Rewind: Music from 10, 20, and 30 Years Ago This Month

  • Comments: ↓ 8 user comments
  • Publish Date: June 18, 2010

Our brand new monthly column takes a look back at key albums released 10, 20, and 30 years ago this month. This month, we remember June 2000, June 1990, and June 1980.

Albums from June 2000

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Key Release:
The Moon and Antarctica 82
by Modest Mouse

It is hard to believe that it has been a decade since the release of The Moon and Antarctica, Modest Mouse's best album. As icy as the title suggests, the band's cohesive major-label debut features some of Isaac Brock's best and most mature songwriting -- if you didn't know otherwise, it would be tempting to think this album came late in their discography, rather than far before their mainstream success. It sounds just as good today as it did 10 years ago.

OK Computer must be mentioned, for Modest Mouse just got invited to the same club. --Brent DiCrescenzo, Pitchfork (9.8/10)

Other Albums Released in June 2000
Artist Album Metascore Users
Arab Strap Elephant Shoe 78 9.0
Elephant Shoe was one of two 2000 releases for the somber Scottish duo
Belle & Sebastian Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant 68 8.5
Many critics felt the band's fourth album paled in comparison to previous releases
Blonde Redhead Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons 73 8.7
The indie band's more tuneful fifth album was produced by Fugazi's Guy Picciotto
Deftones White Pony 73 9.3
The metal band's third release was their most diverse and sophisticated album to date
Ian Brown Golden Greats 69 8.6
Not a greatest hits album, Greats is probably the Stone Roses singer's best solo outing
Jurassic 5 Quality Control 77 9.2
The hip-hop group's major-label debut earned them some of the best reviews of their careers
Nelly Country Grammar n/a n/a
The rapper's debut album remains his best-selling release to date; critics liked it, too
Queens of the Stone Age Rated R n/a n/a
The second LP for Josh Homme's QOTSA project first established the group as a band to watch, and is considered one of the better rock albums of the decade
Richard Ashcroft Alone With Everybody 70 7.0
The Verve frontman struck out on his own with this solo debut
Saint Etienne Sound of Water 80 7.2
One of Saint Etienne's most mature and experimental albums, Water was recorded with To Rococo Rot and includes the standout track "Heart Failed (in the Back of a Taxi)"
Sinead O'Connor Faith and Courage 64 9.6
Liked by some but definitely not all critics, Faith was the singer's first new LP in six years
Steve Earle Transcendental Blues 86 9.3
The guitarist's acclaimed 2000 release blends country and rock, but mostly avoids the bluegrass sound of his prior album, The Mountain
Sunny Day Real Estate The Rising Tide 72 9.3
The Rising Tide was the final LP for the Seattle emo band
Super Furry Animals Mwng 84 8.7
The Furries' all-Welsh release may be the most successful album of all time in that language
Tahiti 80 Puzzle 66 9.6
The French indie band's debut is filled with bright, summery pop
The White Stripes De Stijl n/a n/a
As we previously suggested, this second LP is one of Jack and Meg White's best albums

Albums from June 1990

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Key Release:
Goo
by Sonic Youth

Goo, of course, fails to match the heights of Daydream Nation, the album that preceded it -- but what record does? The band's major-label debut, the relatively accessible Goo is best known for the Chuck D-assisted single "Kool Thing" -- probably the closest Sonic Youth ever came to a hit -- but contains a number of strong, challenging tracks, and isn't anything close to the sellout that fans feared. One year later, Sonic Youth would release a VHS version of Goo, featuring music videos for each of the album's 11 tracks.

A brilliant, extended essay in refined primitivism that deftly reconciles rock's structural conventions with the band's twin passions for violent tonal elasticity and garage-punk holocaust. --David Fricke, Rolling Stone (4/5)

More Reviews: All Music Guide (4/5), Blender (5/5), Blogcritics (5/5), CMJ, Entertainment Weekly (A), Pitchfork (8.5/10), Robert Christgau (A-), Sputnik Music (4.5/5), Stylus (A-)
Other Albums Released in June 1990
Artist Album Reviews
808 StateUtd. State 90 AMG, CMJ, SL
The U.S. version of the Manchester band's Ninety is one of the high points of early '90s acid house
Billy BraggThe InternationaleAMG, RC
The folkie's disc of protest song covers was not well received by reviewers
Cabaret VoltaireGroovy, Laidback And Nasty AMG
Easily their most "pop" album, Groovy was far outshadowed by the groundbreaking Sheffield band's other 1990 release, a collection of their early singles called The Living Legends
Mariah CareyMariah CareyAMG, RC
The singer's massive-selling debut album launched her into superstardom with four #1 singles
Crosby, Stills & NashLive It Up AMG
It's not a live album, and it's also not very good; it was their first studio LP not to go platinum
DanzigDanzig II: Lucifuge AMG, CMJ, MA, RC, SP
The metal band's bluesy second album was again produced by Rick Rubin
Dead Can DanceAion AMG, CMJ, SP
The duo's fifth album of vaguely medieval music wasn't released in the U.S. until 1994
EntombedLeft Hand Path AMG, MA
This highly regarded, genre-defining album was the first release for the Swedish death metal act
Eric B. & RakimLet the Rhythm Hit 'Em AMG, EW, LAT, RC
The groundbreaking hip-hop duo's third LP sacrifices hit singles for album-length coherence
The Field MiceSkywriting AMG, P4K, ST
Barely qualifying as an album -- it's only 6 tracks, though a 2005 reissue adds 5 more -- the divisive Skywriting was the second of three LPs from the short-lived London indie pop band
Gene Loves JezebelKiss of Life AMG, CMJ
The alt-rockers continued on without co-founder Michael Aston, and scored a hit with "Jealous"
His Name Is AliveLivonia AMG, CMJ
The 4AD band's popular debut album consists of tracks recorded in the late 1980s
Bruce Hornsby & The RangeA Night on the Town AMG, EW
The pianist's final album with The Range includes the hit single "Across the River"
JamesGold Mother AMG, CMJ
The band's third album -- released at the peak of the "Madchester" scene -- featured the single "Come Home," though a 1991 re-release added non-album singles "Sit Down" and "Lose Control"
Mazzy StarShe Hangs Brightly AMG, CMJ, EW, RC, SP
This debut for the Hope Sandoval-fronted dream-pop band earned Mazzy Star acclaim for their atmospheric blend of psychedelia, blues, shoegaze, and acoustic rock
NelsonAfter The RainAMG, RC
This was the debut for the glam-metal duo of Matthew and Gunnar Nelson
New Kids on the BlockStep by Step AMG, EW
The pop act's third album was another chart-topping smash, thanks to singles like the title cut
Railway ChildrenNative Place AMG
At one time a Factory Records act, England's Railway Children had a modest hit with the poppy Native Place, featuring the modern rock single "Every Beat of the Heart"
RevengeOne True Passion AMG, CMJ
One of many New Order side projects, Peter Hook's Revenge scored a minor hit with the single "Pineapple Face" from this, their one album; a later spin-off, Monaco, produced better music
The Stranglers10 AMG
The veteran English band's 10th LP included "Sweet Smell of Success" and a cover of "96 Tears"
Keith SweatI'll Give All My Love to You AMG, EW, RC
The R&B singer's second album was a hit, but fell short of his debut three years earlier
Teenage FanclubA Catholic Education AMG, CMJ
This first album for the Scottish alt-rockers is more aggressive and less polished than later LPs
Uncle TupeloNo Depression AMG, CMJ, P4K, RC, RS, SP
No Depression marked the debut for the alt-country outfit whose members -- including Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar -- would later go on to form Wilco and Son Volt
WireManscape AMG, CMJ, EW, PM
This middling, electronics-heavy 7th album seemed like the beginning of the end for the groundbreaking art-rockers ... at least until their unlikely but strong recent comeback

Key to review sources: AMG = All Music Guide; BC = Blogcritics; BL = Blender; CMJ = CMJ, EW = Entertainment Weekly; LAT = Los Angeles Times; MA = Metal Archives; NME = New Musical Express; P4K = Pitchfork; PM = PopMatters; RC = Robert Christgau; RS = Rolling Stone; SL = Slant Magazine; SP = Sputnikmusic; ST = Stylus

Albums from June 1980

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Key Release:
Underwater Moonlight
by The Soft Boys

Hailed as a masterpiece by critics, Underwater Moonlight was the second album for the English post-punk band led by Robyn Hitchcock. If you're looking for just one track, opener "I Wanna Destroy You" is a classic; but if you like Hitchcock's solo work, or any of the bands that were influenced by Moonlight (R.E.M., for starters), seek out the whole album, which serves as an intriguing update of jangly 1960's guitar rock. Matador's 2001 CD reissue adds a boatload of outtakes and demos.

Underwater Moonlight remains the Soft Boys' definitive statement and, like The Velvet Underground & Nico and #1 Record, it's one of those albums that nobody seemed to buy when it was released but that has subsequently proven to be hugely influential. --PopMatters

More Reviews: All Music Guide (5/5), Austin Chronicle (3/5), Entertainment Weekly (A), Pitchfork (8.5/10), Tiny Mix Tapes
Other Albums Released in June 1980
Artist Album Reviews
Jackson BrowneHold Out AMG, RC
Reviews weren't great, but this seven-song LP is Browne's only #1 album
ChicReal People AMG, RC
The R&B group's 4th album lacked the hit singles of previous efforts
CommodoresHeroesAMG, RC
The group's 10th album was one of its last LPs to feature singer Lionel Richie
Bob DylanSaved AMG, BC, EW, RC, RS
A gospel-tinged outing, the religious Saved followed after Dylan's conversion to Christianity
The KinksOne for the Road [Live] AMG, BL
This 21-song live album was recorded at several concert stops in early 1980
Huey Lewis and the NewsHuey Lewis and the News AMG
The band's debut album included the single "Some of My Lies Are True (Sooner or Later)"
Bob Marley & The WailersUprising AMG, RC, SP
Uprising, featuring "Could You Be Loved," was the final studio LP released while Marley was alive
NegativlandNegativland AMG
Probably the least accessible (in terms of music and availability) of all of the Bay Area collagists' albums, this self-titled debut comes in one-of-a-kind, homemade packaging; no two are alike
Pere UbuThe Art of Walking AMG, RC
The experimental Ohio rockers were joined by The Red Krayola's Mayo Thompson on this 4th LP
QueenThe Game AMG, NME, RS, SP
The band's best-selling album in the U.S. includes "Another One Bites the Dust"
Rolling StonesEmotional Rescue AMG, BC, BL, RC, RS
The Stones' chart-topping 15th album includes the title cut and "She's So Cold"
Roxy MusicFlesh + BloodAMG, RC
Certainly not their best effort, but "Same Old Scene" and "Over You" are worth seeking out
Carly SimonCome Upstairs AMG
The singer-songwriter rocked a tad harder on this almost New Wave release
The VaporsNew Clear Days AMG
They may be one-hit wonders, but this debut album includes that one hit: "Turning Japanese"
VariousUrban Cowboy: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack AMG
Urban Cowboy aimed to be for country music what star John Travolta's earlier Saturday Night Fever was to disco. The Grammy-nominated soundtrack wasn't actually very "country," but it included hit tracks from The Eagles, The Charlie Daniels Band, Jimmy Buffett, and Bonnie Raitt.

Key to review sources: AMG = All Music Guide; BC = Blogcritics; BL = Blender; CMJ = CMJ, EW = Entertainment Weekly; LAT = Los Angeles Times; MA = Metal Archives; NME = New Musical Express; P4K = Pitchfork; PM = PopMatters; RC = Robert Christgau; RS = Rolling Stone; SL = Slant Magazine; SP = Sputnikmusic; ST = Stylus

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (8)

  • John  

    Cool feature!!! Please do more in the upcoming months!

  • Rashed  

    Nice feature, wish you'd started it a month earlier so you could represent Closer - Joy division. Regardless, looking forward to future posts

  • nathan  

    I thoroughly enjoyed this feature

  • Marko  

    Weird Al never released an album in 1980,1990 or 2000, let alone June of those years.

  • Stewart Quealy  

    Mega kudos for highlighting "Underwater Moonlight" by the Soft Boys. Hope you find cause to mention the equally seminal "Black Snake Diamond Roll" album by Robyn **** at some point as well.

  • a  

    Where's "Weird Al" Yankovic?!

  • Mitch Tough  

    I vote for 1980. Queen's "The Game"? The bees knees... And I think I wore out the grooves on the Vapors' "New Clear Days"...

  • Pearl  

    great idea for a monthly feature!

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