In certain parts of the country, it’s been a hot summer. In others, it’s been filled with unrelenting rain doing plenty of damage. So we’re going with Garbage’s alt-rock classic “Only Happy When It Rains” for EHSDA Song of the Week.
Written as an ironic poke at the generally morose vibe given off by much of ’90s rock, the song was a single off Garbage’s 1995 self-titled debut album. The song was an immediate success, getting plenty of airplay on MTV and rock radio and topping at #55 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Only Happy When It Rains” was similarly popular in Europe.
It became the band’s signature track, combining Shirley Manson’s cool vocals with a mix of electronics and edgy guitars. In both mood and style, the song also became emblematic of 1990s rock as a whole. Which makes sense, since Garbage’s drummer Butch Vig also produced legendary albums from ’90s rock icons Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and Sonic Youth.