Five Great Albums that Came Out this Week in History

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weezerHello, campers! Welcome to the week of September 19-25! I thought I’d revisit a few classic records that came out this week in history. I feel like that’s enough of an intro.

1. The Flaming Lips-Clouds Taste Metallic (9/19/95)

The Lips have albums that are more famous, but this mid-90’s treasure is remarkably solid for a band so prone to polarizing weirdness. The Flaming Lips might be the only band that became more alienating as they got older.

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2. Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska (9/20/82)

Springsteen’s stripped-down-bedroom-4-track record is absolutely devastating. Nebraska serves as further evidence that Bruce Springsteen, for all his success, remains a top-notch chronicler of the American working class with genuine literary merit. Maybe commercial success and talent/integrity aren’t mutually exclusive. Sure, and maybe the Pope is secretly Jewish.

3. Steely Dan – Aja (9/23/77)

This was the moment I realized that Steely Dan weren’t terrible. In fact, Steely Dan were much, much better than terrible. Aja might be their masterpiece. If not, it’s certainly one of the best-sounding records out there. Listen to it on a great stereo system. It will take full advantage of the platform.

4. Nirvana -Nevermind (9/24/91)

Not sure if you’ve heard of this one, it’s pretty obscure. Apparently there was this thing called “grunge” that totally changed the face of music, even though it was merely the surface-level component of a scene that had been bubbling underground since the inevitable trough of first-wave punk. Editorializing aside, it’s a great collection of songs, and if Nirvana gets you to listen to Pixies and Husker Du (not the other way around, as if the world were just and fair) that’s good enough for me. Kurt Cobain was a professional superfan who wasn’t shy about giving his influences their due, and just a generally nice person by all accounts that it’s hard to hate Nirvana even though your grandmother has heard of them. Personally, I prefer the Steve Albini-produced In Utero (which also came out this week in 1993), but I’m not here to be that guy. Nevermind also celebrates its 25th anniversary this week, which is significant in that we’re all old and going to die soon.  Hey, at least we have Foo Fighters though, right?

That’s not entirely fair. Foo Fighters are pretty okay.

5. Weezer – Pinkerton (9/24/96)

This misunderstood-until-a-few-years-ago sophomore album celebrates both the anniversary of its own release and also the last time Weezer achieved consistent greatness. Oh, there have been fleeting moments here and there since then, but they’ve been ultimately ephemeral. Pinkerton is weird and thorny and awkward. In other words, it’s canonical 90s alt-rock.

There are many other great albums that came out this week, but I had to narrow it to only five. If you happen across one that you’d like to share, please post!

Photo by James from Somerville, USA (Weezer) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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