30 Years of Albums in My Wheelhouse: 1995

By 1995, I was loosing my once firm grip on music. No longer was I immersing myself in the new sounds of a new generation of musicians and artists. Slowly, I began to witness my patience for listening to new music to be shortening. Suddenly, I was finding the newer music to be annoying rather than uplifting. And that was making me a cranky older man at the tender age of 32.


So, I began to follow the lead of my students as I was now a full time teacher. I gave their music a critical listening. Truth be told, I was able to better understand the influences in the popular music of the mid- to late-Nineties almost as well as the music of the Eighties. I began to notice a small pattern. In the Seventies, most of the big rockers of the decade looked back to the Fifties, or the music of their youth, for the inspiration for their sounds. Then, in the Eighties, my musicians looked back to the Sixties for that same inspiration.

Paul Weller

By the time the Nineties rolled around, my age group were exerting our musical muscle by reaching into the sounds of the Seventies for much of their inspiration. Let’s take Nirvana who took the sounds of the punk and post punk eras and filtered them through a little Black Sabbath and Beatles, and viola, grunge. Or, how about Dr. Dre diving head first into George Clinton’s P-Funk empire for many of the samples he used on The Chronic or Snoop’s Doggystyle. Shoot, even Billy Corgan’s Smashing Pumpkins’ sound began its roots in the arena rock sounds of Boston and Cheap Trick, sprinkled in a little Sabbath, and out comes Siamese Dreams or the sprawling masterpiece Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Finally, there’s the whole pop punk movement led by Green Day, who obviously loved Seventies punk, as well as the power pop from the same era.


When I began to take a more academic approach to the music of the day, I began to enjoy it more. Oh, nothing to ever reach me again like Born to Run or London Calling did since everything was fresh then. Then, one day you wake up in your thirties and realize that your albums and records are no longer your best friends. But, now, they are more important than friends. They are now the soundtrack to my life, the sounds that made my life fuller with the ability to conjure memories no matter what my age was. Therefore, I hope and pray that I got my dad’s genes that will prevent me from getting mom’s Alzheimer’s disease. It’s such a terrible disease to witness up close and personal, knowing that mom’s life was no longer being enriched by the music she so loved.

Flaming Lips

So, it was in 1995, the year in which the OJ Simpson trial began, in which I learned how to enjoy music from a more academic level as opposed to an emotional response. And that slight change brought the joy back that had seemed to be leaving me at the time. Plus, these last five years represent the final years that housed the music that I consider to be in my “wheelhouse.” When the new millennium came around, I was no longer enjoying en masse. Instead, my focus has narrowed drastically as music today no longer holds the same magic as the music of the 20th century. Sure, a My Morning Jacket pops up here or a Halsey there, but the artistry seems to be waning.

The Jayhawks

With that poetic waxing and self-indulgency over, let’s get to the countdown!

50. Queen – Made in Heaven

49. Goo Goo Dolls – A Boy Named Goo

48. Various Artists – Waiting to Exhale [The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

47. Sonic Youth – Washing Machine

46. Mad Season – Above

45. Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version

44. Flaming Lips – Clouds Taste Metallic

43. Elliott Smith – Elliott Smith

42. The Cardigans – Life

41. Jars of Clay – Jars of Clay

40. Faith Evans – Faith

39. Neil Young – Mirror Ball

38. The Presidents of the United States of America – The Presidents of the United States of America

37. Everclear – Sparkle and Fade

36. Genius/GZA – Liquid Swords

35. dc talk – Jesus Freak

34. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx

33. Elastica – Elastica

32. Tracy Chapman – New Beginning

31. Björk – Post

30. Annie Lennox – Medulla

29. Son Volt – Trace

28. Matthew Sweet – 100% Fun

27. White Zombie – Astro-Creep: 2000

26. Radiohead – The Bends

25. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – E 1999 Eternal

24. 2pac – Me Against the World

23. PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love

22. Natalie Merchant – Tigerlily

21. Joan Osborne – Relish

20. Blur – The Great Escape

19. AC/DC – Ballbreaker

18. Jewel – Pieces of You

17. Rancid – …And Out Come the Wolves

16. The Verve – A Northern Soul

15. Garbage – Garbage

14. The Jayhawks – Tomorrow the Green Grass

13. Mariah Carey – Daydream

12. Supergrass – I Should Coco

11. Phish – A Live One

10. Foo Fighters – Foo Fighters

9. D’Angelo – Brown Sugar

8. Bruce Springsteen – The Ghost of Tom Joad

7. Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory

6. Pulp – Different Class

5. Paul Weller – Stanley Road

4. Prince – The Gold Experience

3. No Doubt – Tragic Kingdom

2. Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

1. Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

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