Ten for Tuesday: 1990 July 13, 2010Posted by Matt in top ten.
Tags: alice in chains, Black Crowes, Firehouse, Garth Brooks, Jane's Addiction, MC Hammer, Megadeth, Nelson, Pantera, Pixies, Poison, public enemy, Sonic Youth, top ten, Uncle Tupelo, Vanilla Ice
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Are you ready for a new series of sorts? Welcome to the top ten time machine.
Today I thought that we could take a step back in time for our list, a leap of 20 years in the past to 1990. In 1990, I was 13 years old, in the seventh grade at Beebe Junior High, and already had one of the largest cassette tape collections of any of my friends. To commemorate this year bridging the gap between the big hair of the 80’s and the sullenness of the 90’s, we will be taking a look at the music released during that 365 day period. Later on I’ll do the same with movies.
Top 10 Albums Released in 1990
10. Alice in Chains – Facelift
A precursor of the grungy early 90’s, Jerry Cantrell’s sludge-rock guitar riffs fill up whatever space is left over from Layne Staley’s growling vocals. Though this work is not up to the same level as 1992’s Dirt, it is still good and contains some of their best known songs like “Man in the Box” and “Bleed the Freak.”
9. The Black Crowes – Shake Your Money Maker
Chris Robinson’s band takes the hazy, reverb-drenched rock sounds of times past to a new era, channeling the Stones and countless others in their rumble to the top. Over the past twenty years, the Crowes have proven themselves to be among the standard-bearers of the classic rock sound and that is no more evident than on this work, with songs like “She Talks to Angels” and a great cover of “Hard to Handle.”
8. Pixies – Bossanova
When music historians look back at the most important bands of alternative rock, one of the names high on the list will no doubt be the Pixies. Their stamp is all over the boom of bands in the early 90’s and you can see why on this work with tunes like “Velouria” and “Dig for Fire.
7. Pantera – Cowboys from Hell
Dude, when it comes to metal guitar there was nobody like the late Dimebag Darrell. This album still amazes me today and there is a good possibility I’ll be listening to it any time you come by my house when I’m working out. “Cemetary Gates” may very well be my favorite heavy song of all time.
6. Megadeth – Rust in Peace
Dave Mustaine is the king of making metal with a social conscious, and that is no clearer than it is on Rust in Peace, which may be the magnum opus of a long and fruitful career. I had the chance to see them perform this entire album live last year and believe me, it is still awesome.
5. Garth Brooks – No Fences
How can you possible be a country music fan in the South and not mention this album when talking about the early 90’s? You could not avoid this 20 years ago, but with songs like “Friends in Low Places,” and “The Thunder Rolls,” why would you have wanted to?
4. Sonic Youth – Goo
Another band that will no doubt appear on the aforementioned list of the most important bands of alternative rock, Sonic Youth blew it out of the water with this, their follow-up to 1988’s classic Daydream Nation. With loud guitars, curiously strange tunings, and great songs like “Kool Thing” and “Dirty Boots,” the bands influence goes far beyond album sales.
3. Uncle Tupelo – No Depression
Some movements are started with bombastic writings and some with angry mobs and pitchforks – Uncle Tupelo mixed a together a banjo with a distorted guitar and created a genre, alt-country. The dual genius of Jay Farrar (Son Volt) and Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) was destined not to last, but at least we got great songs like “Graveyard Shift” and “No Depression” out of it.
2. Jane’s Addiction – Ritual de lo Habitual
It is a shame that the career of Jane’s Addiction was so short and tempestuous, but the small amount of music they did release was so incredible and so far beyond its time, that it’s almost a good thing they weren’t around to disappoint. “Stop” is one of the best opening tracks ever.
1. Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet
Forget the cartoonish reality television star that Flavor Flav has become in recent years, 20 years ago he and Chuck D set an incredibly high bar in the world of rap music, one that few have reached in the two decades since. “Fight the Power” still gets me riled up today.
In addition to that, here are five albums released in 1990 that I owned back then, but wish I could say I didn’t.
5. Poison – Flesh and Blood
This was the point where Posion first tried to transition, at least partly, from being a good times hair band of the 80’s to something more serious. No thanks, it makes me want to pull out Look What the Cat Dragged In again…
4. Firehouse – Firehouse
Yes, I did own this piece of garbage. In my defense, though, I was only 13 or 14 at the time!
3. MC Hammer – Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em
Seriously, everybody within a few years of my age owned this one in 1990, so leave me alone while I try to make myself forget it…
2. Nelson – After the Rain
Why did I own Nelson? I have no idea, except that maybe the girls in junior high liked them.
And, of course, number 1 has to be…
1. Vanilla Ice – To the Extreme
Wow, this was so bad it was beyond comprehension, but again, who didn’t own it in 1990? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Next: Movies in 1990