The Anniversary

Debut Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / July 3, 2013 - 4:21 pm

At this point, Björk has been so esteemed for so long, and she’s followed her own muse down so many rabbit holes, that she basically exists outside the context of circa-2013 music. She might show up to play your festival, but she’ll do it wearing a gigantic spiky helmet that makes her look like one… More »

Zooropa Turns 20

By Ryan Leas / July 3, 2013 - 1:37 pm

For about a week before I wrote this piece, I was looking for an excuse to go for a long drive at night and listen to Zooropa. That was how I first discovered the album, on late night drives home from my high school girlfriend’s house, the blue and red glow of my dashboard and… More »

Greetings From Michigan: The Great Lakes State Turns 10

By Chris DeVille / July 1, 2013 - 12:11 pm

Before Michigan, Sufjan Stevens was a footnote within a curiosity. In 2003, the Michigan-raised Brooklyn transplant was best known as part of the entourage surrounding Daniel Smith’s off-kilter Christian rock collective Danielson Famile, a group whose costumed insanity presaged the drama club-meets-cheerleading squad shtick that later defined Sufjan’s live show. He’d already released two album… More »

Exile In Guyville Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / June 21, 2013 - 3:55 pm

The past decade of Liz Phair has been a bit weird and awkward. There were the two flawed but intriguing major-label albums, failed crossover bids both, which led to the music press treating Phair like she’d spiked the Bowery Ballroom kegs with ricin. There were all the interviews about how she was never indie to… More »

Covenant Turns 20

By Michael Nelson / June 20, 2013 - 4:55 pm

You gotta remember, by ’93, all hell had broken loose. Major labels had no business getting into bed with death metal, but at that moment it was a free-for-all — free love, free money, everybody in bed with everybody else. Shit had been straight chaos since late ’91, when Nirvana killed hair metal forevermore and… More »

Hail To The Thief Turns 10

By Chris DeVille / June 7, 2013 - 11:55 am

Every Radiohead album can be associated with some watershed moment in the band’s career. Pablo Honey is the one with “Creep,” still their most popular song by far if Spotify streams count for anything. The Bends is the one where they established themselves as guitar deities with staying power. OK Computer is the one that… More »

Recipe For Hate Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / June 5, 2013 - 3:23 pm

Bad Religion have existed for 33 years and released 16 albums, and the vast majority of those fit into one strict template: Rocketing muscular guitar grooves, hoarsely declarative Greg Graffin vocals, weirdly folky backing harmonies, syllable-crammed and vaguely political the-world-is-fucked lyrics, surging fists-up choruses. It’s probably the most durable model in punk rock history, and… More »

Pottymouth Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / June 4, 2013 - 4:06 pm

Has any band ever done unalloyed, sneering contempt quite as witheringly as Pottymouth-era Bratmobile? The only competitors I can think of are the Sex Pistols and the Circle Jerks, and I’m not entirely convinced that either one came close. Bratmobile reveled in the feeling. On “Love Thing,” the first song from their first album, Alliso… More »

Modern Life Is Rubbish Turns 20

By Michael Nelson / May 10, 2013 - 10:29 am

Last summer, when Blur were reuniting to record a couple new tracks and play the closing ceremonies of the 2013 Olympics, I wrote here about the great English band’s 10 best songs. I opened that post by trying to answer in earnest a semi-rhetorical question posed on Twitter by Spin‘s Chris Weingarten. Asked Weingarten:… More »

Rid Of Me Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / May 3, 2013 - 4:09 pm

I couldn’t presume to say that there’s a right way or a wrong way to hear PJ Harvey for the first time, but I like the way that I did it. I don’t remember exactly what was happening the first time I heard Polly Jean Harvey’s roar — it was either on the modern-rock radio… More »

Undertow Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / April 5, 2013 - 3:44 pm

When Tool headlined 2009’s Lollapalooza in Chicago, they were the most popular act on the bill by several light years. Hours before they started playing, people started filling up the field around their stage, politely ignoring whoever happened to be on before them. That year, Animal Collective, fresh off of Merriweather Post Pavilion, were the… More »

Suede Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / March 29, 2013 - 4:41 pm

Suede’s self-titled debut has a few big, important historical distinctions. For one thing, it’s generally acknowledged as the birth of Britpop — possibly the last moment that guitar-rock has been bright and hard and fashionable and, at least in its homeland, hugely popular — even if the members of the band didn’t much like being… More »

The Bliss Album…? Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / March 22, 2013 - 4:37 pm

The Jersey City duo P.M. Dawn’s biggest hit was 1991’s Spandau Ballet-sampling “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss,” the first-ever Billboard #1 from a non-white rapper, and the first from anyone who wasn’t Vanilla Ice or Marky Mark. But P.M. Dawn’s most significant pop cultural moment came a few months later, at an MTV-sponsored January 1992… More »

Pablo Honey Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / February 22, 2013 - 3:57 pm

Every once in a while, you’ll still meet people who claim that Pablo Honey is Radiohead’s best album. Musical taste is an entirely subjective thing, and we’re all special unique flowers, but these people are obviously attention-hungry psychopaths looking for ways to dominate conversations and shit on everything you hold dear. Even if you prefer… More »

Give Up Turns 10

By Tom Breihan / February 20, 2013 - 5:06 pm

Albums from 20 years ago generally tend to age much better than albums a decade old. At 20, an album has time to see its influence slowly disseminate into music at large, to become a part of the cultural air we breathe. But when it’s only 10, a record feels like it’s only barely gone… More »

Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ Turns 10

By Claire Lobenfeld / February 7, 2013 - 10:14 am

It’s a strange task: thinking of 50 Cent, at this very moment, as the powerhouse that Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ catapulted him into being. A die-hard might harbor a melancholy hope, angry for the squandered opportunities, thinking of her hero as would-be messiah up there with top-of-the-line rappers like Jay-Z and Lil Wayne. But… More »

The Chronic Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / December 17, 2012 - 5:10 pm

Last month, Dr. Dre ended up on the top of a Forbes list of the year’s highest-earning musicians — this while releasing virtually no music. Dre is up there because of his Beats By Dre headphones line: expensive, reportedly-kinda-crappy ear goggles that are marketed almost entirely on Dre’s name. Dre is able to rake i… More »

Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / November 26, 2012 - 5:05 pm

A thought experiment: Imagine how Kendrick Lamar might’ve been different if he’d been born two decades earlier. Lamar is a distant descendent of the Los Angeles boho-rap scene that produced the Pharcyde, whose debut album Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde turned 20 over the weekend. It’s possible to hear echoes of, say, Pharcyde member Slimkid3’… More »

The Predator Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / November 16, 2012 - 4:53 pm

During the spring of 1993, my family took a vacation, making the 15-hour drive from the Baltimore suburbs to Disney World. During the endless and queasy ride, I sat in the back of my family’s Ford Aerostar with a Walkman and a cassette of Ice Cube’s The Predator that a friend had dubbed me just… More »

Rage Against The Machine Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / November 9, 2012 - 4:25 pm

For a period of a few months when he was in sixth grade, my little brother did the same exact thing every day after school: He rode his bike a couple of miles to the record store near our house, the one with the listening stations, and he listened to the self-titled debut album from… More »