Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Culture Fix's Top 100 Albums of the 90s (Part 1)

by J. Albert Barr

And so on to the 90s! A decade that saw rock 'n' roll's last great burst of creative energy and cultural relevance (particularly with the Grunge and alternative movement ruling the first half of the decade) ascend and decline before the vacuous pop divas and boy-bands and awful, egomaniacal "bling-bling/diss-this-diss-that" Hip Hop took over the airwaves and the pop charts by the turn of the millennium. The 90s was truly the golden age of authentic and great Hip Hop. It was the decade that electronic music came into its own, as its influence spread into nearly all facets of pop music, as well as more experimental and less mainstream material. And, by decades end, "alternative music" gave way to what we now refer to, pejoratively or not, as indie music. I happen to be a considerable fan of indie music, despite my aversion towards the so-called "hipsters" it's usually associated with that have now given the once good name of the passionate and charismatic "music elitist" a bad name. Lester Bangs would be rolling in his grave to be sure. Anyway, let's get on with the first half of the countdown of this jaded Gen-Xer's personal list of the Top 100 Albums of the 90s:

100. Pre-Millennium Tension - Tricky (1996)

Favorite tracks: "Vent", "Christiansands" and "Piano".

99. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill - Lauryn Hill (1998)

Favorite tracks: "Everything is Everything", "Doo Wop (That Thing)", and "When It Hurts So Bad".

98. You've Come A Long Way, Baby - Fatboy Slim (1998)

Favorite tracks: "The Rockerfeller Skank", "Praise You" and "Right Here, Right Now".

97. Dirt - Alice in Chains (1992)

Favorite tracks: "Rooster", "Them Bones" and "Would?".

96. Become What You Are - Juliana Hatfield Three (1993)

Favorite tracks: "My Sister", "For the Birds" and "I Got No Idols".

95. 99.9 Fahrenheit Degrees - Suzanne Vega (1992)

Favorite tracks: "Blood Makes Noise", "In Liverpool" and "Bad Wisdom".

94. Sleeps with Angels - Neil Young (1994)

Favorite tracks: "Change Your Mind", "Safeway Cart" and "Piece of Crap".

93. Casino - Blue Rodeo (1990)

Favorite tracks: "Til I Am Myself Again", "Two Tongues" and "What Am I Doing Here".

92. Gone Again - Patti Smith (1996)

Favorite tracks: "Beneath the Southern Cross", "Summer Cannibals" and "Farewell Reel".

91. Play - Moby (1999)

Favorite tracks: "Porcelain", "Natural Blues", and "Bodyrock".

90. Illmatic - Nas (1994)

Favorite tracks: "Life's a Bitch", "The World Is Yours" and "Represent".

89. Nomads Indians Saints - Indigo Girls (1990)

Favorite tracks: "Watershed", "Welcome Me" and "The Girl with the Weight of the World in Her Hands".

88. Star - Belly (1993)

Favorite tracks: "Feed the Tree", "Low Red Moon" and "Slow Dog".

87. Urban Hymns - The Verve (1997)

Favorite tracks: "Bittersweet Symphony", "Sonnet" and "The Drugs Don't Work".

86. Goo - Sonic Youth (1990)

Favorite tracks: "Dirty Boots", "Kool Thing" and "Disappearer".

85. Dubnobasswithmyheadman - Underworld (1994)

Favorite tracks: "Dark & Long", "Mmm Skyscraper, I Love You" and "Cowgirl".

84. Monster - R.E.M. (1994)

Fvaorite tracks: "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?", "Crush with Eyeliner" and "You".

83. I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got - Sinead O'Connor (1990)

Favorite tracks: "Jump in the River", "Nothing Compares 2 U" and "Black Boys on Mopeds".

82. Fear of a Black Planet - Public Enemy (1990)

Favorite tracks: "Fight the Power", "911 is a Joke" and "Welcome to the Terrordome".

81. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel (1998)

Favorite tracks: "Holland, 1945", "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" and "Oh Comely".

80. The Orb's Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld - The Orb (1991)

Favorite tracks: Can't single out three tracks. The whole thing is one interconnected trip!

79. The Downward Spiral - Nine Inch Nails (1994)

Favorite tracks: "Hurt", "Closer" and "Mr. Self Destruct".

78. Together Alone - Crowded House (1993)

Favorite tracks: "Nails in My Feet", "Distant Sun" and "Catherine Wheels".

77. Tone Soul Evolution - The Apples in Stereo (1997)

Favorite tracks: "Seems So", "The Silvery Light of a Dream (Parts 1 and 2)" and "About Your Fame".

76. Ritual de lo Habitual - Jane's Addiction (1990)

Favorite tracks: "Stop!", "Been Caught Stealing" and "Then She Did...".

75. Five Days in July - Blue Rodeo (1993)

Favorite tracks: "Hasn't Hit Me Yet", "5 Days in May" and "English Bay".

74. 13 - Blur (1999)

Favorite tracks: "Coffee & TV", "Tender" and "Bugman".

73. Rid of Me - PJ Harvey (1993)

Favorite tracks: "Rid of Me", "50ft Queenie" and "Rub 'til It Bleeds".

72. Music Has the Right to Children - Boards of Canada (1998)

Favorite tracks: "Aquarius", "Turquoise Hexagon Sun" and "Roygbiv".

71. Blood Sugar Sex Magik - Red Hot Chili Peppers (1991)

Favorite tracks: "Under the Bridge", "Give it Away" and "Breaking the Girl".

70. These Days - The Grapes of Wrath (1991)

Favorite tracks: "I Am Here", "You May be Right" and "Now".

69. Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine (1992)

Favorite tracks: "Killing in the Name", "Wake Up" and "Fistful of Steel".

68. Heaven or Las Vegas - Cocteau Twins (1990)

Favorite tracks: "Heaven or Las Vegas", "Frou-Frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires" and "Fifty-Fifty Clown".

67. The Soul Cages - Sting (1991)

Favorite tracks: "All This Time", "Island of Souls" and "Mad About You".

66. When I Was Born for the 7th Time - Cornershop (1997)

Favorite tracks: "Brimful of Asha", "Butter the Soul" and "Good Shit".

65. Endtroducing... - DJ Shadow (1996)

Favorite tracks: "Changeling/Transmission 1", "Stem/Long Stem/Transmission 2" and "What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 1 - Blue Sky Revisit/Transmission 3)".

64. Time Out of Mind - Bob Dylan (1997)

Favorite tracks: "Love Sick", "Cold Irons Bound" and "Not Dark Yet".

63. Weezer (Blue Album) - Weezer (1994)

Favorite tracks: "Buddy Holly", "Say It Ain't So" and "Holiday".

62. The Low End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest (1991)

Favorite tracks: "Verses from the Abstract", "Check the Rhime" and "Jazz (We've Got)".

61. Tomorrow the Green Grass - The Jayhawks (1995)

Favorite tracks: "Blue", "I'd Run Away" and "Bad Time".

60. Permutation - Amon Tobin (1998)

Favorite tracks: "Nightlife", "Nova" and "Like Regular Chickens".

59. Ten - Pearl Jam (1992)

Favorite tracks: "Jeremy", "Evenflow" and "Alive".

58. Car Wheels on a Gravel Road - Lucinda Williams (1998)

Favorite tracks: "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road", "Drunken Angel" and "Joy".

57. Check Your Head - Beastie Boys (1992)

Favorite tracks: "So What'cha Want", "Pass the Mic" and "Time for Livin'".

56. Cruel Inventions - Sam Phillips (1991)

Favorite tracks: "Lying", "Private Storm" and "Where the Colors Don't Go".

55. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain - Pavement (1994)

Favorite tracks: "Unfair", "Cut Your Hair" and "Range Life".

54. The La's - The La's (1990)

Favorite tracks: "There She Goes", "Timeless Melody" and "Looking Glass".

53. Being There - Wilco (1996)

Favorite tracks: "Far, Far Away", "Red-Eyed and Blue" and "Sunken Treasure".

52. Behaviour - Pet Shop Boys (1990)

Favorite tracks: "Being Boring", "This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave" and "My October Symphony".

51. Your Arsenal - Morrisey (1992)

Favorite tracks: "Tomorrow", "Glamorous Glue" and "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday".

Part 2 of my Top 100 Albums of the 90s is coming right up, dear readers, so don't wander off too far!  :-)

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