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The Music of 1991: The Best Year of Music, Ever!


Don’t believe me? Well, here’s the evidence! Epic Albums from Legendary Bands! Here to rock your socks once again, from 1991:

Nirvana: Nevermind is the second studio album by the American rock band Nirvana, released on September 24, 1991. Produced by Butch Vig, Nevermind was the group’s first release on DGC Records. Frontman Kurt Cobain sought to make music outside of the restrictive confines of the Seattle grunge scene, drawing influence from groups such as the Pixies and their use of loud/quiet song dynamics.

Despite low commercial expectations by the band and its record label, Nevermind became a surprise success in late 1991, largely due to the popularity of its first single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit“. By January 1992, it had replaced Michael Jackson‘s album Dangerous at number one on the Billboard charts. The Recording Industry Association of America has certified the album ten times platinum (10 million copies shipped). Nevermind was responsible for bringing alternative rock to a large mainstream audience, and critics subsequently regarded it as one of the best rock albums of all time.
And with this first shot, of that black and white allstar, my world was changed forever!

Pearl Jam: Ten is the debut studio album by the American alternative rock band Pearl Jam, released on August 27, 1991 through Epic Records. Following the disbanding of bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard‘s previous group Mother Love Bone, the two recruited vocalist Eddie Vedder, guitarist Mike McCready, and drummer Dave Krusen to form Pearl Jam in 1990. Most of the songs began as instrumental jams, to which Vedder added lyrics about topics such as depression, homelessness, and abuse.

Ten was not an immediate success, but by late 1992 it had reached number two on the Billboard 200 chart. The album produced three hit singles: “Alive“, “Even Flow“, and “Jeremy“. While Pearl Jam was accused of jumping on the grunge bandwagon at the time, Ten was instrumental in popularizing alternative rock in the mainstream.[1] The album has been certified thirteen times platinum by the RIAA in the United States and remains Pearl Jam’s most successful album.
I remember that puffy hat! Ha-ha! LOVE IT!

Soundgarden: Badmotorfinger is the third studio album by the American alternative rock band Soundgarden, released on October 8, 1991 through A&M Records. After touring in support of its previous album, Louder Than Love (1989), Soundgarden began the recording sessions for its next album with new bassist Ben Shepherd. The music on the album maintained the band’s heavy rock sound while featuring an increased focus on songwriting as compared with the band’s previous releases.[1]

The focus on the Seattle grunge scene helped bring attention to Badmotorfinger. The singles “Outshined” and “Rusty Cage” were able to find an audience at alternative rock radio and MTV. Badmotorfinger became the band’s highest charting album at the time on the Billboard 200. The band supported the album with tours of North America and Europe, including opening for Guns N’ Roses on that band’s Use Your Illusion Tour. In 1992, Badmotorfinger was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. The album has been certified two times platinum by the RIAA in the United States.
I always thought they stood apart from most of the grunge “movement.” This would be an example why:

Alice In Chains: Facelift and Sap (1990–92) Alice in Chains soon became a top priority of the label, who released the band’s first official recording in July 1990, a promotional EP We Die Young. The EP’s lead single, “We Die Young“, became a hit at metal radio. After its success, the label rushed Alice in Chains’ debut album into production with producer Dave Jerden.[5] Cantrell stated the album was intended to have a “moody aura” that was a “direct result of the brooding atmosphere and feel of Seattle”.[6]

The resulting album, Facelift, was released on August 21, 1990, peaking at number 42 in the summer of 1991 on the Billboard 200 chart.[7] Facelift was not an instant success, selling under 40,000 copies in the first six months of release, until MTV added “Man in the Box” to regular daytime rotation.[8] The single hit number 18 on the Mainstream rock charts, with the album’s follow up single, “Sea of Sorrow“, reaching number 27,[9] and in six weeks Facelift sold 400,000 copies in the US.[8] The album was a critical success, with Steve Huey of Allmusic citing Facelift as “one of the most important records in establishing an audience for grunge and alternative rock.”[10]

Facelift was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America by the end of 1990, while the band continued to hone its audience, opening for such artists as Iggy Pop,[11] Van Halen, Poison,[6] and Extreme.[8] In early 1991, Alice in Chains landed the opening slot for the Clash of the Titans with Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer, exposing the band to a wide metal audience.[12] Alice in Chains was nominated for a Best Hard Rock Performance Grammy Award in 1992 for “Man in the Box”, but lost to Van Halen for their 1991 album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.[13]
I still love this song! Even on Rock Band! Ha-ha!

Metallica: Metallica, informally known as The Black Album, is the fifth album by the American heavy metal band Metallica, released August 13, 1991 through Elektra Records. The album features songs that are considered today as Metallica’s most well-known tracks, with songs such as “Enter Sandman“, “The Unforgiven“, “Nothing Else Matters“, “Wherever I May Roam” and “Sad but True“. It spent four consecutive weeks at number one on Billboard 200. Metallica is the band’s best-selling album to date, with over 15 million copies sold in the United States and over 22 million copies worldwide[2]. It is the best-selling album of the SoundScan era.
Another legendary video for this post! Oh man, when this hit the airwaves all hell broke loose in every direction. Fuck yeah! (I miss Jason Newstead!!)

Guns ‘N Roses: Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II released on September 17, 1991. The tactic paid off when the albums debuted at #2 and #1 respectively in the Billboard charts, setting a record as they became the first and only group to date to achieve this feat. The albums spent 108 weeks in the chart.

I still love those albums! Man, what a golden era. (Maybe Axl should have given acting a go?)

Okay, so maybe 1991 wasn’t the best year of music ever…I mean, the summer of love would probably rival that. 1976, the dawn of punk! But for me 1991 was a life changing, world shaping, art embracing and complete and total adoration of these bands and all of the others that came out that year and probably the next few after that. There’s just no life changing music currently. I seriously doubt anyone’s world views have been altered by the likes of Justin Beiber. Ha!

posted under Art, Free, inspiration, Music

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