These 15 Albums Helped Us Through The Y2K Scare
Businesses Of Course Were Promoting Products To Ease Our Fears
At This Point Two Decades Ago, We Were Facing An International Computer Failure
Across the globe, we were facing the Y2K scare. Here in the United States, we were beset by a heated Presidential election that would end up being decided not by the people, but by the Supreme Court.
Perhaps worst of all was the fretting endured in the sports news, where the hated New York Yankees were winning yet one more World Series Championship. On a personal note, during those last twelve months of the twentieth century, I was going through a divorce.
So how in the world were we able to remain sane amid fears of a massive computer shutdown, a tumultuous election campaign, and the continued dominance of those guys in pinstripes? Well, as for me, I turned to that familiar refuge of music.
Thank goodness there were over a dozen new albums released during 1999, which all turn forty this year. Here are the fifteen from which I received the most consolation as we trembled on the brink of a new thousand years.
1. Utopia Parkway by Fountains of Wayne
Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesser topped their fine debut with this album, which spawned clever, catchy tracks like "Red Dragon Tattoo", " Troubled Times" and "Valley of Malls."
2. Summerteeth by Wilco
On his second album after leaving Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy struck gold here with songs such as "Via Chicago", "I'm Always In Love" and " Can 't Stand It. "
3. Lost and Gone Forever by Guster
Like the sophomore albums mentioned above, the power pop band bested its debut on the strength of tracks like "Happier", "Barrel of a Gun" and "Center of Attention."
4. Self-Titled by the White Stripes
Chart success came a few years after this debut record, which gave us a glimpse of the guitar rock to ensue through tracks like "The Big Three Killed My Baby" and "Sugar Never Tasted So Good."
5. Midnite Vultures by Beck
" Sexx Laws" opens this alternative rock classic, while further strengthened by the singles "Mixed Bizness" and "Nicotene & Gravy."
6. The Soft Bulletin by the Flaming Lips
Before Toshiba had to battle the pink robots, Wayne Coyne armed us with powerful stuff here like "Waitin' for a Superman" and "A Spoonful Weighs a Ton."
7. Shapeshifter by Marcy Playground
On their first album the quartet made a huge hit about sex and candy, but this follow up was even sweeter with tunes like "Pigeon Farm" and "Wave Motion Gun."
8. Blue by Third Eye Blind
Stephan Jenkins had already made the oddly named group famous with just one album, so most fans were somewhat disappointed beyond the singles "10 Days Late" and "Deep Inside of You" on this follow up.
9. The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner by Ben Folds
Little did the group's front man know Reinhold Messner was a real person, but that awkward coincidence does not take away from great tunes like "Army" and "Your Redneck Past."
10. 13 by Blur
Graham Coxson and Damon Alburn took the band in a direction away from the Brit Pop so loved by its fans, so it took a while to find comfort in this sixth record.
11. HMS Fable by Shack
The Head brothers launched this ship of songs for a voyage that made 1999 enjoyable, what with gems like "Reinstated" and "Lend's Some Dough."
12. Running With Scissors by Weird Al Yankovic
The great parodist scored a huge hit with his take off on Star Wars set to the music of Don McLean's "American Pie."
13. Self-titled by the Verve Pipe
After gaining immortality with the hit "The Freshmen", the grunge pop band followed up with the equally good but not as successful single "Hero."
14. Echo by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
" Free Girl Now" and "Room at the Top" helped Petty keep the momentum he had built years before with "Freefallin'" and "Last Dance With Mary Jane."
15. Songs From Stamford Hill by Wood
James Maddock would release all of his other material under his own name, but never would he top the stuff he made on this record. "You Make Me Feel Bad", "The Never Ending" and "Knock It On the Head" are just a few of the nuggets you can find here.