To give myself a challenge, I decided to embed one song from each album (streaming from YouTube). Amazingly, 48 of the 50 albums are streaming on YouTube, at least in part. Two of the songs I had to upload myself.
"When I decided to make a list of my 50 favorite albums of this decade, I needed some way to narrow the field. So I made a rule than an artist can only have one album in the top 50. This way more great albums are mentioned, and my favorite artists don’t dominate the list."
50. Raspberry Jam- Oceanic (1995) Best song: Easter
49. Rage Against the Machine- The Battle of Los Angeles* (1999) Best song: Guerrilla Radio
48. The Flaming Lips- The Soft Bulletin* (1999) Best song: Race for the Prize
47. Brandtson- Fallen Star Collection (1999) Best song: Summer in St. Claire
46. No Knife- Fire in the City of Automatons* (1999) Best song: Minus 1
45. P.O.D.- The Fundamental Elements of Southtown (1999) Best song: Freestyle
44. Elliott- U.S. Songs** (1999) Best song: Dionysus Burning
43. The Juliana Theory- Understand This is a Dream* (1999) Best song: For Evangeline
42. Model Engine- The Lean Year’s Tradition (1997) Best song: Scarred but Smarter
41. Common Children- Delicate Fade (1997) Best song: Strange Rain
40. The Blamed- Frail (1995) Best song: No Difference
39. Velour 100- Of Color Bright** (1997) Best song: Dolphin Grey
38. Blenderhead- Muchacho Vivo (1995)
37. My Little Dog China- The Velvis Carnival (1994) Best song: Listen
36. Lost Dogs- Little Red Riding Hood (1993) Best song: Imagine That
35. The Connells- One Simple Word (1990) Best song: Speak to Me
34. Toad the Wet Sprocket- Fear (1991) Best song: All I Want
33. Fiona Apple- When the Pawn... (1999) Best song: Fast as You Can
32. Dakoda Motor Co.- Into the Son (1993) Best song: Sondancer
31. Built to Spill- Keep it Like a Secret (1999) Best song: The Plan
30. Vigilantes of Love- Audible Sigh (1999) Best song: Starry Eyed
29. Hoi Polloi- Happy Ever After (1995) The best song is Tiptoe, but the only one I can find streaming online is Smile
28. Morella’s Forest- SuperDeluxe (1995) The best song is Fizzle Kiss, but the only one I can find streaming on line is Wonderboy
27. Rose Blossom Punch- Ephemere (1997) Best song: Hot Rod Horse
26. U2- Achtung Baby (1991) Best song: Mysterious Ways
25. R.E.M.- Up (1998) Best song: Walk Unafraid
24. Pearl Jam- Ten (1991) Best song: Jeremy (also one of the greatest music videos of all time)
23. Weezer- Weezer (The Blue Album) (1994) Best song: The World Has Turned and left me Here
22. Starflyer 59- Silver (1994) Best song: 2nd Space Song
21. Pedro the Lion- It’s Hard to Find a Friend (1998) Best song: Of Minor Prophets and Their Prostitute Wives
20. L.S.U.- Graceshaker (1994) Best song: Blame
19. The 77’s- Drowning With Land in Sight (1994) Best song: Alone Together
18. Fleming and John- Delusions of Grandeur (1995) Best song: I’m Not Afraid
17. Argyle Park- Misguided (1995) Best song: Doomsayer
16. The Innocence Mission- Glow (1995) Best song: That Was Another Country
15. Adam Again- Dig (1992) Best song: River on Fire
14. Over the Rhine- Good Dog Bad Dog (1996) Best song: Latter Days
13. My Bloody Valentine- Loveless (1991) Best song: Only Shallow
12. The Violet Burning- The Violet Burning (1996) Best song: Low
11. Luxury- Amazing and Thank You (1995) The best song is Solid Gold, but could only find South streaming, which is also awesome
10. Mortal- Fathom (1993) Best song: Bright Wings
9. Radiohead- OK Computer (1997) Best song: Paranoid Android
8. Stavesacre- Absolutes (1997) Best song: Wither/Ascend
7. Mineral- The Power of Failing (1997) Best song: If I Could
6. Smashing Pumpkins- Siamese Dream (1993) Best song: Mayonaise
5. Jimmy Eat World- Clarity (1999) Best song: For Me This is Heaven
4. Sunny Day Real Estate- Diary (1994) Best song: Song About an Angel
3. The Prayer Chain- Mercury (1995) Best song: Sky High
2. Poor Old Lu- Sin (1994) Best song: My World Falls Down
1. Sixpence None the Richer- This Beautiful Mess (1995) Best song: Love, Salvation, Fear of Death
Best video: Angeltread
Rolling Stone probably should have used my rule about an artist only being allowed one album, because there are only 86 artists for 100 albums. You can't tell me Jay Z's 2nd-best album of the 90's is better than so many other artists' best. If you are curious, my list and Rolling Stone's only share 10 albums.
Anyway, I narrowed Rolling Stone's list down, and came up with the top 10 albums of theirs that didn't make my list. So I guess these are my honorable mentions:
1. Nirvana- Nevermind
2. Metallica- Metallica (The Black Album)
3. Counting Crows- August and Everything After
4. Oasis- (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
5. Beastie Boys- Ill Communication
6. Pavement- Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
7. Soundgarden- Superunknown
8. Beck- Odelay
9. Belle and Sebastian- If You're Feeling Sinister
10. The Magnetic Fields- 69 Love Songs
Lastly, their is one more album I feel I must mention that did not make my list nor Rolling Stone's, and is definitely one of the best albums of the 1990's:
Foo Fighters- The Colour and the Shape
To give you a little insight on this album and how it connects to the number 4 album on my list, I'll share an excerpt from Wikipedia's page on the Foo Fighters:
Grohl formed a band to support the [first Foo Fighters] album. Initially, he talked to former Nirvana bandmate Krist Novoselic about joining the group, but both decided against it. "For Krist and I, it would have felt really natural and really great", Grohl explained. "But for everyone else, it would have been weird, and it would have left me in a really bad position. Then I really would have been under the microscope." Having heard about the disbanding of Seattle-based rock band Sunny Day Real Estate, Grohl drafted the group's bass player, Nate Mendel, and drummer, William Goldsmith...
Foo Fighters made its live public debut on February 23, 1995 at the Jambalaya Club in Arcata, California and then March 3 at The Satyricon in Portland...
After touring through the spring of 1996, Foo Fighters entered Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville, Washington with producer Gil Norton to record its second album. While Grohl once again wrote all the songs, the rest of the band collaborated on the arrangements. With the sessions nearly complete, Grohl took the rough mixes with him to Los Angeles, intending to finish up his vocal and guitar parts. While there, Grohl realized that he was not happy with how the mixes were turning out, and the band "basically re-recorded almost everything".
During the L.A. sessions, Grohl had played drums on the songs. Unhappy with Goldsmith's drumming, Grohl removed it from the recordings and re-recorded the drum tracks. As Goldsmith was about to come down to L.A to find out why he wasn't being called upon to re-record his parts, he called Mendel from Seattle inquiring if he should make the trip. Grohl then called Goldsmith saying, "Dude, don't come down here, I'm recording some of the drum tracks." Shocked by this, Goldsmith met up with Mendel in Seattle and repeated Grohl's claim to be re-recording "some" of the tracks. Mendel asked, "Is that what he told you?" Goldsmith affirmed it, and Mendel stated, "No, man -- he did them all."
Grohl explained that he'd wanted the drums to sound a certain way on the album. He wanted Goldsmith to play for the tour even though it would not be his drumming but Grohl's on the album. Feeling betrayed, Goldsmith left the band. To this day Grohl still feels guilty for his decision, saying "I was an immature kid at the time."