Lambchop - What Another Man Spills
Lambchop - What Another Man Spills

Lambchop - What Another Man Spills

Mark Moody
The Psychedelic Furs - Talk Talk Talk
The Psychedelic Furs - Talk Talk Talk

The Psychedelic Furs - Talk Talk Talk

Jeff Penczak
Neil Young - Weld
Neil Young - Weld

Neil Young - Weld

In a career where each artistic step has felt like a reaction to the one before it, Neil Young’s 1991 Weld/Arc release is perhaps best summed up as the live document that captures Young and his live band at the peak of their collective abilities.  A record so sonically dense that Young claims the mixing sessions permanently damaged his hearing, Weld documents the 1991 tour in support of the critically acclaimed Ragged Glory, an album regarded by many (this reviewer included) as one of the best from Young’s mid-period ‘grunge’ years.

James Weiskittel
R.E.M. - Out Of Time
R.E.M. - Out Of Time

R.E.M. - Out Of Time

It’s nearly impossible to discuss R.E.M.’s ascent from enigmatic indie-rockers to stadium-filling pop stars without mentioning the band’s seventh album, Out Of Time, and the brooding, minor-key anthem “Losing My Religion.”  By 1991, the band had already conquered the college-rock landscape, but thanks to the universal embracing of the unconventional single by radio (as well as round-the-clock play on MTV), R.E.M. finally crossed over into pop-culture consciousness.  And while its political significance has long since been relegated to mere footnote status*, Out Of Time managed to open the kind of doors for R.E.M. that only a few years earlier would have seemed like an impossibility.

James Weiskittel
Swervedriver - Raise
Swervedriver - Raise

Swervedriver - Raise

There are three tiers to shoegaze. The top tier universally consists of only three bands – My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and Ride – usually in that order of importance. Most shoegaze addicts list those three bands as the pioneers of the genre, even if the Jesus & Mary Chain created the genre unexpectedly with Psychocandy, these purveyors of style created the first official wave of the gaze. The third tier is largely composed of imitators and revivalists capitalizing on a very niche genre – Nothing, A Place to Bury Strangers, etc. The largest section is Tier 2, the bands that came after the holy trinity hit big – Lush, Chapterhouse, Catherine Wheel, Swirlies, and Swervedriver (among several others).

Tim Sentz
Pulp - Different Class
Pulp - Different Class

Pulp - Different Class

Pulp’s 1995 album, Different Class is remarkable for several reasons. For one, it’s whip-smart Pop. For another, it's deft satire. It’s also the breakthrough for a band that had been flitting about for seventeen years. While they often get associated with the Britpop movement that catapulted Blur and Oasis, they were never really part of that scene. Which might explain why they stood apart. Regardless, after the highly acclaimed, His ‘n Hers, they suddenly shot out into the spotlight with Different Class. With a vengeance.

Kevin Orton
The Verve - Urban Hymns
The Verve - Urban Hymns

The Verve - Urban Hymns

Tim Sentz
King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King
King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King

King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King

Kevin Orton
Can - Future Days
Can - Future Days

Can - Future Days

Ljubinko Zivkovic
MC5 - Kick Out the Jams
MC5 - Kick Out the Jams

MC5 - Kick Out the Jams

James Weiskittel
Wire - 154
Wire - 154

Wire - 154

Kevin Orton
Wire - Chairs Missing
Wire - Chairs Missing

Wire - Chairs Missing

Kevin Orton