Spin’s 100; my four

How is it possible that I’m tired of Morgan Spurlock without ever having seen his movie?

Let’s talk music. Spin Magazine has named what it considers “the 100 greatest albums of Spin’s first 20 years” (Cover Story). It’s not the typical Top 100 list of totally elitist music (though it is out on the edges), but they at least define their criteria: “Each album on the list finds a sweet spot between artistic brilliance, stylistic innovation, and cultural relevance… it pushes a unique vision from the margins to the mainstream (or the margins of the mainstream), reshaping both.” Wait, here’s the part I love: “These records tell us something different with every listen; even at their tiniest, they make private epiphanies feel like public events.

I was going to pick ten out of the list, but then I started to get tired (it’s all this getting up early to work crap), so I’m going with four, on three points. (The others I would’ve made notes on include Weezer’s Pinkerton and Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill) So a few that I feel that way about, at least culturally:

#1. Radiohead – OK Computer: The album that taught me that sometimes reactions to popular music can be emotional before they are logical; it was the feel of the music that drew me in, and then the words and the meanings that I loaned to them.

#3. Nirvana – Nevermind and #93. Pearl Jam – Ten: Albums that taught me how isolated my teenage years were from those of the rest of my generation. When I went to college, these were the primer albums, the music that everyone around me had heard and loved and ingested and understood, whereas I had no history with either of them. I mean, “Jeremy” had been on the radio and I’d heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the “hard rock” station out of Wichita, but no one I knew really listened to or loved those albums; I didn’t know that they were causing such a stir outside of my own world, and, not knowing this, I was completely stunned by (and still have trouble understanding) the emotional reactions of many kids my age to Kurt Cobain’s suicide.

#44. Green Day – Dookie: The album that put me completely in tune with my generation. I just remember knowing most of the words to “Basketcase” and being able to talk about that album (and it sounded so different from everything else we were listening to) with anyone and everyone, including my sister’s radically-different-than-me boyfriend.

And here’s the full list (thanks to ):
1. Radiohead – OK Computer
2. Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
3. Nirvana – Nevermind
4. Pavement – Slanted and Enchanted
5. The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
6. Pixies – Surfer Rosa
7. De La Soul – 3 Feet High and Rising
8. Prince – Sign ‘O’ The Times
9. PJ Harvey – Rid of Me
10. N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton
11. U2 – Achtung Baby
12. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
13. Husker Du – New Day Rising
14. Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation
15. Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville
16. Beck – Odelay
17. Nas – Illmatic
18. Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction
19. Hole – Live Through This
20. Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang
21. Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet
22. My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
23. Outkast – Stankonia
24. Sleater-Kinney – Dig Me Out
25. Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral
26. Bjork – Post
27. The Cure – The Head on the Door
28. Oasis – Definitely Maybe
29. Fugazi – 13 Songs
30. The Notorious B.I.G. – Ready to Die
31. Dinosaur Jr. – You’re Living All Over Me
32. The Replacements – Tim
33. Ice Cube – AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted
34. Elliott Smith – Either/Or
35. Dr. Dre – The Chronic
36. Pixies – Doolittle
37. Guided by Voices – Bee Thousand
38. A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory
39. Lucinda Williams – Lucinda Williams
40. Run-D.M.C. – Raising Hell
41. Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream
42. Jane’s Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking
43. Boogie Down Productions – Criminal Minded
44. Green Day – Dookie
45. Kanye West – College Dropout
46. The Fall – This Nation’s Saving Grace
47. Eric B. & Rakim – Paid in Full
48. Radiohead – Kid A
49. Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
50. New Order – Low-Life
51. Nirvana – In Utero
52. Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill
53. Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles
54. The Breeders – Last Splash
55. The Chemical Brothers – Dig Your Own Hole
56. PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love
57. The White Stripes – White Blood Cells
58. Metallica – Master of Puppets
59. Modest Mouse – The Lonesome Crowded West
60. De La Soul – De La Soul Is Dead
61. Weezer – Pinkerton
62. Missy Eliott – Supa Dupa Fly
63. Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
64. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP
65. Basement Jaxx – Remedy
66. Outkast – Aquemini
67. Slayer – Reign in Blood
68. Tricky – Maxiquaye
69. DJ Shadow – Entroducing DJ Shadow
70. Jay-Z – The Blueprint
71. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Psychocandy
72. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
73. Pulp – Different Class
74. Portishead – Dummy
75. Le Tigre – Le Tigre
76. Belle and Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister
77. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
78. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
79. Moby – Everything is Wrong
80. D’Angelo – Voodoo
81. Beck – Mellow Gold
82. Jeff Buckley – Grace
83. At the Drive-In – Relationship of Command
84. Soundgarden – Superunknown
85. R.E.M – Automatic for the People
86. Meat Puppets – Up on the Sun
87. Blur – Parklife
88. Stereolab – Emperor Tomato Ketchup
89. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell
90. Sonic Youth – Sister
91. XTC – Skylarking
92. Big Black – Atomizer
93. Pearl Jam – Ten
94. Slint – Spiderland
95. Elastica – Elastica
96. The Pogues – Run, Sodomy, and the Lash
97. Neutral Milk Hotel – In an Aeroplane Over the Sea
98. Cornershop – When I Was Born for the 7th Time
99. Afghan Whigs – Gentlemen
100. The Strokes – Is This It
101. Sebadoh – Bakesale
102. LL Cool J – Radio
103. Depeche Mode – Violator
104. Ultramagnetic MC’s – Critical Beatdown
105. Ministry – The Land of Rape and Honey

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2 Responses to Spin’s 100; my four

  1. simplelyric says:

    #3. Nirvana – Nevermind and #93. Pearl Jam – Ten

    Although I’ve heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and probably another song or two from those albums, I’ve never listened to — or cared to listen to — them in their entireties. I knew a couple people in junior high who were hit hard by Kurt Cobain’s death, but that’s it. Generally, the whole movement was beyond my sphere of reference.

    Of course, I think I’ve only heard “Welcome to Paradise” and “When I Come Around” from Dookie and three whole albums from that list anyway (The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Modest Mouse’s The Lonesome Crowded West, and Jeff Buckley’s Grace), so maybe I’ve just lived in a cultural bubble. *g*

  2. kepkanation says:

    Hey, I’m right there in that bubble with you. It’s a nice bubble.

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