Archive for Thursday, December 30, 1999

90S

December 30, 1999

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Some Lawrence residents make their lists of the best and worst music of the decade.

It's almost oooover.

The '90s was an interesting time for music, and like the four decades that preceded it, the last decade of the millennium had its own style, trends and unexpected shifts in taste.

Whether it was grunge, rap or boy-bands, the '90s took us on an interesting musical journey.

The decade started with a bang, with Nirvana, Jane's Addiction, Pearl Jam and Nine Inch Nails putting just about every hair-band out of business.

It was a brave new world, where "alternative" meant "mainstream" and metal was dead. The sole survivor, Metallica, went mainstream with the power balladery and bombast of its black album. Meanwhile, the members of U2 re-invented themselves into preening, ego-tripping rock stars, but still managed to made it work somehow.

Tori Amos caused little earthquakes with her 1992 solo debut, paving the way for an era of so-called "women's music." Whether it was Liz Phair's '93 classic, "Exile in Guyville," the across-the-board success of Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair or Lauryn Hill's groundbreaking solo turn, women were making serious waves in the music biz throughout the decade. And Madonna never went away, re-inventing herself with each new album.

Rap music continued its migration into mainstream consciousness and hip-hop culture took hold all over the world. Whether it was the hardened street poetry of Ice Cube's "Death Certificate," the g-funk of Dr. Dre's head-bobbing grooves, the stylistic dialect of A Tribe Called Quest or the verbose gangsta stylings of the Notorious B.I.G., rap music pushed the envelope during the '90s.

The influence of hip-hop also found its way into acts ranging from Mariah Carey to Bruce Springsteen to Rage Against the Machine.

As the decade came to a close, everything changed again. Bands like R.E.M. and Pearl Jam, once sure things, couldn't get arrested, while boy-bands like 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys made bubblegum safe for consumption once again.

Trends like grunge and the swing and Latin revivals came and went in the blink of an eye. Others, like the media-created "electronica" movement, never materialized -- crushed by the weight of its own hype.

So, what do you think? I asked several locals their opinions of the best and worst records of the '90s. Here's what the they had to say:

Heidi Phillips,

lead singer-guitarist

for Frogpond

Best:

  • "Fear," Toad the Wet Sprocket
  • "Faithless Street," Whiskeytown
  • "Living with Ghosts," Patty Griffin
  • "Living in Clip," Ani DiFranco
  • "Fight for Your Mind," Ben Harper
  • "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road," Lucinda Williams
  • "Present Anokha, Sounds of the Asian Underground," Talvin Singh
  • "Nevermind," Nirvana
  • "Weezer," Weezer
  • "Exile in Guyville," Liz Phair

Mean Dean,

host of "Malicious Intent"

on KJHK-FM 90.7

Best:

  • "Metallica (The Black Album)," Metallica
  • "October Rust," Type O Negative
  • "Whoracle," In Flames
  • "Dirt," Alice In Chains
  • "The Downward Spiral," Nine Inch Nails
  • "My Arms, Your Hearse," Opeth
  • "Demanufacture," Fear Factory
  • "Angel Dust," Faith No More
  • "Times of Grace," Neurosis
  • "Cruelty and the Beast," Cradle of Filth
  • "The Fourth Dimension," Hypocrisy

Worst

  • "Chamber Music," Coal Chamber
  • "Three Dollar Bill Y'all," Limp Bizkit
  • "Significant Other," Limp Bizkit
  • "Life is Peachy," Korn
  • "Risk," Megadeth
  • "Backacidevil," Danzig
  • "Antichrist Superstar," Marilyn Manson
  • "My Own Prison," Creed
  • "Days of the New," Days of the New
  • "Backstreet Boys," Backstreet Boys

Darrell Lea,

guitarist for the

Darrell Lea Band,

Best:

  • "The Ghost of Tom Joad," Bruce Springsteen
  • "The Chronic," Dr. Dre
  • "Rumour and Sigh," Richard Thompson
  • "Anodyne," Uncle Tupelo
  • "What's the Story Morning Glory," Oasis
  • "Jewel in the Crown," Fairport Convention
  • "Vs.," Pearl Jam
  • "Metallica (The Black Album)," Metallica
  • "Flaming Pie," Paul McCartney
  • "Season of Change," Darrell Lea and Megan Hurt

Worst

  • "A Little Bit of Mambo," Lou Bega
  • "Significant Other," Limp Bizkit
  • "In the Life of Chris Gaines," Garth Brooks
  • "On the 6," Jennifer Lopez
  • "No Way Out," Puff Daddy
  • "311," 311
  • "Duets Vol. 1 and II," Frank Sinatra
  • "Pop," U2
  • "The Way We Walk Vol I. The Shorts," Genesis
  • "Sixteen Stone," Bush

DJ Ray Velasquez,

host of "Nocturnal Emissions"

on KLZR-FM 105.9

Best:

  • "Second Toughest in the Enfants," Underworld
  • "Leftism," Leftfield
  • "Adventure Beyond the Ultraworld," The Orb
  • "Orbital," Orbital
  • "Walking Wounded," Everything But the Girl
  • "The K&D Sessions," Kruder and Dorfmiester
  • "It's Tomorrow Already," Irresistible Force
  • "Chill Out," KLF
  • "Moon Safari," Air
  • "Dig Your Own Hole," Chemical Brothers

Kat Korphage,

host of "'80s Relapse"

on KJHK-FM 90.7

Best:

  • "The Bends," Radiohead
  • "I Could Live in Hope," Low
  • "Pure Phase," Spiritualized
  • "Day & Night," Movietone
  • "You'd Prefer an Astronaut," Hum
  • "Little Earthquakes," Tori Amos
  • "Infinite Syndrome," Bugs
  • "Chante," Valeri Lemercier
  • "Vol. 1 & 2 EP Collection," Cranes
  • "Dummy," Portishead

-- The Mag's phone message number is 832-7146. Send e-mail to jbiles@ljworld.com.

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