Friday, 5 July 2013

Top 5(0) Albums of the Nineties

Don't worry, this won't be a regular thing. Some people I follow on Twitter decided to do their Top 50 Albums of the Nineties and I thought it would be fun to join in. It certainly proved to me it's easier to do top fives than lists this big. I spent weeks listening to old albums and trying to place them in an acceptable semblance of order. Typically the top 5 proved pretty easy and with only one slight change (Godspeed usurped Cornershop) remained in the same positions from my original rough list to the final article. Organising the rest was like trying to complete a Chinese puzzle. It has also provided me with an extra ten top fives, which I suspect you'll be seeing here sooner rather than later. I had a lot of fun doing it, even if it did start to take over my life, and it was an excellent way to listen to some old albums I'd not played in ages. Here's the full fifty then, in reverse order, with my top five at the bottom.

50. Inspiral Carpets "Life" (90)
49. The Flaming Lips "Transmissions From The Satellite Heart" (93)
48. Portishead "Dummy" (94)
47. Slint "Spiderland" (91)
46. Mercury Rev "Deserters Songs" (98)
45. Elastica "Elastica" (95)
44. Faith No More "Angel Dust" (92)
43. Blur "Parklife" (94)
42. Fugazi "In On The Kill Taker" (93)
41. PJ Harvey "To Bring You My Love" (95)
40. Sparklehorse "Good Morning Spider" (98)
39. Massive Attack "Blue Lines" (91)
38. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds "The Boatman's Call" (97)
37. Bjork "Debut" (93)
36. Pearl Jam "Vitalogy" (94)
35. Cat Power "Moon Pix" (98)
34. Sonic Youth "Goo" (90)
33. Tom Waits "Mule Variations" (99)
32. The Breeders "Pod" (90)
31. Palace Music "Viva Last Blues" (95)
30. Les Savy Fav "3/5" (97)
29. Lucinda Williams "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road" (98)
28. Spiritualized "Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space" (97)
27. The Flaming Lips "The Soft Bulletin" (99)
26. Sugar "Copper Blue" (92)
25. Nirvana "In Utero" (93)
24. dEUS "The Ideal Crash" (99)
23. PJ Harvey "Rid Of Me" (93)
22. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds "Murder Ballads" (96)
21. PJ Harvey "Dry" (92)
20. Sleater Kinney "Dig Me Out" (97)
19. Mogwai "Come On Die Young" (99)
18. Jane's Addiction "Ritual De Lo Habitual" (90)
17. Calexico "The Black Light" (98)
16. R.E.M. "Out Of Time" (91)
15. The Black Crowes "The Southern Musical Companion" (92)
14. Mark Lanegan "Whiskey For The Holy Ghost" (94)
13. Bonnie Prince Billy "I See A Darkness" (99)
12. Smog "Knock Knock" (99)
11. Lambchop "What Another Man Spills" (98)
10. The Breeders "Last Splash" (93)
9. Radiohead "The Bends" (95)
8. Johnny Cash "Unchained" (97)
7. Cornershop "When I Was Born For The 7th Time" (97)
6. Pixies "Bossanova" (92)

5. Godspeed You Black Emperor! "F♯ A♯ ∞" (98) - Debut album from when they were still a shadowy collective and the ! was still at the end of their name. The mystery was certainly part of the draw for ages all I had to go on was a blurry photo of the band by a rail track. It took ages to find out all their names and even longer to put faces to the names. This was the one album I didn't have in my original draft top 5 but replaying it confirmed how much I still love it.

4. Jeff Buckley "Grace" (94) - Jeff Buckley's greatest moment, sad he didn't stick around for more. An album I've played so often I don't expect to enjoy it anymore but always find I do. Bizarrely I discovered Grace via a recommendation from the Jethro Tull fanzine editor.

3. Fugazi "Repeater" (90) - Got into them late but they're now one of my favourite bands and this is their best album. Wish I'd bought an album sooner than I did. Known as much for their self-sufficient DIY ethic and dislike of the commercial music business, they're currently on an indefinite hiatus. The band I would most like to see reform.

2. Radiohead "OK Computer" (97) - 1997 was the year my faith in new music was revitalised and this album was the main reason for that. I think this album took ideas from Prog Rock but delivered them in a way the cool kids could enjoy.

1. Nirvana "Nevermind" (91) - I think I first heard it on a trip to the wilds of Scotland to see Fish (out of Marillion). Whispering Bob Harris played several tracks during a late night drive on a very dark road. I bought the album as soon as I got home. It marked the end of my METAL days and the start of new musical adventures.


Bigplatts said...

Just discovered this blog; very good I must say. As an over-the-top Nirvana I always search them out in lists like this, was getting ready to complain when I saw the big picture Nevermind at the bottom. The other picks are good too, although In Utero is still my favorite of the decade.

Chopper said...

Hello. Thanks very much for the comment, sorry it's taken me a while to reply, I was on holiday when you posted.

I often veer between Bleach, Nevermind and In Utero as to my favourite Nirvana album. Nevermind was my point of entry though so nostalgia helped it win out for me. Most of the top 25 could have been much higher on another day.