Each year there’s always a bunch of anniversary re-releases of albums. Some of these are remasters, others include b-sides, outtakes and live recordings. There are of course a select few which include all of the above for a highly inflated price. This is my list of albums which I’d like to have a 25th anniversary re-release next year, Why just 25 years, because in 1994 when these albums were released I turned 30, it’s as simple as that.
Weezer’s Blue Album and Pavement’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain are two albums which I listen to on a regular basis, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was however the only one of the two which I purchased when it was released. Cut Your Hair is the most recognisable song from the album and I can remember singing along to it at work one morning whilst a fellow workmate was looking at me and shaking her head. When I listen to the album now Range Life is my favourite song to sing along to. It’s a song which is also a little infamous due to the verse which appears to poke fun at The Smashing Pumpkins and the Stone Temple Pilots. After taking a few years to appreciate Weezer’s Blue Album I think I’ve made up for it and the album is one of my favourites to listen to in the car.
If I was going to pick two albums which are almost definitely going to get 25th Anniversary re-releases they would be Jeff Buckley’s Grace and Liz Phair’s Whip-smart. The think that it’s almost 25 years since Grace was released makes me feel old. It’s still an amazing album to listen to and his cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallejulah is sublime. There are times when I wish artists would hear listen to another artists cover and think they can’t match this, lets look at something else. Hallejulah is one of those songs.
One of my favourite albums from this year was the re-release of Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville. For the strength of that album alone I’m predicting Whip-smart will get a re-release. I also think a whole new generation needs to discover her music because she’s a damn good lyricist and singer.
Whilst we’re on the subject of artists who deserve a whole new audience Veruca Salt’s American Thighs was one of the stand out debut albums of 1994. The guitar driven dual female vocal harmonies from Louise Post and Nina Gordon are still great to listen to today.
You may have noticed by now that all the artists on the list are American. A few years earlier the I’d have been picking British bands but not 1994. The simple reason for this is that I hate Britpop, full stop. Why, I’ve never quite been able to pin it down, although a recent article in the Guardian suggesting that Britpop led to Brexit may just answer the question.
There is however one British album from 1994 which stands out and that’s Portishead’s Dummy, it was mesmersing then and I was still in awe of it a couple of days ago when I listened to it. Do I think it needs a re-release, I’m not sure. There’s a certain allure in Beth Gibbons’ vocals being at times, just that little bit unobtainable and a remaster may just spoil the magic.
Finally, I should apologise for not posting for a while. I’m still learning a routine and this is one of four drafts which I’ve finally published.
Image: New Year’s Eve fireworks, Melbourne