Maybe I wasn’t paying attention much in 1990 — high school was a miserable time for me, and I spent a lot of time listening to the second Led Zeppelin album and Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Wish You Were Here. So some of this I acquired in retrospect — like Depeche Mode — around this time I was listening to classic rock and so all the synth stuff just went over my head. I think Violator might have been one of the first albums to really get my attention.
The Black Crowes – Shake Your Money Maker
This song was EVERYWHERE and every wannabe guitar hack was trying to figure out how to play it and were playing it wrong (kind of like Stairway to Heaven). Later, when I learned the tuning and figured out how to play it, I was revered as a guitar god. (It’s really not that hard… it just sounds that way)
Cowboy Junkies – The Caution Horses
Don’t ever get drunk and listen to the Cowboy Junkies unless you really want to cry.
Depeche Mode – VIOLATOR
Their “Document” (see 1987 in music, re: REM). This is a perfect album, and is still a staple on my playlist.
Sinead O’Connor – I do not want what I have not got
Heartbreaking album, full of anger and sadness. Also, the first of two Prince covers in this list. Weird.
Lou Reed/John Cale – Songs for Drella
Two geniuses that just can’t seem to work together — after 1968’s White Light/White Heat, the two Velvets vowed never to work together again. Then Andy Warhol died, and they got together to write a memorial album for him. By the time they finished this album, they again vowed never to work together ever again. But, we still got this great album.
Concrete Blonde – Bloodletting
I should just put this entire album up. The whole thing is so much fun. I remember listening to it on cassette while I rode my bike out to see friends a few miles away. It was my non-stop go to the summer of 1991.
Eno/Cale – Wrong Way Up
I just love a good Eno vocals album. After “Before and After Science” it became rarer and rarer to hear him sing, and this often overlooked collaboration between Brian Eno and John Cale is full of really cool pop sounds. Would you believe Sugar Ray covered this for The Beach soundtrack? (Who’s Sugar Ray, amirite?)
Hindu Love Gods
What would R.E.M. sound like if you replaced Michael Stipe with Warren Zevon and had them do old blues covers? Oh, and what’s that? A cover of Prince’s Raspberry Beret?
Surely you can’t be serious.
I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.
I discovered this album at a record store in Fort Erie, Ontario along with an album by The Alarm (but that’s 1991, darlings).