While musical history is peppered with significant dates – The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde both hit the stores on the same day back in 1966, for example – the month of September 1991 has to go down in history as arguably the best month ever for albums.
Glancing at the singles charts for that period, you could be forgiven for writing off the tail end of 1991 – Bryan Adams’ (Everything I Do) I Do It for You scored no less than 16 weeks at number one, narrowly holding off Right Said Fred‘s I’m Too Sexy. Yikes.
But from an album point of view, it was a remarkably fertile period – as emerging artists rewrote rock’s rulebook, rave culture permeated pop and hip hop came of age.
While the preceding month was certainly not without its standout moments – Metallica’s Black Album was released on 12 August 1991, followed by Pearl Jam’s Ten on 27 August, for example – it was only a teaser for the main course to follow.
September 1991 was a month that gave us Primal Scream’s Screamadelica (produced by the maestro Andrew Weatherall) Nirvana’s Nevermind, Orbital’s self-titled debut album, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik, A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory, Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion I and II, Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger, Pixies’ Trompe le Monde, Naughty by Nature’s debut, Blur’s Leisure (in the US at least) and Saint Etienne’s Foxbase Alpha – albums that are still considered classics today.
There were also top-notch long players from the likes of Slowdive, Nitzer Ebb, Kyuss, Hole, Swervedriver, Simply Red and a myriad of others… a true tour de force for the album market. Even David Bowie made an appearance, albeit with Tin Machine II, not the Thin White Duke’s most celebrated moment.
Music aficionados have even selected one particular day – 24 September – as the zenith of this particular period, seeing as it saw the release of Nevermind, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Trompe Le Monde, The Low End Theory and Badmotorfinger on to a unsuspecting public. Not bad for a Tuesday.
With this in mind, 909originals put together a three-hour playlist featuring some of the stand-out tracks from a month that changed music. Expect clanging guitars, bass-heavy beats, scything synths… oh, and the ‘strangled cat’ vocals of one Axl Rose.
Now, where did we put that DeLorean…?