In response to some complaints that my top 10 list looked artificially critic-friendly, I'm going to post my top 20 albums of the 1990s. Again, I only picked one album by each artist. Here they are in reverse order.....
20) Slint SPIDERLAND - Very influential album in certain circles (post/math/indie rock). They toured fairly recently and it reminded me how great this album is. My favorite track is "Good Morning Captain."
19) Fugazi 13 SONGS - Fugazi meant a lot to me in college (probably the band I listened to most/traveled farthest to see live). I don't listen to them much anymore, but every once in awhile it still hits the spot. My favorite tracks are Ian MacKaye's. The best one is "Waiting Room." Other albums to pick up from Fugazi are REPEATER and STEADY DIET OF NOTHING. And don't forget about Minor Threat's COMPLETE DISCOGRAPHY.
18) Neutral Milk Hotel IN THE AEROPLANE OVER THE SEA - This is one of those albums that's probably a little bit overrated but I still really like it. You've got to listen to it non-stop for about two weeks to get into it. Hard to pick a key track since they all flow together but maybe, "Two-Headed Boy"?
17) Guided By Voices BEE THOUSAND - I'm far from the biggest GBV fan on the planet but I've listened to them and seen them live my share of times. This is their most consistent record. My favorite track is "I Am a Scientist." Other albums worth owning by them: ALIEN LANES and UNDER THE BUSHES UNDER THE STARS.
16) Sebadoh BAKESALE - I'm a huge Lou Barlow fan. I don't know what his legacy will be? Will he be remembered forever or just by guys who went to college in the mid-90s? My problem with most Sebadoh albums is that I'm not a huge Jason Lowenstein fan, but on this record I even like his songs. My favorite track is "Rebound." Other Sebadoh albums to check out are: III, BUBBLE AND SCRAPE and HARMACY.
15) Yo La Tengo PAINFUL - I had a roommate in college who drilled this shit in my head non-stop. Headphone music. My favorite track is the second version of "Big Day Coming." Other YLT albums to check out are: ELECTR-O-PURA, MAY I SING WITH ME, FAKEBOOK and I CAN HEAR THE HEART BEATING AS ONE.
14) Built to Spill THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH LOVE - This one has a lot of great love songs. "Car" is a song I like to listen to all the time. Other albums to check out: PERFECT FROM NOW ON and KEEP IT LIKE A SECRET.
13) Sugar COPPER BLUE - Very underrated band. I listened to this album all the time in college. My roommate brought them to play at school and I got a chance to meet Bob Mould (he was very nervous before going on stage). I actually prefer this Sugar stuff to the Husker Du albums because I wasn't a huge Grant Hart fan. My favorite track is "If I Can't Change Your Mind." Also pick up FILE UNDER: EASY LISTENING and BEASTER.
12) Dinosaur Jr. GREEN MIND - I'm a bigger fan of the post-Lou Barlow Dinosaur Jr. J Mascis' cracked drawl may not be everybody but I've always loved it. My favorite track is "The Wagon." Also pick up WHERE YOU BEEN and download "Freak Scene."
11) Radiohead THE BENDS - Great guitar rock before they got experimental. Solid all the way through. My favorite track is probably "Fake Plastic Trees." Also get your hands on OK COMPUTER.
Stay tuned for my top ten albums of the 1990s.