Time Capsule: Top 10 Albums That Dropped in August 1995

garbage20 years ago, August 1995, it was a bit of a shitty year as years go. Horrible things were happening in Bosnia and in Oklahoma City. The OJ Simpson trial was sucking the life out of human conversations. The good news was that the digital economy was starting to take shape, as Yahoo and the DVD were born this year. Toy Story, Die Hard With A Vengeance and Apollo 13 were diverting us onscreen, and Jagged Little Pill and Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness would hit the CD shelves later in the year.

As for August, here is my take on the 10 best albums released twenty years ago this month:

10. Brian Jonestown Massacre – Methodrone (released August 25, 1995)

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In an eerie coincidence, the Brian Jonestown Massacre had some fanatically devoted followers, some of whom may have even enjoyed Kool-Aid. Interesting band but pretty much a drony, shoegazy American homage to My Bloody Valentine.

9. Brian Wilson – I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times (August 15, 1995)

When Brian Wilson finally escaped the clutches of Dr. Landy, he felt the need to re-record the re-recordings he made with the psychotic doc. This meant a third or fourth version of some of these songs, but under the guidance of the great Don Was, the production was peppy, and BW could still hit the notes back then.

8. Southern Culture On The Skids – Dirt Track Date (August 14, 1995)

These guys veer into novelty band territory, or at least Ween territory, with their emphasis on humor, but they are redeemed by great musicianship and great live performances.

7. Sparklehorse — Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot (August 29, 1995)

The debut album for this “band”, which was a front for the talented and troubled Mark Linkous. He recorded this indie hit album with the help of the band Cracker, and a couple of other fine records followed, but his addictions sadly caught up with him in 2010.

6. Tindersticks – Tindersticks II (August 22, 1995)

A real outlier among the high-octane Rock acts of the mid-1990s, the Tindersticks combined brooding baritone vocals, literary allusions and complex, lush orchestrations, paving the way for The National years later, and providing drug-free insomnia relief for all the philistines who didn’t get how cool it was.

5. Rancid — …And Out Come The Wolves (August 21, 1995)

The third album for the San Francisco punk revivalists, this one catapulted them into stardom, going platinum and solidifying their position as a latter-day Clash with better teeth.

4. Garbage – Garbage (August 15, 1995)

Fabulous debut album by the unfortunately-named band, did they ever reach these heights again? It went double platinum, in addition to Stupid Girl it gave us “Queer”, “Vow”, and “I’m Only Happy When It Rains”.

3. Blind Melon – Soup (August 15, 1995)

The second and final Blind Melon studio album, it is now widely called one of the great, overlooked Rock albums of the 90s, but at the time it was savaged for being too dark and uncommercial. Fucking rock critics. They sure didn’t help the fragile psyche of poor messed-up Shannon Hoon.

2. Ben Harper – Fight For Your Mind (August 1, 1995)

Ben Harper’s second album revealed an artist becoming more confident in forging his own sound — a wide array of folk rock, hard rock, blues and reggae held down by his groovy vibe, soulful voice and top end musicianship. He was on his way.

1. Ben Folds Five – Ben Folds Five (August 8, 1995)

From Jerry Lee Lewis to Elton John to Ben Folds, it takes a rare and strange individual to front a rock band on piano. This debut record introduced the world to the brilliant sounds of “punk rock for sissies”, but if you value your life, don’t ever use that phrase around Jerry Lee Lewis.

Other Albums Released In August 1995 Include:

The Fall The Twenty-Seven Points/ NOFX I Heard They Suck Live!/ Morrissey Southpaw Grammar/ Heart The Road Home/ Dishwalla Pet Your Friends

6 comments to “Time Capsule: Top 10 Albums That Dropped in August 1995”
    • I had a lot of trouble ranking the top five on this list. I think they are all great legacy albums, and any one of them could easily have been number one in my book.

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