Released in 1991, Rhino's MTV: Best of 120 Minutes is one of the last snapshots of college rock/alternative music just before grunge dominated, inflated, and ultimately burnt out the genre. The Red Hot Chili Peppers' version of "Higher Ground" is probably the album's hardest-rocking track -- though Sonic Youth's classic "Kool Thing" comes close -- making way for a brace of moody, quirky, but above all, poppy songs like Camper Van Beethoven's "Eye of Fatima, Pt. 1," They Might Be Giants' "Ana Ng," Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians' "Balloon Man," and World Party's "Put the Message in the Box." Alt radio staples of the era, such as the Stone Roses' "Fool's Gold," Sinéad O'Connor's "Mandinka," XTC's "Dear God," the Church's "Under the Milky Way Tonight," and Bob Mould's excellent "See a Little Light" retain their status as underground classics yet still sound fresh, aging far more gracefully than the grunge and nu-metal that supplanted them. Songs from Cocteau Twins, Julian Cope, Mission UK, and Soul Asylum round out this engaging, somewhat nostalgic time capsule of a time when MTV not only played videos, but gave airtime to smart, left-of-center artists like these.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares