Ten years on: 1994 nostalgia! Nineteen ninety-four was a pivotal year for yours truly — last year of college, a summer internship in big-city New Yawk at Billboard magazine, got my first job at a real-live newspaper and never looked back. The music of 1994 made a big impact on me, and other sites are dredging up their own "Best Of 1994" lists. Made me think of my own.
Maybe it's misty hindsight talking, but 1994 still seems like an uncommonly good year for music, 10 years on. Maybe it was working at Billboard for the summer, where comp CDs rained down like confetti upon the staff, and getting a chance to explore more tunes than I knew existed.
Cool albums from '94 that I still listen to on a regular basis:
• Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand - Not just the best album of 1994, but one of my top 5 albums ever. Quirky, alien post-pop that hums and shudders like rock from another planet. Get it now and be saved.
• Nirvana - Unplugged In New York - Undeniably tragic, but also perhaps their finest hour.
• Elvis Costello - Brutal Youth - Great vintage EC, overlooked and very angry.
• Freedy Johnston - This Perfect World - Utterly gorgeous, lost-love ballads that sting sweetly. An artist who deserved to be bigger than he was.
• Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral- Too bleak to listen to often, but a high-water mark in sheer rage.
• Soundgarden- Superunknown- Hey, kids, remember the grunge?
• Weezer - The Blue Album- For some reason I lost my copy of this and keep meaning to pick up the new "special edition" when I have some cash. But it's great pop.
• Green Day - Dookie - Whatever happened to these guys?
• Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain - Released 10 years before its time. Just now re-released with extra goodness.
• Beastie Boys - Ill Communication - "I can't stand it I know you planned it / But I'm gonna set it straight, this Watergate!"
And to top it off... 1994 albums that I used to own that are embarassing to see on ANY "Best of" list:
The Rolling Stones - Voodoo Lounge. What was I thinking?
Counting Crows - August And Everything After. I like "Mr. Jones" but the rest of the CD now seems like high-school poetry set to bad music.
Live - Throwing Copper - And this is bad "goth" high-school poetry set to grunge. Overwrought and pretentious as all get out, in hindsight.