11 Albums that are 20 years old

Dance Mix 9420 years ago, I got my first CD player for Christmas and with that, my very first CD. MuchMusic’s Dance Mix ’94. That was 20 years ago…

In joining the internet’s neverending quest to make us all feel old, here’s a list of albums that came out 20 years ago that most of us probably owned, wanted to own, or borrowed from a friend to record to a blank cassette. And now for the first time, let’s reminisce together as we realize: Wow! I can’t believe that came out 20 years ago! We’re old!

 

Bush - Sixteen StoneBushSixteen Stone
(released December 6, 1994)

Remember Bush? Or Bush X in Canada?

Fronted by Mr. Gavin Rossdale, this classic alternative rock album contained such 90s classics as Little Things, Comedown, Glycerine and my favourite Machinehead. After that came Razerblade Suitcase and then Gavin became Mr. Gwen Stefani.

Where are they now: Their sixth album Man On The Run comes out next month. Hear the first single The Only Way Out.

 

Cranberries - No Need To Argue
CranberriesNo Need To Argue
(released October 3, 1994)

The Cranberries defined 1990s music for me. This album was the third CD I ever got (after the aforementioned Dance Mix ’94 and God Shuffled His Feet by the Crash Test Dummies)! Zombie was killer and Ode To My Family was pure and sentimental.

They continued to deliver solid tunes for another album or two until disbanding in the early 2000s, probably realizing that they shouldn’t exist outside of the 90s.

Where Are They Now: After a couple solo albums by Dolores O’Riordan, the Cranberries reunited and released Roses in 2012, joining the onslaught of 90s acts making comebacks that year.

 

Dave Matthews Band - Under The Table And Dreaming
Dave Matthews BandUnder The Table And Dreaming
(released September 27, 1994)

Yes, the Dave Matthews Band released their first album 20 years ago next week. You probably hate them now but there was a time when they were the equivalent of today’s indie rock music darlings with their blend of bluesy, folky rock. What Would You Say was a jam!

Where Are They Now: They’re basically the new Grateful Dead if their reputation for touring and shows have anything to say. Other than their 8 studio albums, wikipedia says they’ve released 56 live recordings over the years, the most recent of which came out today. Who knew?

 

Green Day - Dookie
Green DayDookie
(released February 1, 1994)

Everyone owned Dookie. It was just the way it was back then. Confession: I didn’t. Punk was never really up my alley and while I love me some Basketcase today, I didn’t care enough back then and admittedly, didn’t care for Green Day until American Idiot ten years later. Nonetheless, this album was huge. It sold 10 million in the US and in Canada, it sold over 1 million copies. That was one for every 28 people in 1994.

Where Are They Now: Not doing a whole lot since releasing a trilogy of albums a few years back. Billie Joe Armstrong did put out an Everly Brothers covers album with Norah Jones last year though.

 

Hootie & The Blowfish - Cracked Rear View
Hootie & The BlowfishCracked Rear View
(released July 5, 1994)

For a few short years in the middle of the 90s, Hootie & the Blowfish were the most successful band in the world. This album is the 16th biggest selling album of all time at 16 million sold, and it had hit after hit. After a few more from their second album Fairweather Johnson, it suddenly ended for them and now they’re almost close to being as disliked in hindsight as Nickelback is in the present – almost.

Where Are They Now: Lead singer Darius Rucker is one of the most successful country music performers right now. He’s had three #1 country albums and six #1 country singles since 2008. More like Whootie & The Blowfish, eh? Eh?

 

Jann Arden - Living Under June
Jann Arden – Living Under June
(released August 10, 1994)

The 90s were good to Canadian artists as it was the decade to truly establish homegrown talent by Canadians for Canadians. Jann Arden only ever had one major hit internationally with a slightly revamped version of Insensitive from a soundtrack (for the movie Bed Of Roses) but other than that, her success has stayed on home soil. And we’re okay with that.

Living Under June had seven radio singles, sold 600,000 copies in Canada, and made Jann a Canadian icon.

Where Is She Now: Somewhere in Ontario. Jann is in the middle of touring for her new album Everything Almost and tomorrow night she’ll be in Oshawa. I recommend following her on Twitter.

 

Madonna - Bedtime Stories
MadonnaBedtime Stories
(released October 6, 1994)

Madonna was over 10 years into her career when Bedtime Stories came out. It marked a change in her image following backlash from her overtly sexual Erotica era, which was accompanied by her coffee table book simply titled Sex.

It’s not my favourite album from her but it does contain several of my favourite singles, Secret, Human Nature, Bedtime Story, and Take A Bow – which was the album’s only #1 single and the second last time she’s hit #1 (Music is the only one since).

Where Is She Now: Hashtagging #unapologeticbitch all over her social media channels. One presumes she’s building up to a new album (out any day now?) but we can’t be too sure. She’s supposedly working with the who’s who of the EDM world.

 

Mariah Carey - Merry Christmas
Mariah CareyMerry Christmas
(released November 1, 1994)

Many people insist that Mariah Carey’s Christmas music is the soundtrack of the season. For me personally, Dolly Parton is the voice of Christmas but Mariah’s classic All I Want For Christmas Is You is THE top Christmas song hands down for everyone born after 1980. Nobody can or should disagree with that. From the second those bells start, the Christmas spirit has arrived alive and well.

Where Is She Now: Plotting revenge on everyone responsible for her most recent album being a bigger flop than Glitter and Charmbracelet combined. Yes, Mariah released a very elusive album this past May.

 

Our Lady Peace - Naveed
Our Lady PeaceNaveed
(released March 22, 1994)

Naveed was the first album from the band that would define Canadian alternative rock in the 90s, outliving all others into the 2000s and keep at it in the 2010s. Our Lady Peace are one of the few bands worth getting nostalgic over who also have recent records that are just as good for anyone interested in expanding beyond their 90s output. Seriously, I’d put Burn Burn and Curve on the same level as Happiness….

Where Are They Now: They just released the single Won’t Back Down, which suggests a new album is just around the corner.

 

TLC - CrazySexyCool
TLCCrazySexyCool
(released November 15, 1994)

Before Destiny’s Child and the Spice Girls, it was all about TLC. T-Boz, Left Eye, Chilli. For this album, each had a side to them represented in the title. Left Eye was the crazy, Chilli the sexy, and T-Boz the cool. Waterfalls was the anthem of the next year or so but if you’re still burnt out on it 20 years later, the smooth sounds of Red Light Special and slickness of Creep should be enough to whip you back in.

Where Are They Now: After the reality show thing didn’t seem to pan out, T & C are back to working on a new album.

 

Dumb and Dumber Soundtrack
SoundtrackDumb and Dumber
(released November 22, 1994)

Everyone has a favourite soundtrack from the 90s. Mine is the Dumb and Dumber Soundtrack, which I got because my then-favourite band the Crash Test Dummies had a brand new song on it, the XTC cover The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead. Other than that, the soundtrack boasts other classics that I played out at a time when my CD collection was just 4 deep. But I loved nearly every song regardless.

Where Are They Now: About to release the sequel Dumb and Dumber To in November. Unlike the prequel, Dumb and Dumberer from 2003, this one brings back Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as Harry and Lloyd. Here’s hoping there’s a killer soundtrack to accompany it.

 

What am I missing from 1994? Ready To Die? Vitalogy? The Lion King soundtrack? Feel free to lecture me in the comments.

Kimbra – The Golden Echo

Kimbra - The Golden Echo

If Kimbra were a big-time pop star, 90s Music would have been her Run The World, Russian Roulette, Wind It Up, Dirrty,…insert other polarizing first singles here – a love-it/hate-it put-her-back-on-the-map semi-hit that would have gotten her all the attention to unleash the second more ear-friendly single Miracle.

Kimbra isn’t a big-time pop star. Therefore she can release something as weird as 90s Music to kick off an album without it being a risky move because she’s still a relatively clean slate. Despite being a guest vocalist on one of the decade’s biggest hits, and having released her first album Vows a few years back, Kimbra still has the freedom to record what she wants without having to meet excessive expectations. Continue reading

Catherine MacLellan – The Raven’s Sun

Catherine MacLellan - The Raven's Sun

Even for those folks who aren’t into folk music, it’s hard to dismiss Catherine MacLellan if only because of her soothing vocals and striking melodies. With lyrics of pondering reflections and her ability to paint lovely country scenery, it’s what set her apart so well with earlier albums and is a quality she maintains on her new album, if the opening song is any indication. Continue reading

So did U2 pull a Beyoncé?

U2 and Tim Cook

Ever since December, when Beyoncé did the impossible by releasing an album without anybody knowing, basically altering the possibilities of how new releases are done, the obsession has raged on over who would be next to ‘pull a Beyoncé‘. Some have predicted and for the most part, the same names have popped up. Continue reading

Imogen Heap – Sparks

I’ve gone on record to say that Imogen Heap‘s 2005 album Speak For Yourself has changed the way I listen to and think about music and how it’s is made. It was and still is a fascinating experience with compelling sounds and catchy melodies. An all-around fantastic album that I wouldn’t hesitate to call life-changing.

Imogen’s most recent collection of songs has been in the works for over three years and she has kept fans in the loop every step of the way through blogs, videos and audio recordings. Continue reading

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