Wow was 1994 a crazy year. The NHL locked out players, Nancy Kerrigan took one to the knee and we lost Kurt Cobain.
But there were also lots of bright spots in 1994, including some great music. We think these five albums were stood out 20 years ago and still rock today.
Live Through This by Hole – released Apr. 12: The second album by the female-fronted band Hole is just as energetic as their debut Pretty on the Inside, but is slightly more mature in its tone. Courtney Love’s grunge vocals are felt on songs like “Miss World” and “Jennifer’s Body” that still rock. Besides, who doesn’t love Courtney Love?
Smash by The Offspring – released Apr. 8: Smash mixes elements of punk and grunge, which were the two styles dominating mainstream rock music at the time. Although it’s simple in themes, it is relatable to the then teenage and young adult audience who loves it. Songs like “Come Out and Play” and “Self Esteem” can still be heard on the radio from time to time with all the punk angst they had when they came out. Smash is not only the perfect music for describing high school, but this album is also an awesome soundtrack for summer.
The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails – released Mar. 8: Nine Inch Nails kept the same industrial metal sound for their second album and gained more fans because of it. Their singles “March of the Pigs” and “Closer” helped establish their fan base in an era when metal was changing. This album is industrial, strange, and a perfect preview of what kind of sounds would come next in rock music. Despite the title, Nine Inch Nails had truly gone upward in success due to this album.
Superunknown by Soundgarden – released Mar. 8: Superunknown uses the grunge and alternative sounds along with the vocals from lead singer Chris Cornell to make an album that is timeless. The lyrics are dark and poetic, making this the album Edgar Allen Poe would have made if he were alive in 1994. Classic songs like “My Wave,” “Fell on Black Days” and “Black Hole Sun” make this album a must have in your collection.
Dookie by Green Day – released Feb. 1: Green Day’s third studio album put them into the mainstream and still holds the record for most records sold by any punk album. Other than the memorable title and cover, the album includes classics like “Welcome to Paradise,” “Longview,” and “Basket Case.” Dookie is what every high school kid’s thoughts would sound like if they became an album.