10 best rock albums of the 90s
Nirvana - Nevermind
Kurt Cobain would have been the first to tell you that an album's worth isn't gauged by how many copies it sells but by it's artistic value, there was no denying Nevermind was both a critical and commecial success of mega proportion. Grunge was beginning to rise in 1991 but this album was the catalyst the drove it deep into the mainstream at the time dominated by solo and lip syncing pop stars. An ultimate rock album it has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide
The Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness
Described by Billy Corgan as "The Wall for generation X" comparing it to the hugely successful album by Pink Floyd. Although this comparison may have been a bit arrogant the time, the album went on to sell 9.8 million copies in the US alone. This double disc, 28 song album entered the Billboard 200 at #1, was nominated for 7 grammys and spawned 6 singles. The album combines loud distorted guitars with soft piano and acoustic beauty. Regarded by many as the band's greatest album.
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
The second full album by Nine Inch Nails(third disc overall) which put the band on the map as a major force in the hard rock/metal mainstream. Written, recorded and produced by creator Trent Reznor with a revolving door of session and band members and a few influential names pulled into the studio to work on it. At the time Trent once said that The Downward Spiral was his outlet let out his anger, pain and heavy depression and discontent. The album went on to sell more than 5 million copies and entered the billboard 200 at #2.
Soundgarden - Superunknown
Ripe with incredible riffs, melodies and guitar solos this album brought Soundgarden into the mainstream. A disc that had absolutely no filler every track a rock masterpiece. Superunknown entered the billboard 200 at #1, five singles were released. With this album they won two grammy awards and sold over 5 million copies. Soundgarden would release one more album after this disc breaking up until reuniting in 2009.
Tool - Aenima
Aenima is one of those uniquely crafted albums full of psychedelic guitar and abrasive riffs all the while Maynard Keenan's vocals riding wave after wave of each musical nuance. This album won a grammy for best metal performance and sold 3.5 million copies in the US alone. This album more than what came before or after defined Tool as a band and ensured that any future albums released would always draw massive attention.
Pearl Jam - Ten
When Pearl Jam first formed from the remanants of Mother Love Bone they were just another grunge band from Seattle, but the the release of their debut album and the staying power it had on the charts it became clear they were much more. Long after the release in 1992 the album rose to #2 on the billboard 200. As of 2011 the album has been certified diamond with sales of more than 10 million copies.
Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Superstar
When this album released everyone knew the name Marilyn Manson whether you hated him or loved his music even now it is difficult to find someone who hasn't heard the name. Manson is said to be the new shock rocker for the 1990s taking over what Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper had done for the 1970s and 1980s. The album was produced and even a little of the instrumentation was done by Trent Reznor and released through his label, Nothing Records. It sold more than 7 million copies.
Bush - Sixteen Stone
This was the band's breakthrough disc rocketing them into the mainstream. Full of crunching riffs and howling gruff vocals from Gavin Rossdale. Thanks to singles like Glycerine and Comedown gaining heavy rotation on rock radio and videos on MTV Bush became the new name of post grunge.
Radiohead - OK Computer
Radiohead's art rock alternative masterpiece landed at #1 on the UK charts signalling a new shift in the alternative genre coming out of the United Kingdom. By this point Radiohead had gain much popularity in the US as well. The album sold 4.5 million copies and won numerous awards and accolades. A little more atmospheric musically than their previous album, the bends, I marked the beginnings of the more experimental work by Radiohead.
Alice In Chains - Dirt
Back when Alice in Chains were in their prime "Dirt," sold over 4 million copies. Five singles were released from: "Would?," "Them Bones," "Angry Chair," "Rooster," and "Down in a Hole." Alice In Chains won a MTV video music award for the song "Would?," in the category for best song from a film as it was used in the Cameron Crowe film Singles. Alice in Chains like a few of their counterparts(Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots) would reunite to record a new album and tour with a new frontman replacing the deceased Layne Staley, still gaining a lot of commercial and critical success.