Best Albums of the 90s

SAhornfan

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All good comments...except for that b-side from Kill 'em All one.

Maybe "sucked" was the wrong word for the Black album. It was just largely disappointing to me. Surprisingly to some I suppose, I think Ride the Lightening and MoP are largely on even footing when it comes to my favorites...Fade to Black is Metallica's best song. I blame switching from a bassist that used his fingers to one that used a pick.

It's funny that SA brings up Springsteen - he's probably my favorite singer/songwriter ever and I know he's polarizing a bit. I was only vaguely aware of him prior to Born in the USA due to my age and he simply wasn't played much on mainstream radio in Texas (IMO). I've seen him 10 times (which is minuscule compared to some hardcore fans). His pre-Born in the USA catalog is incredible. That album is also great but suffers a bit from the "it was more mainstream" than the others...maybe kind of like my feelings on the Black album.

As far as Nirvana, I can appreciate that they almost singlehandedly drove a new genre of music that became wildly popular, both with the audience and critics. And even though I like GnR better, I can admit that they didn't drive their genre like Nirvana did theirs. GnR's genre, to me, started in the late 70s with Van Halen among others. GnR simply came into it and proved they were better than everyone else for a short, glorious time. And I consider Def Leppard (probably also the Crue) to have really carried the mantle of that genre through most of the 80s until GNR showed up - I wore out my copy of Pyromania in 82-84. Waiting around for Hysteria was painful.

Someone mentioned the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks - they're awesome...hard to think of a better one that incorporated existing music put into a compilation.

I also like Meatloaf a lot. As strange as that sounds.

Country is a whole 'nother discussion. I also didn't listen to a lot of rap.
I am also a big Meatloaf fan. Got to play on his softball team years ago when I was in LA visiting a mutual friend. My comment about Country wasn't to change the subject but rather to point out that the rock we grew up with now comes out of Nashville.
 
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Iz of Texas

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I am also a big Meatloaf fan. Got to play on his softball team years ago when I was in LA visiting a mutual friend. My comment about Country wasn't to change the subject but rather to point out that the rock we grew up with now comes out of Nashville.
on that we agree.

That's cool on Meatloaf....I'm kinda surprised he's still alive TBH.
 

Iz of Texas

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Kind of like Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Neither would be where they are without the other.
Yeah, I was just thinking about that the other day (maybe because of the new Elton John movie and pondering that singer/writer combo). Who else could perform Steinman's unique brand of music they way it should be besides Meat?
 

SAhornfan

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Yeah, I was just thinking about that the other day (maybe because of the new Elton John movie and pondering that singer/writer combo). Who else could perform Steinman's unique brand of music they way it should be besides Meat?
Bonnie Tyler is the only other one and I think it was only one song.
 
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MikeHdez12

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Wow, someone got an internet conversation out of SA. Wonders never cease.

Of Metallica, I don't have a whole bunch of their stuff and I'm not sure what kind of reputation it has amongst their truer fans, but I rather enjoyed Death Magnetic.
 

PFD

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As far as Nirvana, I can appreciate that they almost singlehandedly drove a new genre of music that became wildly popular, both with the audience and critics.
I don’t claim to be some Seattle insider or Sub-Pop historian, but it’s always been my sense that this is a false narrative concocted by MTV types and Cobain sycophants.

Bands like Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Mother Love Bone were brewing that distinctive Seattle sound long before MTV picked up “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and crowned Nirvana as the spokesmen of the scene.

I mean, there’s a reason why there aren’t any Nirvana tracks on the Singles soundtrack.
 

Iz of Texas

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I don’t claim to be some Seattle insider or Sub-Pop historian, but it’s always been my sense that this is a false narrative concocted by MTV types and Cobain sycophants.

Bands like Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Mother Love Bone were brewing that distinctive Seattle sound long before MTV picked up “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and crowned Nirvana as the spokesmen of the scene.

I mean, there’s a reason why there aren’t any Nirvana tracks on the Singles soundtrack.
Interesting - honestly I don't know enough about that genre to speak to this at all. It would make sense that I bought the Nirvana narrative then. I knew those other bands were big in that genre but don't know how much any of them were ultimately response for its success or the success of Nirvana. I didn't really like the movie that much either. I probably should have skipped the 90s.
 

MikeHdez12

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What the hell, why is this the Nirvana bashing thread all of a sudden? Am I a Nirvana truther? Am I the one who liked all the pretty songs? Could it be I was the one who liked to sing along, to shoot my gun? Could it be me, this entire time, that knew not what it meant?
 
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Iz of Texas

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Also, speaking of GoG soundtrack, Cherry Bomb by The Runaways is awesome. Yes, I love you Lita and Joan.
 

MikeHdez12

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Also, speaking of GoG soundtrack, Cherry Bomb by The Runaways is awesome. Yes, I love you Lita and Joan.
Cherry Bomb is one of those songs that pops up in movies that's an automatic cue for oh, watch out for this chick! I kind of view it as a less commercial version of Bad Reputation, same effect but a little less known.
 

idighorns

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So I just read through this thread and I'll be the debbie downer....all opinions are attributable solely to this poster.

Most 90s music sucked. Grunge sucks. Pearl Jam and Nirvana are the two most overrated bands ever. I realize those aren't popular or mainstream opinions. Just never got into them.

For reference, I'm 45. But my musical tastes ran older cause the only other kids on my street were between 5-8 years older so I ended up listening to what they liked. I would choose classic rock and 80s over 90s every day and twice on sundays.

Funny enough, like SA, I thought Shake Your Money Maker was an 80s album but I then recalled that I listened to it all the time my junior year of HS which was 90-91. Great album.

I think Razor's Edge by ACDC was 90 or 91. I still consider most of the Bon Scott albums and Back In Black to be far superior but it's still good. ACDC isn't a 90s band however.
No flames, opinions are like a$$holes, everyone has one and they usually stink ;)
First, an observation that I don't really feel like the '90s started until late '91/early '92 when Nirvana exploded onto the scene and changed everything overnight.
Second, you remind me of some dudes who did a radio show at my college. As the music director, one of my duties was to scan playlists and assemble a "most played' list to submit to College Music Journal. It helped them create their top 100 list and also helped us as a radio station secure promotional copies of albums for radio play. Anyway, the Hoss and Moreau show played the exact same 25 songs in a different order, every week. It was almost entirely 70s and 80s rock, but did include Hard to Handle.
 
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idighorns

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I don’t claim to be some Seattle insider or Sub-Pop historian, but it’s always been my sense that this is a false narrative concocted by MTV types and Cobain sycophants.

Bands like Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Mother Love Bone were brewing that distinctive Seattle sound long before MTV picked up “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and crowned Nirvana as the spokesmen of the scene.

I mean, there’s a reason why there aren’t any Nirvana tracks on the Singles soundtrack.
Because they didn't need to be?
Just because you don't like Nirvana doesn't mean you're correct about all this. It is true that there is no one Seattle sound, and the bands you mentioned got lumped into a "grunge" narrative by MTV/record label promoters as a catch-all. Alice in Chains and Soundgarden are metal/hard rock bands. Pearl Jam is garbage. Mudhoney is bluesy punk. I was playing Soundgarden's Louder then Love album on my "alternative music" radio shows in college while none of the classic rock DJs would touch them.
Nirvana caught the zeitgeist of a generation trying to figure out where they fit. I was playing "Smells like Teen Spirit" on our radio station in late '91, and it was on our record shelves for anyone to play. After the Christmas break, when people came back from holidays and had been exposed to the song via MTV (our small, backwards college town didn't have MTV because it was bad for kids/teens), everyone wanted to hear it and DJs who would never touch contemporary music that didn't sound like 70s rock were spinning it.
 
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fdub206

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Because they didn't need to be?
Just because you don't like Nirvana doesn't mean you're correct about all this. It is true that there is no one Seattle sound, and the bands you mentioned got lumped into a "grunge" narrative by MTV/record label promoters as a catch-all. Alice in Chains and Soundgarden are metal/hard rock bands. Pearl Jam is garbage. Mudhoney is bluesy punk. I was playing Soundgarden's Louder then Love album on my "alternative music" radio shows in college while none of the classic rock DJs would touch them.
Nirvana caught the zeitgeist of a generation trying to figure out where they fit. I was playing "Smells like Teen Spirit" on our radio station in late '91, and it was on our record shelves for anyone to play. After the Christmas break, when people came back from holidays and had been exposed to the song via MTV (our small, backwards college town didn't have MTV because it was bad for kids/teens), everyone wanted to hear it and DJs who would never touch contemporary music that didn't sound like 70s rock were spinning it.
Good call on not on Seattle sound. Ten, Dirt, Badmotorfinger, Nevermind all came out within a year or so of each other and all have completely different sounds. They just all got lumped together by the media.
 

fdub206

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Because they didn't need to be?
Just because you don't like Nirvana doesn't mean you're correct about all this. It is true that there is no one Seattle sound, and the bands you mentioned got lumped into a "grunge" narrative by MTV/record label promoters as a catch-all. Alice in Chains and Soundgarden are metal/hard rock bands. Pearl Jam is garbage. Mudhoney is bluesy punk. I was playing Soundgarden's Louder then Love album on my "alternative music" radio shows in college while none of the classic rock DJs would touch them.
Nirvana caught the zeitgeist of a generation trying to figure out where they fit. I was playing "Smells like Teen Spirit" on our radio station in late '91, and it was on our record shelves for anyone to play. After the Christmas break, when people came back from holidays and had been exposed to the song via MTV (our small, backwards college town didn't have MTV because it was bad for kids/teens), everyone wanted to hear it and DJs who would never touch contemporary music that didn't sound like 70s rock were spinning it.
But c'mon man I love Pearl Jam! I never got into Mudhoney much though. I would have loved to see where Alice in Chains went with Layne around longer.
 
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idighorns

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But c'mon man I love Pearl Jam! I never got into Mudhoney much though. I would have loved to see where Alice in Chains went with Layne around longer.
I've never liked Pearl Jam, just sounded like pretty average bro rock to me. There's an OK song or two on the second album, but all that was undone by their absolutely horrific cover of "Last Kiss".
 

PFD

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Because they didn't need to be?
Just because you don't like Nirvana doesn't mean you're correct about all this. It is true that there is no one Seattle sound, and the bands you mentioned got lumped into a "grunge" narrative by MTV/record label promoters as a catch-all. Alice in Chains and Soundgarden are metal/hard rock bands. Pearl Jam is garbage. Mudhoney is bluesy punk. I was playing Soundgarden's Louder then Love album on my "alternative music" radio shows in college while none of the classic rock DJs would touch them.
Nirvana caught the zeitgeist of a generation trying to figure out where they fit. I was playing "Smells like Teen Spirit" on our radio station in late '91, and it was on our record shelves for anyone to play. After the Christmas break, when people came back from holidays and had been exposed to the song via MTV (our small, backwards college town didn't have MTV because it was bad for kids/teens), everyone wanted to hear it and DJs who would never touch contemporary music that didn't sound like 70s rock were spinning it.
I’m not hear to argue about the diversity of the Seattle sound. No one claimed that it’s homogenous or cookie-cutter.

I’m a big fan of, e.g., Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Pumpkins, and Mother Love Bone (whose anthem “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” is arguably the best song of the genre).

I just think that Nirvana is terribly overrated, and I don’t acknowledge them as the vanguard or the spokesmen of the genre. That’s just MTV’s revisionist history.
 

fdub206

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I’m not hear to argue about the diversity of the Seattle sound. No one claimed that it’s homogenous or cookie-cutter.

I’m a big fan of, e.g., Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Pumpkins, and Mother Love Bone (whose anthem “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” is arguably the best song of the genre).

I just think that Nirvana is terribly overrated, and I don’t acknowledge them as the vanguard or the spokesmen of the genre. That’s just MTV’s revisionist history.
Oh man now you are talking. Chloe Dancer is so great. One of my favorite underrated Seattle artists Shawn Smith (recently passed) does a great cover.

 
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malaise

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I’m not hear to argue about the diversity of the Seattle sound. No one claimed that it’s homogenous or cookie-cutter.

I’m a big fan of, e.g., Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Pumpkins, and Mother Love Bone (whose anthem “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” is arguably the best song of the genre).

I just think that Nirvana is terribly overrated, and I don’t acknowledge them as the vanguard or the spokesmen of the genre. That’s just MTV’s revisionist history.
you're outta control.

they were the vanguard and the spokesman of like...everything brah. they were simultaneously the best AND coolest band from the grunge scene and then every other scene x 10. they ****in ruled and they still rule.

they were the sex pistols and beatles and grunge and pop and had indie cred chops. they ****in RULED BRO
 

PFD

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you're outta control.

they were the vanguard and the spokesman of like...everything brah. they were simultaneously the best AND coolest band from the grunge scene and then every other scene x 10. they ****in ruled and they still rule.

they were the sex pistols and beatles and grunge and pop and had indie cred chops. they ****in RULED BRO
So, what I hear you saying is, for you, Nirvana was basically the prototype for Nickelback.
 
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Young Williams

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I don’t claim to be some Seattle insider or Sub-Pop historian, but it’s always been my sense that this is a false narrative concocted by MTV types and Cobain sycophants.

Bands like Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Mother Love Bone were brewing that distinctive Seattle sound long before MTV picked up “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and crowned Nirvana as the spokesmen of the scene.

I mean, there’s a reason why there aren’t any Nirvana tracks on the Singles soundtrack.
Well, yes...It’s because Nirvana said no.
 
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Young Williams

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Anyone feel like discussing how gay this cover was/is, and how it’s pretty much gone unnoticed or mentioned for 28 years?

Because that’s a rabbit hole I’ve fallen down today before even wandering back to this forum.

They’re high-fiving! Non-ironically!

What a freshmaker.

Let me clarify...I’m Team PJ all the way, and this is a classic, all-time album.

But what an embarrassing cover. It’s like someone at the label was a Cobain stan and wanted to punk their career. “I’ll make it pink, and they’ll be high-fiving.”

“Up high.”

(Hands connect a bodacious 5)

“Down low.”

(Jerks hand away)

“Even flow.”
 
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Young Williams

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And now, in the interest of fairness and balance, I’ll rip on Nirvana.

It always annoys me, on the MTV Unplugged album, when that preening gasbag of self-hatred Cobain intros a song, saying, “This is from our first album. Most people don’t own it.”

Well yeah, you tongue-clicking, finger-wagging, tut-tutting minge. In spite of your attempt to collection-shame your audience, who paid their hard-earned money to see *you* play your songs they had the unbridled temerity to like, there are 7 billion ****ing people in the world...

Most people don’t own every album ever made.
 
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MikeHdez12

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And now, in the interest of fairness and balance, I’ll rip on Nirvana.

It always annoys me, on the MTV Unplugged album, when that preening gasbag of self-hatred Cobain intros a song, saying, “This is from our first album. Most people don’t own it.”

Well yeah, you tongue-clicking, finger-wagging, tut-tutting minge. In spite of your attempt to collection-shame your audience, who paid their hard-earned money to see *you* play your songs they had the unbridled temerity to like, there are 7 billion ****ing people in the world...

Most people don’t own every album ever made.
Totally gonna swipe this if I every do karaoke again.

"This song is by Toto. Most people don't know it." *Piano intro from Georgie Porgie begins*
 
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idighorns

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And now, in the interest of fairness and balance, I’ll rip on Nirvana.

It always annoys me, on the MTV Unplugged album, when that preening gasbag of self-hatred Cobain intros a song, saying, “This is from our first album. Most people don’t own it.”

Well yeah, you tongue-clicking, finger-wagging, tut-tutting minge. In spite of your attempt to collection-shame your audience, who paid their hard-earned money to see *you* play your songs they had the unbridled temerity to like, there are 7 billion ****ing people in the world...

Most people don’t own every album ever made.
I'm in the minority of folks who listen to such kinds of music that thinks the whole MTV Unplugged album is pretty overrated. The Leadbelly cover is great but I don't love the Bowie cover. And radio has basically stopped playing the excellent album version of All Apologies in favor of the limp acoustic version.
 
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PFD

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Well, yes...It’s because Nirvana said no.
Here’s what writer and director Cameron Crowe, who personally assembled the soundtrack, has to say on the subject.


Singles (1992)
Paul Westerberg’s “Dyslexic Heart” became an anthem of this movie, and the soundtrack, required listening for fans of Seattle grunge. But is that the song you identify most with Singles?

I love “Dyslexic Heart,” particularly Westerberg’s acoustic demo that we just put on the expanded version of the soundtrack . . . for me, though, the song that best captures the movie is Pearl Jam’s “State of Love and Trust.” Eddie Vedder wrote the song after he’d read the script, and I always thought that song dug down deep and caught the romantic upheaval and ****-the-world passion of a young relationship. The band still plays it live, and it always takes me back to the original feeling of the movie.

You’ve said before that you didn’t mean to make a film about Seattle grunge, but about relationships and your time in the city. Would you change the soundtrack in retrospect to get away from that, or is the music essential to understanding the relationships of the film?

Wouldn’t change a thing. The movie and the soundtrack are like snapshots of the city and the time and the feeling of promise in the air. I would put a few more songs on, and we finally did recently. Truly’s “Heart and Lungs” is one of the songs that belonged. That song should have made the starting team. Also, I would add more Alice in Chains. Hugely influential band, then and now.

The story goes that Nirvana was too expensive for the soundtrack by the time the studio finally got around to releasing Singles. Are there any other quintessentially grunge songs that got away here?

I don’t think it was a matter of expense. I think Nirvana didn’t want to be a part of it. They did originally. The band had blessed us using stuff from Bleach and they even sent us early mixes of Nevermind. But as the whole grunge thing exploded, and Pearl Jam and Nirvana famously slipped into opposing camps, it became less attractive to Nirvana. (Pearl Jam also appeared in the movie as actors.) Using Nirvana would have been overkill as well. Much more apropos was the inclusion of Mudhoney, and their take on the whole explosion [with] “Overblown.”
Reading between the lines, I don’t think Crowe ever really wanted Nirvana on the soundtrack.

It’s obvious that he was personal and emotionally invested in other bands like Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, and Mudhoney, based on his personal experiences and relationships in Seattle in the late 80s and early 90s.

Not so with Nirvana. This interview and other sources show that he didn’t bring Nirvana to the table, based on what he wanted. Instead, Warner Brothers brought Nirvana to him, because of their commercial success.

Him saying that “I think Nirvana didn’t want to be a part of it” is a diplomatic way of not having to say that he didn’t really want their music on the soundtrack to begin with.

BTW, a trivia question for the resident Cobain sycophants—when did Alice In Chains’ “Man in the Box” first chart in comparison to when “Smells Like Teen Spirit” first charted.
 
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