What was your first CD or, if you care to show your age, cassette tape or record? For some of us, it was an album from the 90s like No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom
or Spice World
by The Spice Girls, or even The Space Jam Soundtrack
which featured R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" and Seal's cover of "Fly Like An Eagle."
If you're old enough to remember anything about 1997 besides JNCO jeans, slap bracelts and glitter jelly sandals, here are a few albums that turn 20 this year and will make you feel not so young.
Courtesy of Mercury Records
Middle Of Nowhere
Straight out of a state fair in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Hanson brothers Taylor, Issac, and Zach had the world wondering who the hell these three girls were upon the release of the only album that anyone really payed attention to, Middle Of Nowhere
. Fun Fact: In 2009 Hanson frontman, Taylor Hanson, formed a weird pop rock supergroup called Tinted Windows
with former members of The Smashing Pumpkins and Cheap Trick. You can actually catch Hanson at a panel discussion at SXSW this year and a performance from the trio who are only barely in their mid-30's.
Courtesy of Goldmind and Elektra
Supa Dupa Fly
No one could have made a trash bag look as cool as Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott did in her music video for "The Rain" off her debut album Supa Dupa Fly.
Before the Virginia Beach rapper dropped the album which featured other hits like "Beep Me 911" and "Sock It To Me", Missy Elliott had written and co-produced the majority of Aaliyah's One In A Million
record the year prior. With her bizarro, often futuristic looking outfits and imagery to compliment her impressive music, often produced by her music partner Timbaland, Missy Elliott set her self apart from mainstream rappers as an avant-garde alternative within the realms of mainstream hip-hop.
Fat Of The Land
Courtesy of XL Recordings
Already grabbing the attention of club kids and ravers from the early 90s with their first two releases Experience
and Music For A Jilted Generation
, English electronic group The Prodigy made a worldwide impact with the release of Fat Of The Land,
the first album in which the group decided to introduce their snarling punk rock vocals. The controversial video for the track "Smack My Bitch Up", which was filmed from first-person perspective, graphically portrayed a person (spoiler alert: at the end you find out it's a woman) snorting cocaine, drinking and driving, getting into fights, and having sex. (Lol. Oh 1997, how I wish you could see us now...)
Often described as "the best band in the world" by uber fans worldwide (and maybe at one time they were, tbh), Radiohead's first two albums Pablo Honey
and The Bends
showcased a band far from the experimental rock act they eventually became. In fact, it wasn't until the release of OK Computer
that the band start venturing into a sound that was less guitar driven, unorthodox and more true to the sound they eventually pioneered. With singer Thom Yorke's shrill vibrato and cryptic lyrics matched with Jonny Greenwood's eclectic compositions, OK Computer
became a landmark album for the band and would influence a generation of indie artists over the next two decades.
Third Eye Blind
Third Eye Blind
In the late 90s, you literally couldn't go anywhere in your car without turning on the radio and hearing a Third Eye Blind song eponymous hit record.
Spawning such hits like "Jumper", "Semi-Charmed Life", and "How's It Gonna Be", the San Francisco trio's third album would eventually become one of those albums that helped define the sound of 90s alt rock. If all this nostalgia has you wishing you could see some of these bands again, you're in luck. Third Eye Blind actually happens to have a showcase at SXSW this year. So if you happen to wander up to Austin, the boys will be playing a set on Thursday, March 16 at The Belmont.