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.
The original list from 1994 didn’t even include an extended list. That’s how austere the selections from the year were.
Talitha Mackenzie, Solas
Freedy Johnston, This Perfect World
Wayne Horvitz/Pigpen, V as in Victim
Harry Connick, Jr., She
Guided By Voices, Bee Thousand
Everything But the Girl, Amplified Heart
Kronos Quartet, Night Prayers
Jayne Cortez and the Firespitters, Cheerful & Optimistic
John Zorn/Masada, Alef
Madonna, Bedtime Stories
Other favorites from the year:
Prince, The Black Album
Pizzicato Five, Made in USA
Shudder to Think, Pony Express Record
Elliott Goldenthal, Interview with a Vampire
At the time of its limited release, I was actually very curious about The Black Album. Part of it was all the hype surrounding its initial aborted release, but I was still mostly ambivalent about Prince to pass on it. Its underdog status among Prince’s work makes me like it just a bit more.
A top 10 list I would have compiled in 1994 would have listed the Interview with a Vampire soundtrack. It’s actually a really good score. It’s too bad the movie sucked eggs. I watched twice — the first time to evaluate its faithfulness to the novel (somewhat), the second to evaluate it as a film (awful). The only thing that mars the soundtrack is the unfortunate cover of Sympathy for the Devil by Guns N’ Roses.
When you can find a second-hand vinyl copy of Suzanne Vega’s Solitutde Standing for $1, does the world really need a reissue that costs $30? Same goes for the soundtrack to Top Gun — was it really such a cultural watershed?
Vinyl reissues make up just a sliver of recorded music sales, but it’s the only sector experiencing rapid growth. So if Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em by MC Hammer can get a reissue, then nothing should stop the following titles from showing up on wax. From what I can tell, none of these titles have ever been issued on vinyl.
Fastball, All the Pain Money Can Buy
The stars aligned for Fastball on this album, but tensions in the band prevented them from capitalizing on that momentum. It still holds up well after nearly 20 years. Reissued on Nov. 9, 2018.
Patty Griffin, Flaming Red
You need look no further than Silver Bell to hear how well Flaming Red would sound on vinyl. Griffin doesn’t usually indulge her rock side, but like the title of this album, she burns when she does.
Freedy Johnston, This Perfect World
This album was in constant rotation on my player back in 1994, and I didn’t care if it storm up the charts. It didn’t, so the likelihood for a reissue are slim. Reissued Feb. 2019.
Hajime Chitose, Hainumikaze
I’ve so far not been impressed by vinyl pressings of domestic Japanese albums. The market is still driven mostly by CDs, so Japanese labels don’t put much care into the sound of vinyl releases. In my fantasy world where they did, I would so want to hear Hajime Chitose’s voice on vinyl.
Onitsuka Chihiro, INSOMNIA
All the ballads on this album should make remastering it for vinyl not insurmountable. Right?
Hem, Rabbit Songs
I’m surprised the only album in Hem’s discography available on vinyl is Departures and Farewells. I would have thought Rabbit Songs had been reissued a long time ago.
Utada Hikaru, Ultra Blue
The last Utada album to be issued on vinyl was DEEP RIVER. Reissued April 27, 2022
Duran Duran, Medazzaland
The masters for Duran Duran’s most underrated album is owned by the band, so the fate of a vinyl reissue is entirely up to them. Nick Rhodes has mentioned he would love to see it happen. Reissued Oct. 14, 2022.