25 Albums Turning 25 That Don’t Suck

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1990.  For music it was year that in many ways was Lost in Limbo (Thanks Ace.)  Genre’s of rock were peaking, ending and just starting.  And no one knew.  It would be the pinnacle of Thrash metal, the roots of Grunge were starting to sprout and the good times for bands of the Hair Metal genre were concluding.  In a little over a year bands like Winger and Warrant would trade major success to be punch lines as a snotty group of coffee drinkers from the Northwest would swap stripper poles for Doc Martin’s and alcohol for heroin.  All while harpooning the bloated whale 80’s metal had become.  Mariah Carey would sell the first of her 90 bazillion records with her debut release on her geriatric husbands record label.  Pantera would let the world know Texas has more than Steers and Queers and a band that would eventually change their name to Pearl Jam would celebrate my 20th birthday by performing their first show ever on October 22.  As for notable dates August 21st would be a wallet crusher for me as eight albums released that day wound up in my CD collection.  Four of which made this list.  And I’m probably gonna get some shit for including Soundgarden’s Screaming Life/Fopp as it was a re-release combining their first two EP’s from 87 and 88 but those were largely unknown and only available at shows and indy record stores.  The combo re-release was the first time it was widely available for a small down boy like me and that was in 1990 so for my fine tuned standards it passes.   

While compiling this list I noticed something of note.  25 years on, 21 of the 25 bands featured on this list are still active.  22 if you count Dokken as a Don Dokken solo project.  Factor in Mother Love Bone basically became Pearl Jam and if not for the tragic murder of Dimebag Darrell there’s no reason to think Pantera would’ve sorted their shit out.  That would leave only Damn Yankee’s as a band on this list not currently active.  Maybe we should bump them for Black Sabbath or the Scorpions for that anomaly alone.  Considering how deep into their careers many of these bands were in 1990 it is pretty amazing that so many of them are still bringing it so many years later.   

The oddness of the year didn’t mean a shortage of great music however.  I could’ve made it a list of much more than 25 but where would the fun be in that?  The end result is a mix of records as eclectic as the year.  I tried ranking them in some sort of “Bakko Approved” order but I found myself putting records ahead of records I had behind the one I felt it was better than the one I placed it ahead of.  So you see my problem.  Bottom line.  It may be hard to label 1990 as the year of “whatever” but a lot of good music came out and that’s what really matters.  Thanks go out to my fellow Decibel Geeks for their help in making sure nothing missed consideration.  This list should serve as a way to add dialogue to your music acumen.  And yes.  That might be an oxymoron.  Without further ado.   I give to you, in my expert opinion, and in NO particular order…
25 Albums Turning 25 That Don’t Suck 
Primus – Frizzle Fry


Slaughter – Stick It To Ya
Black Crowes – Shake Your Moneymaker
Prong – Beg To Differ
Death Angel – Act III
Soundgarden – Screaming Life/Fopp
Danzig – II Lucifuge
Mother Love Bone – Apple
Pantera – Cowboys From Hell
Alice In Chains – Facelift
Anthrax – Persistence Of Time
Queensryche – Empire
Megadeth – Rust In Peace
Slayer – Seasons In The Abyss
Kings X – Faith Hope Love
Tesla – Five Man Acoustical Jam
AC/DC – The Razors Edge

Stryper – Against The Law
Testament – Souls Of Black
Y&T – Ten
Firehouse – S/T
Damn Yankees – S/T
Helmet – Strap It On
Don Dokken – Up From The Ashes
Pretty Maids – Jump The Gun
So there you have it.  With no explanation.  You’ll just have to trust me.  Disagree?  Feel free to let me know and I’ll explain why I’m right.  Many if not most of these albums are available from streaming services but if you’re old school like me you want to own your music.  Find one of few record stores left, head to a pawn shop or scavenge your neighborhood garage sales.  And all of these can be found on Amazon.  Music makes you happy.


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