Sunday, August 12, 2007

Top 5 albums released in 1992

Tim's Top 5:
I'm still catching up with Dream Job and Breakfast Cereal Mascots to fill in (blogger swallowed the latter post after I'd finished praising Fruit Brute) I'm trying to force Ryan and Dan to catch up with me.
Wikipedia and ITunes got me to this list...

1) R.E.M. - Automatic For the People - The world didn't need New Orleans Instrumental #5, nor Star Me Kitten. This ends the list of things the world did not need that were included on this album. Find the River is one of the best closing songs to an album, it fits the mood so perfectly and yet it's still totally different from everything else on the album. Everybody Hurts is an important song, though one murdered by MTV. Sweetness Follows, Ignoreland, and Monty Got a Raw Deal are among the best songs R.E.M. ever put on an album.

2) Gin Blossoms - New Miserable Experience - This album took years to catch on, but it's booze-soaked, depressing, and masterful country-tinged Tom Petty broken heart rock. And occasionally you get a bout of near-optimism with songs like Alison Road. Followed by two utterly unnecessary albums, but Gin Blossoms fell somewhere in between The Old 97's and Big Star, laced with more than a touch of desperation. More than perhaps anything else from the 1990s, they seemed utterly sincere...until their second album.

3) Spin Doctors - Pocket Full of Kryptonite - This was the first CD I ever bought, and while I didn't buy it for the right reasons, I still love it (even though I've long since sold it to Homer's when I was trying to be cooler musically...I really wish I'd sold The Doors instead). The album spoke a lot about 1992 -- it was acceptable to be a Seinfeldian comic book dork obsessed with Superman, to be utterly unpresentable (thank you, Chris Barron, for making Kurt Cobain look OCD), and, apparently to say bitch on the radio. Without Little Miss Can't Be Wrong, we couldn't have had Meredith Brooks...and that's why this can't possibly be worth ranking at #3.

4) Dr. Dre - The Chronic - I bought it last year, that's how down with the vibe of 1992 I was. But it's got everything from Nothin' but a G Thang, which is one of the greatest songs of any genre ever to Bitches Ain't Shit, which is just wow. It's not great, it has more skits and intros than necessary (which is to say more than zero) and it inspired lots of bad rap albums, but it was a huge turning point for me and my interest in rap/hip-hop, because soon Snoop Doggy Dogg was a household name...and I was 12.

5) Arrested Development - 3 Years, 5 months & 2 days in the life of... - This was the other side of The Chronic's coin -- utterly harmless rap/hip-hop that didn't glorify drug dealers, murderers or gang members, just hyper-literate people who took pride in what they'd overcome. It's preachy to no end, whether it's Mr. Wendal or Give a Man a Fish, but it's highly entertaining and warranted MTV's most premature unplugged special ever (although a possible except for D'Angelo, the last unplugged I recall for an artist I still have not yet heard of). "Tennessee" is one of the best mainstream tracks from the entire decade. Most important of all, it gave Baba Oje a job...and if you know to who I refer, you're officially old.

I challenge you to a game of horseshoes...a game of horseshoes!

Honorable mention: Eric Clapton - Unplugged -- from what I've heard, it warrants most of the praise it was lobbed...and I don't particularly like Eric Clapton, We Can't Dance - Genesis -- ah, they used to be entertaining; The Jayhawks - Hollywood Town Hall -- If I owned the album so I could have listened to all of it, it certainly would be in the top 5; Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted - an album I've listened to more than #4 or 5...but it's stuck here because I can't distinguish it from Crooked Rain Crooked Rain right now.

Dan's Top 5:

Wow, I didn't realize what a down year this was for music. This will be reflected in my list (with exception of my #1)

1. Peter Gabriel - Us - Some would call this a poor follow-up to "So," especially since there were 6 years between the two albums. Those people are known as douchebag idiots. Granted, it's not as good as "So," but this album still sports many Gabriel classics, such as "Come Talk To Me," "Steam," "Digging In The Dirt," "Blood of Eden," and one of his best songs ever, "Secret World."

2. Rage Against The Machine - Rage Against The Machine - I include this because a) I play "Killing in the Name" all the time on Guitar Hero II, and b) because I recognize it as the debut of a very revolutionary band. That being said, I haven't listened to all of it, but whatever I have heard by Rage, I have liked, so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt here. Hopefully it adheres to the debut album paradigm and sounds more raw and original.

3. Bill Hicks - Relentless - Hey, no one said this was restricted to music albums. Bill Hicks is by far my favorite stand-up comedian, and this was his second and last comedy album before his death. By now, I've heard all the jokes way too many times for my own good, but they're still funny. The great thing about Hicks was his fearless criticism of the conservative government when they reigned supreme. He inspired countless members of today's comedy scene to incoprorate at least some social commentary, though most of those comedians really suck.

4. Eric Clapton - Unplugged - This is here not because of the acoustic version of "Layla" (quick capsule review - good, but sucks compared to the electric version), but the amazing "Tears in Heaven." Apart from these two songs though, the album seems pretty boring, with most songs written by people whose names are not Eric Clapton.

5. The Cure - Wish - There is no other reason I include this other than the song "Friday I'm in Love," which, as fans of mine (read: no one) will remember, was featured on the very first issue of "Best CD Ever"

Honorable Mention: Blind Melon - Blind Melon (come on, how can you not like "No Rain?")

Ryan's Top Five

Damn it, now that I have professional responsibilities again I can't post eight topics a day. I'm hoping to get back on slothy track by November, so bare with me for the time being, folks.

1992 was t minus two years before I got a CD player and thus got really into music (my favorite song was still Whip It by Devo and I spent most of my time trying to play drums to Beach Boys songs when I did listen to music I owned...everything else was radio singles, which will guide most of my list outside of #1).

1. R.E.M. - Automatic for the People - No argument here, Tim. One of those tweener bands for me, where I already know a lot but I feel I need to know more. The more I listen to Man on the Moon, the more I appreciate it (I initially was bored by it).

2. Arrested Development - 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of... - Oh man, did I love these songs. Tennessee was on one of my favorite songs, and I remember being sad when they stopped playing it on the radio (as I didn't understand how singles worked).

3. The Cure - Wish - Here for Friday, the best The Cure has to offer in my book.

4. Blind Melon - Blind Melon - No Rain. Also one of my early favorite songs.

5. Soul Asylum - Grave Dancer's Union - Here for Runaway Train.

Honorables: Dr. Dre, Spin Doctors (I dislike them because they were supposed to open for Hootie and the Blowfish in 1999 at my first ever concert and they backed out. Fuckers.), RATM.

1 comment:

The Monkey said...

Tim, regarding Blogger swallowing your post, I always type my lists up in Notepad (with some basic HTML) before opening the "Edit Post" page. I find myself less likely to close Notepad by accident than a Firefox browser with 8 or so tabs. The only downside is that if it's a new post, there is no autosave.

Also, I'd hate to try editing a post while someone else also tries editing it. I have a suspicion that whoever sent their list in first would get trumped by the later "updated" post. So when I just cut and paste via Notepad, I'm only editing for the span of about 10 seconds.