STEVE'S TOP 20 ALBUMS & SINGLES OF 1994 (AKA MY XMAS CARD)
20 Pearl Jam-Vitalogy I know I've lost my indie credibility with this pick, but no matter how huge they are, they still tickle my ear fancy. "Not For You" is best song to bash a band's success since Nirvana's "Serve The Servants."
19 The Greenberry Woods--Rapple Dapple Hooks enough for a bait & tackle shop, and harmonies that seem borrowed from heaven.
18 The Offspring--Smash Not as good as most of the bands on Epitaph, the little label that could, but shows that perhaps the kids of America are ready to put safety pins in their t-shirts.
17 Nirvana--Unplugged In New York Most likely the last document of a great band. All the covers make it worthwhile.
16 Dinosaur Jr--Without A Sound Not as good as last years' Where You Been, but J Mascis still has riffs-o-plenty.
15 Rollins Band--Weight Ranting and raving by a buffed-up dude never sounded so cathartic.
14 Superchunk--Foolish They stayed indie, and then made probably their most accessible record ever. Go figure. "Driveway To Driveway" is the best Neil song he didn't write this year.
13 Pavement--Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain The slacker in me could barely write how good this record is. Minus points though because I can't read anything inside the album jacket.
12 Stone Temple Pilots--Purple Listen, its the sound of my indie cred being yanked away again. I don't care 'cause they write riffs big enough to support a sumo wrestler. And I still don't think they sound like Pearl Jam. Never have, never will.
11 Egghead--Peer Pressure And Satan The lovable IC alum trio make the leap to recording. And the Bowie, Galvin & Faloon self made product scares me because 1)I can hear (and read) how good the lyrics are, and 2) they're not just a band some of my friends put together, they're in the real band I listen to in my car a lot category. If they only toured more. (Want a copy? Call me!)
10 Bad Religion--Stranger Than Fiction The old school punks make the leap to the big-time, and play pretty fast while doing it. Intelligent lyrics are always a plus as well.
9 Rancid--Let's Go These Offspring labelmates deserve more attention. These guys are punk, not punk influenced. Best live show of the year for me, after Nine Inch Nails wringing me dry.
8 Tom Petty--Wildflowers TP's most down to earth album. That Rick Rubin guy has got the magic touch.
7 The Figgs--Low Fi At Society High The Upstate NY guys put out the best debut of '94. The Mats, Costello, Graham Parker and great hooks all rolled into one. Get it now.
6 Sugar--File Under:Easy Listening This isn't Kenny G easy listening, this is great songwriting listening, yet again, from Mr. Mould. Bob is God.
5 R.E.M.--Monster They Rock Again! They Rock Again! They Tour Again! They Tour Again! It's been a long wait.
4 Green Day--Dookie Even though tons of teens watching MTV love them, its better they love great 3 chord punk-pop than Ace Of Base.
3 Beastie Boys--Ill Communication They still mix up genres better than anyone else. And they're better as a band as well.
2 Soundgarden--Superunknown The hard rock milestone since Nevermind. The band got hooks, Chris Cornell learned to sing, and this makes them the best band around.
1 Neil Young & Crazy Horse--Sleeps With Angels A change of pace in using Crazy Horse; somber, slow, personal songs. And the combo works. The title track tribute to Cobain is very moving, and the whole album feels like listening to someone read their diary. The streak of his great records over the past 5 years continues.
20 Weezer--Buddy Holly Oh so stupid, oh so good.
19 The Jesus & Mary Chain--Sometimes Always A duet that has emotion, yet sung by two emotionless singers. Go figure.
18 Soundgarden--My Wave Air guitar anyone?
17 Soul Asylum--Can't Even Tell This sounds like the old SA. Perhaps that's why it’s on a soundtrack.
16 The Greys--Very Best Years This sounds like Big Star, in the very good year of 1974.
15 Sheryl Crow--All I Wanna Do Is Sheryl Crow.
14 The Go-Go's--The Whole World Lost Its Head 1984 anyone?
13 Superchunk--The First Part This is a chunk of great guitar riffs and real manic drumming.
12 Alice In Chains--No Excuses I have no excuse for liking it.
11 The Greenberry Woods--Trampoline Oh, I love harmonies.
10 Therapy?--Nowhere It's that punk-pop thing again.
9 Sugar--Your Favorite Thing Bob sounds, well, happy?!?
8 The Offspring--Self Esteem I know many guys who identify with this song, this writer included.
7 Stone Temple Pilots--Interstate Love Song As the title implies, a great driving song.
6 Bad Religion--21st Century Digital Boy They recut this 4 year old song for their new album, but it still kicks butt.
5 The Figgs--Favorite Shirt Hooks And Harmonies, that's what I want.
4 Beastie Boys--Sabotage I think you can figure out why.
3 Pavement--Cut Your Hair Isn't indie rock fun?
2 Green Day--Basket Case I love pogoing around in the studio to this one.
1 Soundgarden--Black Hole Sun A huge Beatlesque riff and psychedelic video are a winning combination.