The Anniversary

Modern Life Is Rubbish Turns 20

By Michael Nelson / May 10, 2013
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. More »

Rid Of Me Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / May 3, 2013
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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… More »

Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / November 26, 2012
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
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
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 »

Sigur Rós’s ( ) Turns 10

By Chris DeVille / October 30, 2012
I grew up in Westerville, Ohio, a Columbus suburb with such a profound historical aversion to alcohol that the Anti-Saloon League decided to set up its headquarters there during prohibition. That legacy stuck; decades after the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th, Westerville remained dry. Thus, the closest thing to nightlife was a monthly event called… More »

Harvest Moon Turns 20

By James Jackson Toth / October 26, 2012
Despite sharing many of the themes and much of the personnel of his celebrated 1972 album Harvest, I was never sold on the idea that Neil Young's Harvest Moon was some sort of sequel. In my mind the 1992 album (which turns 20 tomorrow), sounds more like a first entry in a trilogy that would… More »

Automatic For the People Turns 20

By Brad Shoup / October 8, 2012
[Download Drive XV, the Stereogum-curated tribute to Automatic For The People, featuring the Wrens, Shout Out Louds, Blitzen Trapper, and others.] If you've got your copy of Automatic For The People, turn to the photo spread of R.E.M. on a Miami beach. Look at the picture of Michael Stipe, up to his armpitsMore »

Grave Dancer’s Union Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / October 5, 2012
My first-ever music festival had one of those absolutely bizarre and random lineups that could've only existed at a mid-'90s alt-rock radio-station fest. Better Than Ezra. Primus. Bush. Reunited new wave reggae band General Public, who I remember being awesome. Mike Watt and Tony Bennett, during the extremely brief moment where both of them were… More »

Strangeways, Here We Come Turns 25

By Brad Shoup / September 28, 2012
The Smiths commenced recording their fourth (and ultimately final) full-length knowing the title of the album and little else. Still, the band possessed such a strong sense of self -- with a variegated cosmology that made room for cult film stars and Wilde worship, the Brill Building and monarchic brickbats -- that Strangeways, Here WeMore »

Dirt Turns 20

By Michael Nelson / September 27, 2012
By September 29, 1992, the music called "grunge" was no longer the property of any subculture; between Nevermind, Ten, and the Singles soundtrack, Seattle provided the score for American lives across countless demographic lines. Just two weeks earlier, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden had wrapped up two months on the road with the second annual… More »

Sea Change Turns 10

By James Jackson Toth / September 25, 2012
In 2012, the very idea of a breakup record has been rendered something of an anachronism. The divorce-album-as-discographical-inevitability is a phenomenon that historically occurs deep into an established artist's career, and very few new artists are afforded that sort of shelf life anymore. But it wasn't long ago that the notion of a mainstream artist… More »

Bad Turns 25

By Tom Breihan / August 31, 2012
An important thing to realize about Michael Jackson's Bad, a really great album that turns 25 today: Pretty soon after it came out, Warner Bros. spent $22 million making Moonwalker, a full-length film vehicle with a plot that absolutely defies comprehension; it involves Jackson turning into a claymation rabbit and a killer robot and a… More »