Content tagged '90s'
Spirit (Album of the Day)
In the wake of a smash debut, Jewel Kilcher's second album was among the most anticipated of the decade, and SPIRIT did not disappoint. The 1998 Atlantic collection glows with the same beautiful voice, heartfelt poetry and appealing melodies that had won the singer-songwriter millions of fans three years earlier, but the production here (by Peter Collins and Patrick Leonard) frames these virtues with much more professional polish than did PIECES OF YOU. Singles “Hands,” “Down So Long” and “Jupiter” were certainly highlights, but the title of another song, “What's Simple Is True,” may better explain what made this set another multi-platinum hit. If Jewel's success was part of the '90s wave of “women in rock” (she was a headliner at Lilith Fair 20 years ago today), it's the directness and honesty of SPIRIT that continues to resonate.
Star (Album of the Day)
With stints in Throwing Muses and The Breeders behind her, Tanya Donelly was more than ready to front her own alternative rock band, and Belly captured the spotlight even more firmly than those previous groups. Filled out by three musical cohorts from Donelly's Rhode Island home base, Belly made an impressive debut with STAR; the 1993 Sire set included a Modern Rock chart-topper in “Feed The Tree,” another MTV favorite in “Gepetto,” and brought the quartet two Grammy nominations. These 15 originals give indie dream pop plenty of appealing hooks - even if the album's sweet-sounding vocals sometimes sing about rather strange stuff. Today we'll wish upon a STAR in honor of Tanya Donelly's birthday.
Where You Been (Album of the Day)
Released in 1993, Dinosaur Jr.'s fifth studio album roars as loudly as any of its grunge-era contemporaries, but without their occasional bombast. WHERE YOU BEEN features ten terrific songs, kicking off with the yearning “Out There” and Top 10 Modern Rock hit “Start Choppin,” and never lets up from there. While J Mascis plays a dominant role – in addition to writing and production credits, his just-woke-up vocals and epic guitar solos thread through every song – this is Dinosaur Jr.'s sole Sire set with a real band behind him, as bassist Mike Johnson and drummer Murph provide the insistent rhythmic drive. While flirting with mainstream success (the collection reached #50 on the Billboard album chart), WHERE YOU BEEN frames a gentle outlook with alt-rock thunder, and remains a fan favorite.
Lessons In Living [Live At Montreux] (Album of the Day)
Though ever-busy as a live performer, Mose Allison rarely ventured into the recording studio during the late '70s and early '80s, making this fine concert set all the more valuable. LESSONS IN LIVING was cut at the Montreux Jazz Festival with a stellar backing band including Jack Bruce (bass), Billy Cobham (drums), Eric Gale (guitar) and Lou Donaldson (saxophone), all of whom get a chance to shine on these nine tracks. Allison's voice and piano playing are in peak form as well, and the man's understated cool comes through perfectly on a mix of classics (“Your Mind Is On Vacation”), recent songs (“Middle Class White Boy”) and re-imagined standards (“You Are My Sunshine”). LESSONS IN LIVING now celebrates its 35th anniversary, and it still qualifies as a master class in blues-oriented jazz.
Third Eye Blind (20th Anniversary) (Album of the Day)
Third Eye Blind made a huge splash in 1997, scoring a #1 Modern Rock hit with their first single, "Semi-Charmed Life" (later named Modern Rock Track of the Year at the Billboard Music Awards). It paved the way for the San Francisco alt-rockers' eponymous debut album, which boasted several more major hits - "Graduate," "How's It Going To Be," "Losing A Whole Year" and "Jumper" - and has been certified six-times Platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA. The new THIRD EYE BLIND: 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION adds a disc of unreleased tracks to the smash original, including demos, the band's cover of the Velvet Underground classic "Heroin," and two new recordings of songs that were written for the THIRD EYE BLIND album, but were never fully realized in the studio until now.
Detonator (Album of the Day)
After nearly a decade in the hard rock trenches, DETONATOR marked the end of an era for Ratt; it would prove to be the final release by the classic ’80s line-up. For their fifth studio set, the Los Angeles quintet swapped out longtime producer Beau Hill for hitmaker Desmond Child, who adds an unusual degree of polish to the sound and also lends a hand with songwriting - “Lovin' You's A Dirty Job,” “Shame, Shame, Shame” and power ballad “Givin' Yourself Away” all made terrific singles. The performances are just as solid as the songs, with vocalist Stephen Pearcy and lead guitarist Warren DeMartini taking command of every track. Released on this day in 1990, DETONATOR is yet another explosive album from one of the defining bands of glam metal.
UNDER THE PINK (Album of the Day)
Tori Amos has sold over 12 million albums, has played over a thousand shows and has had multiple Grammy nominations; the prodigious singer-songwriter touched millions deeply with her arresting melodies, riveting stage presence and heartfelt lyrics. After a striking solo debut in 1992, Amos defied the sophomore slump to release an equally accomplished follow-up, UNDER THE PINK, two years later. The Atlantic collection spotlights piano-led balladry delivered with grunge-rock intensity, and the dozen originals reveal Amos as a master of both memorable singles (“Cornflake Girl,” “God”) and ambitious epics (“Yes, Anastasia”). The Deluxe Edition of UNDER THE PINK includes a bonus disc of B-sides, live tracks and other rarities; we'll give it another spin today to celebrate Tori Amos' birthday.
Beneath The Rhythm And Sound (Album of the Day)
You'd be forgiven for assuming The Ocean Blue to be a British band; the Hershey, Pennsylvania quartet made jangly dream pop reminiscent of The Smiths or Cocteau Twins. Released 25 years ago today, BENEATH THE RHYTHM AND SOUND was their last of three Sire Records releases, and offers 11 blissful and beautiful originals including “Don't Believe Everything You Hear,” “Ice Skating At Night” and Top 10 Modern Rock hit “Sublime.” The self-produced set colors vocalist David Schelzel's abstract lyrics with rich arrangements sure to beguile any indie fan willing to explore BENEATH THE RHYTHM AND SOUND.
One Hot Minute Deluxe (Album of the Day)
On this day in 1993, former Jane's Addiction axeman Dave Navarro joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers; his time with the band was brief but intense, making ONE HOT MINUTE a particularly appropriate title for their sole album together. Produced by Rick Rubin, the Warner Bros. set has a more metallic edge thanks to the new guitarist, and despite an apprehensive lyrical outlook, such songs as “Warped,” “My Friends” and “Aeroplane” helped drive the album to double-platinum status. The Deluxe Edition of ONE HOT MINUTE adds such bonus tracks as “Let's Make Evil,” “Stretch You Out” and "Bob" (about fellow L.A. rocker Bob Forrest) to the original 13, offering a closer look at one of the Chili Peppers' most underrated albums.
Rockabye (Album of the Day)
Singer-songwriter Robin Holcomb emerged from New York in the late 1980s with a striking style connecting spare folk to avant-jazz and all points in-between. Her second album for Elektra, ROCKABYE, is among her most accessible, with Holcomb's earthy voice spinning tales of human struggle and natural wonders across ten originals. Friends including guitarists Peter Holsapple and Bill Frisell provide instrumental support without ever upstaging Robin's distinctive piano work. ROCKABYE celebrates its 25th anniversary today, and if you have any desire to explore the more experimental edge of Americana, don't let another year go by without it.