Content tagged '90s'
Chaos A.D. (Album of the Day)
Founded in 1984 by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera, Sepultura soon became an influential force in heavy metal music thanks to its dynamic studio recordings and intense live performances; the Brazilian band has sold nearly 20 million albums worldwide. The group was in the midst of a creative and commercial peak in 1993 when it released CHAOS A.D. The collection ushered in a more groove-based sound on songs like the singles “Refuse/Resist,” “Territory” and “Slave New World.” The new double-disc CHAOS A.D.: EXPANDED EDITION features a newly remastered version of the original along with 17 bonus tracks, including a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Symptom Of The Universe,” scorching live versions of album songs and several unreleased instrumental tracks that the band used during writing sessions.
Where You Been (Album of the Day)
Released 25 years ago today, Dinosaur Jr.'s fifth studio album roars as loudly as any of its grunge-era contemporaries, but without their occasional bombast. WHERE YOU BEEN features 10 terrific songs, kicking off with the yearning “Out There” and Top 10 Modern Rock hit “Start Choppin,” and never lets up from there. While J Mascis plays a dominant role – in addition to writing and production credits, his just-woke-up vocals and epic guitar solos thread through every song – this is Dinosaur Jr.'s sole Sire set with a full band behind him, as bassist Mike Johnson and drummer Murph provide the insistent rhythmic drive. As close to mainstream success as the group ever got (the collection reached #50 on the Billboard album chart), WHERE YOU BEEN frames a gentle outlook with alt-rock thunder, and is a fan favorite for good reason.
So Tough (Album of the Day)
Like The Smiths or Belle & Sebastian, Saint Etienne has the rare ability to exude early-'60s British cool while sounding wholly contemporary. The U.K. trio's second album, 1993's SO TOUGH, is well versed in pop classicism – songwriters/keyboardists Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs are both former music journalists – though it's couched in club-friendly beats and dreamy electronica. Sarah Cracknell's pure, airy voice leads the way through 11 alluring tracks (including such highlights as “Mario's Cafe,” “Hobart Paving” and the sublime “You're In A Bad Way”), with snippets of vintage film/TV dialogue interspersed to add to the atmosphere. Released 25 years ago, SO TOUGH became a Top 10 hit in England, and stands among Saint Etienne's finest albums.
Collective Soul (Album of the Day)
“This record is our first record, flat out," noted singer Ed Roland at the time of COLLECTIVE SOUL's release – an unusual claim in light of the multi-platinum success of 1993's HINTS, ALLEGATIONS AND THINGS LEFT UNSAID. In truth, that earlier collection consisted of demo recordings; “the blue album” represented the band's first attempt to cut a disc for public release. Working with co-producer Matt Serletic at Miami's Criteria Studios, the quintet came up with another set of terrific songs, including “December,” “The World I Know” and “Where the River Flows,” all of which reached the No.1 spot on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Released on this day in 1995, COLLECTIVE SOUL went triple-platinum, and its tuneful and tough alternative sounds are still irresistible.
Good God's Urge (Album of the Day)
Following the dissolution of Los Angeles alternative rock band Jane's Addiction, vocalist Perry Farrell and drummer Stephen Perkins launched Porno For Pyros. The group's second and final studio album, GOOD GOD'S URGE, shows the quartet in a mellower mood than on their debut, though the laid-back vibes are offset at times by such powerful tracks as radio hit “Tahitian Moon.” Other highlights include “Freeway” (featuring Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers), “100 Ways” (with Mike Watt of The Minutemen on bass) and “Porpoise Head” (featuring most of Love & Rockets). GOOD GOD'S URGE reached the Top 20 on Billboard's album chart, and we'll give the collection another spin now to celebrate Perry Farrell's birthday.
Submarine Bells (Album of the Day)
New Zealand in the 1980s was a hotbed of alternative pop, and among that scene's leading lights were The Chills. Following a series of acclaimed releases for local imprint Flying Nun, the band signed to Warner Bros. subsidiary Slash and issued the equally wonderful SUBMARINE BELLS in 1990. From the aptly titled opener “Heavenly Pop Hit,” it's clear that singer-songwriter Martin Phillipps and company have lost none of their talent for memorable melodies, atmospheric arrangements and quirky-but-resonant lyrics; coupled with punchy production (courtesy of Gary Smith), these dozen originals are pretty much irresistible. SUBMARINE BELLS may have only topped the chart in New Zealand, but indie fans everywhere ought to have this one on their radar.
Angel Dust (Album of the Day)
On the heels of their breakthrough THE REAL THING, Faith No More headed into San Francisco's Coast Recorders with longtime producer Matt Wallace to cut this defiantly weird 1992 follow-up. Unlike its predecessor, ANGEL DUST features the full songwriting participation of frontman Mike Patton, whose twisted sense of humor finds a home in kindergartens, RV parks and operating rooms here. The rest of the band is equally inspired, with particularly fine work from keyboardist Roddy Bottum and guitarist Jim Martin (who would leave Faith No More after this album) augmented by a wild selection of samples. Highlighted by singles “Midlife Crisis,” “A Small Victory” and “Everything's Ruined,” ANGEL DUST reached the Top 10, and we'll give it another spin now to wish bassist Billy Gould a happy birthday.
Life After Death (Album of the Day)
The Notorious B.I.G. rose quickly to the top of East Coast hip-hop with a brilliant debut; unfortunately, Biggie's reign was brief - he was killed just weeks before the release of follow-up album LIFE AFTER DEATH. The acclaimed collection picks up right where READY TO DIE left off, and like its predecessor, is peopled with thugs and playas trying to survive some very mean streets. As befits its epic 24-track length, the set features a small army of talented producers (Sean "Puffy" Combs, RZA, Easy Mo Bee) and guest rappers (Jay-Z, Lil' Kim, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony) while remaining the product of a singular vision. Though filled with violent drama, LIFE AFTER DEATH also sets its sights on mainstream radio with the catchy beats of "Mo Money Mo Problems,” the unexpected optimism of “Sky's The Limit” and “Hypnotize,” which became a posthumous #1 hit on this day in 1997.
The Muffs (Album of the Day)
Singer-guitarist Kim Shattuck spent five years paying her dues with SoCal retro-garage greats The Pandoras before departing with that group's rhythm guitarist Melanie Vammen to form her own band. Joined by a bassist and drummer, The Muffs began cranking our irresistible pop punk and were signed to Warner Bros., which released their eponymous debut album 25 years ago this week. You'd expect the raw energy here, but the quality of the songwriting is a revelation; these 16 tracks (all but a handful penned by Shattuck) burst with hooks and memorable melodies, with singles “Lucky Guy,” “Big Mouth” and “Everywhere I Go” among the many highlights. Co-producer Rob Cavallo, who'd helm DOOKIE a year after this, must have been taking notes – though THE MUFFS is easily a match for Green Day's breakthrough.
Violator (2006 Remastered) (Album of the Day)
One of the hallmarks of a truly great group is its ability to build on successes; Depeche Mode had already sold out L.A.’s Rose Bowl on its Music For The Masses tour when it released VIOLATOR in 1990. The U.K. quartet’s seventh studio album, co-produced by the band and Flood, is arguably Depeche Mode’s best, filling dance floors all around the world and reaching triple platinum status in the U.S. VIOLATOR plays to each member's strengths, from Dave Gahan’s impassioned vocals to Alan Wilder’s inventive keyboard arrangements to one of Martin Gore’s best-ever sets of songs – including such memorable hit singles as “Policy Of Truth,” “Enjoy The Silence” and “Personal Jesus.” In “black celebration” of Dave Gahan’s birthday, we’ll give another spin to this dance/techno-pop landmark!