1991: Best Music Year Ever?

Categories: Miles-tones

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Rocks Off Sr.'s choice for 1991's best album.
1991 was one of the biggest years in modern music. It was when metal went pop, radio country ruled, grunge went mainstream, and rap began its climb to chart dominance, even if it was spearheaded by a white candy rapper from Dallas.

There were many debut albums that year too, with bands striking out into the world with their first birthing cries. In many ways, 1991 may have been the most influential year of the past few decades, at least since the late '60s and the last years of the '70s.

Almost everything from '91 seems to still be fresh two decades later. Few of these albums have aged badly. Many remain mainstays on yours and our iPods and turntables even now. Even the two albums that Guns N' Roses put out still make their way onto our weekly playlists.

1991 was also the year America's ears would first meet drama queen Courtney Love, firebrand Tupac Shakur, the bellow of Eddie Vedder, Josh Homme's stoner-rock crunch, and get a whiff of what Cypress Hill would be smoking for the next 20 years on the reg.

So get ready to feel old as we reel out the biggest, best, and most influential albums of 1991, the year that punk and grunge left the clubs and set up a tent on the lawn of pop culture. Remember to turn the tape over.


ROCK

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Nirvana, Nevermind: We all know that story by now of how Nevermind changed the face of rock and roll. Even if you are a contrarian who is sticking your nose up now in favor of the band's Sub Pop work, you cannot deny the power of a single like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" or the production work of Butch Vig. The band would destroy their own template with 1993's In Utero.

Also: Guns 'N Roses, Use Your Illusion I & II; Lenny Kravitz, Mama Said; Big Audio Dynamite, The Globe; Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blood Sugar Sex Magik; U2, Achtung Baby; R.E.M., Out of Time; Elvis Costello, Mighty Like a Rose


ALTERNATIVE/INDIE

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Jesus Lizard, Goat: Goat is arguably the best album that the Jesus Lizard would record with producer Steve Albini at the helm, aside from the lesser-known Head, Liar, and Down. "Monkey Trick" and "Mouth Breather" are crucial tracks that beg for blaring at all costs to property and health alike.

Also: Slint, Spiderland; Fugazi, Steady Diet of Nothing; Melvins, Bullhead; Nitzer Ebb, Ebbhead; Uncle Tupelo, Still Feel Gone; Butthole Surfers, Piouhgd; Matthew Sweet, Girlfriend; Primus, Sailing the Seas of Cheese; NOFX, Ribbed; Ween, The Pod; Soundgarden, Badmotorfinger; Pixies, Trompe Le Monde


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9 comments
fairportfan
fairportfan

Not even approximately.

75% of the albums you cite sucked dead rat then and suck dead moose now.

Through a straw.

Cosplay
Cosplay

Nice blog post, thanks for sharing this. We are also the Japan based cosplay costume manufacturers.

James
James

how are dela soul and tribe under pop? Is pop a code word for albums white people could safely listen and rap along outloud in public. Or is it because Jungle crew (that would be tribe and delasoul) is more pg 13. Or maybe they are the kind of groups that the type of black person who gets kicked out of hudson would listen to, you know, the upwardly mobile non threatening variety black folk. Those guys hate rap and all that ghettoness that comes with it. All kidding aside, seriously, tribe and dela soul were rap groups, and pretty significant ones at that. Someone please explain to me how they are pop acts.

Raul
Raul

Some of these were big when they came out, but they still weren't that great. Pearl Jam sucks and that Michael Jackson was one of his worst albums he'd released at that point.

Jeff
Jeff

It was a decent year, but I'd have to do some research and check out 1976 - 1979. There were a TON of huge records released in those years. One of those years probably tops 1991 by a pretty wide margin, but this isn't bad.

Mr. D
Mr. D

Cosign what James said...

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