This is a time that will forever be cemented in my memory — and not always for the best of reasons, but still, it’s like yesterday. Sorry I’ve been missing — the retrospective will continue as planned.
Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes
I didn’t discover Tori Amos until a couple of years later, with Under the Pink, but this debut album of hers is amazing and still strong today.
Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy – Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury
Please just watch this video. It is 8 minutes of pure YES! It reminds me of Ray Bradbury’s fear — that television would be the beginning of the end for the intellectual. Like anything, it can be used for good or bad, but the fact of the matter is, there is an ugly and unacceptable amount of illiteracy and attention deficit nurtured by a fast food culture “Where imagination is sucked out of children/By a cathode ray nipple/T. V. Is the only wet nurse/That would create a cripple”
The Cure – Wish
Everyone knows Friday I’m in Love — this is another seminal Cure album, with some of the darkest and lightest moments together, sometimes in the same song. There isn’t a bad song on this album, and if you’ve never heard The Cure, this is actually a really accessible and good place to start.
Annie Lennox – Diva
God, I’ve posted this video so many times. It just wrecks me every time.
Black Crowes – Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
Why yes, that is Sofia Coppola. This album was in my Walkman nearly non-stop the summer of ’92. Southern blues and rock with Zeppelin-esque swagger.
Morrissey – Your Arsenal
Bowie covered this. Makes sense… the whole album’s kind of glam rock, with Mick Ronson involved and such. PROBABLY my favourite Morrissey album.
Barenaked Ladies – Gordon
Part tongue in cheek humour, part introspective melancholy, forget your preconceptions of the band and travel back with me to 1992 when they were adored by one and all.
Eric Clapton – Unplugged
This was the first big Unplugged album — there were others before, but who cared. Clapton re-invented LAYLA for crying out loud. A fantastic trip through the back blues catalog, mixed with some of his own compositions, this album should be on everyone’s shelf. Unless you’re boycotting him because of his latter day racist comments.
Brian Eno – Nerve Net
Didn’t discover this album until much later — it was really only a footnote in the ’90s and it’s not likely on many people’s “Best of Eno” list… but I happen to love it. Robert Fripp guitar, John Paul Jones on bass, and a host of other noisemakers, and it’s a fun album.
Tom Waits – Bone Machine
Tom. Fucking. Waits.
That is all.
Peter Gabriel – US
Another album with no bad tracks. He has never been as prolific as he was in the early ’80s, but whenever he put something out, it was magical. The Secret World Live tour that followed is often regarded as one of the most dynamic and interesting tour productions ever.
The Tragically Hip – Fully Completely
Okay, so, if you even step foot into Canada, you can’t help but hear The Hip. I believe they give out copies of Day For Night at the border. They are truly inheritors of the great tradition of storytelling and legend-making, as evidenced by the song “Fifty Mission Cap” about a hockey player, Bill Barilko, who, after playing in the Stanley Cup for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1951, went on a fishing trip in a small plane with a friend and disappeared, until the wreck was discovered 11 years later. So, these aren’t “let’s have fun this beat is sick; I wanna take a ride on your disco stick” type of lyrics.
REM – Automatic for the People
REM’s other Document, and my favourite album of theirs. I’ve shared the entire album, but also a couple of tracks for those who haven’t the time or inclination to listen to the whole thing. I was in England when this album was huge. If you’ve read Memoirs of a Dilettante, you’ll know (sort of) that this album was really important to me.