Readers Poll: The Most Underrated Rock Albums Of The '90s
For this week's readers poll, I asked our Facebook and Twitter chums their choices for the most underrated and unsung albums of the '90s.
We all agree on things like Nevermind, Harvest Moon, Mezzanine, The Soft Bulletin, Odelay and OK Computer, but what about albums that fall through the cracks of '90s lore? The ones that don't get teary-eyed blogs written about them, or grand SPIN magazine retrospective covers?
Most of these were no-brainers that I was glad to see mentioned, like The Afghan Whigs' Gentlemen, and more esoteric and adventurous pieces like Kula Shaker's K. Of course, Team Rocks Off snuck a few onto the list. (You're welcome, Live!)
I should have made my case for the Donnas' sophomore album, American Teenage Rock 'n' Roll Machine, recorded before they turned into Turbonegro.
Not all albums from the '90s aren't overrated or underrated. Some things are rated just as they should be. Like The Pixies' Bossanova , Sleater-Kinney's Call the Doctor, or Jawbreaker's Dear You. They are just good, no more no less. Argue amongst yourselves.
Fastball, All the Pain Money Can Buy: You may have only known Fastball for their hit single "The Way" but they turned in a great pop-rock record with 1998's All The Pain..., which featured two other singles that should have been much bigger.
Blind Melon, Soup
Live, Secret Samadhi
The Rentals, Return of the Rentals: If you were into Weezer in the mid-'90s, you surely owned former guitarist Matt Sharp's Rentals work. This one still gets love, a decade and half on.
The Offspring, Ixnay On The Hombre
God Lives Underwater, Life In The So-Called Space Age
White Zombie, La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1
Garbage, Version 2.0
Matthew Sweet, Girlfriend
Pulp, Different Class: With Pulp active again -- for now -- many people are rediscovering their catalog, a perfect, glam-inflected take on the Britpop genre. Start with this one.
L7, Bricks Are Heavy
Better Than Ezra, Friction Baby
Bush, Razorblade Suitcase
Local H, Pack Up The Cats: It was a toss-up between this and 1996's As Good As Dead, which I have been a very vocal fan of. You really can't beat the first half of the record, but Cats is our dark horse pick today.
Modest Mouse, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About
Tripping Daisy, Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb
The Afghan Whigs, Gentlemen
Stone Temple Pilots, Tiny Music...Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop: Fairweather fans will tell you Core and Purple are where it is at for STP, but Tiny Music goes above and beyond those pop lunges and swerved directly into Rolling Stones-style swing.
King's X, Dogman
Peter Gabriel, Us
Shudder To Think, Pony Express Record: I was suspicious at first, but a spin of Pony set me on the right track, baby. STT is a band whose name you see on most '90s something-something lists but rarely gets love in the mainstream. Don't sleep on Pony.
Buffalo Daughter, New Rock
Dream Theater, Falling into Infinity
Failure, Fantastic Planet
Catherine Wheel, Ferment
The Prodigy, Music For the Jilted Generation
Kula Shaker, K You know Kula Shaker from the 1996 single "Tattva", and their cover of Deep Purple's "Hush." At a time when modern rock was still very much mourning Seattle, the psych-rock Shaker had their heads full of Indian culture, which was a welcome change. Bands like Cornershop and Brian Jonestown Massacre also satisfied those cravings for fans.
Superdrag, Regretfully Yours
Nada Surf, High/Low
Eels, Beautiful Freak
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.