Content tagged '90s'
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.