Top alternative albums of the 1990s

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by manco, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Forum Resident

    Little Britain
    The Cramps - Stay Sick
    The Cramps - Look Mom No Head
    The Cramps - Flame Job
    The Cramps - Big Beat From Badsville
    Pixies - Bossanova
    The La's
    Cast - All Change
    The Cure - Wish
    Waterboys - Room To Roam
    Happy Mondays - Pills And Thrills And Bellyaches
    SteveCooks likes this.
  2. RadioClash

    RadioClash Forum Resident

  3. friendofafriend

    friendofafriend Forum Resident

    South Jordan, UT
    My top 90s albums by bands that seemed “alternative” at the time to me:

    Suede - Suede
    Blur - Parklife
    Suede - Dog Man Star
    Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie
    Blur - The Great Escape
    Weezer - Pinkerton
    Blur - Blur
    Suede - Coming Up
    Garbage - Version 2.0

    My top 90s albums by bands that had seemed “alternative” back in the 80s:

    Depeche Mode - Violator
    Pet Shop Boys - Behavior
    U2 - Achtung Baby
    REM - Automatic For The People
    Pet Shop Boys - Very
  4. Fletch

    Fletch Forum Resident

    New York
    Nice list!
  5. Retro Hound

    Retro Hound Forum Resident

    Pittsburg, KS
    No one mentioned The Todies - Possum Kingdom yet?

    My son who is 21 loves '80s music, especially hair metal and heavy metal, and he really doesn't like '90s music at all, which I find kinda odd. I thought the '90s had tons of very interesting music.
  6. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian

    Cincinnati Ohio
    No, haven't quite mustered up the energy to get that yet. I'm sure I will eventually. I have all the other R.E.M. anniversary boxes.
  7. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Rezidentura

    Not in order (these are my faves, not necessarily the best of the 90's):
    1. that dog-Retreat From The Sun
    2. Dramarama-Vinyl
    3. Juliana Hatfield Three-Become What You Are
    4. PJ Harvey-Rid Of Me
    5. Cinnamon-The Courier
    6. Letters To Cleo-Go!
    7. Air-Moon Safari
    8. Gigolo Aunts-Minor Chords & Major Themes
    9. Fountains Of Wayne-Utopia Parkway
    10. Jennifer Trynin-Cockamamie
    11. Jason Falkner-Presents Author Unknown
    12. The Afghan Whigs-Gentlemen
    13. Ben Folds Five-s/t
    14. Tracy Bonham-Burden Of Being Upright
    15. Pizzicato Five-Happy End Of The World
    16. Breeders-Last Splash
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  8. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Uppsala Sweden
    Cool, I got one myself, but I wouldnt actually recommend it if you are not a super big fan of the band and their discography. But the box is nice for sure.
    I put up a review of it here if youre curious:
    Neutral Milk Hotel - NMH Vinyl Box Set
    bvb1123 likes this.
  9. DorothyV

    DorothyV Forum Resident

    Cleveland, Ohio
    Plus Adam & Eve. I feel like Ferment still gets a lot of love on "best shoegaze albums" lists. But, Chrome and Adam & Eve should have broken them into the mainstream. I still imagine an alternate universe where Adam & Eve received the same type of critical and commercial success that OK Computer did, the band kept going (instead of becoming "parked" due to a lack of commercial success), and 4-6 additional, awesome CW albums were released post-2000.
  10. BRush

    BRush Forum Resident

    Here are a few that are haven’t seen mentioned yet:
    The Replacements “All Shook Down”
    Green Day “Dookie”
    Wilco “AM”
    Wilco “Being There”
    Lucinda Williams: “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road”
    Jesus & Mary Chain “Honeys Dead”
    Steve Earle “I Feel Alright”
    Son Volt “Trace”
    GrayMouser likes this.
  11. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian

    Cincinnati Ohio
    Kool review. I probably wouldn't get this box set even though I'm a sucker for box sets because it's all vinyl and I only collect CDs. But it looks like a nice set. If I was into vinyl I'd definitely grab it.
    Leonthepro likes this.
  12. Guapito

    Guapito Forum Resident

    Depeche were Alternative despite their initial pop status. U2’s Achtung Baby and Zooropa are alternative albums. The band may have been mainstream by the early 90s but those two albums were definitely not.
  13. rancher

    rancher Unmade Bed

    The 90s were huge to me for music, I can’t overstate it. Very little mention here of Stereolab, though. I’ve got prob 4 favorites by them from the 90s.

    Wilco (Being There and Summerteeth plus Mermaid Ave)
    Weezer - Blue and Pinkerton
    Yo La Tengo (several)
    R.E.M. - New Adventures in Hi Fi
    Sonic Youth - A Thousand Leaves

    So many more that have been mentioned already
  14. That80sBaldAsianBadGuy

    That80sBaldAsianBadGuy Well-Known Member

    orange county
    The songs from Chrome received 0 airplay on the LA modern rock station. I pretty much had to catch them playing Nude and Crank very late at night on those cable alternative video shows. I wonder what the reason was since their guitar sound at that time easily fit in with Smashing Pumpkins and all the other grunge bands yet its more popish and melodic
    DorothyV likes this.
  15. ModernDayWarrior

    ModernDayWarrior Forum Resident

    Rahway, NJ, USA
    You want a great underrated alternative album from the 90’s? Pick up the self titled album from the band Dig. Awesome album.
    c-eling likes this.
  16. normanbterrier

    normanbterrier Forum Resident

    Boston, MA, USA
    Blur - Modern Life Is Rubbish
    Cavedogs - Joyrides for Shut-Ins
    Teenage Fanclub - Grand Prix
    Beck - Odelay
    U2 - Achtung Baby
    Gigolo Aunts - Flippin' Out
    Crowded House - Woodface
  17. RadioClash

    RadioClash Forum Resident

    Like a friend you don't want to see
    Oldness comes with a smile...

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
    manicpopthrill likes this.
  18. John54

    John54 Forum Resident

    A few favourites, offhand:

    Pulp - Different Class
    Mark Burgess - Zima Junction
    Gene - Revelations
    McCarthy - Banking, Violence and the Inner Life Today
    Trash Can Sinatras - I've Seen Everything
    Rialto - Rialto
    Shack - HMS Fable
    Cinerama - This is Cinerama (but it's collection of 5 EPs)

    ... and always check out whatever Martin Newell is doing!
    manicpopthrill likes this.
  19. RichC

    RichC Forum Resident

    Great song, but the whole album (Rubberneck) is spotty.

    Anyone mention Shudder To Think? "X-French T-Shirt" is one of the great lost singles of the decade. You'd think a song that's only one chord for 95% of its running time would be boring. You'd be wrong.....

    Glad to see Red House Painters finally included! Anyone bring up Grant Lee Buffalo or Whiskeytown yet?
  20. searing75

    searing75 Forum Resident

    Western NY
    Alternative 90’s albums. Well, the two best are R.E.M.’s Out Of Time and Automatic For The People. Monster and NAIHF are unique, but not up to the quality of the previous albums. Radiohead’s Ok Computer is awesome! Is that considered Alt?
  21. elvisizer

    elvisizer Forum Resident

    San Jose
    Very happy to see the swervedriver mentions!
    Kind of shocked I didn’t see Jon Spencer blues explosion

    Here’s some of my picks that haven’t been mentioned yet, heavy on the spacey stuff

    American Analog Set - The Fun of Watching Fireworks
    Bardo Pond - Amanita
    Bob Mould - Black Sheets of Rain
    Boards of Canada - Twoism
    Bowery Electric - s/t
    Chris Connelly - Whiplash Boychild
    Grimble Grumble - s/t
    Labradford - Mi Media Naranja
    Low - I Could Live in Hope
    Space Needle - Voyager
    Windy & Carl - Drawing of Sound
  22. Cherrycherry

    Cherrycherry Forum Resident

    No and yes. Search box is your friend.
  23. Elliottmarx

    Elliottmarx Always in the mood for Burt Bacharach

    Los Angeles
    This was a stunning time for alternative-to-mainstream music. Of course the early 90s were agressive, but there was a lounge revival in the middle of the decade that is nearly forgotten but which produced strange and vital music that I wish had greater exposure. Two of my absolute favorite artists from this era never get attention and haven't been mentioned here -

    Ben Lee - Grandpaw Would -- I don't think there has ever been a greater teenage boy singer songwriter. His Pixies influenced acoustic songs sung in an adolescent croak are very effective. This great album was on Grand Royale. This is one of the great oddball folk albums of this era.


    Cornershop - When I Was Born for the Seventh Time - an Indian British band wrote catchy songs and layered them with tamboura, sitar and a bunch of Beck-style crate digging. Brimful of Asha was a great, danceable rock song single that went nowhere. Their new albums continue to be arresting.

    Other artists (with widely released albums) who were alternative that have been truly forgotten, but shouldn't be:

    Land of the Loops
    The Sugarplastic
    Cibo Matto
    The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group

  24. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Familiar thread.
  25. Kingsley Fats

    Kingsley Fats Forum Resident

    As far as I am concerned every era is a stunning time for alternative-to-mainstream music.
    IMO following mainstream music is akin to following fashion. Commercial influences force it to change & not always for the better.

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