The Fifty Greatest Rock Albums of the 1990s: Part One: 50-41by Matt Aucoin
Nov 17, 2003 (Updated Nov 29, 2003)
Popular Products in MusicThe Bottom Line Forget Ten and Nevermind...
The 1990s was a perhaps unsurpassed time of unbridled creativity in rock music. As bands like Jane's Addiction and The Black Crowes began to usher out the hair metal acts of the 1980s, it was a three piece band from Seattle that put the finishing touches on a long dead sub-genre. And when one thinks of rock music in the 1990s, it's not unfair to think of Seattle as the main thing. What I'm attempting to do with this list is to shine a light on the fifty rock albums that shined brighter than any other. Some of these picks will no doubt bother some people, hell, some of them might just p*ss a whole lot of people off. And sorry, but Ten and Nevermind didn't make the list...why? Because they aren't one of the 50 best rock albums of the 90s.
Now, what are we waiting for? Let's rock!
50. Bush- Sixteen Stone: I'm sure I will get some comments on this (especially given that Nevermind didn't make the entire list), but basically, I'll defend this album to its dying day because it was the most mindless and yet oddly fun album to listen to. The singles, ranging from the pounding Little Things to the soft Glycerine, were solid. Sure it's derivative, but sometimes you need a little candy in your diet, ya know? Key cut: Machinehead
49. Aerosmith- Nine Lives: While oh-so-many people seem to love Get a Grip (better known as GAG), the fact is is that Get a Grip was one of the worst albums ever put out by a good band. Nine Lives found the band rocking again, although they still retained some of that pop touch. The Farm is downright dirty, and who doesn't love the fact this band had 13 year old girls unknowingly singing about p*ssy on Pink? Key cuts: The Farm, Nine Lives
48. Creed-My Own Prison: Well, I'm sure THIS one will bring out the comments. All I have to say is whatever guys. On their first record, Scott Stapp wasn't trying to be Jesus, he just wrote some really good songs, and Mark Tremonti laid down some really bada*s riffs, and thus, My Own Prison was born. F*ck Human Clay and Weathered, indeed, but this my friends, was a keeper. Key cuts: What's This Life For, Unforgiven
47. U2- Zooropa: A puzzle to some, a miserable excuse for an album to others (hi grez!), and an experimental success to many people, Zooropa doesn't come close to touching the band's 2 most obvious masterpieces (The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby). That being said, much like Garbage's album, it revels in it's alternative sound, a perfect mix of guitar, drums, vocals and electronic add ons...except for Lemon...that song should just f*cking die. Key cuts: Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car, Zooropa
46. Collective Soul- Collective Soul: No longer the band's best overall recording (that honor goes to 2000's Blender), this is still an excellent set of songs that truly feel like an "album" and not just a bunch of singles with filler thrown on. Key Cuts: December, Smashing Young Man
45. Bon Jovi- Keep the Faith: Released just mere months after Pearl Jam's Jeremy ruled the charts, so many people wrote Bon Jovi off as one of those hair bands. They were wrong. The rockers rock, the ballads swoon, and forget November Rain: Dry County is the best damn pretentiously overlong but still kick a*s piano ballad of the decade. Key Cuts: Dry County, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
44. Nine Inch Nails- The Fragile: It's now been four years since Trent Reznor unleashed this beast on us, and well, I still don't know exactly how I would write a review of it. It's one of the most challenging listens of the 90s, and it's an album that seems to get better with each successive listen. I'm just not buying that it's the best NIN gave us in the decade. Key Cuts: We're In This Together, Even Deeper
43. Garbage- Garbage: Some may question whether this is even a rock album, but with the 90s being the home of "alternative nation," perhaps no band and no album better personified that than Garbage on this electrifying mix of electronica, dance and rock. Key cuts: Only Happy When It Rains, Vow
42. Pantera- Vulgar Display of Power: While it is a popular theory that true metal died with the explosion of Korn in the 1990s, Pantera was a bit of a throwback metal band. They drank hard, and played even harder. Vulgar Display of Power is everything it's title suggests: hard hitting, with more than a touch of great songwriting and even, *GASP*, some tenderness. Key Cuts: This Love, Walk
41. Candlebox- Lucy: Dismissed by music critics as a Seattle band with no real weight behind them (the barbs were well deserved on the band's self-titled debut), Candlebox kind of came out of left field with Lucy, an album that bombed at retail but deserved to fare so much better. If you don't own this album (and judging by the sales, you probably don't), get it. Hell, Shelly might have a copy for ya. ;) Key Cuts: Butterfly, Drowned
Well, that's the first ten. Forty rock albums left to go. Anyone care to place bets on what's to come?
The Fifty Greatest Rock Albums of the 1990s Part One: #'s 50-41
The Fifty Greatest Rock Albums of the 1990s Part Two: #'s 40-31
The Fifty Greatest Rock Albums of the 1990s Part Three: #'s 30-21
The Fifty Greatest Rock Albums of the 1990s Part Four: #'s 20-11
The Fifty Greatest Rock Albums of the 1990s Part Five: #'s 10-1
The 100 Greatest Rock Songs Ever #'s 100-81
The 100 Greatest Rock Songs Ever #'s 80-61
The 100 Greatest Rock Songs Ever #'s 60-41
The 100 Greatest Rock Songs Ever #'s 40-21
The 100 Greatest Rock Songs Ever #'s 20-1