Though it only had a brief time in the sun at the beginning of the ’90s, grunge cast a shadow on the rock world that is arguably still being felt today. Clearly there were a lot of musicians deeply inspired by the big riffs, earnest lyrics and complete lack of attention to fashion that many of the Pearl Jams and Alice in Chains’ of the world ground out during their time in the sun, and that lead to an awful lot of imitators who recycled those ideas a few years down the line. That’s how bands like Creed, Hinder and Puddle of Mudd ended up with huge singles on charts otherwise dominated by sugary pop music. One of the strangest ascensions came to a head on this day in 2001 when Canadian meat-and-potatoes rockers Nickelback found their way to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “How You Remind Me.”
Nickelback’s 2001 album Silver Side Up was considered unremarkable until “How You Remind Me” started getting played on the radio. There was something about the combination of frontman Chad Kroeger’s gruff, powerful voice and the booming, anthemic guitars that struck a chord with the American public, and “How You Remind Me” (a song about a dysfunctional relationship) made its way to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for four weeks. Its life was only just beginning, as it ended up being not only the biggest song of 2002 but also the most-played tune of the first decade of the century. It was also the last rock single to top the chart for six years.
Nickelback have caught a lot of flack over the years for being dull and derivative, but they have continued to grind out hits and stay on top of the rock game for 10 years. “How You Remind Me” is where it all began.