A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.
I had trouble coming up with a Favorite 10 of 1995, so I left it at nine. I’ve since had time to fill the remaining spot with an album I shouldn’t have let go.
- Emmylou Harris, Wrecking Ball
- The Klezmatics, Jews with Horns
- John Zorn/Masada, Hei
- Värttinä, Aitara
- Björk, Post
- Enya, The Memory of Trees
- Kronos Quartet, Performs Philip Glass
- Alanis Morissette, Jagged Little Pill
- Tears for Fears, Raoul and the Kings of Spain
- Tracy Chapman, New Beginning
Other favorites from the year:
- Prince, The Gold Experience
- Bang on a Can All-Stars, Industry
- Janet Jackson, Design of a Decade, 1986-1996
- Fugazi, Red Medicine
- Radiohead, The Bends
- Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Brainbloodvolume
- John Zorn, Elegy and Kristallnacht
A year-end list at the time would have included Tracy Chapman, but New Beginning got cut in purge before the original list was compiled. It took the discovery of her second album, Crossroads, for me to revisit New Beginning and realizing what a mistake I’d made.
The Gold Experience is a surprising entry in the extended list. The era when Prince was known by the Love Symbol was a creatively fraught time, so it overshadows just how good The Gold Experience is.
I’ve attempted to explore Radiohead in the past few years to understand my general ambivalence to them. So far, The Bends is the only album I really like, which is of course an obvious choice. Modern classical musicians all seem to love them, which surprises me. Café Tacuba does far more interesting work.
Tags: alanis morissette, bang on a can, bjork, emmylou harris, enya, favorite edition, fugazi, janet jackson, john zorn, kronos quartet, masada, ned's atomic dustbin, prince, radiohead, tears for fears, the klezmatics, tracy chapman, varttina