About Me

My photo
Cork, Ireland
An Irish based alternative music blog. Music news, gigs, live reviews, album reviews... You'll find them here. If you want anything featured or removed, please shout. I hope you'll discover something new to love on this little experiment of mine. Currently editing the Music Section of the UCC Express and contributing to Motley magazine on campus, as well as writing for PopCultureMonster and 4FortyFour. Always looking for new projects so please get in touch if interested. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The 1990s...

I recently read a blog entry by the ever inconsistent Luke Lewis on nme.com about the "defining" sounds of the 90s, after which he asked people for their favourite albums - not exactly the same thing if ya ask me. What defined the 90s? For me? Eh... Probably Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the Simpsons and Hanson - gimme a break I was born in 1990...

Looking back, sonically it was surely Nirvana - Blur/Oasis - Spice Girls - awful dance music: none of which would make it into my top albums of the 1990s.

But what are my favourite albums of the 90s? It's a tough one. While I love Radiohead, I think that everything they have done since 2000 has far surpassed OK Computer, The Bends and (the appalling) Pablo Honey. The Stone Roses, REM and the Pixies are three more - all their best work was done BEFORE 1990. U2 did some fine work in the 90s [yeah now THERE's a sentence ya don't hear too often!] but nothing that would come close to my favourites, while I never fell in love with Blur and Oasis in the way many did. Damon Albarn has realised his genius with Gorillaz for me, while the Gallaghers are frankly the most overrated musicians to ever grace the earth. Though another 90s "legend" comes close: Mr. Richard Ashcroft. I think I've just outgrown Nirvana, the Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, etc. so I'm rapidly running out of acts here...

I've settled on the few below - though I'm surely missing something good so please comment! What are your favourites from the 90s?

My top picks... [These are in a completely random order btw! Just as they come to mind...]

  • The La's: The La's [1990] A really retro feel, this album is a classic. Not least for the irresistable There She Goes.
  • Pixies: Bossanova [1990] While it doesn't match up to their first two albums, the science fiction infused third release from the Pixies has some great tracks.
  • REM: Out of Time [1990] Again it isn't of the standard of Murmur, etc. but this is a very fine album from Stipe and co.
  • Beck: Mellow Gold [1994] An early indicator of the genius of Mr. Hanson - though better was to come.
  • Pavement: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain [1994] I'm not a huge Pavement fan but this record does hit the spot for me!
  • Nirvana: MTV Unplugged In New York [1994] A stunning work. Without a doubt the best thing ever put to record by any of Grohl, Cobain and Novaselic.
  • Sparklehorse: Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionsubplot [1995] Simply spectacular. Every note is pitch perfect - my favourite album from the 1990s.
  • Beck: Odelay [1995] A close second. Beck has never come close to the heights he reached on this record. It is truly phenomenal.
  • The Frames: Fitzcarraldo [1996] The best Irish album of the 90s? I think so. Superb.
  • Wilco: Being There [1996] Certainly not of the standard they reached in the 00s, but a great record. Alt-country at its very finest.
  • The Beta Band: The Three EPs [1997] A great work this. The best Mason and co. managed I feel. Dry The Rain is a classic song.
  • Elliott Smith: Either/Or [1997] Not Smith's best, but damn close to it.
  • Grandaddy: Under The Western Freeway [1997] The album that introduced me to Grandaddy. A.M. 180 is among the best songs of the 90s.
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: The Boatman's Call [1997] A great, solemn work. Into My Arms is a haunting track.
  • Radiohead: OK Computer [1997] No list from the 90s is complete without it...
  • Elliott Smith: XO [1998] And THIS is Smith's best...
  • Neutral Milk Hotel: In the Aeroplane Over The Sea [1998] An alternative rock classic.
  • The Flaming Lips: The Soft Bulletin [1999] A hint of the magic that was to come.
  • The White Stripes: The White Stripes [1999] A fantastic work. Brash, distorted and bluesy - the White Stripes set the bar very high from day one.

Well that's my suggestions anyway! Few more than I wanted but hey - can't leave anyone out can I? As I said, please let me know what your top records are! Especially if anyone wants to give a few Irish suggestions: I only had the one in here.

No comments:

Post a Comment