1991 was a banner year for music, and I was trying to argue the case for the best year for music ever. Which is a difficult case to argue.
But lets look at the facts. Nirvana’s Nevermind. My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. Julian Cope’s Peggy Suicide. U2’s Achtung Baby (which I am grooving on as I write this). Break through and hit albums from REM, Siouxsie & the Banshees, the Pixies, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Matthew Sweet, Erasure, Primal Scream and the Psychedelic Furs. Debuts from Blur, Slowdive, the Smashing Pumpkins, The KLF, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Liz Phair and Swervedriver.
Pretty amazing stuff.
Sure we also got the Spin Doctors, Michael Jackson’s Dangerous, and Guns & Roses Use Your Illusion 1&2. But some people thought those were pretty amazing too. Hey I like Guns & Roses. People who liked the others, well, we pat them on the shoulder, smile, and tell them they are pretty. But I digress.
I came to the conclusion that 1991 is probably one of the best music years ever for me, because it was my music awakening. Sure, I had been introduced to the Cure and Jane’s Addiction within the previous year, but I got to watch the college music scene explode, and I was participating… as a college DJ. I remember hearing Smells Like Teen Spirit for the first time- on vinyl. I watched 120 minutes every Sunday night. I heard really cool shit I never got to experience before. And it was awesome. And it formed my taste from there on out.
So as we head into the final two months of 2011, I thought I’d share some of my favorites from 20 years ago, 1991. See if you remember these.
U2, Ultraviolet (Light My Way)- your love is a light bulb/hanging over my bed.
Matthew Sweet, Evangeline- try her on and she fits like a glove/ too bad she only thinks about the lord above.
My Bloody Valentine, Sometimes –close your eyes, feel me now.
Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Happy – you will fly off the handle, wait until I’m not there.
OMD, Pandora’s Box– it’s a long, long way from where you want to be.
The Pixies, Letter to Memphis- and all these sirens, they make me mad/ and all this violence, it brings me down.
Siouxsie & the Banshees, Kiss Them for Me- someone’s carving their devotion/ in the heart shaped pool of fame.
Swervedriver, Rave Down– rave down, hit the ground.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Breaking the Girl- she meant you no harm.
Slowdive, Catch the Breeze – just catch the breeze…