Tag Archives: ready to die

Gem of the Week: Top Five Albums Turning 20

5 Feb

My tribute to the music of ’94

I got inspired to compile a top five list of great albums from 1994 after reading an article on Stereogum.com about how Green Day’s Dookie album just turned 20 years old.

Here are my top five albums from ’94 (of course I’m including Dookie) that are now 20 years old :

5. Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral 

I was one of those 14-year-old teen girls that loved Trent Reznor. I could care less about him now but this album was in my Walkman all the time. Songs like March of Pigs, Terrible Lie, Hurt and Closer make this album a gem. The Downward Spiral should become a requirement to  every grunge music fan’s collection from 1994.

4. The Notorious B.I.G. – Ready To Die 

This is a great hip-hop album that came out during the time when west coast rappers like 2Pac  dominated the scene. Biggie put the east coast sound into mainstream with his hit single Juicy and then Big Poppa  (’95) from this debut album. I have mentioned before that I can’t get into todays hip-hop. When Biggie rapped it was real venting and he delivered with passion.  My favorite jam off the album is Gimme The Loot.

3. Live – Throwing Copper

Lead singer Ed Kowalczyk and myself share something in common and that is we both love R.E.M.  I listened to this album a lot and the hits from this album were all catchy: Selling the Drama, I Alone, Lightning Crashes and All Over You. Live writes songs that are awesome lyrically as well as musically.

2. Green Day – Dookie

This really was an influential breakthrough album with hits like Longview, Basket Case and When I Come Around.  While Green Day has matured and grown so much as a band over the past 20 years, I still carry that first impression of their goofy teen image in the video for LongviewDookie is pure brilliance and to think of how lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong was only 18 years old at the time is crazy but then again he continues being a true talent.

1. R.E.M – Monster 

Aside from them being my favorite band, I felt this venture into a harder sound totally worked out making this a great album. Every single minute of this album rocks with big hits like: Whats The Frequency, Kenneth?, Star 69, Bang and Blame, Strange Currencies and my personal favorite song off the album, I Don’t Sleep, I Dream. I can still listen through Monster over and over again.

I narrowed my top five list to reflect what I listened to the most and I left off a few of my veteran favorites from the ’94 era like: Pear Jam, Nirvana, Sound Garden, Rancid and Tori Amos.

I’m happy those five gems are in my collection because they came from a great defining year in music.

I included a link from Greenday’s You Tube channel for the classic video Longview.