2015, eh? How did that happen? How has it been 15 years since the 90s graced us? Or, as I ask my friends at every occasion we have, when did we grow up?
When I’m feeling nostalgic and looking back on things with fondness, I always tend to attach those memories to a song. It’s my thing and for this reason, I am extremely good at music trivia.
I’d say 1995 was the year that solidified my love for pop culture and music. I remember eagerly awaiting the Much Music Countdown on Friday nights, which served as my portal into the latest and greatest in the music world. 1995 was also when CDs were all the rage. I was determined to grow my CD collection from only having Big Ones by Aerosmith and the Sister Act Soundtrack. The alternative scene was dazzling to me, so I worked hard to save up my allowance to purchase that new, shiny CD at Sam the Record Man. I really upgraded from saving up my allowance money for troll dolls.
I like lists. A lot. So in honour of celebrating the 20-year anniversary of some of the first CDs I owned, I created a list (in no particular order) of my favourite albums. (Warning: reading this list may make you feel old).
- Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morissette. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t own this album in the 90s. Ottawa-native Alanis emerged from the days of being on You Can’t Do That on Television, to being the new queen of grunge. And how about You Outta Know is supposed to be about Dave Coullier aka Joey from Full House? So random. Ang’s Fav Track: Toss up between Head Over Feet and Hand in my Pocket.
- Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness – Smashing Pumpkins. I remember when this CD came out, my brother and I had to share the costs of it as it was the most expensive CD I’d ever purchased- that’s thanks to the 28-song track list on a double CD. There were only a handful of songs that I did listen to, but those were quite epic and worth the money. Ang’s Fav. Track: Bullet with Butterfly Wings.
- Daydream – Mariah Carey. This was when I still thought her name was pronounced “Maria.” This album was a huge commercial success with many #1’s that contestants from American Idol still try to replicate today. Ang’s Fav Track: So it’s technically NOT on this album, but its derived from the original song Fantasy on the album – but I prefer the Bad Boy remix with ODB.
- Tragic Kingdom – No Doubt. ’95 was when the world learned of the majesty that is Gwen Stefani. Tragic Kingdom brought the ska-inspired sound into the mainstream, and offered a unique twist on the alternative music scene. Ang’s Fav Track: Ahhh this is another toughie cause there are so many good ones! I’ll go with Sunday Morning as it brings me such joy.
- (What’s the Story) Morning Glory – Oasis. This album though. I don’t really have to say anything but: Those bushy-eyebrowed brothers from the UK changed all of our lives with that song. Also, remember when Champagne Supernova came on at school dances and you had to strategically pick who you would dance with, as you’d be stuck with them for 8 minutes? Ah, memories. Ang’s Fav Track – Wonderwall, obvi.
- Sixteen Stone – Bush. So Gavin Rossdale was my first major celebrity crush. Obsessed is probably a polite way of putting it. I thought for sure, one day if he were to meet me, he’d of course fall in love with me. Alas, my girl Gwen stole his heart, and I eventually became at peace with that. But I digress… Sixteen Stone is one of those albums I can listen to from top to bottom without flinching and if there is one album that could serve as my soundtrack for my grade 8 year, its probably this one. Also, not going to lie, Dramatically Zen’s title was semi-inspired by the song from this album, Everything Zen. Ang’s Fav Track – It’s gotta be Glycerine.
- Dangerous Minds Soundtrack – Various Artsits. Remember this movie? And better yet, remember this soundtrack? Well, there’s probably not a lot of songs you could rhyme off of the top of your head from this album, except one: Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio, where we were begged the question “What’s going on in the kitchen?” Poetry. So good though- I am still so happy when the movie is aired on TV or when this song comes up on my iPod. Ang’s Fav Track – No surprises here, Gangsta’s Paradise.
- The Bends – Radiohead. Honestly, this album was a masterpiece. What sticks out in my mind, though, is the music video for the song The synopsis of the video is as such: Man lies down in the middle of the street. Other man asks what is wrong (via running subtitles). Man won’t tell. A crowd begins to grow around man, all wondering what is wrong with man on street. Man finally tells. The entire crowd is now laying down on street. This music video is like modern day folk-lore, where the reason of everyone lying down is never answered. Thom Yorke has said he will never reveal what the man said- which has made this video one of the best of all time- thought-provoking, conspiracy forming, simple, artistic, brilliant. Watch it now and let me know what you think! Ang’s Fav Track – Just or High and Dry.
Other notable albums of 1995 with my favourite tracks:
Frogstomp – Silver Chair – Fav track – Tomorrow
Crazysexycool – TLC –(Technically came out in late 1994) – Fav track – Creep
Foo Fighters – Foo Fighters – Fav track – Big Me
Presidents of the U.S.A – Presidents of the U.S.A – Fav track – Peaches
Garbage – Garbage – Fav Track – Queer
Insomniac – Green Day – Fav Track – Brain Stew/Jaded
Collective Soul – Collective Soul – Fav Track – The World I know
And finally, to balance out my alternative–inspired list:
Much Music Dance Mix 1995 – Various Artists – Fav Track – Saturday Night by Whigfield
It’s your turn- share what your favourite albums of 1995 are! And stay tuned next week for a second part in a series of 20-year anniversary celebration of pop culture in 1995.