Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Year in Music: 1994

1994 was outstanding in terms of music, such range and brilliance. 

Post grunge and rock were the thing with Shine by Collective Soul, Nine Inch Nails and Closer, Undone (The Sweater song) by Weezer, and Soundgarden's biggie, Black Hole Sun. In Australia The Cruel Sea and Better Get A Lawyer Son, Nick Cave's Do You Love Me, and the rise of Silverchair began with Tomorrow. The King and Queen had hits with About a Girl (Nirvana) and Miss World (Hole). My favourite of all was Beck, with Beercan and Loser.

And then there was The Beastie Boys with Sabotage.

Women were kicking ass and/or sounding gorgeous with Mazzy Star's Fade into You. Kristin Hersh released her stunning debut single, Your Ghost (backing vocals courtesy of one Michael Stipe!). Rebecca Barnard formed Rebecca's Empire and Atomic Electric. Neneh Cherry was collaborating with Youssou N'Dour on 7 Seconds. Kiwi girls Sisters Underground unleashed their hip hop/soul single In the Neighbourhood. And Kylie was on the 'comeback' with Confide in Me.


Springsteen had a hit with the stunning, Streets of Philadelphia and Bon Jovi made us swoon with Forever. Oasis and Blur began their rise. Oasis with Definitely Maybe and the hits Rock n Roll Star, Shaker Maker and Live Forever and Blur with Parklife and Girls and Boys. At this point I like them both and there was no competition.

REM released Monster, with the monster hit, What's the frequency Kenneth? My favourites from the album are Strange Currencies and Tongue. Both are interesting subject matter, but really showcase the remarkable voice of Michael Stipe.

My Top 5 are:

Laid - James
Raunchy with an irresistible pop tune and great guitar riff, I loved, loved, loved this and I still do!

All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow
My theme song now and my theme song then...I mean what's life for if not for fun?

Voodoo People - Prodigy
I'm not a huge electronic music fan, but I loved this mad tune!

Glory Box - Portishead
Dummy was one of my favourite albums and the hypnotic pull of Glory Box with it's strong lyrics had me from the get go. Of course, I can never think about Portishead without thinking about the British TV show This Life and Milly locked in the bathroom soaking in the tub listening to them and freaking poor Egg out long before he was being freaked out by walkers in The Walking Dead!

Last Goodbye - Jeff Buckley
1994 belonged to Grace and Jeff Buckley.

Grace is one of my favourite albums, every song a gem, a truly romantic and beautiful album. His voice like a fragile angel, that could crack and break at any moment. His demise is nothing short of legend and tragedy combined, and the mystique it created adds to the beauty of his art.

Buckley's version of Hallelujah is stunning and unique, there is no doubt about it, but my favourite song is Last Goodbye. In fact, it is one of my all time favourite songs, I never tire of listening to it, it will always raise the hair on the back of my neck and bring a tear to my eye...these are good things!!

It starts like a true mid 90s rock song, very grungy, but then it surprises you with his vulnerable voice, fragile and tender, and builds with the upset and pleading of the subject. Then it soars with the strings and his wailing leading into the chord change and bridge...perfection.


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