Do you want to know the dark truth...
or do you want to see me whack some dingers?

Oct 31 2003

1995, The Year Music Broke

Ever sit back and take stock of your life? I mean really go back and try and figure out where it all began? You might be saying to yourself, “No, not really…” but remember, I’m currently unemployed, so work with me. I have a lot of time on my hands.
So I ask you…was 1995 the best year EVER for music?
After some not so thorough research(the interweb didn't really seem to take off until 1996, most archives only go back that far), I am ready to declare that it was. However, If you hated Brit-pop then you will probably answer with a firm “No”, but in my estimation it gave us 3 of the greatest records ever recorded by someone other than The Beatles. Those being:
The Verve's A Northern Soul, Radiohead's The Bends, and Oasis' (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
Many other seminal bands put out (in my opinion) their best ever work that year, like PJ Harvey, Luna, Ben Harper, Bjork, Pulp, Method Man and Pavement. We even got a "new" Beatles album!

When I went through my CD collection and pulled these CD’s out, I was amazed by
1) How many of these CD’s I still listen to on a regular basis
2) How many times I had listened to some of these discs, it's completely unhealthy
3) How these CD’s have really shaped my musical tastes, even to this day

The list is impressive:

RadioheadThe Bends
The VerveA Northern Soul
Oasis - (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
Paul WellerStanley Road
The Stone Roses - The Complete Stone Roses
PulpDifferent Class
StereolabRefried Ectoplasm [Switched On Volume 2]
PJ HarveyTo Bring You My Love
MorrisseySouthpaw Grammar
The Charlatans (UK) – self titled
BlurThe Great Escape
Elastica – self titled
Various ArtistsHelp (War Child Charity)
Beatles – Anthology 1
Tricky - Maxinquaye
SupergrassI Should Coco
Teenage FanclubGrand Prix
Super Furry Animals - Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyndrobwl [EP] / Moog Droog [EP]
ProdigyMusic For The Jilted Generation
Massive AttackMassive Attack v. Mad Professor
Ben HarperFight For Your Mind
Guided By VoicesAlien Lanes
The Dandy Warhols – self titled
The Flaming Lips – Clouds Taste Metallic
PavementWowee Zowee
Archers Of LoafVee Vee
The Beastie BoysRoot Down EP
Noise AddictMeet The Real You
Foo Fighters - Foo Fighters
Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Garbage - Garbage
Method Man - Tical
Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Links

Did I leave anything out? If so, comment below.

Posted by Kyle in Permalink


agreed. best year ever. the slow trangression from shoegazer to brit-rock.

Let's not forget Elliott Smith's self-titled record was also released in 1995, as was "Happy Days," by Catherine Wheel.

Posted by: Peabs at October 31, 2003 1:31 PM

Here's what I put up at Coolfer:

- Information Leafblower makes his case for 1995 as music's best year ever. Coolfer thinks 1991 was pretty good, too: Loveless, Bandwagonesque, Nevermind, The Orb's Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld, Orbital, Trompe Le Monde, Yerself Is Steam, Just For A Day, Screamadelica, Steady Diet of Nothing, Ten, Badmotorfinger, Gish, Girlfriend, Laughing Stock, Spiderland and Achtung Baby, Blue Lines, The White Room name a few classics.

Posted by: Coolfer at October 31, 2003 1:33 PM

I loooove the 1st 2 CD's by the Catherine Wheel, but they lost me when they went metal with Happy Days.

Nice call on Elliott.

Posted by: information leafblower at October 31, 2003 1:34 PM

Not saying I really dug Happy Days, but a release from CW, all genres incuded, is gonna be better than most. Didn't Tomorrow the Green Grass by The Jayhawks come out in 95?

Posted by: Peabs at October 31, 2003 2:23 PM

And let us not forget Rancid's ...And Out Come the Wolves, Son Volt's Trace, Goldie's Timeless, Wilco's A.M., the Chemical Brothers' Exit Planet Dust, Aphex Twin's I Care Because You Do, Autechre's Tri Repetae++ and Mouse on Mars' Iaora Tahiti. Classics. All of them.

But, dude, Wowee Zowee is hardly Pavement's best album. Not a chance.

But there were some albums that really define an era: Blur, Verve, Radiohead, Elastica, Tricky, Supergrass.

Hmm...maybe British music was better in '95. Most of the American bands on your list all have better albums in other years, I think.

Posted by: Coolfer at October 31, 2003 3:01 PM

Wowee Zowee is by far my favorite Pavement record.

I had Exit Planet Dust on my original list, it must have gotten lost in the cut and paste madness that was editing.

Posted by: information leafblower at October 31, 2003 3:45 PM

I have to agree with Coolfer that 1991 edges out 1995, abeit slightly. It's kind of hard to mess with Nevermind (Ground Zero for the grunge phase) and Loveless (one of the most influential guitar albums ever) in one year. Other notable 1991's not listed above: A Tribe Called Quest "Low End Theory" and 808 State "Ex:El".

Also, after looking over your list of 1995 records, I have a few comments: first of all, Best of Stone Roses was a compilation, and all of the music on it was originally released in prior years Same with the Beatles, for obvious reasons. And you are probably the first Morrissey fan I've ever met who actually liked "Southpaw Grammar" ;)

Posted by: Jason (Method One) at October 31, 2003 5:40 PM

Forgot about Ex:El. Great record.

Posted by: Coolfer at October 31, 2003 5:45 PM

The Stone Roses comp made it because it featured all their early stuff(like everything from the Sally Cinnamon single) for the first time on a non-import release.

And I love "Reader Meet Author", probably my favorite Moz track although the rest of that album was mostly shite.

Posted by: information leafblower at October 31, 2003 6:25 PM

why does everyone front on "boy racer?" one of my favorite moz solo efforts.

i heartilly agree on the year with you, although lots of 1994 blends in with my recollections.

Posted by: nick at November 2, 2003 7:57 PM