The 100 Best Albums of the 1990s

In what might be the vainest of my vanity projects, I decided to plunder the music of the 1990s, the decade of my birth, to “rank” my favorite albums. Why? It’s not like anything I list here is going to be a major breakthrough for a totally slept-on artist from the time period. These are albums you’ve seen time and time again in lists, in life, on the internet, in major music publications, etc. I bet that’s really selling you on scrolling. But I wanted to go through the 90s right now since 2020 is the perfect time for a surplus of escapist nostalgia. I also realized that I’m remarkably deficient when it comes to certain 90s classics. You’ll see the big collection of records I listened to for the first time below the big list. It’s also my damn blog so I can do whatever the hell I want. I also realized while listening to “classics” that I don’t really care about grunge or super rock-heavy records. You’ll also see I especially like certain bands, with lesser-liked records from Cocteau Twins, Beck and The Sundays taking spots over well-beloved potential inclusions.

If you’re reading this list and get mad that a certain record is in a certain position, or that something is not on there at all, consider stepping away from your computer or phone and look out a window, take a breath, and remind yourself that “this is just one person making a list of his favorite albums from the 1990s. This has no impact on my own personal views. There are really SO many records, more than 100 in fact, from that span of 10 years that are considered “classics” of many, many different genres. I can even make my own list if I want to”. It’s just that easy. Rage is not the answer anymore. Just read, delight in these classics, and slip away to not-2020 for maybe just a few minutes.

I even made a freakin’ Spotify playlist for you to listen along: HERE.

100. Oasis(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
99. MadonnaRay Of Light
98. Guided By VoicesAlien Lanes
97. Arto LindsayNoon Chill
96. Bowery ElectricBeat
95. WeezerBlue Album
94. Dirty ThreeOcean Songs
93. The ProdigyThe Fat of the Land
92. Belle & SebastianTigermilk
91. DusterStratosphere
90. Teenage FanclubBandwagonesque
89. SpiritualizedLadies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space
88. Primal ScreamScreamadelica
87. Fiona AppleTidal
86. American FootballAmerican Football
85. Bark PsychosisHex
84. The SundaysBlind
83. BeckMidnite Vultures
82. Angelo Badalamenti & David LynchSoundtrack From Twin Peaks
81. Silver JewsAmerican Water
80. SmogKnock Knock
79. Prefab Sprout Jordan: The Comeback
78. Digable PlanetsReachin’ (A New Refutation Of Time & Space)
77. WilcoSummerteeth
76. TortoiseMillions Now Living Will Never Die
75. Nine Inch NailsThe Downward Spiral
74. Red House PaintersRed House Painters
73. Emmylou HarrisWrecking Ball
72. Guided By Voices Bee Thousand
71. Dismemberment PlantEmergency & I
70. The FugeesThe Score
69. InsidesEuphoria
68. Built To SpillPerfect From Now On
67. Sigur RósÁgætis Byrjun
66. PavementCrooked Rain, Crooked Rain
65. PortisheadPortishead
64. WeezerPinkerton
63. Boards of CanadaMusic Has The Right To Children
62. UnwoundRepetition
61. Modest MouseThe Lonesome Crowded West
60. Sleater-KinneyDig Me Out
59. NirvanaNevermind
58. The BreedersLast Splash
57. Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsMurder Ballads
56. Godspeed You! Black EmperorF#A# Infinity
55. StereolabEmperor Tomato Ketchup
54. Liz PhairExile In Guyville
53. D’AngeloBrown Sugar
52. TortoiseTNT
51. Jim O’RourkeEureka
— — — — —
50. Elliott SmithEither/Or
49. Erykah BaduBaduizm
48. PJ HarveyTo Bring You My Love
47. Jeff BuckleyGrace
46. Mos DefBlack On Both Sides
45. NeurosisThrough Silver And Blood
44. Mazzy StarSo Tonight That I Might See
43. Cocteau TwinsFour-Calendar Café
42. Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsLet Love In
41. Lucinda WilliamsCar Wheels On A Gravel Road
40. DJ ShadowEndtroducing…
39. Buena Vista Social ClubBuena Vista Social Club
38. Wu-Tang ClanEnter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
37. Fiona AppleWhen The Pawn…
36. The Flaming LipsThe Soft Bulletin
35. NasIllmatic
34. PJ HarveyRid Of Me
33. Belle & SebastianIf You’re Feeling Sinister
32. Silver JewsThe Natural Bridge
31. SadeLove Deluxe
30. RideNowhere
29. Everything But The GirlWalking Wounded
28. StereolabDots And Loops
27. Sonic YouthGoo
26. Massive AttackMezzanine
25. GZA The GeniusLiquid Swords
24. BeckOdelay
23. Mulatu AstatqéEthiopiques 4: Ethio Jazz & Musique Instrumentale 1969-1974
22. A Tribe Called QuestMidnight Marauders
21. Yo La TengoI Can Hear The Heart Beating As One
20. A Tribe Called QuestThe Low End Theory
19. Talk TalkLaughing Stock
18. Depeche ModeViolator
17. Lauryn HillThe Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
16. BjörkDebut
15. Daft PunkHomework
14. Built To SpillKeep It Like A Secret
13. SlintSpiderland
12. The SundaysReading, Writing and Arithmetic
11. RadioheadOK Computer
10. SlowdiveSouvlaki
9. OutkastAquemini
8. Aphex TwinSelected Ambient Works 85-92
7. PortisheadDummy
6. Yo La TengoPainful
5. Cocteau TwinsHeaven or Las Vegas
4. BjörkPost
3. Neutral Milk HotelIn The Aeroplane Over The Sea
2. BjörkHomogenic
1. My Bloody ValentineLoveless

Listened NEW:

  • Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill
  • Autechre – Incunabula
  • Belle & Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister
  • Belle & Sebastian – The Boy With The Arab Strap
  • Belle & Sebastian – Tigermilk
  • The Beta Band – The Three E.P.’s
  • Brainiac – Bonsai Superstar
  • The Breeders – Last Splash
  • The Breeders – Pod
  • Broadcast – Work And Non Work
  • Dinosaur Jr. – Where You Been
  • Eggstone – Vive La Difference
  • Emmylou Harris – Wrecking Ball
  • Galaxie 500 – This Is Our Music
  • Gang Starr – Moment Of Truth
  • Gang Starr – Step In The Arena
  • Global Communication – 76:14
  • Heavenly – Heavenly Vs. Satan
  • Insides – Euphoria
  • Iury Lech – Musica Para El Fin De Los Cantos
  • Janet Jackson – The Velvet Rope
  • Jacques Dudon – Lumieres Audibles
  • Jeff Buckley – Grace
  • Jim O’Rourke – Eureka
  • John Oswald – Plexure
  • The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group – Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
  • Lilys – Eccsame The Photon Band
  • Liz Phair – Exile In Guyville
  • Low – I Could Live In Hope
  • Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels On A Gravel Road
  • Luna – Penthouse
  • Madonna – Ray Of Light
  • Mark Hollis – Mark Hollis
  • Massive Attack – Protection
  • Miyako Koda – Jupiter
  • Mos Def – Black On Both Sides
  • Nine Inch Nails – The Fragile
  • Oasis – Definitely Maybe
  • One Dove – Morning Dove White
  • Pixies – Bossanova
  • Pixies – Trompe Le Monde
  • The Promise Ring – Nothing Feels Good
  • Pulp – Common People
  • Quigley – 1969 Till God Knows When
  • Rocketship – A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness
  • Sade – Love Deluxe
  • Scarface – The Diary
  • Seefeel – Quique
  • Sinead O’Connor – I Don Not Want What I Haven’t Got
  • Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger
  • TLC – CrazySexyCool
  • Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes
  • Tricky – Maxinquaye
  • Wilco – Summerteeth
  • The 6ths – Wasps’ Nests

About Very Warm

Usually cool dude stuff.
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1 Response to The 100 Best Albums of the 1990s

  1. Pingback: 2010s Retrospective: 10 Years of Discoveries, Obsessions and True Moments | Warm Visions

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