Best Albums of the 90s

J Galt

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man remember when soundtracks were a cool thing to buy and have. good times.
At the risk of totally nerding out, I used to go to sleep to the Braveheart soundtrack. That thing was awesome despite not sounding anything like pop-culture music.

1995 Stevie Ray Vaughan's Greatest Hits.
1995 Kenny Wayne Sheppard...Ledbetter Heights
1998 Kenny Wayne Sheppard....Trouble Is
1997 Johnny Lang....Lie to Me
1992 Clapton....Unplugged
1999 Clapton....Blues
1999 Clapton/King....Riding with the King
1990 Candy Duffler....Saxuality
1992 ZZ Top ....Greatest Hits
1992 George Strait....Pure Country
1992 Alan Jackson....A Lot about Livin

I absolutely despise Rap/Hip Hop.
These are all CD's I have had for over 25 years.
And I cannot believe I am the only guy here who listened to SRV and Clapton.


Semper Fi
I listed Clapton's Unplugged in my list.

Albums I wore out in the 90's
rock-
pearl jam-10, vitalogy, vs.
alice in chains-dirt
tool-undertow, aenima
sweet water-superfriends
rage against the machine
korn
deftones-adrenaline
soundgarden-badmotorfinger

rap-
outkast-any of their 90's releases
tupac-all eyes on me, makaveli
wu tang-36 chambers
dmx- dark and hell is hot
biggie-ready to die
gza- liquid swords
fugees-the score
goodie mob-soul food
e40-in a major way
So you have several in here that I personally wore out as well but I have a hard time listing them as "great" because they had a much narrower appeal. I listened to (and loved) Tool's Aenima more than Sheryl Crow's Tuesday Night but the latter was an album that had much wider appeal than the former. Similarly, I loved Rage Against the Machine. Never huge on Deftones because at some point I think you have to develop more melody and less "sounds different and we're screaming" for it to count as great. Embarrassed to admit I probably went to more Korn concerts than any other single band in the 90's. Straight adrenaline for 90 minutes. But today, I won't put on a Korn song. Now I'm about to shut my office door and turn on Eulogy.
 

TexanBlood

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Who knew SA was a 90s music connoisseur. I was born in 84 so early and mid 90s was a little before my time started to hit my stride more
Late 90s early 2000s.

I loved no doubt tragic kingdom, oasis what’s the story morning glory and definitely maybe were also favorites. Also huge weezer fan.
I was born a year after you so I can definitely relate. Huge Oasis fan. You’ll see me post Don’t Look Back in Anger on threads whenever a player or coach leaves. Loved Weezer especially the Pinkerton album.
 
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junglerules

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man remember when soundtracks were a cool thing to buy and have. good times.
There are some great ones here and there. Guardians of the Galaxy has a few great ones. Black Panther was really good. I liked some of the 8 Mile stuff. Back in the day, didn’t Judgment Night fuse a bunch of rock and hip hop bands together for a track? Thought it was solid at the time.
 

fdub206

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At the risk of totally nerding out, I used to go to sleep to the Braveheart soundtrack. That thing was awesome despite not sounding anything like pop-culture music.





So you have several in here that I personally wore out as well but I have a hard time listing them as "great" because they had a much narrower appeal. I listened to (and loved) Tool's Aenima more than Sheryl Crow's Tuesday Night but the latter was an album that had much wider appeal than the former. Similarly, I loved Rage Against the Machine. Never huge on Deftones because at some point I think you have to develop more melody and less "sounds different and we're screaming" for it to count as great. Embarrassed to admit I probably went to more Korn concerts than any other single band in the 90's. Straight adrenaline for 90 minutes. But today, I won't put on a Korn song. Now I'm about to shut my office door and turn on Eulogy.
I loved the first Deftones album and then their reign was over for me. I absolutely loved Korn in the 90's. They hit in a perfect time for me as a kid who loved an Ice Cube album as much as a Pantera album. Their concerts then were unreal and I bet I could rival you in the times I've seen them live!
 

fdub206

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There are some great ones here and there. Guardians of the Galaxy has a few great ones. Black Panther was really good. I liked some of the 8 Mile stuff. Back in the day, didn’t Judgment Night fuse a bunch of rock and hip hop bands together for a track? Thought it was solid at the time.
It seemed like lots of soundtracks back then did the fusing of rap and rock like Judgment Night. On paper it always seemed cool but to me it never turned out that great. Was anyone really wanting an Onyx and Biohazard collabo?
 
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Jonathan Wells

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A stunning John Williams snub here.
I love John Williams but out of his 1990s output the only two soundtracks I ever bought were The Phantom Menace and Saving Private Ryan. Hook had some very memorable music but I never bought that one, or those for 1990s classics Jurassic Park or Schindler's List. I believe the first music CD I ever bought was the John Williams-composed soundtrack to the 1978 Superman movie, which still has to rank among the best work he's ever done.
 

PFD

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My musical interests are pretty eclectic, so my list will be, as well.

Rock
Singles soundtrack
Pearl Jam, Ten
Stone Temple Pilots, Purple
Live, Throwing Copper

Jam
Dave Matthews Band, Under the Table and Dreaming
Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Sister Sweetly
Hootie & the Blowfish, Cracked Rear View
Counting Crows, August and Everything After

Blues
Arc Angels, Arc Angels

Country
Garth Brooks, No Fences
Chris LeDoux, Live
Robert Earl Keen, No. 2 Live Diner

Rap
Dr. Dre, The Chronic
Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle
 

PFD

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I was a big fan of instrumental movie soundtracks at that time and these were a few of my faves of movies from the 1990s:
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Braveheart
The Mask of Zorro
Titanic
The Last of the Mohicans
First Knight

During my high school years (the late 90s) I spent a lot of time listening to contemporary Christian music, a lot of which hasn't aged well and wasn't very good even then, but I still love some albums that era of CCM, such as:
dc Talk - Jesus Freak
Jars of Clay - self-titled debut and Much Afraid
Michael W. Smith - Live the Life
Geoff Moore & the Distance - Threads
Chris Rice - Deep Enough to Dream
At the risk of totally nerding out, I used to go to sleep to the Braveheart soundtrack. That thing was awesome despite not sounding anything like pop-culture music.
I'm right there with y'all on the original movie soundtracks.

The 90s was a decade of historical epic movies with equally epic soundtracks.

My favorites include:

Braveheart
Last of the Mohicans
Gladiator
Legends of the Fall
Saving Private Ryan

To this day, when I hear the "Promontory" track from Last of the Mohicans, I want to haul ass up the side of a mountain with a musket and kill some Huron.
 
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PFD

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I forgot some (most of which were already mentioned by others):

Sarah Maclachlan, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
Metallica, Metallica
LL Cool J, Mama Said Knock You Out
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blood Sugar Sex Magik
Lenny Kravitz, Are You Gonna Go My Way?

And I omitted several of my favorite 90s bands because I couldn't decide which of their albums I like better, e.g.:

Alice in Chains, Dirt vs. Jar of Flies
Soundgarden, Badmotorfinger vs. Superunknown
Smashing Pumpkins, Siamese Dream vs. Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness
 
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SAhornfan

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I forgot some (most of which were already mentioned by others):

Sarah Maclachlan, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
Metallica, Metallica
LL Cool J, Mama Said Knock You Out
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blood Sugar Sex Magik

And I omitted several of my favorite 90s bands because I couldn't decide which of their albums I like better, e.g.:

Alice in Chains, Dirt vs. Jar of Flies
Soundgarden, Badmotorfinger vs. Superunknown
Smashing Pumpkins, Siamese Dream vs. Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness
I say why not both? Siamese Dream only won for me because it was first but Mellon Collie is every bit as strong, IMHO.
 

PFD

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And a couple more:

Bush, Sixteen Stone
The Cranberries, Everyone Else is Doing It, Why Can't We?
 

MikeHdez12

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I love John Williams but out of his 1990s output the only two soundtracks I ever bought were The Phantom Menace and Saving Private Ryan. Hook had some very memorable music but I never bought that one, or those for 1990s classics Jurassic Park or Schindler's List. I believe the first music CD I ever bought was the John Williams-composed soundtrack to the 1978 Superman movie, which still has to rank among the best work he's ever done.
Oh, I see, you were going with ones you owned. As far as the 90s, I'd go with Jurassic Park and Schindler's List as two of the best of the decade. That Saving Private Ryan one was a little more understated as I understand Spielberg wanted war to effectively be the main soundtrack, but you get a couple very good themes.

There's also some pretty solid Jerry Goldsmith 90s scores (as middling as Congo the movie is, Congo the OST is tremendous), Silvestri had Forrest Gump and Contact, Elfman did well on Mission: Impossible, Zimmer was just coming on with The Lion King and The Rock... Good decade for sure.

At the risk of totally nerding out, I used to go to sleep to the Braveheart soundtrack. That thing was awesome despite not sounding anything like pop-culture music.
Same, but with Glory. James Horner is pretty great.
 

Bull Horn

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Aerosmith - Big Ones

Blues Traveler - Four

Boyz II Men - Cooleyhighharmony

En Vogue - Funky Divas

The Mavericks - What a Crying Shame

The Wallflowers - Bringing Down the Horse

Soundtracks - The Lion King and The Wedding Singer
 
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Jonathan Wells

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To this day, when I hear the "Promontory" track from Last of the Mohicans, I want to haul ass up the side of a mountain with a musket and kill some Huron.
Nike made good use of it in that Michael Mann-directed ad with Shawn Merriman and Steven Jackson a decade or so ago.

 
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PFD

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The Mavericks - What a Crying Shame
A criminally underrated country act and album.

Another pair of underrated country albums from that time period are:

Hal Ketchum, Past the Point of Rescue
Radney Foster, Del Rio, 1959

I've seen both of these guys live in recent years--Ketchum at the Kessler and Foster at Gruene Hall--and their music and their voices still hold up as well as anything from that era.
 
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windycityhorn

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Other phenomenal 90s albums outside my hybrid Top 10:

Old 97’s, Too far To Care
Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, Fight For Your Mind
Sarah McLachlan, Fumbling Toward Ecstasy
Lyle Lovett, I Love Everybody
Lyle Lovett, Road To Ensenada
Radiohead, The Bends
Beastie Boys, Check Your Head
Beastie Boys, Ill Communication
Arrested Development, 3 years 5 months...
Oasis, What’s the Story (Morning Glory)?
Foo Fighters, Colour and the Shape
Pearl Jam, Vs.
Cake, Fashion Nugget
The Toadies, Rubberneck
Lenny Kravitz, Mama Said
Lenny Kravitz, Are You Gonna Go My Way?
Ben Harper, Welcome To the Cruel World
Ben Folds Five, Whatever and Ever Amen
Live, Throwing Copper
Natalie Merchant, Tigerlily
REM, Out of Time
REM, Automatic For the People
Chemical Brothers, Exit Planet Dust
Chemical Brothers, Dig Your Own Hole
Fatboy Slim, You’ve Come A Long Way Baby
Bjork, Post
Jane’s Addiction, Ritual De Lo Habitual
The Cranberries, There’s No Need To Argue
Black Crowes, Shake Your Money Maker
Living Colour, Time’s Up
Public Enemy, Apocalypse ‘91
Paul Simon, Rhythm of the Saints
Sinead O’Connor, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got
Urban Dance Squad, Mental Floss For the Globe
Guns n Roses, Use Your Illusion 1 & 2
Blind Melon, Blind Melon
Smashing Pumpkins, Siamese Dream
Janet Jackson, Janet
Counting Crows, August and Everything After
Counting Crows, Recovering the Satellites
Nirvana, In Utero
Soundgarden, Superunknown
Presidents of the United States of America, Self-titled
Fiona Apple, Tidal
Weezer, Pinkerton
Lauryn Hill, The Miseducation Of
Blink 182, Enema of the State

And yes, I do deal with some obsessive tendencies.
I might have every one of these. From your list I’d highlight:

Pinkerton. One of the most influential albums of the era. It’s become an emo touchstone. And it was considered a disappointment when it came out. The millennials in my office often cite this album.

The Rhythm of the Saints. Just a masterpiece and probably not as revered as it should be because it’s so often compared to its predecessor.

Ritual De Lo Habitual. If I could redo my top 10 this would be in it. Just an amazing rock album. “Three Days” is one of my favorite songs of all time.

Some more I’d add:

Los Lobos, Kiko
Modest Mouse, The Lonesome Crowded West
Chris Isaak, Forever Blue
Bob Dylan, Time Out of Mind
Neil Young, Harvest Moon
Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 3
Massive Attack, Mezzanine
Everything But The Girl, Temperamental
Moby, Play
Jeff Buckley, Grace
Elliott Smith, XO
 
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malaise

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I might have every one of these. From your list I’d highlight:

Pinkerton. One of the most influential albums of the era. It’s become an emo touchstone. And it was considered a disappointment when it came out. The millennials in my office often cite this album.

The Rhythm of the Saints. Just a masterpiece and probably not as revered as it should be because it’s so often compared to its predecessor.

Ritual De Lo Habitual. If I could redo my top 10 this would be in it. Just an amazing rock album. “Three Days” is one of my favorite songs of all time.

Some more I’d add:

Los Lobos, Kiko
Modest Mouse, The Lonesome Crowded West
Chris Isaak, Forever Blue
Bob Dylan, Time Out of Mind
Neil Young, Harvest Moon
Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 3
Massive Attack, Mezzanine
Everything But The Girl, Temperamental
Moby, Play
Jeff Buckley, Grace
Elliott Smith, XO
good adds. the most emo of emo albums to me is the sunny day real estate one. **** was amazing.
 

idighorns

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There are some great ones here and there. Guardians of the Galaxy has a few great ones. Black Panther was really good. I liked some of the 8 Mile stuff. Back in the day, didn’t Judgment Night fuse a bunch of rock and hip hop bands together for a track? Thought it was solid at the time.
That's exactly what it was. The Judgment Night soundtrack was so great at the time, when I listened a couple years back a lot of it hadn't aged as well as I expected but there were still 3 or 4 great tracks. The Del/Dino Jr track, Sir Mix-a-Lot/Mudhoney, De La Soul/Teenage Fanclub, and maybe the Helmet/House of Pain.
 
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junglerules

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A criminally underrated country act and album.

Another pair of underrated country albums from that time period are:

Hal Ketchum, Past the Point of Rescue
Radney Foster, Del Rio, 1959

I've seen both of these guys live in recent years--Ketchum at the Kessler and Foster at Gruene Hall--and their music and their voices still hold up as well as anything from that era.
Radney Foster is such a great songwriter. Definitely someone who has written lots of great songs others have released that people may not realize.
 
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idighorns

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**** i forgot the whole punk/pop punk sorta category. START THE THREAD OVER
It's such a broad category. Like my wife and I both love 90s pop-punk but have almost no overlap in the artists/albums that we loved. She was very Fat Wreck and Warped tour and I was very Lookout!/Ramones style.

ps: MBV Loveless is the greatest album of all time so props for listing that.
 
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malaise

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It's such a broad category. Like my wife and I both love 90s pop-punk but have almost no overlap in the artists/albums that we loved. She was very Fat Wreck and Warped tour and I was very Lookout!/Ramones style.

ps: MBV Loveless is the greatest album of all time so props for listing that.
yea so many good times with all that pop punk ****.


loveless is definitely flawless. unsure if it's better than like...heaven or las vegas which i forgot to list. ****. that was an all caps ****


edit - also that blue mbv album that they self released is totally amazing too but you can only buy it from them and it's going to disappear/be forgotten/etc.
 

malaise

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This album is on my list of "didn't appreciate in the 90s but love it now".
that's probably about half of my list. i'm 37 this year so it's not like i was dropping acid and listening to cocteau twins or some ****.

also been blaring all these albums in the office today and they all really hold up. i was then informed that the kids these days have never heard of jane's addiction. brutal realization brah
 

SAhornfan

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that's probably about half of my list. i'm 37 this year so it's not like i was dropping acid and listening to cocteau twins or some ****.

also been blaring all these albums in the office today and they all really hold up. i was then informed that the kids these days have never heard of jane's addiction. brutal realization brah
So they don't know the history of Lollapalooza that they attend? No Perry Farrell, no Lollapalooza (I assume they still go since it's still going on).
 

idighorns

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that's probably about half of my list. i'm 37 this year so it's not like i was dropping acid and listening to cocteau twins or some ****.

also been blaring all these albums in the office today and they all really hold up. i was then informed that the kids these days have never heard of jane's addiction. brutal realization brah
My early 90s was hip-hop and college/indie rock, by '95 I was heavily into garage rock and punk. A lot of the records on these lists are why I was into punk rock and garage rock by the mid-90s :)
 
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idighorns

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So they don't know the history of Lollapalooza that they attend? No Perry Farrell, no Lollapalooza (I assume they still go since it's still going on).
It doesn't travel anymore and he sold the name years ago. At this point it's indistinguishable from all the other garbage music festivals.
 

windycityhorn

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So they don't know the history of Lollapalooza that they attend? No Perry Farrell, no Lollapalooza (I assume they still go since it's still going on).
It's still going. My wife and I met at Lolla '08. I did not see the first-ever Lollapalooza tour but I did see Year 2 which many consider the best lineup in its history: Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Tool, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against the Machine.
 
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