archive : A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z sdtk comp

>The Forward
>by Ryan Schreiber
>Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
>Pitchforkmedia.com
>Thinks he's a real big shot

Since Pitchfork's conception in November of 1995, I have been waiting patiently for the day when we would be able to bring you this feature. I've been wondering for years what our #1 favorite album of the 1990s would turn out to be. Then, that despicable Spin issued their Top 100 list of the decade's "best" albums-- we knew we had to do it right.

Our list was totalled in the fairest way I could think of-- I would send an e-mail out to all our reviewers and ask them to turn in a list of their personal Top 100 albums of the 1990s, ranked in order from #100 to #1. I specified that the list should not concern what the writers felt was the "most important," "best" or "most influential" recordings of the decade, instead that it should be their favorite albums-- the albums they most enjoyed listening to. All writers were encouraged to participate, but creating a list of 100 albums of any kind is not an easy thing to do. In the end, more than half of us got involved and worked our asses off until our lists were exactly (or as close as possible to) how we wanted them. (That's how cool we are.) Brent DiCrescenzo did us all a great favor by figuring out a fair points system and compiling all our lists into a singular Top 100 that would represent the participants' favorite albums of the decade. And here it finally is.

Pitchfork's Top 100 Favorite Albums of the 1990s compiles the individual lists of Chip Chanko, Paul Cooper, Brent DiCrescenzo, Zach Hooker, Nick Mirov, Mark Richard-San, Michael Sandlin, and myself. Now, we will present our gigantic list to you, faithful reader, in in a three-part installation spanning today, Wednesday, October 13 through Friday, October 15. Regular reviews, news and features will resume this Monday, October 18. In the meantime, here comes the list:

100Aphex Twin
Selected Ambient Works 85-92
R&S;
1993

99Smart Went Crazy
Con Art
Dischord
1997 (Click for Pitchfork review)

98MK Ultra
The Dream is Over
Artichoke
1999 (Click for Pitchfork review)

97Massive Attack
Mezzanine
Virgin
1998 (Click for Pitchfork review)


96Blur
Parklife
Virgin
1994

95Primal Scream
Screamadelica
Sire/Warner Bros.
1991

When during "Higher Than the Sun" Bobby Gillespie sings, "What I've got in my head, you can't buy, steal, or borrow," he's not exactly telling the truth. But he had the savvy to realize that his band's previous limp, floppy retreads of '60s psychedelia weren't going to keep him in Cuban heels for much longer. He opened up Creation Records' checkbook and payed top club DJ Andrew Weatherall to recast his would- be anthem, "I'm Losing More Than I've Ever Had" into a rallying call for post- Second Summer of Love British youth. "Loaded" was that recast, indie- dance was born, and Primal Scream became the most alive, most relevant band of the moment. -Paul Cooper

94Phish
Billy Breathes
Elektra
1996

93Underworld
Dubnobasswithmyheadman
Wax Trax!/TVT
1994

92Pale Saints
The Comforts of Madness
4AD
1990
When I first moved to Chicago, I found a copy of The Comforts of Madness in the used bin of Reckless Records for six bucks, further proving the thinly- veiled ignorance of independent record store employees. This record is criminally out of print! Released by 4AD under the shadow of the Pixies and a glut of shoegazers, the Pale Saints simply mixed those two cash cows. Gil Norton produced these noisy, dreamy gems that remain the most uplifting and caustic songs the British shoegazer movement ever produced. Then some girl singer took over the band and they became dross 4AD fodder. This is collector scum heaven. -Brent DiCrescenzo

91Sonic Youth
Dirty
DGC
1992

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TODAY'S REVIEWS

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RATING KEY
10.0: Indispensable, classic
9.5-9.9: Spectacular
9.0-9.4: Amazing
8.5-8.9: Exceptional; will likely rank among writer's top ten albums of the year
8.0-8.4: Very good
7.5-7.9: Above average; enjoyable
7.0-7.4: Not brilliant, but nice enough
6.0-6.9: Has its moments, but isn't strong
5.0-5.9: Mediocre; not good, but not awful
4.0-4.9: Just below average; bad outweighs good by just a little bit
3.0-3.9: Definitely below average, but a few redeeming qualities
2.0-2.9: Heard worse, but still pretty bad
1.0-1.9: Awful; not a single pleasant track
0.0-0.9: Breaks new ground for terrible
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