It’s hard enough to grasp that the beloved decade of the 90’s were more than 20 years ago. This year’s high school graduates were born in 1995. Feel old yet? Well If you’re like me, a person in their mid-to-late 20’s, then you certainly will be after reading this article. Now 1993 may not be as iconic of a year in music as say, 1991 and sure, we’ve all started to accept that classic albums like “Nevermind”, “Ten” and “The Black Album” were released over two decades ago but how about albums that we still consider fairly new to us, albums we were old enough to buy on our own, listen to excessively and truly get its true meaning? This is going to be the article where you drop your jaw and proclaim “Holy fuck, I’m old!”.
Mr. Jones blares inside bars full of people singing along across the world to this very day. The hit single is an excellent tune that perfectly exemplifies the 90’s. I bet you haven’t even realized that this song was released 20 years ago. Oops. The Counting Crows hit the music scene in 1993 with their critically acclaimed debut album, “August and Everything After”. The perfect array or smooth sounding alt-rock also included the essential tunes, “Omaha”, “Anna Begins”, and “Round Here”. The band would go out to sell over 20 million albums worldwide.
We all love Radiohead, right? (if you don’t then there’s something wrong with you. Just sayin’) We all know where we were when we first rocked out to “Creep” and how we sang it during our low bouts of low self esteem (No? ok, well maybe just me, then). The catchy tune with vocals by lead singer, Thom Yorke, was also released 20 years ago. Not 10. 20. Goddamnit. The album and lead single would establish Radiohead as one of the biggest musical acts ever. Just how big is Radiohead? They played two consecutive nights in New York City a few years ago and yours truly foolishly attempted to get tickets. They sold out in seconds.
Everyone’s favorite Jewish-African, Lenny Kravitz, was already an established guitar-rocker by the time his 1993 mega-hit “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” was released but it was the album’s title track that launched his career into super-stardom with one of the most recognizable guitar riffs of the decade. Kravitz would gain a much different audience in the late 90’s when he adopted a more “pop” sound with such songs as “Fly Away” and “I Belong To You”, both of which are 15 years old. Not quite 20. You lucked out this time, readers. Today, Lenny is the poster child for mixed race babies and continues to sell out arenas worldwide.
Long before Maynard Keenan was a prominent figure in the wine industry, his main band, Tool, helped us let all our aggressions out with such hits as the band’s trademark, “Sober”. Although their debut EP, “Opiate” was released in 1992, it wasn’t until their full length debut album, “Undertow” that was released (you know the answer to this) one year later that catapulted them into popularity among the hard rock community. The band’s obscene imagery and controversial lyrics (partly inspired by outspoken comedian, Bill Hicks) helped Tool maintain dominance in the music world. I’m sure it was just yesterday when we were all screaming “Jesus won’t you fucking whistle…” in our bedrooms with our doors locked after school.
On the hip-hop spectrum of the music industry, the fun-loving, samurai flick watching, NYC-bred group, Wu-Tang Clan, dropped a bombshell on the music industry exactly (yup, you guessed it) 20 years ago with their debut album “Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)”. Fans were hesitant about the stable’s nine members (c’mon, guess without googling), Ol’ Dirty Bastard, RZA, GZA, Method Man, Ghostface Killa, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, and Raekwon, due to their off-kilter personalities but all their critics were silenced after hearing explosive tracks such as “Bring Da Ruckus”, “C.R.E.A.M.” and the solo popular rap, “Method Man” among others. All members went on to have solo careers and some, like Method and RZA, even had careers in television, acting, and film-making. Seems like it was only yesterday when we were proclaiming “cash rules everything around me”.
Times sure flies, huh? Some of you are probably saying to yourselves “well, ok, this was all 20 years ago and I remember all of this clearly but still, I don’t feel old at all”. Well that’s about to turn a new leaf:
Remember when Prince changed his name to a symbol?
20 years ago.
That quirky singer from Iceland, Bjork?
Her first album (appropriately titled “Debut”) came out in 1993.
Nirvana’s iconic MTV Unplugged performance that is still talked about today?
20 years ago.
Yes, yes, you do feel old. I do too.