Growing up in the 90'S / Part 3 : Music

Music is sound. Music is melody, rhythm and harmony. Music is art. Its creation has been playing a significant role in shaping our culture throughout the years. It plays an important part in our way of life by being a key element in most of its facets, from religious rituals and ceremonies to social and cultural activities. It is all around us, it inspires us, accompanies us, comforts us, drives us to change everything around us. Through this list we will attempt to pay tribute to the artists and albums that influenced and inspired us the most in the 90's.


Nirvana - Nevermind

Nevermind is Nirvana's second studio album. It was released in 1991 and it immediately became the voice of a generation. It made us question everything before it, everything during it and everything after it and it is responsible for making grunge and alternative rock mainstream. Its lead single ''Smells Like Teen Spirit'' was its biggest hit, garnering widespread critical acclaim and dubbed as an "anthem for apathetic kids" of Generation X. But what really made Nevermind stick with us is its rawness, it had a lot of dynamics and pop sensibilities but it was a really grunt rock record as well. Nothing like that had ever been heard before. An inter temporal album for the ages!


REM - Automatic for the People

Named after a slogan used in an Athens, Georgia, soul-food restaurant, Automatic for the People is a feast of Southern Gothic pop, combining the gossamer intricacies of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and the singalong wallop of the Beatles' Abbey Road. The weirdness is warm and playful — "Star Me Kitten," a delicious homage to 10cc's "I'm Not in Love"; "Man on the Moon," Michael Stipe's buoyant tribute to the late comedian Andy Kaufman — and torch songs such as the Stax-with-strings jewel "Everybody Hurts" glow with hard-won optimism. At the height of alt-rock, former undergrounders R.E.M. tried to show that melody could be heavy too — and, in the process, made one of the finest American pop albums of the decade.


The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die

When Christopher George Latore Wallace, aka The Notorious B.I.G., showed up in the spotlight he came on as the baddest stud in the block, he was the man! His debut album ''Ready to Die'' released in 1994 and managed to revitalize New York hip-hop after years of West Coast dominance, mapping out the sounds of Nineties cool. This album serves as a partly autobiography and tells the story of the rapper's experiences as a young criminal. Unfortunately ''Ready to Die'' was the only studio album released during his lifetime, as he was murdered sixteen days before the release of his second album ''Life After Death'' in 1997.


Radiohead - OK Computer

''Progress is a bitch, but don't let the machines, or their masters, grind you down'': That is the simple message encoded in the art-rock razzle-dazzle of OK Computer, which was released in 1997. With this album Radiohead shattered the soul-sucking echo of isolation and enforced routine with the violent mood swings of "Paranoid Android" and Thom Yorke's arcing vocal anguish in the gaunt, yearning ballads "Let Down" and "Lucky." Despite its experimentalism that made it a challenging listen, it is considered a landmark release of far-reaching impact and importance.


U2 - Achtung Baby

Achtung Baby serves as one of the most extreme personality transformations in music. With its release in 1991, U2 said goodbye to the 80s and embraced industrial dance music. The music is corrosive, with mad laughter and creeping paranoia. Yet the album's crackle and empty-hallway echo are really a kind of protective armor from all that. The true meaning behind this is that in order to appreciate the joys of heaven, sometimes you have to take a little walk through hell.


Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine

When Rage Against the Machine released in 1992 there was one loud and clear message: anger is a gift. Zack de la Rocha proclaimed that in a venomous whisper in "Freedom," and Rage Against the Machine spread the wealth around, with an electrifying vengeance, all over the rest of their debut album. Gunning de la Rocha's incantatory rapping with rib-rattling slam, Rage Against the Machine get hot and nasty about authority with acute lyric detail and stunning force. The album's commercial success was a crucial reaffirmation of rock's potency as a weapon of protest.


Green Day - Dookie

Released in 1994, Dookie immediately won everyone's heart with its fast guitars and bouncy drums and it was a clear indication that Green Day is a band that just won't grow up. Take the name of the album for example, which is a reference to the band members often suffering from diarrhea, which they referred to as "liquid dookie", as a result of eating spoiled food while on tour. The album's songs touched upon various experiences of the band members and included subjects like anxiety and panic attacks, masturbation, sexual orientation, boredom, mass murder, divorce, and ex-girlfriends. It has been credited for helping bring punk rock back into mainstream music culture. A truly astounding piece of modern punk that many tried to emulate but nobody bettered.


Oasis - (What's the Story) Morning Glory?

This is Oasis' second studio album and it is the one that propelled them from being a crossover indie act to a worldwide rock phenomenon. The ''stormy'' relationship between the Gallagher brothers turned out to be the album's strength, making it full of bluster and bravado but with a few moments of surprising tenderness. It is rightfully considered an important record of the Britpop era and one of the best albums of the 90s.


Blur -Parklife

Remaining in the Britpop era, Parklife was released in 1994 and returned Blur to prominence in the UK after the disappointing sales for their previous album. Even though the album was ambitious, it managed to reassert all the style and wit, boy bonding and stardom aspiration that originally made British rock so dazzling. It came to define the emerging Britpop scene, along with the album (What's the Story) Morning Glory? by future rivals Oasis, cementing its status as a landmark in British rock music.


Portishead - Dummy

Dummy is the debut studio album by Portishead It is credited with popularising the trip hop genre. It was undeniably the classiest, coolest thing to have appeared in the UK for years and took perfectly understated blues, funk and rap/hip hop, brackets all this in urban angst and then chilled it to the bone. Songs like "Roads," "Glory Box" and "Sour Times" come across both sad and sexy, provoking cinematic images. With this album Portishead reinvented cool.


Fugees - The Score

A hip-hop mod squad from the streets of Dirty Jersey, the Fugees combined streetwise flash with righteous boho cool on their second album to become the biggest rap franchise this side of the Wu-Tang Clan. Lauryn Hill's scorched soul vocals — half Nina Simone, half Al Capone — flavor the Caribbean style of Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel. The Fugees prove themselves a damn fine wedding band with their covers of "Killing Me Softly" and "No Woman, No Cry," but they hit even harder in gems like "Family Business," trading vocals over a loop of Godfather-style acoustic guitar. The Score crosses boundaries of gender and geography, reinventing hip-hop as music for an international refugee camp of brothers and sisters with the inner-city blues. Lauryn and Wyclef took different roads on their solo joints, but The Score laid down the blueprint for the Fugees' vision of the world as a ghetto.


Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill

This is Morissette's third studio album and It marked a stylistic departure from the dance-pop sound of her first two albums. Along with producer Glen Ballard, she began experimenting with sounds and that experimentation resulted in an alternative rock album that takes influence from post-grunge and pop-rock, featuring guitars, keyboards, drum machines, and harmonic. The album is all about a woman using her plain soft-rock voice to sift through the emotional wreckage of her youth, with enough heart and songcraft to make countless listeners feel the earth move.


Massive attack - Mezzanine

Mezzanine features trip-hop and electronica, with a "dark claustrophobia" coupled with a melancholy and saw Massive Attack exploring a darker aesthetic and more atmospheric style. The single '' Inertia Creeps" is the album's highlight, with its eerie atmospherics, fuzz-tone guitars, and a wealth of effects. This song could well be the best production the electronic world has ever seen.


Moby - Play

Play saw Moby's return to his electronica style after the release of his previous album. With his career being in turmoil, Moby intended Play to be his final record. But as it turns out the gods of music had a different say about this, Play became a huge success within the electronic dance music scene and introduced Moby to a worldwide mainstream audience. Play was the techno album that proved a PC could have a soul. Moby took ancient blues and gospel voices and layered them with dance grooves, on songs such as "Porcelain" and "Natural Blues". This was an album with a strange, haunting beauty.


With this list we conclude our 90's themed coverage. The 90's have a special place in our hearts and we will always remember them with romanticism. That's why we here at Fuel will always try to reignite that passion, that sweet nostalgia of the 90's with every chance we get.

It's part of our identity, it's who we are!