July 29, 2014
When you learn that three of the top 10 singles of 1994 came from the Swedish pop group Ace of Base — including the No. 1 spot for “The Sign” — you might immediately judge 1994 to have been a musical catastrophe. (And you’d be forgiven for thinking as much, if you had just finished watching the music video for “The Sign.”)
But take a step back and reflect. First, 1994 was 20 years ago. Twenty. If that’s shocking, I probably shouldn’t point out that you’re also probably older than most of the professional athletes you enjoy watching. Yes, you’re getting old. So why not have some fun, take a trip down memory lane, and enjoy some of less Swedish, more awesome music that 1994 brought us.
Yes, all of these albums are 20 years old. Twenty.
Green Day, “Dookie”
Green Day’s third album is, of course, their best. I open and rest my case with “Longview.” If listening to any of these ’90s alt-punk jams — “When I Come Around,” “Basket Case,” “Welcome to Paradise,” etc. — doesn’t make you want to bounce around the room like a caffeine-addled spider monkey, check your wrist for a pulse, you sad sack.
Warren G, “Regulate…G Funk Era”
Yes, “Regulate” is the only song I’m familiar with from this album. I’m one of those guys. But among a certain generation, I’m pretty sure there are 247 million of “those guys.” Mount up.
Nine Inch Nails, “The Downward Spiral”
Remember when Trent Reznor informed that special someone that he wanted to, um, do a certain thing in a manner similar to that of animal? Me, too. That happened 20 years ago. I was 11. Pretty sure I had no idea what the hell he was talking about, but the song sounded pretty rad.
Beastie Boys, “Ill Communication”
“I can’t stand it. I know you planned it. … Listen, all y’all. It’s a sabotage.” For a certain generation, those words instantly conjure memories of the rap-rock genre the ’90s did so well, not to mention a bunch of guys running around in bad suits and worse mustaches.
Jeff Buckley, “Grace”
This album contains a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” that you must listen to right now. It’s arguably the most gorgeous six minutes of your life. (I’ve written here before about how Buckley — and fellow “Hallelujah” cover artist Rufus Wainwright — saved this beautiful song from the utter lameness of its original version. Thanks, Jeff!)
Now for the lightning round…
I could go on and on. But we all have other things to do, so in short order, here’s more wonderful 1994 music: