This Saturday, September 24, 2011, is being hailed as Nevermind Day, because exactly 20 years ago that day, Nirvana released their second album, the one that Changed the Way We Think About Music. But calling it simply Nevermind Day or even Nirvana Day isn’t totally fair; there were three classics released that day, too: The Low End Theory by A Tribe Called Quest, Blood Sugar Sex Magik by Red Hot Chili Peppers (it’s only one of their two listenable albums), and Hymns to the Silence, Van the Man’s last great record. (Screamadelica and Trompe le Monde came out a day earlier, on September 23). So, really, it should be called Silence Sex ‘Mind Theory Day, which actually sounds like the name of an R. Kelly song.
That got me wondering what other days in 1990s released more than one classic album. Well:
November 4, 1991
Loveless by My Bloody Valentine
Bandwagonesque by Teenage Fanclub
Less Memorable Release: Shepherd Moons by Enya
What else was happening in music in November 1991?
-2Pac released his first album, 2Pacalypse Now
October 6, 1992
Automatic for the People by R.E.M.
Blind by the Sundays
Grave Dancers Union by Soul Asylum
Less Memorable Release: Home for Christmas by Amy Grant
What else was happening in music in October 1992?
-Liar, the Jesus Lizard’s best record, came out on October 10
July 27, 1993
Siamese Dream by the Smashing Pumpkins
Fake Train by Unwound
Less Memorable Release: Promises and Lies by UB40
What else was happening in music in July 1993?
-Zooropa. U2. Bad.
November 9, 1993
Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by Wu-Tang Clan
Less Memorable Release: Both Sides by Phil Collins
What else was happening in music in November 1993?
-Carly Simon puts a “family opera” album.
May 10, 1994
The Blue Album by Weezer
Diary by Sunny Day Real Estate
Experimental Jet Set, Trash, and No Star by Sonic Youth
Less Memorable Release: Arrive All Over You by Danielle Brisebois
What else was happening in music in May 1994?
-Ill Communication comes out, and we’re still not sure if it’s better than Check Your Head
September 13, 1994
There’s Nothing Wrong with Love by Built to Spill
Ready to Die by Notorious B.I.G.
John Henry by They Might Be Giants
Four by Blues Traveler (admit it, you love “Run-Around”)
Less Memorable Release: From the Cradle by Eric Clapton
What else was happening in music in September 1994?
-“Run-Around.” That’s it. Well, maybe, “Hook,” too.
August 27, 1996
No Code by Pearl Jam
One in a Million by Aaliyah
ATLiens by Outkast
Less Memorable Release: The Latch-Key Kid by A+
What else was happening in music in August 1996?
-On the day I turned 9 (August 6), Olivia Tremor Control gave me a birthday present I wouldn’t appreciate for another decade: Music from the Unrealized Film Script, Dusk at Cubist Castle.
September 23, 1997
Homogenic by Bjork
Time Out of Mind by Bob Dylan
Less Memorable Release: Evolution by Boyz II Men
What else was happening in music in September 1997?
-Elton John performs “Candle in the Wind” at Princess Diana’s funeral. Many years later, Andy Dwyer performs “5,000 Candles in the Wind” at Lil’ Sebastian’s funeral.
September 29, 1998
Aquemini by Outkast
Vol 2…Hard Knock Life by Jay-Z
Is This Desire? By PJ Harvey
Deserter’s Songs by Mercury Rev
Less Memorable Release: Tony Bennett: The Playground by Tony Bennett
What else was happening in music in September 1998?
-On the same day as the records listed above, Sheryl Crow’s The Globe Sessions came out. It was an upgrade over Tuesday Night Music Club, because of “My Favorite Mistake,” but not by much.
February 23, 1999
The Hot Rock by Sleater-Kinney
The Slim Shady LP by Eminem
Things Fall Apart by the Roots
FanMail by TLC
Less Memorable Release: A Place in the Sun by Lit
What else was happening in music in February 1999?
-“…Baby One More Time” was tearing up the charts.