From 1995: Memorable Rock Albums That Turned 20 This Year

Alanis, Britpop, Mellon Collie, Punk rock… 1995 was certainly a memorable year in music. 20 years have passed since then, but much of the music from that year is still popular today. Here’s a look at some memorable albums to be released in the year 1995.

Blind Melon – Soup – They’re probably still thought of as the “bee girl” band by many, but as Rich Karfilis noted in a piece he wrote in August, there’s a better appreciation for this album now. Frontman Shannon Hoon’s death from overdose was one of the real rock music tragedies of the 1990s.

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Elastica One of the more underrated/overlooked bands from this era and in the Britpop genre, Elastica was punkier, more grimy and raw than their Britpop counterparts. Their self-titled debut was filled with quality stuff.

Foo Fighters

Life after Nirvana turned out to be successful for Dave Grohl. 1995 marked the debut of the Foo Fighters, whose debut album is still a fun listen and yielded a couple radio staples.

Garbage – The debut album from Garbage brought a sleek, slickly-produced sound that caught on quickly. The album got big on the strength of three absolutely killer singles (“Queer,” “Stupid Girl,” “Only Happy When It Rains”) and was really solid all around.

Green Day: Insomniac

Green Day’s follow-up to the landmark album Dookie wasn’t quite as successful as its predecessor, but it’s still a pretty strong album. Green Day moved in different directions after this album, but it’s a good reminder of how the band sounded back in its younger days.

PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love – A departure from her first two albums, To Bring You My Love has a deliciously sleazy, swampy sound. The album sounds like it could have served as a soundtrack to Season 1 of True Detective. It spawned a hit in “Down By the Water” and was a rocking listen from start to finish. This album got me into PJ Harvey, which was a very good thing. It’s not quite a classic, but it’s still awesome.

Alanis Morrisette – Jagged Little Pill – We discussed this album earlier this year on Rocknuts, and to say it was huge would be an understatement. Jagged Little Pill went on to be the biggest-selling album from the 1990s, selling 33 million copies worldwide to date. There’s good reason for it too — it was just a terrific album.

No Doubt – Tragic Kingdom – The band has made better albums, but Tragic Kingdom marked the birth of a rock star and a soon-to-be household name in Gwen Stefani. And like a lot of albums from this era, you still hear the hit singles from it played over… and over… and over…

Oasis – What’s the Story (Morning Glory)? – The Rocknuts crew LOVES Oasis… okay, not really. Well, I rather like them, but yeah, I’m probably on an island with that around here. 1995 was probably Britpop’s peak, and this album was a major reason why. It was huge — 22 million copies sold — and was filled with catchy anthems that people are still falling in love with today, borrowed parts and all.

Pulp – Different Class – While Oasis and Blur ruled the sales charts during the Britpop era, Pulp might have been the best band of all of them. Different Class is regarded by many as the band’s high point and is still regarded as one of the best albums of the Britpop era. “Common People” is in my mind one of the best rock songs ever written, but the album is laced with killer tracks that aren’t far behind in quality.

Radiohead – The Bends Definitely one of the best (if not THE best) album on this list, The Bends was a huge leap forward from Radiohead’s debut Pablo Honey, killing any talk of them being a one-hit wonder. The album actually had some mixed reviews upon release but is now thought of in many circles as a classic. Possibly Radiohead’s most accessible album from start to finish, The Bends is packed from top to bottom with terrific tracks.

Rancid – And Out Come the Wolves

Rancid was another welcome addition to the punk revival of the mid-90s. This is still their most well-known album, and for good reason — it’s a strong collection of songs with some famous singles.

Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness

At the time, Mellon Collie was being referred to as Billy Corgan’s version of The Wall, but in reality it’s more like The White Album with all of the different directions it goes in. It’s probably much closer to a masterpiece than people give it credit for being. At the very least, it’s a project of admirable ambition that was by and large pulled off very well.

White Zombie: Astro Creep: 2000

I felt the need to throw something a little heavier in here and chose this one simply because it was an album that was booming out of quite a few speakers in 1995, even for people who didn’t usually like it this heavy. Does it hold up well? Some of the songs do better than others, but at its best it still delivers that head-nodding kick that turned people on to the band. Little did we know at the time that this was pretty much the end for White Zombie.

What are some of your favorites from 1995? Talk amongst yourselves.

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