

And then you graduate

Tadah

No money for your bisyo
And that’s always the issue
Your job sucks
Your life sucks

And then you die

Tadah


Face it, OPM is kind of predictable. Band composers would lock their selves up in some remote location to pen a bunch of words that will eventually collect thought. Their creative juices will eventually get through to poverty, nationalism, love, life, and college.

There are two types of inspiration – one you get by dreaming... and one you get from your memories.

Just because all the great ideas are done and accounted for, that doesn’t mean bandmania sucks. While there are bands that strive to claim millions of pesos, there are a bunch of bands that use this as a tool to be awesome.

The bands listed here etched their mark in Philippine music. For some reason, they still had those topics and they gained fan-demonion. Of course it was difficult but they wanted to succeed so badly that their sacrifices paid off.

Ever since the 80’s happened, Pinoy rock bands have little to work with. Underground bands became such for a reason and that is because recording outfits favour mainstream artists. Major studios support Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, Sharon Cuneta, Apo Hiking Society, Pops Fernandez, Joey Albert, Randy Santiago, Joey Albert, Jamie Rivera, Gino Padilla, Louie Heredia, Richard Reynoso, Lilet, Dingdong Avanzado, Raymond Lauchengco, Keno, Janno Gibbs, Ogie Alcasid, Manilyn Reynes, Sheryl Cruz, Vernie Varga, Basil Valdez, Timmy Cruz, Ariel Rivera, Jam Morales, Regine Velasquez, Rachel Alejandro, Marco Sison, Rannie Raymundo, Smokey Mountain, and the rest of the divas and the balladeers because they have good voices and they are pleasing to look at.

It was so messed up that Pinoy rockers had to settle recording their album in some makeshift recording studio with less than stellar equipment... in mono stereo.

Kids, if your Dad has yet to trash his entertainment system circa two decades back, I suggest you dust it and examine the buttons.

This is why most of the debut albums of the successful rockers in the 90’s sound amateurish.

Thus the advent of what I dubbed the Tunog Lata Movement.

Most of the showbands then escaped this “phenomenon”. The premiere bands to star in this era were the Eraserheads, The Youth, and Yano. If you check out The Heads’ Ultramagneticpop album, you’ll find that the drums sound like a pair of wrenches hitting a roof (or a can) and the strums of the guitar are slightly drowning the vocals. The quality of the Heads’ albums began to improve with Cutterpillow (Circus still had that sound) and that was when the Heads are already lording the industry.

Because of the Heads, as well as the explosion for other bands, that clanking can sound was displaced and recording companies have treated the bands with utmost devotion.


CRITERIA:

It’s important to have a gauge on who’s in and who’s not on the list. Aside from the fact that I have evidence to shield myself from stupid and baseless queries, it can make my article extremely credible!

YEAR: This part is very important. Very, very important! The particular band in the list must have released an album from 1990 to 1999. I don’t care if this was their debut or their swan song. I don’t care if this is an EP, a full-pledged album, or a live album (although I will give a shit on compilations and collaborations). While I could care on whether or not they released this particular album for a major label, it is important that they at least became recording artists during this span! 

MAINSTREAM: When you say their names and the person you’re talking to would say “Who are they” or “I almost forgot about them” then chances are, they won’t make the list. Bands need to sell themselves. I don’t believe in the whole “I am an artist and I won’t stoop to mainstream” act because if they were the ones that succeeded, they wouldn’t think like this. If the band can ride a jeepney without attracting any buzz, this means they have yet to be enjoyed or they are nobodies.

MAN AND CHICK FRIENDLY: Men would definitely pick on the bands who love to growl. Women won’t. Chicks would pick on the sappy seducers. Men won’t. If there is a way that man and chick could like the same kind of music, chances are they’ll rank up top.

INFLUENCE: Are they relevant? Did they do something awesome in OPMlandia? Kulay brought funky, hiphop stuffs on their gigs while Put3ska brought ska. Tropical Depression brought reggae while Francis Magalona introduced rap-rock. Because of the Eraserheads, the tunog lata movement exploded but they have to thank acts like Juan dela Cruz and The Jerks for opening the rock world for their generation.

GETTING SYDRIFIED: Of course, my inputs matter. Sure I had help from a lot of internet researches, interviews conducted in Facebook, MP3 download sites where I would listen to a particular band’s song. Fact is, I am a huge fan of the alternative rock genre. I wasn’t really a fan of the underground stuff then and although I am a fan now, I still find some acts amateurish.

I hate:

Shouting expletives for the sake of being cool.
Stupid lyrics.
Emo.
Songs with zero harmony.
Annoying vocalists.
Repetitive melodies inside one album.

With that said...

This is my list.

If you want to do yours, then do so.

That’s my disclaimer.

One of the requirements in this list is that bands must at least debut an album before the year 2000. There are a lot of top bands in the country that were formed in the 90’s but only got their album in the 2000’s. Here are some of them:

(I got my research from Wikipedia and other online sources)


ITCHYWORMS / FORMED: 1996 / RELEASED DEBUT ALBUM: 2001 (LITTLE MONSTERS)

CHICOSCI / FORMED: 1996 / RELEASED DEBUT ALBUM: 2000 (REVENGE OF THE GIANT ROBOT)

BATTERY / FORMED: MID 90’S / RELEASED DEBUT ALBUM: 2000 (SELF-TITLED)

BADBURN / FORMED: MID 90’S / RELEASED DEBUT ALBUM: 2001 (BOUND BY BLOOD)

MOONSTAR 88 / FORMED: 1999 / RELEASED DEBUT ALBUM: 2000 (POPCORN)

SUGARFREE / FORMED: 1999 / RELEASED DEBUT ALBUM: 2003 (SA WAKAS)

IMAGO / FORMED: 1999 / RELEASED DEBUT ALBUM: 2001 (PROBABLY NOT BUT MOST DEFINITELY)

RADIOACTIVE SAGO PROJECT / FORMED: 1999 / RELEASED DEBUT ALBUM: 2000 (SELF-TITLED)

ORANGE AND LEMONS / FORMED: 1999 / RELEASED DEBUT ALBUM: 2003 (LOVE IN THE LAND OF RUBBER SHOES AND DIRTY ICE CREAM)

URBANDUB / FORMED: 2000 / RELEASED DEBUT ALBUM: 2001 (BIRTH)

KAMIKAZEE / FORMED: 2000 / RELEASED DEBUT ALBUM: 2002 (SELF-TITLED)

6CYCLEMIND / FORMED: 2002 / RELEASED DEBUT ALBUM: 2003 (PERMISSION TO SHINE) 



RESERVE LIST

Just in case my picks have grounds for disqualification, here are my sidebars.

It’s hard to enumerate though. In terms of showbands left out were Passage, Mulatto, and First Circle. The all-chick band Prettier than Pink also was left out as is the Brownbeat All-Stars. The rockers got the most hits with Tungaw, Tribal Fish, Philippine Violators, Ang Grupong Pendong, The Breed, Balahibum Pooza, Deadnails, Death by Stereo, Leowai, Edge of Illusion, Annointed Cherubs, The Aga Muhlach Experience, Bag’iw, Drone...

And of course, the list can only accommodate one jolog band and Father and Son, Bodjie’s Law of Gravity, The Boss Band, Rockstar 2, and the April Boys failed to make the list.

People will kill me if they saw more.


IF ONLY I HAD A 51... IAXE
YEARS ACTIVE: 1994 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): JEK MANUEL
90’S HITS: AKO’Y SAYO IKA’Y AKIN LAMANG
There were times when you’re in romantic hell and their song pops up unrequested... and then you listen to Mellow Touch and you find this on their playlist. They scored an extremely popular song that unfortunately never had a decent follow up. That disrupted the band’s momentum to move on to greater heights. Ako’y Sayo I must admit was a good pogi rock song. I can’t really say anything else because the only thing I remember about this band is this song. At least Orient Pearl had that 80’s rockstar look. Hopefully in their second wind they’ll remember the importance of their imaging. I almost rubbed them out of the list in favor of Passage but IAxe’s song bit more (even if it’s a one-hit wonder).  


THE TOP 50


50 SKYCHURCH
YEARS ACTIVE: I DON’T KNOW
GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): RUSSELL DELA CRUZ, JOEY DIZON 
90’S HITS: BANE, DELUBYO
Little is written about the band in the internet. All I know is that during the influx of OPM Bandemonium, they were staples in the heavy metal / underground side of things. Their passionate gusto to go insane with their instruments creates loud and often, wonderful noise. While they dropped the electric word in their name, they just linked it on their performances. According to an online account, Russell dela Cruz and Joey Dizon are now part of a band called Intolerant.


49 SHAMPOO NI LOLA
YEARS ACTIVE: 1993 – 1997; 2005 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: JHUN MORA, WOWIE MENDOZA, JEFF SANTOS, GILBERT ROBISO, ANDY INTALAN, ALEX RAMIREZ 
90’S HITS: SARANGGOLA NI PEPE, CUTE, ASAL HUDAS, PRANING NA SI ROGER, TABLADO KA
Just like any other rock band, Shampoo ni Lola was formed at a random garage in 1993. Their usual gigs are done with SNL cloning pop songs and revving it up with a vocal growls and loud instruments. While their sound might sound a bit amateurish (latang-lata talaga yung drums nila especially with Tablado Ka), and sometimes they just shout and just bang and strum their instruments loud and hard, they found fame with their live gigs. Praning na si Roger is a cool tune.


48 ELEKTRIKOOLAID
YEARS ACTIVE: THEIR DEBUT ALBUM WAS RELEASED IN 1996 – BEFORE 2000
GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): ANABEL BOSCH, KRISHNA RAMOS, DIEGO GARRIDO 
90’S HITS: BAHALA KA SA BUHAY MO, RATDOG FISH, LIHIM NG GABI 
Probably this band was the predecessor of chick-led bands (that have some sort of niche) like Up Dharma Down, Pinikpikan, and Paramita. Elektrikoolaid has funk, rock, and acid jazz in their arsenal. Looking at it, they were a refreshing change from OPM’s Tunog Lata period but in some ways, they existed when the clamor for bandmania was waning down. If they existed in the 2000’s, their music could have gotten huge mainstream following. Anabel Bosch is now rocking in heaven after getting stricken by brain aneurysm in 2009.


47 AEGIS
YEARS ACTIVE: 1995 – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER: JULIET SUNOT, MERCY SUNOT, STELLA GALINDO, REY ABENOJA, ROWENA PINPIN, VILMA GOLOVIOGO
90’S HITS: HALIK, LUHA, BASANG-BASA SA ULAN 
Aegis is the 90’s version of Sampaguita, Coritha, and Lokal Brown. Unfortunately, they are packaged for the “jologs”. While we applaud showbands in concerts, we kind of diss the Aegis because their songs are played in beer gardens, low-budgeted videoke bars, and beerhouses and for a college student, going to their concerts is a big no-no. However, this didn’t stop them from succeeding. Aside from a captive audience, they make Pinoys happy with their all-out performances around the globe. Look, hate this pick all you want but ask the videoke bars on what songs are usually sang and you’ll probably see their songs up top. HOW CAN YOU HATE “SPLIT” MUSIC!?!

Ang halik mo... (BLAG! SPLIT!) nami-miss ko... (SABAY TINGIN SAYO NG MALUPET HABANG UMIINOM KA NG ISANG MALAMEG NA GOLD EAGLE BEER!)


46 CHEESE / QUESO
YEARS ACTIVE: 1994 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: IAN TAYAO, PAOLO “8” TOLERAN, ENZO RUIDERA, POW ROSAL, TUTS CALINAWAN, CJ OLAGUERA, RT DE ANO
90’S HITS: FINE, 10XKARMA, THE WAY
Just like any other rock band, the group started as dreamers with the same interests and dedication to using. Then known as Cheese, they were ready to take the next step after winning battle of the bands competitions after battle of the bands competitions. Their demo was picked up by NU107 and garnered massive airplay. Their first full album gained a lot of acclaim and they even represent the country in some rock event in Korea. Remember that this was before they changed their names and made their career-defining Pilipinas album.


45 WEEDD
YEARS ACTIVE:
GROUP ROSTER: JUNJI LERMS, PHILIPPE ARRIOLA
90’S HITS: LONG HAIR, BOBO JOE, AURATUS, ISTORYANG WALANG ENDING
Long Hair was such an iconic tune. It signified every boy’s angst whenever a teacher or guidance counsellor wields his/her scissor to damage their perfectly good locks. They were not just singing it – they were also living it since they are just high school students from Claret. That wasn’t their only song though. While it was their most known piece, they had two albums before they disbanded. The minute they graduated from high school, some of them studied music and eventually making a profession out of this craft. 


44 FATAL POSPOROS
YEARS ACTIVE: 1998 – I DON’T KNOW (POSSIBLY WHEN KRIS BECAME THE EHEADS’ NEWEST VOCALIST)
GROUP ROSTER: KRIS GORRA, DONNA MACALINO, ANNETE ORTIZ
90’S HITS: COCOBOY GOODNIGHT, PUDGY, HARVEY DENT, SILI SONG, PISO, PEDRO 
It all started with a Christmas party and it ended with these girls gaining fame and recognition for their music. While their brand of music barely had airplay (settling in NU107), their gigs are swarmed with appreciative fans. Their songs are danceable and funky and Kris Gorra would later be known as Mrs. Ebe Dancel. She would also sub for Ely Buendia when the latter leaves the Eraserheads. She sustained mixed reviews fronting the epic rock band and she breathe sigh of relief when the “New Eraserheads” became Cambio.


43 HALF-LIFE HALF-DEATH
YEARS ACTIVE: 1988 – 2003
90’S GROUP ROSTER: ALFIE VERA MELLA, RAINALD PAGGAO, RAMIL AZNAR, BIMBO BALLESTEROS 
90’S HITS: HIGH SCHOOL, KAPIT TUKO, WE ARE THE SAINTS, NOSI BALASI (LALA MIX), BUTTERFLIES, ALIMANGO, KAPALARANG KUWAGO   
I have been hunting down that band that covered Sharon Cuneta’s High School and turned that song into well...  something else. Until this day, that cover is the band’s claim to fame. They released an album in 1995 under recording giant Viva Records but even if their songs are bent to attract the Tunog Kalye faithfuls, for some reason... it didn’t. Still you can’t say that their career was a dud because their New Wave-like treatment gained a lot of followers especially in the gig circuits. Otherwise known as “The Cure” of the Philippines according to their Wiki account, I finally got that tag when I heard We Are The Saints.


42 ORIENT PEARL
YEARS ACTIVE: ALBUMS WERE RELEASED IN 1994, 1996, & 1997 
GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): NALDY PADILLA, DEXTER PANLILIO, LEO AWATIN  
90’S HITS: PAGSUBOK, KASALANAN, MAABOT KA LANG
I refuse to think that they are one-hit wonders but you have to admit that it is hard to really think of a big Orient Pearl song that is not Pagsubok. Pagsubok was one of the important singles in that decade that launched the band to mainstream success. The vocalist of the band looks like a glam rocker and I think they had a big commercial at the peak. Anyway, Pagsubok was covered by Kitchie Nadal when she turned solo.


41 NEXXUS
YEARS ACTIVE: 1991 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: FRANK SINGCOL, JASON SINGCOL, BOBBY CALICA, MICHAEL JOHN DE CASTRO, MARK ANTHONY DE CASTRO
90’S HITS: I’LL NEVER GO, I KEEP ON SAYING
Among the bands in this list, Nexxus is the most “boybandish”. When I first found out that I Keep On Saying came from a local band I was shocked. When I saw the MTV and I saw these guys flapping their arms “boybandishly”, I was like... holy fuck! The song sounds so foreign! Anyway, the two songs I listed here received massive airplay for the OPM band fanatics. I’ll Never Go is a song that is covered a lot because it registers well in people’s ears. I think they are bent for a comeback in the near future but with female members.


40 DATUS TRIBE
YEARS ACTIVE: 1987 – 1998; 2004 – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER: CABRING CABRERA, DEL VISPERAS, MEL VISPERAS, IAN CABANILLA,
90’S HITS: GALIT KAMI SA BABOY, PRANING, AND I SEE, SARSA PLATOON
This band epitomizes non-stop head-banging action. The band toured metro joints like Mayric’s and Club Dredd to acquire rabid following. Their music can only be heard in heavy metal stations like LA and NU. However this didn’t stop the band from getting critical acclaim. Music critics hailed their slambanging-ness and it even gained a nomination from the Awit Awards. The band had a facelift but nonetheless they retained their music.


39 SANDWICH
YEARS ACTIVE: 1995 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: RAIMUND MARASIGAN, MARC ABAYA, DIEGO CASTILLO, MIKE DIZON, MYRENE ACADEMIA
90’S HITS: BUTTERFLY CARNIVAL, DI SINASADYA, CHEESE FACTOR SET TO 9
Once upon a time there is a band called The Aga Muhlach Experience. Yes, there is a band named The Aga Muhlach Experience. Then-Eraserheads drummer Raimund wanted to work with guitarist Diego Castillo formerly from... yes, The Aga Muhlach Experience. When I watched Dredd Sessions on VTV, I heard The Aga Muhlach Experience song entitled Aga Muhlach’s Refrigerator. Yes, there is a single called The Aga Muhlach Refrigerator. With Myrene and Mike on board, they tapped Marc Abaya as the frontman of the group. Butterfly Carnival is a great song and it cemented the band’s climb to success. The band scored Album and Song of the Year honors as well as Best New Artist at the 1999 NU Rock Awards. However, Raimund’s commitments with the band kind of caused a rift with Ely Buendia and it more or less played on the E-Heads’ disbandment. Marc Abaya eventually left the band in 2005 and was replaced by Chicosci’s Mong Alcaraz. Raimund has resumed vocal duties.


38 GREYHOUNDZ
YEARS ACTIVE: 1997 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: REG RUBIO, NINO AVENIDO, AUDIE AVENIDO, TJ BRILLANTES, ALLEN CUDAL
90’S HITS: PIGFACE, MR. P.I.G., PARTY AT 802, Y?
Making the 90’s with 1999’s 7 Corners of Your Game, this band was one of the major players behind the Pinoy rap-metal genre. Kill me but I am a fan of their rhythmic prowess. I am a huge fan of Party at 802. The band delights on displaying their mellow side before making people unleash their menacing edge. I kind of like this because it gives their music a story and it points out the fact that these guys are not merely shouting nonsense. Perhaps their biggest claim to fame is when their song Hole was used in J-Horror movie, The Ring. In 2004, they lost Allen Cudal from a car accident and as a sign of respect... they never placed a sub in his spot.


37 ADVENT CALL
YEARS ACTIVE: LATE 80’S – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): KARL ROY, HENRY VITALLI 
90’S HITS: PUTING ILAW, MEMORIES OF OUR DREAMS
I had a hard time looking for the band’s info online. It’s a shame because I am a fan of this punk rock act. There was a story on the web that when the band was singing Puting Ilaw live, there is a spotlight stalking the vocalist. The band drew mainstream status with the two songs. Puting Ilaw was an enchanting rock ballad while their Eddie Pelegrina cover was just a fun song to sway your hips at. The band has since returned to the spotlight with a female vocalist and an entirely different look and feel (the Henry guy is the only remaining original member of the band). 


36 TRIAXIS
YEARS ACTIVE: 1995 – POSSIBLY LATE 90’S
GROUP ROSTER: PERF DE CASTRO, WENDELL GARCIA, CLAIRE SOBEJANA, KING BALDOZ* (*King replaced Claire at bass) 
90’S HITS: PMST, SAY WHAT YOU MEAN, I FOUND YOU, ASA KA PA, MUKHA  
Remember when the first Rivermaya album. They have five members then. One had to quit the band because of artistic differences. Perf de Castro was that guy in 1995. Quickly he formed a group that will carry the awesomeness of the sound that he yearns. Sure, Triaxis wouldn’t have the popularity bestowed upon Rivermaya... but don’t be sad for him. The guy can play a ten-string guitar! Besides, as part of the band he got a lot of recognition from music enthusiasts while he collaborated with a bunch of great names. How can you feel sad for a guy who got to do stuffs with Francis M, Wolfgang, Backdraft, and Nonoy Zuniga? Wait... Nonoy Zuniga? Hearing him growl could be fun...  


35 MOJOFLY
YEARS ACTIVE: 1999 – 2008
90’S GROUP ROSTER: KITCHIE NADAL, RICCI GURANGO, JUNJUN REGALADO
90’S HITS: MINAMALAS, ANOTHER DAY, HALF-WISHING, RUNAWAY ANGEL
The band was “somewhat” or “in a way” created out of spite. I have to quote accounts from Wikipedia and various blogs to prove this point. The dissention in the Hungry Young Poets camp caused Ricci to move out. I have no idea if this was due to artistic differences or romantic alignments or whatever but it was enough for Ricci to part ways with Barbie Almalbis and also taking the HYP name with him. Aside from taking the name, he also made a band – a la his former band. It was a trio with a girl singer and virtually the same type of songs. Their debut album entitled Birthday placed the group on the map. Luckily for Ricci, Kitchie Nadal has an awesome voice that stands out. She eventually became a glorified star. Kitchie went on to go solo with the band taking in Lougee Basabas as their new vocalist. After Gurango left the band in 2008, the new members change their name to Delara.


34 SLAPSHOCK
YEARS ACTIVE: 1996 – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER: JAMIR GARCIA, LEE NADELA, JERRY BASCO, LEAN ANSING, CHI EVORA
90’S HITS: AGENT ORANGE, EVIL CROWN, MADAPAKA, PSYCHO LOVE, SICK CURTAIN
Dubbed as the Rap Metal Kings of the Philippines, the band released 4th Degree Burn – a year before the 21st Century turned. The songs in this album are awesome and they could be like Korn but they are never like Limp Bizkit. In some ways, their sound is like the other Pinoy underground metal bands but unlike these bands, their sound is rich and the quality is masterfully done. Anyway, they dish out insane energy whenever they perform onstage. Fans troop to their gigs to have body-slamming moments. Whenever they hit campus expect chaos and mosh pits near or somewhere near the stage. Plus, ever tried writing with Jamir shouting in your earphones? It is mind-numbing...


33 PUT3SKA
YEARS ACTIVE: 1995 – NO IDEA
GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): MYRA “SKARLET” DAVID-RUARO, BING AUSTRIA, WESLU GUIANG
90’S HITS: MANILA GIRL, MY BOY LOLLIPOP, SIRANG ROMANTIKO, BIRTHDAY HOLIDAY
Remember when Joey de Leon would shout “Graciaaa” during the Rambulaga portion of Eat Bulaga and a dancer named Gracia (now known as Samantha Lopez) would come out holding a number? This was the peak of the band’s career. During the Tunog Lata period, they stood out because aside from their big band setup, they played ska. Plus, whoever thought their name... they automatically gave the band PR. I remember seeing them play in some noontime show and I’m bent on the fact that no one can sing their songs like Myra. Can you even imagine Medwin Marfil covering My Boy Lollipop? HELL NO (Although I would like Basti Artadi to cover Manila Girl because if you combine his voice and make the song a bit devilish... that part of the song where it says “I dare you follow me” would be superb)! Weslu Guiang passed a few years back. He was the dark guy that was the other prominent person in the band. He was also the guy that jumpstarted Juan Pablo Dream and before that was also part of Tropical Depression. Myra became Skarlet and was part of Brownbeat All-Stars.


32 DA PULIS
YEARS ACTIVE: THEIR TWO ALBUMS WERE RELEASED 1996 & 1999 RESPECTIVELY
GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBER/S): GABE MERCADO
90’S HITS: POGI, MUKHANG PAA, SUNGIT QUEEN, TAE SONG, BASTED, REMEMBER M
If only they took their music seriously... they wouldn’t have become famous. Yes, this comedy rock band became famous for their narcissisms, raunchiness, and immense hatred for athlete’s foot. Led by TV, film, and stage personality Gabe Mercado, most of their songs reflect on the matters of the heart. Giving comedy over tragedy is something that you can expect from a band whose name was taken to spoof The Police. Their song Mukhang Paa brings a lot of memories. In college, I was about to go home with my friends when we saw my former classmate and her boyfriend. Her BF stared at us awkwardly and that ended when we rode a FX. We were seated at the back and they were seated at the middle. When this song played we were singing the chorus part and we saw my former classmate giggling. Perhaps she thought we were singing that song directed to his BF? 


31 COLOR IT RED
YEARS ACTIVE: 1989 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: COOKIE CHUA, BARBI CRISIT, MARICAR FLORENDO, BOPIP PARAGUYA, GP EVARISTO, MINCO FABREAGAS
90’S HITS: PAGLISAN, NA NAMAN, A HAND-PAINTED SKY, SA DIYOS LAMANG, PERSLAB 
I remember when I was in elementary and I was a keen listener of Campus Radio WLSFM. There were two songs competing prominently in their Top 20 for almost two months now. One was On Bended Knee and the other was Paglisan. The band started out as an all-girl rock band and their name came up while doing a crossword puzzle. Cookie Chua was one of the more recognizable girl singers of that generation. She can mix it up with the Sampaguita/Coritha/Lokal Brown generation as well as the Barbie/Kitchie/Acel Bisa generation. Color It Red wouldn’t be as popular as it is today if not for her. There was a time where she bolted out of the band and released a solo album. Pretend I Don’t Love You is an awesome track.


30 SUGAR HICCUP
YEARS ACTIVE: 1994 – I DON’T KNOW
GROUP ROSTER: MELODY DEL MUNDO, CZANDRO POLLACK, RUSSELL DACASIN, MERVIN PANGANIBAN
90’S HITS: FIVE YEARS, WOMB, MODEN DE 
Basically they are like Enya. Imagine a drunken angel when hearing this. Yes, she sings well... but you can’t understand anything she says. Take Five Years for instance. Melody... just... hums here! But if you think Five Years is an easy song to sing, then you are in for a treat. The blare of the instruments, combining it with Melody’s awesome humming (eventually she’ll stop humming, speak a few lines and melodically shriek) made this song a delightfully amusing sonic blast. Even if Moden De’s lyrics for the uneducated mind could be gibberish, the arrangement here is top notch. And Womb? I heard a live version of this song and it was great. Actually, Womb is my favourite song in their repertoire but of course, it is easy to memorize the lyrics of Five Years. The band is back in giglandia with Russell being the only remaining original member of the band.


29 RIZAL UNDERGROUND
YEARS ACTIVE: 1993 – PRESENT
NOTABLE MEMBERS: STEPHEN LU, MIKE VILLEGAS
90’S HITS: SABADO NIGHTS, YAN NAMAN, BILANGGO, POWDER OR LOTION, ROLLERS ON HER HAIR, SATISFACTION GUARANTEED    
They were one of those bands that got their fame from having their tune in some commercial. However, that TVC isn’t just a commercial... it was THE commercial of the decade. This is not like the Mirahel band doing a song for PCSO but rather a smoking hot band doing a song for food giant San Miguel Corporation. That Sabado Nights commercial jumpstarted Ina Raymundo’s shot to fame and that’s cool! The song became a commercial and eventually a film that starred Ina Raymundo alongside Pia Pilapil and the bewitching Michelle Parton. Whatever happened to her? Anyway, Rizal Underground is not a one-hit wonder band because their other singles are just as impressive. Bilanggo is a cool song and like Kamikazee’s Narda, the produced acoustic version of the song brings a different dimension. Powder or Lotion has a bluesy/ 50’s rock and roll feel and unlike what the title suggests, the song seems too sophisticated to be mistaken as a prosti song. And who can ever forget Yan Naman... yan naman... yan namahahan...


28 THE JERKS
YEARS ACTIVE: 1979 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): CHIKOY PURA, NITO ADRIANO
90’S HITS: RAGE, SAYAW SA BUBONG*, REKLAMO NG REKLAMO*, TAMBOL*, MAD MATHEMATICAL WORLD*, AND HE SAYS* (*from their Jerks Live album)   
I was about to write them off because I thought they never produced an album during the 90’s. But they did... which is why they are in this list. Aside from their Jerks Live album (1994), Star Records produced an album, their first major outfit album in 1997 called Haligi ng Maynila. They have been belting out tunes since the Manila Sound era. In terms of influential, it is safe to say that most bands of the 80’s and 90’s (heck, even in the 2000’s) look up to The Jerks. Their music is pretty much a chopsuey of everything. Chikoy Pura and Nito Adriano are icons in the industry and they are still performing up to this day. Listening to their music, I like their English songs better. If this was during the 1980’s they would have been up top. I would like to thank Chrisangelo Jacinto for feeding me the band infos.


27 BACKDRAFT
YEARS ACTIVE: EARLY 90’S – I DON’T KNOW
GROUP ROSTER: UNKNOWN
90’S HITS: ANAK NG GABI, SMB, SUGO NG DILIM, ANG HIMIG NATIN, DAMA DE NOCHE
I was oblivious to their existence at first since I wasn’t in to the Pinoy heavy metal part of OPM then. That sucks because when I encountered their music now I realized that I seriously missed out on a lot of good things. Thanks a lot Afro-American boybands like Damage, Az Yet, and Boys II Men, British boybands like Ant and Dec, Take That, and Boyzone and Australian boybands like Code Red and 911! YOU ROBBED ME OF MUSICAL AWESOMENESS! Their music roams from a la Wolfgang-like to a la Shampoo ni Lola. There are moments where they sound “lata” and they growl at times but I am now appreciating their brand of music. A friend told me that SMB, their version of Himig Natin, and Dama de Noche are great hits and I believe him. But if I’m going to pick a favourite song from this band, I’d probably say I find Anak ng Gabi awesome. The song stuck in my head for three straight months and I would engage on a mosh pit whenever I play it on my laptop.

IMPYERNONG KINAGISNAN!!!


26 AGAW AGIMAT
YEARS ACTIVE: 1993 – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER: QT PADUANO-NADELA, RENMIN NADELA, HANK PALENZUELA, JEPHTHAH WENCESLAO
90’S HITS: SABI NILA, KISS-A-ME, NAIS KO, WANLITELTU, KULANG, MIRAKOL, PROPETA NG BAYAN, TO OUR DEAR COMRADES, KULANG     
There was a band then that produced awesome hits that often delve into the romantic and patriotic side of Filipinos and Agaw Agimat is that band. They were great in dishing out heartfelt renditions of seemingly odd verses. In the process, they gained fandom. Their music is like editorial cartoons – it is sharply intellectual, entertaining, and harshly satirical. Agaw Agimat treats their popularity as a medium to pronounce their intention for a change in the way is handling the country’s poverty issue. Kiss-A-Me told an awesome story and finished it up with a wicked swerve. This is my favourite Agaw Agimat song. Sabi Nila had a great chorus... if only it was a love story to make it further work. I liked their first album better although I like most of their songs except Wanliteltu. For some insane reason, it reminds me of Jaymie Baby’s Eh Kasi Bata. Whatever happened to that person?


25 HUNGRY YOUNG POETS / BARBIES CRADLE
YEARS ACTIVE: 1997* – 2005 (*Barbie’s Cradle started in 1998)
GROUP ROSTER: BARBIE ALMALBIS, FRANKLIN BENITEZ, RICCI GURANGO (as HYP), ROMMEL DELA CRUZ (as Barbie’s Cradle)
90’S HITS: As HYP – FIREWOMAN, TORPE, & PERSONAL FLIRT; As CRADLE – TABING ILOG, GOODNYT, & THE DANCE
The band basically features nice songs without a shred of violence. I was actually more of a HYP fan than their second incarnation only because I really like Firewoman. Yes, that song was so sweet and heartfelt that it automatically made people care for the band. I remember when I first heard the song on MTV Asia – it was golden. However, it was more of Barbie Almalbis more than anything here. I remember when they first showed up and people were asking who that cute chick was. When Barbie and Ricci Gurango had a falling out, the band was forced to change their name to Barbie’s Cradle which further accentuated the popularity of Barbie. Barbie Almalbis is the key element here. Her voice and style can be likened to former Sixpence None the Richer vocalist Leigh Nash. Aside from singing angelically Leigh Nash and Barbie embarked on solo careers after singing songs for teen shows (Kiss Me was part of the first Dawson’s Creek OST album while Barbie sang the Tabing Ilog OST).


24 KULAY
YEARS ACTIVE: 1991 – 2000
GROUP ROSTER: BOOM DAYUPAY, JEANNIE OAKMAN, RADHA CUADRADO, ANGEL JONES* (Angel replaced Jeannie after the latter died in 1997 because of an epileptic seizure)
90’S HITS: DELICIOUS, BURN, SHOUT
Man I love this group! I also like the way they made the computer a musical instrument ala Daniel Bedingfield. Yes, Kulay is a band. In their recordings, they used the wonders of technology. In their live gigs, they use a bunch of people to do their beat.

Cheap plug: If anyone of you have a copy of Kulay’s live and unplugged works, share it with me! Boom was the key element in this group.

Once a Vancouver-based DJ, he worked to give the band a distinct edge. The funky, hiphop, electronic style gave the band an identity. The Vibestation was also his brainchild. Using this element, they scored film appearances (Gimik: The Reunion), commercial endorsements (Pepsi), and international fame (United Kingdom). At their peak, they were the only known group to have that sound. If there was one thing missing in that decade, it was combining style, arrangement, and production. Kulay had that and in their live gigs, just like their studio released albums, it was spot on.


23 P.O.T.
YEARS ACTIVE: 1996 – 2005
GROUP ROSTER: KARL ROY, FRANCIS REYES, MALLY PARAGUYA, IAN UMALI, JEFF LIMA, HARLEY ALARCON, JAYMAN ALVIAR
90’S HITS: YUGYUGAN NA, FISHCAKE, MONKEY ON MY BACK, ULITIN, PIECE OF THIS, FYB
They looked like a melting pot of awesomeness when they started. Led by the tattoo-infested Karl Roy, they would deliver varying tunes that made a lot of people begging for more. Their sounds border from blues, punk, rock, and hell... even dance! Basically they knew how to market their selves. Roy wasn’t like this when he was in Advent Call and in time he and his bandmates learned that to get the mainstream public to like their music, they must have other opportunities to plug their craft. I remember when the Fishcake MTV was enjoying heavy exposure on MTV Asia. In the Philippines, Yugyugan Na was becoming an anthem as it was seen and heard in every other radio station that is not NU107. Their self-titled album is so good that most of the songs in that album received mmasive airplay. In 2003, that same self-titled catapulted them again to the top with its Re-mastered version.


22 FREESTYLE
YEARS ACTIVE: 1996 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: TOP SUZARA, JINKY VIDAL, TAT SUZARA, CARLO TAPIA, NIKKI CABARDO, GERALD BANZON
90’S HITS: BEFORE I LET YOU GO, SO SLOW, ‘TIL I FOUND YOU, THIS TIME
The band traces its roots in Davao City, where they first displayed their talents. They got noticed by the Viva execs and they were brought to Manila where Before I Let You Go spiked the singles charts and made them a household name. All of a sudden, they were the toast of the town especially with a giant recording company backing them up. Their concerts are sought after and they often get to do gigs with the best singers. I remember watching VTV back in the 90’s when they had the PBA, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Weakest Link. They were pimping them so heavily that at one point, they were regarded as Side A’s heir to the throne. So Slow was used as background music when Bobby Andrews was date-raping Gwen Garci in the 2003 Viva Hot Babes movie, First Time. Top Suzara moved out of the group in 2005 and joined another supergroup (?) Sabado Boys. And yeah, I almost forgot... they made a very good song in Ogie Alcasid’s Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang unbearable because when they made Top duet with Pops Fernandez. Ever since, the poor song has been butchered in Christmas parties, birthday parties, trips to videoke bars, strip joints, and other social gatherings.


21 SOUTH BORDER
YEARS ACTIVE: 1996 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: JAY DURIAS, BRIX FERRARIS, LUKE MEJARES, TATA BALANE, BUTCH VICTORIANO, RIC JUNASA
90’S HITS: KAHIT KAILAN, LOVE OF MY LIFE, HABANG ATIN ANG GABI, SA ‘YO, MAY PAG-IBIG PA KAYA
I find them sappy and oily (Brix Ferraris’ blonde hair has too much pomada) but they did made an impact especially with the rise of showbands in the country. Yes, the late 90’s launched a lot of things. It made rockers worthless and showbands the “In” thing. This R & B band from Davao came to the scene in the 90’s when most rock bands were disbanding or moving to obscurity. Sure, South Border had a problem with regards to their vocalists... but there is no denying that they had a lot of hits in their existence. Jay Durias was the key man in this group. He engineered a lot of wonderful songs. He is an awesome composer and an underrated singer. Kahit Kailan was their most popular song and it started their rise to the top. This was the song that made them a household name and it also gave them a bunch of awards and citations. Some of their best songs though happened during the 2000’s. They would produce a bunch of hits over the years under Luke Mijares, Vince Alaras, and Duncan Ramos. 


20 JOEY AYALA AT ANG BAGONG LUMAD
YEARS ACTIVE: 1980’s – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): JOEY AYALA
90’S HITS: KARANIWANG TAO, NAKITA KITA, HARING IBON, HITHIT BUGA, PADAYON, MAGKABILAAN, MINDANAO, LUMAD SA SYUDAD, MAGKAUGNAY (?)
His music doesn’t talk about college crushes and hell... long hairs. Joey Ayala’s music has substance. His songs dispel violence and poverty. He wants peace... even if that wouldn’t happen... in anyone’s lifetime (but seriously, it wouldn’t hurt if it could). His songs also advocate the conservation of our natural resources. I assume he doesn’t talk to trees... that often. Using a bunch of ultra, ultra old school musical instruments, dating back when after the Aetas, the Indones and the Malays checked out our archipelago, Joey Ayala is one of the well-known folk singers of that decade. The only thing that is working against him is that his music has basically no FM outlet (the internet solved this for him though). I could be a fan of this whole ethnic style if heard it more back then but not even NU would play it because it is a niche genre. He worked on an advocacy campaign for then-Department of Health secretary Juan Flavier (LET’S DOH IT) where he was singing a song while demeaning the feelings of Yosi Kadiri. It looked great. By the way, I’m going to thank Jorge Cosgayon for supplying me details.


19 TROPICAL DEPRESSION
YEARS ACTIVE: 1984 – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): PAPA DOM, BONG EUDELA, ANABEL BOSCH   
90’S HITS: BILOG NA NAMAN ANG BUWAN, KAPAYAPAAN, BAGYO-BAGYO
Who can ever forget the big guy wearing that colourful hat and shirt? Fact is, Papa Dom is the poster child of Pinoy reggae in the Philippines. Tropical Depression’s unique brand of music made them sought after artists for every summer spectacle held by TV stations and event supervisors during that decade. Yes, people use Kapayapaan for summer specials then and when the event is at night, well... enter Bilog na Naman ang Buwan. However, they also used their popularity for good use as they promote natural resources conservation and in advocating peace in the country. Papa Dom is the ultimate beach buddy. If you want to go to a hap’nin place where people are prolicking in the sand enjoying the nice things in life... Google Earth him!   


18 AFTER IMAGE
YEARS ACTIVE: 1990 – 2001; 2008 – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER: WENCY CORNEJO, BOBIT USON, NINO MESINA, CHUCK ISIDRO, ROGIE CALLEJO, ARNOLD CABALZA
90’S HITS: NEXT IN LINE, MANGARAP KA, BAI, HABANG MAY BUHAY, TAG-ULAN
Wency Cornejo is an awesome vocalist. Not only does his voice belt awesomeness, his band was responsible for creating the anthem for a generation. Next in Line was one of the biggest tunes that the era produced. That song actually molded the band’s perception. I was a kid back then and I remembered a bunch of months seeing them and singing the same old song on TV in a pretty consistent manner. They had a lot of other songs that were in some point became popular tunes (some of them became movie soundtracks). A lot of their works were re-worked for balladeers and divas and that’s nice because they only pick well-written and properly-arranged songs. They disbanded in 2001 with Wency embarking on a solo career. They did reunite in 2008.


17 GRIN DEPARTMENT
YEARS ACTIVE: 1995 – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER: ANDREW B, BOH PASCASIO, PEDRO PLAZON
90’S HITS: MISS U, BUY ONE TAKE TWO (SPECIAL OFFER), TABLAHAN, SYOTA NG BAYAN, MAY SAYAD, TABO
If you’re looking for good, clean fun, maybe you should look for something else. This band made a living from double-meaning songs and seriously kinky verses. This was basically the music you enjoyed that your parents don’t know because they will KILL you. Their 2-part debut album, Hahehihohu, indeed made double platinum because everyone wanted to know about their songs. I mean how can you not forget about that epic phrase “May libre kang may libre kan... toothbrush”? I once heard Miss U on Sharon Cuneta’s show so this means that not all of their songs are banned for public showing. Their songs can be described as the new age version of Haring Solomon. I remember when I bought the album’s cassette that was worth 60 pesos then (or was it 90Php). It had that sticker “explicit lyrics” on it. If you put a sticker prohibiting it to minors, of course high school students will line up and buy it! 


16 THE TEETH
YEARS ACTIVE: 1992 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: GLENN JACINTO, PEDZ NARVAJA, JEROME VELASCO, MIKE DIZON, DOK SERGIO (Dok replaced Pedz when the latter moved to the US)
90’S HITS: LAKLAK, PRINSESA, STOKWA, GALIT SA MUNDO, SHOOTING STAR
Ever remember that Bubble Gang segment called Music English Version (MEV)? Bitoy and his crew spoofed Prinsesa and the chorus was like “Come in and take me into your castle... let us walk into the garden of your castle... I may not have sex organs, I promise I will forever be at your service... Oh my prin-hin-cehehehess!” That was cool! Their debut album had two awesome songs that became anthems to the dreamers and the drunkards. Laklak and Prinsesa catapulted the band to the point that it seems that it would rival the popularity of the Heads. Laklak to be singled out ruled the LA105 hit charts for 12 weeks. Their next album was also acclaimed by rock enthusiasts. There is no question though that they are key player in Bandmania even after Glenn Jacinto suffered and recovered from a lung ailment. Mike Dizon co-founded Sandwich and Pedicab while Dok Sergio is currently a part-time frontman for the Ely Buendia-led Pupil. Jacinto appears sporadically during the band’s live events. 


15 SIAKOL
YEARS ACTIVE: 1994 – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER: NOEL PALOMO, WOWIE FLORES, MINIONG CERVANTES, JAMES RODRIGUEZ
90’S HITS: LAKAS TAMA, PEKSMAN, BAKIT BA, BIYAHENG IMPYERNO, BALEWALA, AYOS LANG, KANTO, ASO
They are one of the more prominent members of the Tunog Lata Movement. They have produced eight albums since their arrival on the band scene and it seems they are out to do more. Among these albums, they are identified best with their debut, Tayo Na Sa Paraiso. This album contains the emotional Bakit Ba, the pleading Peksman, and perhaps the best song they have ever produced, Lakas Tama. The song in some ways resembles Laklak... although the words are deeper and more poetic. Lakas Tama starts off with an awesome intro and it gradually peaks into the stanzas and all of a sudden they whoop it up in the chorus! They are currently experiencing rebirth. Unlike other 90’s bands trying to score a second chance, Siakol is backed up by a major recording company.


14 INTROVOYS
YEARS ACTIVE: 1986 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: JONATHAN BUENCAMINO, PACO ARESPACOCHAGA, JJ BUENCAMINO, PAKU HERRERA
90’S HITS: LINE TO HEAVEN, WILL I EVER SURVIVE, DI NA AKO AASA PA, KAILANMAN, HOWEVER WHICH WAY 
Before pogi rock became Cueshe, 6cyclemind, Hale, and Sponge Cola... it was the Introvoys. Why is this good? I have no idea. Anyway, with their totoy looks and their good boy barkada music, they gradually made their way to popularity. Jonathan Buencamino was the voice behind the music while Paco Arespacochaga gave them off stage PR with his publicized romance with Geneva Cruz. When the then-couple had a kid, they named it after their most popular hit, Line to Heaven (they just named their kid Heaven for those keeping tabs). Line to Heaven was their most successful single at their peak. They had a lot of pogi songs talking about heartbreak but at least they are tolerable. Fact is... Jonathan Buencamino can pass as that guy who’s always romantically screwed. Anyway, the Introvoys are alive and kicking in the United States where they mix it up with known bands like Lokomotiv and the now bluesy Prettier than Pink.


13 NEOCOLOURS
YEARS ACTIVE: 1988 – 1999  
90’S GROUP ROSTER: ITO RAPADAS, JIMMY ANTIPORDA, JOSEL JIMENEZ, MARVIN QUERIDO, JACK RUFO, NINO REGALADO
90’S HITS: TULOY PA RIN, KASALANAN KO BA, HOLD ON, SAY YOU’LL NEVER GO
Neocolours is a highly-respected band who could have had a Side A-like following had they continued. Ito Rapadas rivals solo artists then in terms of belting out melodies. They gatecrashed the current Pinoy pop scene dominated by Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera and to some extent Jaime Garchitorena, Gino Padilla, and Richard Reynoso. Actually they actually helped the Pinoy band scene because they proved bands can play meaningful sets. While Making It was a 1989 album, this album scored a lot of listeners and it helped usher in the band explosion of the 90’s. While their band was short-lived, they did score acclaim in the late 90’s by re-recording their old hits. Neocolours re-worked their hits and made Emerge: The Best of Neocolours in 1999. Aside from re-mastering their songs, they made new material as well. Their songs are so good that they have been covered repeatedly by various artists through the years.


12 ALAMID
YEARS ACTIVE: 1987 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: GARY IGNACIO, DEXTER FACELO, THALLIE FACELO, GAIL IGNACIO, PAKU HERRERA, ROEL MANGYAO
90’S HITS: YOUR LOVE, CHINA EYES, SAMA-SAMA, HESUS, BATIBOT, ATING BAYANI
They got their name from some critter seen in the mountains. They were almost named Salamin ni Bruce Lee. I would have liked that. But maybe people wouldn’t take them seriously. Instead, Alamid is often regarded as one of the best and also one of the classiest acts of the 90’s rock era. They were also responsible for churning great songs with impressive lyrics. Sama-Sama is a great song among others but Your Love is their claim to fame. There was an online article where a recording exec thought that Your Love was a song from a foreign band. Actually, Your Love was the first NU Rock Awards Song of the Year winner. Their cover of Batibot was used as theme by the actual show before their hiatus. The intro of China Eyes was used by the ultra-popular 90’s sitcom Palibhasa Lalake as transition music. According to their Wiki page, guitarist Dexter Facelo is the only remaining original member of Alamid.


11 THE YOUTH
YEARS ACTIVE: 1989 – 1997; 2004 – PRESENT 
GROUP ROSTER: DODONG CRUZ, ERAP CARRASCO, ROBERT JAVIER
90’S HITS: MULTONG BAKLA, TAKBO, KAPAG NAGUNAW ANG MUNDO, SUPERNOVA SCUM, BASURA, TAO PO, BA-BA-BA-BAYANI, ATING BAYANI   
With his long black locks and big, round eyes, Dodong Cruz looks like a demented hippie. However, he had also a distinct voice that made people sway to their beat. The Youth was a popular band back then. From their minds spawned a bunch of easy-to-sing tunes that can be understood by everyone – especially the masses. The band developed a cult following because of their high-energy performances. Their songs combined punk, rock, and humor with distinct musicality. The band disbanded in the late 90’s with Dodong Cruz embarking on a solo career and with Robert Javier producing some of the Parokya ni Edgar albums. They reformed in 2004 but this has yet to gain commercial success. One memorable account I had with this band was when I was young and alone in my house and listening to the radio. My sister and her friend played a prank on me where they’ll throw rocks on my house’s windows from the front side and back. I was calling out for the perpetrator and of course they were not talking and all of a sudden Dodong Cruz screamed the chorus of TAKBO and I went to my room hiding underneath the blankets. I was a wuzz back then.


10 THE DAWN
YEARS ACTIVE: 1985 – 95; 2000 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: JET PANGAN, FRANCIS REYES, CARLOS BALCELLS, JB LEONOR
90’S HITS: IISANG BANGKA TAYO, BABAENG MAHIWAGA, SALIMPUSA, TALAGA NAMAN, SALAMAT (Salamat was from their 1989 album)  
With their slamming sound, they produced a bunch of wonderful songs that captured the hearts of the Filipino audience. They were actually the first band I remembered. I think I was around eight then. They were also the first I saw in the news and it was due to tragedy and that was when they lost their axeman Teddy Diaz. Instead of moping and mulling disbandment the band used this as motivation to play inspired in front of audiences. Their songs are deep, patriotic, and inspirational but they aren’t just blabbing nonsense. Their songs have wonderful arrangements and lyrics. Every regular person can sing along with their hits. Talaga Naman is a great song. I used to treat Sali-Salita as a bonding song with my cousins whenever we joyride from Tanauan, Batangas to nearby Calamba, Laguna to check out their nightlife (meron din namang mga panalo). Salamat and Iisang Bangka are anthems to encourage people to strive. They disbanded during the late 90’s with Jet focusing on his band but they reunited in the early 2000’s with former Eraserheads’ member Buddy Zabala coming in on board. They branched out to film with their critically-acclaimed semi-biopic Tulad Ng Dati. JB Leonor is the only remaining original member of the band. Enveloped Ideas and Love Will Set Us Free are songs they did during the late 80’s. 


9 SIDE A BAND
YEARS ACTIVE: 1985 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: JOEY BENIN, NALDY GONZALES, JOEY GENEROSO, ERNIE SEVERINO, KELLY BADON
90’S HITS: FOREVERMORE, TELL ME, LET THE PAIN REMAIN, ANG AKING AWITIN, WILL I EVER, SO MANY QUESTIONS, TULOY PA RIN AKO
Of course they rank prominently in this list. If there are girls ardently checking out my site, I can sense that they will definitely riot if they can’t see these guys in the list. All the girls go into a zombie-like trance whenever Joey Benin belts out a tune. It is goddamn scary especially when they sing along with him. Side A’s songs are heavily played especially during feel-good events. There was a time that Valentine’s Day can’t happen without a Side A concert. Even if they sing mostly revivals, their heartfelt rendition makes them fan favourites. Try going to a wedding reception and not hear their songs being treated as background the minute the host instructs the guests to attack the buffet! Forevermore is their biggest song but in the course of their career they scored a bunch of revivals that turned down into hits. Notables include Ang Aking Awitin, Tuloy Pa Rin Ako, and Tell Me, which was popularized then by Joey Albert. Side A also had a slew of originals (or they made famous of) like Let the Pain Remain, So Many Questions, and Will I Ever. If a boyfriend failed to get tickets to their concert, they must brace for hell on earth. Once they return and reacquaint their selves with this current generation expect the concert domination of Taylor Swift, Usher, Justin Bieber, and hell... David Pomeranz to end! TO END I TELL YOU!!!


8 YANO
YEARS ACTIVE: 1993 – 97; 2007 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: DONG ABAY, ERIC GANCIO, ONIE BADIANG
90’S HITS: BANAL NA ASO, SANTONG KABAYO, TSINELAS, ESEM, SENTI, PAALAM SAMPAGUITA
You can’t reminisce “Tunog Lata” music without these guys. While they can be patriotic just like the bands in their generation, they can also do tongue-in-cheek verses that anyone can relate to. Take Esem for instance. The song talks about going to SM just to get aircon. While it’s cool in some ways, it just sucks to go to a mall with nothing else to do because of financial shortage. Yes, I can relate... especially when I was in college. Anyway, their music can be armed for the poor. They can also talk about love, family, religious brouhaha, and ironies in general. Whenever Dong Abay tries to belt a tune, I assure you that it has substance. They are often batched up with The Youth because “their names start with ‘Y’” but believe me, their words are more worldly than that other band. Their song, Banal Na Aso, Santong Kabayo was one of the important singles of that era. If it wasn’t, then why did the Philharmonic Orchestra play during one of the concerts? Yano’s other titles are also critically-acclaimed like Senti and Askal. The band didn’t reach year 2000 and Abay formed a band called Pan before eventually going solo. Eric Gancio, one of the band’s original members, revived the band in 2007 but only as a one-man act. Is there such a thing as a solo band?


7 TRUE FAITH
YEARS ACTIVE: 1992 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): MEDWIN MARFIL, FRANCIS GUEVARRA, FERDIE MARQUEZ, CARYL CAMPOS, EAZER PASTOR, JUN DIZON, BIMBO YANCE,
90’S HITS: PERFECT, HUWAG NA LANG KAYA, MUNTIK NANG MAABOT ANG LANGIT, SA PUSO KO, ALAALA, BALIW, KUNDI RIN LANG IKAW, AWIT PARA SA KANYA 
They mixed ballad with alternative rock and often delve on catchy danceable tunes. True Faith is somewhere along the lines of showband artists and alternative rockers. They started their careers roaming around the metro and scoring gigs by covering a bunch of new wave songs. They were discovered and taken in by a major level and moments later, Perfect would play in the airwaves and launch them to new heights. While Perfect set their sights to bigger things, I wasn’t a fan of the song. For me, it was their haunting ballads that made me a fan of their work. Huwag na Lang Kaya, Awit Para Sa Kanya, and Muntik Nang Maabot ang Langit are their contributions to my being. Like the Eraserheads and Rivermaya, they did score a bunch of commercials and endorsements. I believe they starred in an Octo Arts movie when the outfit had a stable of talents and were still active in making movies. Muntik nang Maabot ang Langit was also the theme of Jennifer Mendoza’s launching movie. She was a teen star then and I think that movie turned out to be a bad decision. Anyway, time was kind to them as they were able to adapt in the ever-changing music scene and withstand decline. Oh scratch that – Medwin is the only member that mattered in True Faith. Since the band’s inception in 1992, Medwin Marfil remains to be the band’s only original member. Aside from Medwin, it is hard to remember the other band members.


6 RAZORBACK
YEARS ACTIVE: 1990 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: KEVIN ROY, DAVID AGUIRRE, LOUIE TALAN, MIGUEL ORTIGAS, TIRSO RIPOLL, BRIAN VELASCO* (*replaced Ortigas when he left the band in ’96)
90’S HITS: GIYANG, TABI NG BULKAN, PEPE THE HEPE, PAYASO, IKOT NG MUNDO, VOODOO WHO DO, MY BANYO SONG, MUNTING PARAISO, AS SPICY AS IT GETS  
Known as the more locally-inclined brother of Wolfgang, hordes of fans waste away to their beat. In the events that feature the band, flocks of men bob their heads and body slam their selves to the closest object near them (hopefully it’s a living thing and not an expensive object). The best is tried and tested and their best evidence for their awesomeness was when they got handpicked by Metallica and Rage Against the Machine to open for their concerts. Hebigat Sounds Volume One was one smashing debut album but it was Beggar’s Moon that brought them to superstar status back then. With their funky feel and their blues rock attributes, fans throw their selves to them as if they are at their disposal. Unlike other bands then with the tunog lata feel, their sound seems accomplished enough to feel as if the band is foreign. Most of their successful singles are written in Tagalog though. Despite getting limited airplay in the 90’s (with NU107 and LA105 as their turfs) Razorback was “digged” by rock lovers everywhere. If you want to jump insanely, then listen to Payaso. If you want a medium to unwind, check out Pepe the Hepe.


5 FRANCISM
YEARS ACTIVE IN MUSIC: 1989 – 2009
GROUP AFFLIAITION/S: FRANCIS MAGALONA, THE EVIL STEPSISTERS, HARDWARE SYNDROME
90’S HITS: KALEIDOSCOPE WORLD, BAHAY YUGYUGAN, BOW-WOW-WOW, GIRL BE MINE, KABATAAN PARA SA KINABUKASAN, MAHIWAGANG KAMOTE, THREE STARS AND THE SUN, WHOLE LOTTA LOVIN   
Yo... yes, yes, yo! Yo... yes, yes, yo! Check out the guy that’s rapping in the show of Alma Moreno!  Francism still lives even if this genius is now residing in heaven. The son of 50’s idols Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran, after years of doing youth-oriented flicks, the former Bagets and Ninja Kids star branched out to rapping. He began to sport a funky hairdo that has peace signs carved at the sides and dyed shirts where in every given chance he would do a running man. Mga Kababayan Ko was his breakout hit but my favourite Francism rap is Cold Summer Nights. Dubbed as the Master Rapper and the King of Philippine Rap because of his earlier compositions (and a slew of Royal Tru-Orange TVC’s), he was also the person behind the Pinoy Rap-core genre. It was in 1993 where he experimented in combing rap and rock with the help of his band called the Hardware Syndrome. He had a ton of great tunes through the years where his vocal chops were backed up by super-charged beats, either via instruments or via electronic presets. Bar none Kaleidoscope World is his best song ever. I remember tuning in to Campus Radio during John Hendrix’s time slot because this was the song he used as his goodbye song and he used it for months! Aside from Kaleidoscope, his songs are impressive in terms of quality and quantity. He had a bunch of collaborations with different kinds of rockers most notably The Eraserheads guys, Joey Ayala, Heber Bartolome, Mike Hanopol, Kamikazee, and Parokya ni Edgar. His songs are timeless and can be appreciated by this generation as well as the succeeding ones.


4 PAROKYA NI EDGAR
YEARS ACTIVE: 1993 – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER: CHITO MIRANDA, VINCI MONTANER, BUHAWI MENESES, DARIUS SEMANA, GAB CHEE KEE, DINDIN MORENO
90’S HITS: BULOY, TRIP, MANIWALA KA SANA, LUTONG BAHAY, SILVERTOES, HARANA, PANGARAP, PICHA PIE, INUMAN NA, HALAGA 
Their first single was a smash hit. People loved it because while it is trying to be funny, it was also a very truthful way to give tribute to a fallen comrade. “Buloy” was one of the best debut singles ever and despite the accusations that Parokya ni Edgar was exploiting the death of their friend to gain fame, it did brought superstardom to the group. Parokya Ni Edgar continues to attack the charts strongly and unlike other bands that have their members coming and going, their roster remains intact. PNE’s entries to the decade came from their three bitching albums filled with intensity and comedy. They debuted with a very powerful (albeit gibberish) album name and followed it with an equally powerful (that still has a gibberish name) sequel. The guys patrolled the stage wearing their mommy’s duster and they sung tunes that were designed to make people headbang. PNE is basically Yoyoy Villame multiplied and with growl – and that is not a bad thing. Yoyoy was a class act during his prime and it seems some of his swagger was inherited by the band. Their songs are easy to understand and can be extremely catchy for all types of people in all kinds of social classes. They have the ability to sing songs with zero sense and yet they can do heartfelt numbers to the delight of many. They also had a knack of parodying songs and making it their own. I could have ranked them higher... but I think the album that catapulted them to legendary status happened in 2003 (Bigotilyo).


3 WOLFGANG
YEARS ACTIVE: 1992 – 2002; 2007 – PRESENT 
90’S GROUP ROSTER: BASTI ARTADI, MANUEL LEGARDA, MON LEGASPI, WOLF REMORA
90’S HITS: ARISE, HALIK NI HUDAS, DARKNESS FELL, TULISAN, MATA NG DIYOS, ANINO, NATUTULOG KONG MUNDO, ROADWORTHY MAN, CENTER OF THE SUN 
Chicks often wonder why their boyfriends are headbanging with their walkmans on. First up –No, they are not listening to Boys II Men or Luther Vandross. From the wild, underground band scene spawned this hard rock choir known to many as Wolfgang. While their songs can only be heard on NU107 and LA105, they are considered as one of the pillars of Pinoy rock.  Basti Artadi is one of the best vocalists produced by the country... ever. Wolfgang songs stand out because of his wicked growls. Unlike popular bands of his generation, they got to release an album in Japan and the United States. While the Eraserheads are sorting out a path and happily stringing a bunch of various sound-alikes, Wolfgang also made a path of awesomeness whose spawns consists of underground heavy metal acts. The band was at its peak in terms of popularity with the release of their sophomore album Semenelin. The album had approximately sold 80,000 units which means it has reached double-platinum. All of a sudden, rocker chicks were pounding their tables to the beat of their songs. They were also a frequent winner at the NU Rock Awards. At the course of the decade, Basti won Vocalist of the Year thrice, Wolf won Drummer of the Year honors twice, Mon won the Top Bassist tag once, they are a 3-time Listener’s Choice winner, a two-time Artist of the Year winner, and their album Serve in Silence won Album of the Year honors in 1999. They disbanded in 2002 but they reunited in 2007 but by then, Francis Aquino has already replaced Wolf because of the latter’s commitment to his new band Lokomotiv.


2 RIVERMAYA
YEARS ACTIVE: 1993 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: BAMBOO MANALAC, RICO BLANCO, MARK ESCUETA, NATHAN AZARCON
90’S HITS: ULAN, 214, BRING ME DOWN, AWIT NG KABATAAN, ELESI, HINAHANAP-HANAP KITA, HIMALA, KISAPMATA, PANAHON NA NAMAN, NERBYOSO  
At that time they were the arch-enemy of the Eraserheads. If the Heads were Shawn Michaels, Rivermaya was Bret Hart. Amongst bandmania, Rivermaya was there to take the fans of the Heads whenever possible. There was a time that whenever the Heads make an album... Rivermaya will challenge it. Three of Rivermaya’s albums were hailed in the all-time best-selling albums list. Their self-titled debut album, Rivermaya, ranked fifteen and sold 217,000 units. Their third album Atomic Bomb, ranked sixteenth with 215,600 units and their sophomore album Trip, scored 213,700 units. They edged out, even the Eraserheads, as the only act in the list to score three hits that are all studio albums (The Heads also scored three but The Eraserheads Anthology is a greatest hits album unlike their other albums that made the list like Cutterpillow and Circus). Standing out from the rest of the band scene is Bamboo’s vocal awesomeness. Bamboo stood out because his voice has range and basically... he was not just there because he wants to play in a band but can’t play any instruments. One thing they also majored in is the fact that their songs were well-penned and ever-so-evolving. This is where Rico Blanco’s brilliance kicks in. Sometimes they’ll stick with the safe alternative sound but sometimes they will ditch the sound to do Manila Sound, ballad, blues, and even pop. This is why their songs are frequently revived. Even with the departure of Bamboo, they still managed to survive with Rico at helm. I think that was the phase where they were sounding a lot like foreign bands. The band is still active to this day despite all the hardships, Rico Blanco’s departure, roster changes, and lawsuits.


1 THE ERASERHEADS
YEARS ACTIVE: 1989 – 2002
GROUP ROSTER: ELY BUENDIA, RAIMUND MARASIGAN, BUDDY ZABALA, MARCUS ADORO
90’S HITS: ANG HULING EL BIMBO, PARE KO, MAGASIN, WITH A SMILE, TORPEDO, LIGAYA, OVERDRIVE, TIKMAN, KAILAN, SEMBREAK, HUWAG MO NANG ITANONG, SPOLARIUM, FRUITCAKE, SHIRLEY, AND MANY, MANY MORE!
If you are expecting some other band then you must be insane. Perhaps the greatest Pinoy rock band ever, a particular Pinoy human being (at least he was aged under-30 during the band’s peak) must die if he is oblivious to any of their songs! Even kids not born in their era knows their songs. Hell, my mom hums the intro of Magasin ever so often and she has a senior citizen ID! They started their career as “the” rebels. Senate inquiries shadowed them and parents would think they are bad influences. My respect for Tito Sotto then was almost tarnished when he questioned the “drug addict” nature of Alapaap (my respect for Val Sotto’s older brother has increased since). When my parents first heard the chorus of Pare Ko, they wanted to destroy my tape! When it was all said and done though, The Eraserheads will finish their careers as the epitome of band awesomeness. They managed to overthrow the balladeers, the divas, the pop stars, the rappers, and the boy bands and send them to the backseat in favor of the band acts. Their first three albums were big commercially while the rest of their albums unleashed their artistic prowess. In fact, Ultramagneticpop, Circus, and Cutterpillow made the Heads the first and only NU Rock Awards Album of the Year winner for three consecutive years. If you take out the insanely successful Jose Mari Chan (his two albums, Christmas In Our Hearts and Constant Change, has a combined 1.6 million units sold), then you’ll probably see the Eraserheads as the only act to reach diamond certification status with Cutterpillow earning 325,000 units sold. In 1997, Huling El Bimbo, won MTV Asia’s Viewers Choice Award. They made this an epic feat for all Filipinos when Ely blurted the now-famous “Mabuhay ang Noypi”. When they broke up in 2002, it was like Michael Jordan retiring and a spawn of Jordan play-a-likes coming in to take the throne. None of those bands were able to duplicate their feat though and it was further emphasized in their two reunion concerts which sparked a lot of buzz nationwide. There is no self-respecting person living in the Philippines that would pass up a chance to join these guys play their songs onstage.


So this ends the list. I’m glad you enjoyed it because I had a hard time writing and researching for it. I mean most of the bands in the list... I knew only because of fan interviews and with me downloading their albums! I mean for every number, I was checking whether or not the band had an album in the 90’s.

I may or may not do an “I’m sorry” list for the bands that I can consider worthy but failed to enter the list because either 1) I only knew them AFTER I finished the list; 2) People were egging me to include them; and 3) I totally forgotten how happy I was hearing their songs.

Again for those who enjoyed the list, thanks.

For violent reactions, well you can just write it here and if they are note-worthy reactions, I could answer them.

By the way, I’m going to thank my friends Jorge Cosgayon, Moj Reynes, and Chrisangelo Jacinto. Without you guys, I wouldn’t have forgotten Joey Ayala at Ang Bagong Lumad, Half-Life Half-Death, and The Jerks.

Until then...

GAME OVER!

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