I’ve been drafting my end-of-year post (or maybe posts) on the best of 2008, and I have to confess, I’m finding the experience rather depressing. While some good stuff has been released this year, on the whole I don’t think 2008 has been a very good year for music.
This was driven home by reading All Music Guide’s retrospective on 1993. The album covers at the top of the entry make quite a statement–I own five of the eight (three of which I love), there are two I’ve never heard, and only one I dislike (Björk).
Here are my picks from 1993. These are in tiers, but in no particular order within the tiers. (I can’t possibly remember everything about the year, so this post may go through several iterations.):
Classic or Near-classic:
Suede – Suede
Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville
Nirvana – In Utero
Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Pet Shop Boys – Very
Pearl Jam – Vs.
Uncle Tupelo – Anodyne
The Afghan Whigs – Gentlemen
Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle
Counting Crows – August and Everything After
My goodness! What a list! Most of these acts would go quickly downhill, but boy did they have it that year.
Pretty Damned Great:
Dinosaur Jr. – Where You Been
Teenage Fanclub – Thirteen
P.M. Dawn – The Bliss Album…?
Urge Overkill – Saturation
The Flaming Lips – Transmissions From the Satellite Heart
Morphine – Cure for Pain
Tom Waits – The Black Rider
Midnight Oil – Earth and Sun and Moon
U2 – Zooropa
I could have easily bumped a couple of these up to the top tier but felt like ten was enough. The least of these is still better than most of what I’ll have on my Best of 2008 list.
Adam Schmitt – Illiterature
Paul Westerberg – 14 Songs
Frank Black – Frank Black
John Hiatt – Perfectly Good Guitar
The Pooh Sticks – Million Seller
Terence Trent D’arby – Symphony or Damn
I need to revisit all of these–a couple may need to be bumped up a tier.
Albums I Really Liked at the Time but Haven’t Listened to in Ages and Need to Revisit:
Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream
PJ Harvey – Rid of Me
The Breeders – Last Splash
A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders
Some Songs I Like That Do Not Appear on the Above Albums:
Gin Blossoms – “Hey Jealousy”
Dwight Yoakum – “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere”
Belly – “Slow Dog” and “Feed the Tree”
James – “Laid”
Cracker – “Low”
New Order – “Regret”
Jungle Brothers – “40 Below Trooper”
Radiohead – “Creep”
Snow – “Informer”
Janet Jackson – “If”
Catherine Wheel – “Crank”
Mick Jagger – “Sweet Thing” and “Don’t Tear Me Up”
Dick Dale – “Nitro”
Mazzy Star – “Fade Into You”
Lenny Kravitz – “Are You Gonna Go My Way”
Duran Duran – “Ordinary World” and “Come Undone”
Wendy James – “London’s Brilliant”
Dramarama – “Work for Food”
Bad Religion – “American Jesus”
I bet I add a whole bunch to this category over the next few weeks as I think of more.
There are probably some terrific albums from 1993 that I still haven’t heard. I don’t think I recognized how much great music was coming out at the time. Man, sometimes you just don’t know how good you have it.
I may have to break this one up into a series of posts. There is too much great stuff here for just a list with nothing to listen to.