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1991 In Music

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

25 Years ago, the most exciting year in music of my formative years. 

 

There was this lame 80's hangover, but with the kickoff of Lollapalooza, everything seemed to shift, with a murder's row of brilliant albums dropping all through the Summer and Fall. It's a cliché, but hearing 'Nevermind' was as generation defining as I imagine it had been to hear 'Meet the Beatles' or 'Sgt. Pepper's'. 

 

(I was in some club in ATL when I heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for the first time ..you could feel the collective buzz of Woooooah!)

 

People take shots now, but I can't tell ya how fresh and exhilarating the funk of Chili Peppers' Rick Rubin produced 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik' was.

 

'Out of Time' was a big one. 'De La Soul Is Dead'. 'Niggaz4Life' had mind-blowing production, upping the ante for gangsta rap, and meeting the challenge of the gauntlet thrown down by Ice Cube and Geto Boys the previous year.

 

The 'Jungle Fever soundtrack featuring a revitalized Stevie.

 

Cypress Hill's debut.

 

'Badmotorfinger'!

 

'Temple of the Dog'.

 

Neil Young's live defiant proto-Grunge statement.

 

Ice-T debuting his Black metal band Body Count which seemed so cool at the time.

 

And of course Teenage Fanclub.

 

So old heads ...share your memories and favorites of that year...

post #2 of 51
I heard NEVERMIND and GISH about the same time that year and I thought the Pumps album was much better. Still do. Saw them live at a shitty old movie theater (!) in Norman and they KILLED it.
post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 

I was about a year late on 'Gish', but yeah pretty great. Probably my favorite of theirs still.

post #4 of 51
So, just looking at the '91 album list in Wikipedia, Teenage Fanclub's BANDWAGONESQUE and My Bloody Valentine's LOVELESS were released on the same day. Damn! That's some quality shit right there.
post #5 of 51

Queen released INNUENDO in 1991, which was one hell of a good album to go out on.

post #6 of 51
Primus - Sailing the Seas of Cheese & Death - Human were my two revelations that year.
post #7 of 51
Thread Starter 

Can't believe I forgot PE's "Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black".

 

It was their first flawed album. But still hit hard.

 

Like the Fab 5, I rocked it on Walkman to get up for my soccer/ basketball games.

post #8 of 51
I was 9 years old. You Could Be Mine and November Rain were the bestest songs ever made. Good times.
post #9 of 51
Thread Starter 

I always respected Axel's ambition with the epic "Use Your Illusion 1 & 2" double shot. Even if shit like "Get In the Ring" was ridiculously ego driven to the point of embarrassment.

post #10 of 51

I remember sneaking out of the house and going with some friends to the midnight release of the Use Your Illusions. They're the very definition of self-indulgence, but a lot of the music still works for me. I've always thought "Locomotive" was one of their best songs, maybe because it's the closest the band came to Adler's swing after replacing him with Sorum's more thudding approach.

post #11 of 51

It's all about Badmotorfinger for me. Loveless, too. And it's been overplayed over the years, but I can't deny the power of Pearl Jam's debut, 'Ten'. Also, those Rage Against The Machine guys were notable. Some other picks:

 

Talk Talk - Laughing Stock

 

Throwing Muses - The Real Ramona  (somewhat unknown, but it was Tanya Donelly of Belly's first band)

 

Slowdive - Just For A Day

 

Primal Scream - Screamadelica

 

Richard Thompson - Rumor and Sigh

 

Kitchens Of Distinction - Strange Free World  (vastly underappreciated shoegaze rock band)

 

Swervedriver - Raise

 

This Mortal Coil - Blood

 

American Music Club - Everclear

 

Roxette - Joyride

 

The Innocence Mission - Umbrella

 

U2 - Achtung Baby

post #12 of 51
Thread Starter 

Huge for me: Prince 'Diamonds And Pearls'. Kind of a comeback for him. His MTV Video Awards performance that year was everything.

post #13 of 51
Thread Starter 

Huge for me: the Rubin produced The Four Horseman. Nobody remembers them, but their album 'Nobody Said It Was Easy' blazed.

post #14 of 51
You guys have already mentioned a bunch, but I'll also throw Blue Lines into the mix alongside Screamadelica. Big, big, biiiiig albums in the UK. As was the Orb's Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld.

Ten was my jam that year, though, alongside the Chillis, Nevermind and Achtung Baby. I was pretty mainstream.

I guess everyone is in denial about the Black Album.
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post

Huge for me: Prince 'Diamonds And Pearls'. Kind of a comeback for him. His MTV Video Awards performance that year was everything.

Was this 91? Massive album for me too, but I could have sworn it was 1990.

What a year. Time to build a 91 play list methinks.
post #16 of 51

Wow...TIN MACHINE II was that year.  Great, underrated album by David Bowie.  I beat the shit out of that album all year.

RUSH: ROLL THE BONES.  In my opinion, the last 'great' album that they did.

DIRE STRAITS: ON EVERY STREET.  Another favorite

OZZY OSBOURNE: NO MORE TEARS.  Also knows as his Greatest Hits

MATTHEW SWEET: GIRLFRIEND.  Solid college album for me.

post #17 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhp1608 View Post


Was this 91? Massive album for me too, but I could have sworn it was 1990.

 

 

Yea, '90 was 'Graffiti Bridge'.

post #18 of 51
Quote:

Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post

 

MATTHEW SWEET: GIRLFRIEND.  Solid college album for me.

LOVVVVVED this one.

 

Quote:
 Huge for me: the Rubin produced The Four Horseman. Nobody remembers them, but their album 'Nobody Said It Was Easy' blazed.

I thought of this out of the blue a few months ago and wondered what happened to those guys. Turns out the lead singer was a wild man who was sentenced to a one-year jail sentence for drugs right when that CD came out, and ended up getting hit by a drunk driver on the Sunset Strip a couple of years later. Ended up being in a coma for 4 years before eventually dying.

post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 

LOVVVVVED this one.

 

 

 

I wonder how this one holds up as an album.  This song is still killer.

post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
 

 

 

I wonder how this one holds up as an album.  This song is still killer.

"I've Been Waiting" is still a perfect piece of pop as well, but I haven't heard the rest of the CD in a while.

post #21 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post

 

RUSH: ROLL THE BONES.  In my opinion, the last 'great' album that they did.

 

 

I may be the only person of my generation who didn't have a Rush phase growing up. It was only their HOF induction that got me open enough to really hear them. Now I'm a fan.

 

Coincidently, one of my favorite critics was discussing them on Twitter. And he said: "COUNTERPARTS (1993) is Rush's final album without filler. Agree or disagree?"

post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post
 

Coincidently, one of my favorite critics was discussing them on Twitter. And he said: "COUNTERPARTS (1993) is Rush's final album without filler. Agree or disagree?"

 

It's a good one but not a favorite.  The 'no filler' comment might be correct, though.  I need to give that album another spin in all honesty.

 

Glad you're now a fan, though.  Rush is the soundtrack to my life.

post #23 of 51

Despite rock, metal and grunge being my tempo that year, these two songs say 1991 more than any other...



 





 



post #24 of 51
Also according to Wikipedia, I saw Jane's Addiction (with Chainsaw Kittens) on February 9 and Neil Young and Crazy Horse (with Sonic Youth and Social Distortion) on March 17 of that year. Seems like I also saw Superchunk and Ride (w/Slowdive) in '91 but memory is a bit fuzzy. Could have been '92.
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post
 

I always respected Axel's ambition with the epic "Use Your Illusion 1 & 2" double shot. Even if shit like "Get In the Ring" was ridiculously ego driven to the point of embarrassment.

 

This thread made me revisit Use Your Illusion. Right Next Door to Hell, 14 Years, Estranged, that horrible but awesome Dylan cover,.. I will never not love the idea that someone releases a 29-song, billion dollar production value double album. Yes, you could've trimmed it down to a single absolute classic album, but wouldn't that be kinda boring? 

 

Also great in the early 90s is the band sound. Falling between synthesizers and Pro Tools of the 80s and 2000s, and before the trendy lo-fi-shitty-on-purpose thing. When Matt Sorum hits that pristine-sounding snare drum, you FEEL it.

post #26 of 51
Thread Starter 

Huge for me: When Uncle L kicks into "Mama Said..." it's pure Rock n' Roll. I was dancing in my bedroom like the hyped brother in the audience. Amazing performance; he just slays the room. It was Hip-Hop equilalent of James Brown on T.A.M.I..

 

Hip-Hop was at an exciting crossroads that year.

 

 

 

 

 

I still say this out loud sometimes when I'm getting myself up to do something: "Pots and pans, grits and gravy, y'all ready, baby?"

post #27 of 51
My touchstones are pretty much what you guys have already mentioned - Temple of the Dog, Badmotorfinger, Nevermind, Ten, Cypress Hill's Black Sunday, the Use Your Illusions, Achtung Baby and Gish.

Metallica's Black Album is one that hasn't come up yet but we thrashed that in the cassette deck during surf missions that summer. Stevie Ray Vaughn's posthumous The Sky Is Crying album came out in late '91 too and doesn't really fit with those others, but it was big for me. His version of Little Wing still gives me goosebumps, and Life By The Drop can still make me tear up if it gets me at a tender moment.

Crowded House's Woodface album came out that year too, but I don't remember whether tracks like Fall at Your Feet or Four Seasons in One Day got much traction outside of NZ and Aus.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post

MATTHEW SWEET: GIRLFRIEND.  Solid college album for me.

I wasn't yet in college (aka "Uni") back then, but I dug the heck out of this album. One of the 90s albums that's aged better than most I reckon. Strong songwriting, raw-but-clean production all round (love the very "live" drum sound), some dang nifty harmonies and especially the spiky guitars of your Robert Quines and Richard Lloyds, and the way they were frequently hard-panned left and/or right in the mix. Divine Intervention, Evangeline and Day for Night were my favourites and I still dig them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post

Queen released INNUENDO in 1991, which was one hell of a good album to go out on.

Keeping in the theme of The Good Lord with a couple of those Mathew Sweet tracks, I always thought All God's People was one of the most under-heralded Queen tracks. Still love the mega-epic The Show Must Go On too.

Crazy that November this year will be 25 years since we lost Freddie.
post #28 of 51
Sioxsie and the Banshees' "Superstition" album changed my taste in music that year. Or taught me that I had taste after all.
post #29 of 51

Oh yeah, that Siouxsie album is great. Kiss Them For Me, Fear, and Shadowtime are bangers.

post #30 of 51
Sidetrack: came up with two great albums I remember blowing my mind but Wiki says they were released in -90: Violator and Cowboys From Hell. Maybe we got them a year later, iron curtain and all that? The Prodigy Experience was also a big one but that came out in -92...
post #31 of 51
Thread Starter 

 

 

post #32 of 51

Miscellaneous T by They Might Be Giants was my jam in 1991.  Great B-sides and remixes, especially for "Kiss Me, Son Of God".

post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post

Crowded House's Woodface album came out that year too, but I don't remember whether tracks like Fall at Your Feet or Four Seasons in One Day got much traction outside of NZ and Aus.

Woodface was ubiquitous in the UK that year. Pretty much the standard bearer for Dad music.

I'm obviously stunned and disappointed that this hasn't been mentioned yet. Come on folks. There was nothing bigger that year than Canada's greatest export providing the soundtrack to the sadly-missed Rickman's star-making turn...

Look into his eyes, guys, and you will see...you WILL see...what you mean to him.



And I know it's nowhere near as strong as his debut, but I bought and listened to Kravitz's Mama Said A LOT...
post #34 of 51

Fuck...can't believe I forgot this. One of the most played singles of the year in the UK.

 

 

 

And this ambient classic was much admired by those of us laying down our first roots in the drug and club scene.

 

 

Last but not least, another tape played to death in a young man's bedroom and still gets a spin from time to time today...Skid Row's stunning sophomore effort, Slave to the Grind. The step up in hardness and complexity on the more metal tunes was enormous, and the the three ballads are gorgeous.

 

 

 

 

post #35 of 51

Also huge in the UK that year (got to love those classic weird Vic Reeves touches for the music video e.g. washing machines in the background, the ghostly woman staring at him etc):

 

 

post #36 of 51
Was that 1991? Wow, that makes me feel older than any of the other songs mentioned up thread.
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhp1608 View Post


I'm obviously stunned and disappointed that this hasn't been mentioned yet. Come on folks. There was nothing bigger that year than Canada's greatest export providing the soundtrack to the sadly-missed Rickman's star-making turn...

Look into his eyes, guys, and you will see...you WILL see...what you mean to him.

 

Believe it or not, was about to mention this but didn't have the balls to do it. Makes me miss the days when every great movie that wasn't THE FUGITIVE needed to have a theme song. And Kevin Costner.

post #38 of 51
If it wasn't for my deep love for Rickman's portrayal of the Sheriff and a strange but abiding respect for the Costner despite his mutilation of one of my culture's more resonant myths, I wouldn't have done.

I miss the era of the movie theme song too.
post #39 of 51
Bryan Adams' Robin Hood song was massive in NZ just like everywhere else. Tied for the biggest song of the year with MJ's Black or White.

But spending only one week less than those two at #1 on the NZ charts was this:

post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post

Bryan Adams' Robin Hood song was massive in NZ just like everywhere else. Tied for the biggest song of the year with MJ's Black or White.

But spending only one week less than those two at #1 on the NZ charts was this:


One of my weirdest teenage school memories is that for a brief while it was considered cool to be able to sing that song. 

post #41 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhp1608 View Post

One of my weirdest teenage school memories is that for a brief while it was considered cool to be able to sing that song. 

I still consider it cool.

But then I've also been known to tear up watching The Voice, so maybe I'm an easy mark.
post #42 of 51
Thread Starter 

 

Very rough, but the raw power is there, taking shape deep into the performance

post #43 of 51
Talkin' Chilis for a moment...

I've been listening to some live stuff on Google Play. I don't know if these are bootlegs, official releases or officialised bootlegs; Woodstock 1994 plays a big part.

Anyhow, the thing that strikes me is how "Blood Sugar..." and before struggles in a big setting. I remember seeing them at Brixton Academy in 94 and the funk made more sense in a smaller setting. Reading Festival in 93 was much harder to get into. I guess the record companies pushed some bands into stadium roles they weren't necessarily properly suited for. The bands that were big in the early 90s were garage bands that got upscaled to replace the Bon Jovis and U2s of the world when they weren't that suited to it.

Metallica...the Stones/Zep of the 90s are the exception.

Anyhow...that led me on to thinking that "One Hot Minute" is an odd album but...adrift in a sea of studio-good guitarists, Dave Navarro could totally pull it off live and really suited stadium rock. The early stuff on the 94 albums is too slow, and the funk is cold and wet, but Navarro is killing it. Guess he was the right guitarist for the wrong Chilis timeline...
Edited by jhp1608 - 8/23/16 at 3:06am
post #44 of 51
Thread Starter 

Super Cool:

 

post #45 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post

Super Cool:



Beautiful. Wish I hadn't wasted all my rep on Ambler already today now. (J/k, I love Ambler)
post #46 of 51

 

Death Certificate by Ice Cube!

post #47 of 51

I prefer Amerikkka's Most Wanted (Cube's masterpiece), The Predator and the first Westside Connection album, but I agree Death Certificate has some good stuff.

 

Hip-hop had so many great albums released that year like the debuts of 2Pac, Cypress Hill and Naughty by Nature, N.W.A's Niggaz4life, De La Soul is Dead, Ice T's O.G. Original Gangster, A Tribe Called Quest's The Low End Theory, Mr. Scarface is Back and other strong releases from Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Big Daddy Kane, Gang Starr, and Boogie Down Productions.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Virtanen View Post
 

 

This thread made me revisit Use Your Illusion. Right Next Door to Hell, 14 Years, Estranged, that horrible but awesome Dylan cover,.. I will never not love the idea that someone releases a 29-song, billion dollar production value double album. Yes, you could've trimmed it down to a single absolute classic album, but wouldn't that be kinda boring? 

 

Also great in the early 90s is the band sound. Falling between synthesizers and Pro Tools of the 80s and 2000s, and before the trendy lo-fi-shitty-on-purpose thing. When Matt Sorum hits that pristine-sounding snare drum, you FEEL it.

Yeah, my thoughts exactly regarding the Use Your Illusion albums. I just appreciate the grand scale of the albums and how they run the gamut from straight-ahead rockers to big epics and ballads. Dust N' Bones, Coma, and Locomotive are some of GN'Rs underrated songs.

 

I agree with the other major releases - like Metallica, Chili Peppers, the "Big 4" Seattle Grunge bands - being mentioned.

 

I forgot Ozzy's No More Tears album was released that year. I'd say that was his last great album.

post #48 of 51

Slint's album Spiderland came out that year as well as The Jesus Lizard's album Goat. 

 

This was my Grunge phase the big ones for me were Pearl Jam - Ten and Badmotorfinger.

post #49 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post
 

 

I may be the only person of my generation who didn't have a Rush phase growing up. It was only their HOF induction that got me open enough to really hear them. Now I'm a fan.

 

Coincidently, one of my favorite critics was discussing them on Twitter. And he said: "COUNTERPARTS (1993) is Rush's final album without filler. Agree or disagree?"

 

My life is a Rush phase, and I disagree.  The last album they recorded that was solid front-to-back was Power Windows.

post #50 of 51

Now why would people take shots at Blood Sugar Sex Magik?  It's a fine, fine album, the only flaw being 'Under The Bridge'.  A good enough tune, but everything since sounds like 'Under The Bridge'.  I'm more of a 'True Men Don't Kill Coyotes' man.

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