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The Grahammy's 90/90
Volume 4, Number 4
Friday, December 24, 1999

"Kinda like MTV 1515 on Mad Dog
20/20 but not really"

Seeing the response to the Grahammy Decade Of Film Retrospective both excited and petrified me. For while most can more or less agree on what constitutes a successfully executed film, the same cannot be said for music. Music is a far more integral part of our daily lives; ergo, it commands a greater portion of both our hearts and our heads. Hence, I am anticipating passionate responses from the loyal subscribers about why one of their favorite albums/singles did not make the list, as well as a handful of "What the fuck Grambo, are you on crack?" takes about things that did make the list. And while I originally promised only five installments of the Grahammy's 90/90, I must regretfully inform the public that I am extending the list to now include one more installment. I was unhappy with my coverage of the greatest singles of the `90s (so many classic songs it's hard to recollect all of them), so I decided to reconsult the Oracle and split my Musical Musings into two separate installments. Your casbah will be rocked today by the Best Albums Of The `90s. So sit back and prepare to be dazzled by 1.21 gigawatts of LOVE!


45) "
Screamadelica", Primal Scream (`91) - Madchester baby.
44) "
Weezer", Weezer (`94) - Geeks can rock, too.
43) "
Retreat From The Sun", That Dog! (`97) - Perfect for bouncing around your apartment on a Wednesday night.
42) "
Blue Is The Colour", Beautiful South (`97) - And the Sunday sun shines down on San Francisco bay.
41) "
Black Eyed Man", Cowboy Junkies (`92) - Margo has the voice of an angel.
40) "
Penthouse", Luna (`95) - The only album to ever begin and end with song titles based on Faye Dunaway movies ("Chinatown" and "Bonnie & Clyde").
39) "
Grace", Jeff Buckley (`94) - Stupid Mississippi River.
38) "
Brighten The Corners", Pavement (`97) - Pigs tend to wiggle when they walk.
37) "
Nowhere", Ride (`90) - Classic shoegazing.
36) "
Girlfriend", Matthew Sweet (`91) - Pop, pop, pop music.
35) "
Better Living Through Chemistry", Fatboy Slim (`97) - Guaranteed to get this party started right.
34) "
Among My Swan", Mazzy Star (`96) - Dreamy sonic bliss.
33) "
Ghost Of Tom Joad", Bruce Springsteen (`95) - The Boss is The Boss, even when he's acoustic.
32) "
Different Class", Pulp (`96) - Jarvis mooned Jacko.
31) "
Entroducing...", DJ Shadow (`96) - The sound of Whitey on turntables of gold.
30) "
It's A Shame About Ray", Lemonheads (`92) - It's a shame about Evan.
29) "
Live Through This", Hole (`94) - Go on, take everything, take everything, I dare you to.
28) "
Achtung Baby", U2 (`91) - Before they slipped into pretentiousness.
27) "
Fountains Of Wayne", FOW (`96) - Pure pop for now people.
26) "
The Predator", Ice Cube (`92) - "Hey, you know you won G"... "Won what?" ... "The wet T-shirt contest, muthafucka!"
25) "
Trailer Park", Beth Orton (`96) - Joni for the `90s.
24) "
Little Earthquakes", Tori Amos (`92) - Absolutely riveting.
23) "
Out Of Time", REM (`91) - Despite the appearance of KRS-One.
22) "
Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space", Spiritualized (`97) - Depressing as all get out.
21) "
What's The Story (Morning Glory)", Oasis (`95) - Where were YOU when we were getting high?
20) "
Car Wheels On A Gravel Road", Lucinda Williams (`98) - Alt-country's finest hour.
19) "
Urban Hymns", The Verve (`97) - I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah.
18) "
Homogenic", Bjork (`97) - Her most mature and fully accomplished work.
17) "
Galaxie 500 Box Set", Galaxie 500 (`96) - Technically not a `90s release but it's so damn good I couldn't let it slip.
16) "
The Great Escape", Blur (`95) - Remember Brit-pop?
15) "
Definitely Maybe", Oasis (`94) - A cocaine-fueled rawk epic.
14) "
Your Arsenal", Morrissey (`92) - Morrissey goes rockabilly in a grand way.
13) "
XO", Elliot Smith (`98) - The new Kurt?
12) "
Everything Is Wrong", Moby (`95) - So much more than techno.
11) "
Loveless", My Bloody Valentine (`91) - Set the bar for what guitar music COULD be, and frankly, this high water mark hasn't been reached since.
10) "
Bewitched", Luna (`94) - Baaaaa baaaaa, bah b ba bah. Dean is the coolest.
9) "
The Chronic", Dr. Dre (`92) - Ain't nuthin' but a Dre thing. Set thousands of bodies (and drop tops) bumpin' in the summer of `92.
8) "
OK Computer", Radiohead (`97) - In an interstellar burst, they were back to save the universe. Epic.
7) "
Nevermind", Nirvana (`91) - What more can be said about the album that forever changed the landscape of music?
6) "
Automatic For The People", REM (`92) - If "Ignoreland" were a B-side, this would be a perfect album. Try telling me that "Nightswimming" isn't the most gorgeous song put to tape this decade...
5) "
The Bends", Radiohead (`95) - Goudy's got the bends (an inside joke meant for only one of you out there). From "Planet Telex" to "Street Song (Fade Out)", you can't help but be swept up in the magical and majestic reign of Radiohead. Who are my real friends?
4) "
In Utero", Nirvana (`93) - How do you possibly top an album like "Nevermind"? Kurt had all the answers. Angry and emotional and cathartic all at once, he left it all on this album.
3) "
Dummy", Portishead (`94) - Where Massive Attack's "Blue Lines" was the Amerigo Vespucci of trip-hop, Portishead was Christopher Columbus. They came, they saw, they booted all the indigent peoples the hell outta Dodge and made the genre their own.
2) "
A Northern Soul", The Verve (`93) - I wanna die with Atabey. Props out to Wartinbee and Stockwell (wherever he may be) for introducing me to the Best Band Of The `90s. A grandiose work that aimed high and achieved glory. Simultaneously raucous and breathtakingly melodic. Richard + Nick + Simon + Pete = genius.
1) "
Exile In Guyville", Liz Phair (`93) - The definitive female voice of the `90s. This album, aside from being an indie rock masterpiece, did nothing less than clear the way for the Lilith takeover. Miss Phair broke down every barrier about what "nice girls" could say on record. And by standing toe to toe with the Stones' "Exile On Main Street", she almost singlehandedly destroyed "cock rock" forever. "6'1" was Girl Power before the Spice Girls were even a glint in Simon Fullerton's eyes. "Divorce Song" was pitch perfect in its description of a disintegrating relationship. "Stratford-On-Guy", fuggedaboutit. Epiphanous. And how can you go wrong with lyrics like "I want all the stupid bullshit/like letters and soda...I can feel it in my bones/I'm gonna spend my whole life alone/It's fuck and run"...??? The answer is you can't. Deserves a spot in every one of your CD collections. Best.

WEDNESDAY: Top 45 Singles of The `90s

See you then...
Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.