Wednesday Question: Best Album Of The 1990s?

Join our journey through music history and vote for your favorite albums of the 90s, the all-time peak of physical album sales.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
15

Following our awesome Best Album of the 2000s post, we want to continue our journey through music history and move on to the 1990s.

This weeks question is:

What were the best albums of the 1990s?

It was an exciting time for rock music. Contrived 80s hair metal dropped out of fashion when a new breed of rock acts stepped forward, namely Guns N' Roses and Nirvana who represented two new definitions of what it means to be a rock star.

Independent music was thriving, and for major labels invested in scores of genuinely exciting underground acts. The result: lots of high-energy rock albums recorded in premium studio facilities. Independent rock never sounded so good.

At the same time, music TV helped bring a wider audience to niche music genres. By 1997, music sales were at an all time peak, and experimental releases by bands like Radiohead signalled a new era of premium music production.

Little did they know that digital downloads would soon devastate the record industry.

The rules are simple: the album had to be released between 1990 and 1999. Name one nomination per comment, or the votes won't count.

Remember to upvote any nominations that your agree with. We'll stack up the results for an epic weekend playlist on Friday after trawling through your posts.

Over the coming year, we'll be visiting older decades. Keep an eye out for the Wednesday question posts if you want to join in.

Keep your nominations rolling in, and vote for as many as you can!

500 comments sorted by best / new / date

    BobKubista
    sbroyo
    WOW, Out of Time got Number 1? How the people on this website would let that through (at least before I knew about Ultimate-Guitar, knowing all the obscure metal enthusiasts) hot damn
    veinsofmosquito
    Although Nevermind gets all of the recognition, In Utero is them at their best
    N-D
    Agree with you - I personally prefer "In Utero" for its "raw" sound - I think, it's more natural for Kurt.
    getawaygman
    rage against the machine self titled
    N-D
    Agree - but I prefer "The Battle Of Los Angeles" (1999) - I think, it's great album.
    gbrooks
    I think about how much i love albums like BSSM, Dirt, or OK Computer, but if the question is best overall album, RAtM is the only right answer
    Hebriqui
    Of course that would be: OK Computer from Radiohead.
    chrisa94
    I think The Bends is better, there's not one track on that album that I'd skip, whereas I'm not too keen on a couple from OK Computer.
    Galfadez
    Obviously it's OK Computer. How could an album with Paranoid Android, Exit, Let Down, Karma Police, Climbing up the Walls, Lucky, etc NOT be the album of the 90s. The Bends is good too though!
    N-D
    In my opinion, "Kid A" is definitely better, but if for 90's - yes for "OK Computer".
    VashKilgannon
    Blood Sex Sugar Magik
    DarkenedShrine
    Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
    pandaburger19
    This has to be on the list.
    Braykah
    Painkiller by Judas Priest, one of my favorites by them. It was the perfect comeback (At least temporarily, until Rob left) after the release of Turbo and Ram It Down, and once again showed Priest's significance for the metal culture.
    SIEGE312
    My nomination: NIN- Downward Spiral Way too damn many though, that was a half decent decade when considering ones like Tool, AIC, Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica, Nirvana, STP, Godsmack, etc
    Salvo416
    Dookie by Green Day anyone?
    RitchieRamone
    Definitely! I prefer Insomniac, but Dookie's simply a pop-punk classic.
    Salvo416
    tbh I've been getting more into Insomniac myself, but Dookie has Longview, probably the best green day song ever imo. not to mention it's the album that brought pop-punk into the mainstream.
    RitchieRamone
    Hmmm. I don't know...Longview's a great song, but GD had better songs even on Dookie (+bunch of them on rest of the albums)...I mean, Burnout, Having a blast, Chump, Sassafras roots, FOD, and of course All by myself xD
    N-D
    Of course, "Nevermind" (1991) by Nirvana
    rancidfan21
    Superunknown by Soundgarden. I would also nominate this if the question was "Best album ever?"
    Krieger91
    I prefer In Utero over Nevermind. Alice In Chains - Dirt Stone Temple Pilots - Core Tool - Aenima Pearl Jam - Ten Nirvana - In Utero Radiohead - Ok Computer Soundgarden - One of the last two albums Korn - Follow the Leader/Issues/Korn Jeff Buckley - Grace
    rip3149
    Alice in Chains - Dirt
    GhostPlayground
    The depressing thing is that 'Nevermind' or 'Ok computer' is going to take the top spot, and there's nothing anybody can do about it. Personally, I think that 'Spiderland' should be somewhere on the list. Nothing before or since has ever sounded quite like that record.
    KISSmyass666
    Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power.
    Braykah
    Vulgar is a monster of an album, but I prefer Cowboys from Hell because the songwriting is so well thought out on so many levels, and Dimebag's guitar work on the album when it comes to both riffs and leads is seriously some of the best I've ever heard in metal.
    mastodude13
    I totally agree with Aenima but I would have to take the Melvins Lysol as my favorite.
    l0ld4v3
    Whoever downvoted Lysol by the ****ing Melvins is knee deep in some serious bullshit. All their albums are perfect.
    biff022
    Everything on here is great... except Korn. They've always been god awful unlistenable unintelligible trash.
    hotdogs585
    Pantera - Cowboys from Hell (yes, I know it's cliche as hell shut up already)
    Chaduah
    Foo Fighters - The Color and the Shape. Such a great album and still counted as 90's
    ns9977a
    Hard choice: "Loveless" ~My Bloody Valentine "The Downward Spiral" ~Nine Inch Nails "In Utero" ~Nirvana "OK Computer" ~Radiohead "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" ~Smashing Pumpkins
    solidrevolver19
    Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, this is The Wall for Generation X and it deserves to be on the list.