What is the best album of the 1990s? Thousands of you voted, and the results are in - see the full top 10 here.
Posted on Feb 22, 2013 03:36 pm
The 1990s was a magical time for music.
While big business beamed commercials at us from an ever-growing fleet of cable-connected TVs, music and the counter-culture rebelled with all the energy of the early punk movement.
Perhaps it's ironic that the best-loved records achieved their fame through major record labels, but whatever the medium, it was an inspiring time.
Most of us will remember the 1990s one way or another; either as an adult and seeing these bands for themselves, or as a kid and seeing them through the commercial lens of TV. Either way, we all remember the rush of seeing real underground music breaking through - and there were plenty of surprises from genres we didn't expect as the decade wore on.
On Wednesday we asked you to nominate and vote for your favorite albums of the 1990s. Thousands of you took part, and now the results are in.
Who released the best album of the 1990s? Read on to ﬁnd out.
10. Nirvana "Nevermind" (1991)
Nirvana purists might find "Nevermind" too clean-cut and polished, but there's no denying it sparked a revolution. It knocked Michael Jackson off the top of the charts, and peeled the lid on a world of underground rock waiting to be discovered by the mainstream.
9. Green Day "Dookie" (1994)
Their early fans branded Green Day as sell outs when they signed to Reprise Records for "Dookie", but the resulting record didn't skimp on punk integrity. It was fast, exciting, young, and the perfect antidote to increasingly commercial times.
8. Megadeth "Rust In Peace" (1990)
Dave Mustaine had already made his name as part of the Metallica lineup, but it took this album - their fourth LP - to break Megadeth into the metal mainstream. It also marked the first time they got through an album recording without firing the producer before the end.
7. Radiohead "OK Computer" (1997)
One of music's great ironies could be how Thom Yorke warns against our technological future on a bed of cutting-edge electronic production. Almost every inch of this record is cold, frightening and bleak - a set of emotions that few could emulate again, including Radiohead themselves.
6. Alice In Chains "Dirt" (1992)
It's a wonder this album was ever finished. Singer Layne Staley would shoot heroin in front of everyone in the studio, then get mad when people told his to clean up; two other members battled drink problems, and Jerry Cantrell suffered from depression following the death of his mother and best friend. "I was going through a tough time, everyone was, but that's what made the album stronger and more intense," he later said.
5. Tool "Aenima" (1996)
To think an album as experimental and dark as this went to number 2 on the Billboard chart is incredible. The recording might be looser and fuzzier than later releases, but that's part of why many Tool fans still adore it.
4. Pearl Jam "Ten" (1991)
"Ten" may have been as instrumental in bringing alt-rock to the masses as Nirvana's breakthrough with "Nevermind". Most of the songs started as instrumental jams, with singer Eddie Vedder adding lyrics about his experience of depression and homelessness later.
3. Red Hot Chili Peppers "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" (1991
On prior album "Mother's Milk", the band felt restricted by its producer Michael Beinhorn who pushed for Anthony Kiedis to sing radio-friendly lyrics. With this album, producer Rick Rubin took them to an old mansion and encouraged them to be themselves. The result was an honest, authentic record that stands out as one of their best
2. Rage Against The Machine "Rage Against The Machine" (1992)
If the burning monk on the cover didn't signal the political motivation behind this record, Zach De La Rocha's fiery vocals certainly did. They had a rare anger and urgency that commanded attention, and Tom Morello's experimental guitar taught a whole generation that their studio equipment could do things they had never imagined.
1. Metallica "Metallica" A.K.A. "The Black Album" (1991)
Metallica's fifth album took a step away from their fast thrash metal roots, but it was hard to complain when their new sound was so beautifully timeless. To date, it is the best-selling album of the SoundScan era with over 30 million units sold.
That's the end of your top 10 albums of the 1990s. Which one is your personal favorite, and what would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments.