As I’ve mentioned again and again, I am a HUGE music lover. So many of the pleasures in my life have a musical tie-in and all of my memories have a soundtrack. Read a previous post about that here.
Today I’m focusing on my teenage years. This is when my own, true musical tastes started to develop. It was no longer my parents music or a boy band (NKOTB for me), it was real music. It was for me and my generation. It was about life and its ups and downs. Most importantly, it was about rock-n-roll. Alternative rock was THE music of the 90s. And most of the bands I obsessively follow today planted their musical roots in the CD boombox of my tiny childhood room. 90s rock still excites me. The only thing that was hard about making this list was leaving albums off. I felt like I was leaving some friends behind. Because these bands/albums were/are like friends.
As kids, Dustin and I continually added to our shared CD collection with every cent of each week’s allowance. Each album below was part of that collection.
Number 5 Soundgarden- Superunknown 1994
This was the first CD I remember listening to obsessively. I listened to it every morning while getting ready for school. I sang the songs while I washed dishes after dinner. I listened to it on my Discman as I fell asleep. I loved every single song. I still adore this album. I finally got to see them live two years ago at Voodoo Fest. Chris Cornell still has the magic. That voice. Fave song: “Like Suicide”.
Number 4 Live- Throwing Copper 1994
This album has so many happy memories tied to it. My best friend Andi and I had our first “real” boyfriends who were also best friends. And the four of us would hang out and cruise town in their pick-ups trucks (this was Branford, so there was little else to do). It seemed like everyone had this album playing. Hard to pick a fave on this one, but …….Fave song: “Selling the Drama”.
Number 3 Pearl Jam- Ten 1991
I actually owned this one on tape first. To make it worse, it was a tape I bought at a flea market for a few bucks. I discovered it was a bootleg copy upon returning to the car.
I had a really hard time choosing between this and Vs. (my favorite PJ album), but this album was likely the first alt-rock album I fell in love with; so it had to win out. I remember my Mom saying that I wouldn’t think Eddie Vedder was cute if he weren’t a musician. Well he is a musician and a brilliant one at that, so it’s a moot point. Fave song: “Evenflow”.
Number 2 311- Blue Album 1995
Oh 311. More than any other band in the world, my love for this band has endured. Actually, I’ve grown to love them more and more as the years have gone by. This was the album that introduced me to them (I later went back and caught up on Grassroots and Music). The first time I heard “Down” I thought, “What in the world is this? I effing love it.” And the rest was history. Fave song: “Sweet” or “Hive”
Number 1 Nirvana- In Utero 1993
Only one band could ever dethrone 311 in any of my countdowns. Nirvana was the first band with which I was completely absorbed. I bought every shirt and every poster. I read every article and learned everything I possibly could about these guys. And when Kurt died, I wore black (with my friend Laura…Hi Laura, I know you’ll be reading this). I was seriously in mourning. It felt like a huge blow. It’s amazing the bond that music creates. To feel such loss over a person you’ve never known in real life because you feel as if you knew them personally is wild.
“In Utero” barely edged out “Nevermind” because I felt like I had to choose one. Really they both should be listed. The most definitive band of my youth. Hands down. Fave song: “All Apologies”
And the inevitable Honorable Mentions:
Alice In Chains- Dirt 1992 Fave song: “Down in a Hole”
Stone Temple Pilots- Core 1992 Fave song: “Wicked Garden”
Red Hot Chili Peppers- Blood Sugar Sex Magik 1991 Fave song: “Give It Away”
Alanis Morissette- Jagged Little Pill 1995 Fave song: “Hand in My Pocket”
The Offspring- Smash 1994 Fave song: “Bad Habit”
What were the most influential albums of your teen years?
Stay positive & love your life!
Listening to: Weezer – The Good Life – Live at Y100 Sonic Session
Eating: Leftover pesto and veggie pasta
Drinking: Blue Monster
Random fact: Smash reminds me of my cousins Becky and Mandy and my Uncle Bruce. I remember being up in Ohio for a summer visit and him blasting it through the house. And more recently, the song “Bad Habit” always reminds me of Kasi and Amy because we loved shouting the rant in the middle!