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

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  • Publish Date: November 11, 2010

As we did in October, September, August, June and July, we look back at key albums released 10, 20, and 30 years ago this month. This month, we remember November 2000, November 1990, and November 1980.

Albums from November 2000

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Key Release:
The Sophtware Slump 81
by Grandaddy

Although it drew some comparisons to Radiohead's OK Computer at the time of its release -- primarily because it shared a fondness for electronic elements and a loose concept about technology and consumerism -- Grandaddy's sophomore album is no OK Computer. That said, it's certainly no slump, either. A fan favorite, The Sophtware Slump ranked among Under the Radar magazine's top 20 albums of the decade, and tracks like "Crystal Lake," "Broken Household Appliance National Forest" and "Miner at the Dial-a-View" represent some of the band's best work.

"This is quite possibly the last great entry in the atmospheric pop canon."

-- Pitchfork (8.5/10)

Other Albums Released in November 2000
Artist Album Metascore Users
The Aluminum GroupPelo63n/a
The Chicago indie group's fourth full-length was produced by John Herndon (Tortoise)
Backstreet BoysBlack & Blue617.6
The Boys' fifth LP was the first album to sell over 5 million copies worldwide in its debut week
Erykah BaduMama's Gun80 9.9
The singer-songwriter's second album included her Grammy-nominated hit single "Bag Lady"
blink-182 Live at the Mark, Tom & Travis Show
(The Enema Strikes Back) [Live]
569.6
The band's only live album was recorded during their tour for Enema of the State
ColdplayParachutes728.6
Coldplay's Grammy-winning debut album includes their hit "Yellow"
EchoboyVolume 264n/a
2 is actually the third album (and second 2000 release) for the Richard Warren-led group
EnyaA Day Without Rain418.4
Though not popular with critics, the new age artist's sixth album was her biggest hit, thanks to the success of ubiquitous single "Only Time"
EvanescenceOriginn/an/a
A demo CD distributed in very limited numbers, Origin went on to become a collector's item, though some of its songs were eventually re-recorded for the group's official debut, Fallen
EverclearSongs From An American Movie, Vol. 2:
Good Time For A Bad Attitude
65 9.4
The angrier of two 2000 releases for Art Alexakis & co., Vol. 2 was a major commercial failure
The FallThe Unutterable n/a n/a
The band's 22nd album -- give or take a few here and there -- received strong reviews from the music press
Fatboy SlimHalfway Between the Gutter and the Stars649.4
The follow-up to 1998's hugely successful You've Come A Long Way, Baby failed to make as big an impact, though the Christopher Walken-starring video for single "Weapon of Choice" did
R. KellyTP-2.com71 7.6
The singer's sequel to his 1993 album 12 Play was a critical and commercial success
Marilyn MansonHoly Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)728.9
The band's fourth release was a concept album that found them returning to a harder, more industrial sound
Ricky MartinSound Loaded648.7
The singer's sixth album was a huge hit, and spawned the single "She Bangs"
Master PGhetto Postage578.0
The rapper's ninth album was his last release to sell reasonably well (it turns out that there are limits, after all)
The New PornographersMass Romantic87 9.6
Mass Romantic was the first of several acclaimed albums for the Canadian indie-rock "supergroup" featuring Neko Case, Dan Bejar, and A.C. Newman
Gary NumanPure679.4
One of three albums released by the synthpop pioneer over the past decade, the more industrial Pure was compared by critics to Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson
OasisFamiliar To Millions [Live]608.0
Recorded during a London concert, the band's double-live album includes many of their biggest hits as well as a few covers
The OffspringConspiracy of One609.0
The Southern California pop-punk band's sixth album was their last big hit
The PharcydePlain Rap6510.0
The rap outfit's third release didn't make much of a mark, coming a full five years after Labcabincalifornia
SadeLovers Rock789.7
The Grammy-winning Lovers Rock was the singer's most recent album until earlier this year, when she finally returned with a follow-up
Songs: OhiaGhost Tropic n/a n/a
This Mike Mogis-produced album was the fifth under the Songs: Ohia name for Jason Molina, who currently records as Magnolia Electric Co.
Spice GirlsForever456.7
The final studio album for the chart-topping English pop group was their only record not to feature Geri Halliwell
Wu-Tang ClanThe "W"80 9.2
The legendary hip-hop outfit's successful third album earned typically strong reviews, thanks to continued strong production by the RZA

Albums from November 1990

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Key Release:
Pills 'n' Thrills And Bellyaches
by Happy Mondays

It goes without saying that The Stone Roses' eponymous debut is the finest album the Madchester scene ever produced. But our vote for second place goes to Pills 'n' Thrills And Bellyaches, the Happy Mondays' third LP, and the one that truly seems to capture the essence of the scene. Produced by Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne, and solid from beginning to (nearly the) end, the club-friendly disc captured Shaun Ryder & co. at the peak of their baggy powers on singles like "Step On" and "Kinky Afro," as well as on the Mondays' greatest non-single track, "God's Cop."

"Not just the most masterful document of Madchester, Pills 'n Thrills and Bellyaches is a terrific record of delightfully intoxicating charms."

-- Michael Krugman, Trouser Press

More Reviews: All Music Guide (5/5), BBC, PopMatters
Other Albums Released in November 1990
Artist Album Reviews
Bad ReligionAgainst the Grain AMG, SP, TP
Considered by some fans to be the band's best album, Grain was also the last album the group would record with drummer Pete Finestone
Big Audio Dynamite IIKool-Aid TP
Only Mick Jones remained from B.A.D.'s original lineup; this first album from the second unit was never released in the U.S., though next album The Globe remade several of this disc's tracks
Buffalo TomBirdbrain AMG, CMJ, TP
This second album from the Boston alt-rock band was co-produced by J Mascis.
The CureMixed UpAMG, CMJ, EW, TP
The band followed up Disintegration with this remix album containing new versions of songs from throughout their career, plus one new song ("Never Enough")
Whitney HoustonI'm Your Baby Tonight AMG, EW, RS
The singer's poorly-reviewed (but commercially successful) third album would be her last studio recording for eight years
Nusrat Fateh Ali KhanMustt Mustt AMG, EW
This heralded fusion collaboration between Pakistani singer Khan and producer/guitarist Michael Brook was released on Peter Gabriel's Real World label
KMFDMNaïve AMG, CMJ, TP
Thanks to a bit of copyright infringement, the original version of the industrial band's fifth album is hard to come by, but it ranks among their best work, and is a highlight in the catalog of legendary industrial label Wax Trax!
LushGala AMG, CMJ, TP
Reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins (and with some tracks actually produced by the Cocteaus' Robin Guthrie), this first LP release for the British shoegazers collected three early EPs and added several new tracks; standouts include alternative radio hit "De-Luxe"
The PoguesHell's Ditch AC, AMG, BC, EW, PN, TP
The Irish rock band's fifth album, produced by Joe Strummer, was its last to feature frontman Shane MacGowan
The Sisters Of MercyVision Thing AMG, TP
Vision Thing was the final album for the English goth-rock band
Trash Can SinatrasCakeAMG, CMJ, EW, TP
Produced mainly by John Leckie, this catchy and clever debut album -- sounding like a cross between Aztec Camera and The Smiths -- is still a remarkable listen, and the band's best

Key to review sources: AC = Austin Chronicle; AMG = All Music Guide; BBC = BBC Music; BC = Blogcritics; BL = Blender; CMJ = CMJ; DU = Dusted; EW = Entertainment Weekly; LAT = Los Angeles Times; MA = Metal Archives; MM = Melody Maker; NME = New Musical Express; NR = No Ripcord; NYT = New York Times; P4K = Pitchfork; PM = PopMatters; PN = Punknews; RC = Robert Christgau; RS = Rolling Stone; SL = Slant Magazine; SP = Sputnikmusic; ST = Stylus; TMT = Tiny Mix Tapes; TP = Trouser Press; TR = Treble; UN = Uncut

Albums from November 1980

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Key Release:
Jeopardy
by The Sound

Released on the same record label (Korova) that launched Echo & The Bunnymen, Jeopardy was the debut for the London post-punk band led by Adrian Borland, formerly of the Outsiders. It's also one of the best albums from 1980 that you've never heard. Though The Sound never achieved the fame of their labelmates or similar English post-punk bands, any fans of Echo, early Psychedelic Furs, or Joy Division will find a lot to like here. Jeopardy is raw, tense, and loud, with deeply personal lyrics penned by the troubled Borland, who would eventually take his own life in 1999. A 2002 CD re-release adds four live tracks.

"Jeopardy has got more spirit, more soul and more downright honesty about it than any other record I've heard this year."

-- Steve Sutherland, Melody Maker (Nov. 1980)

More Reviews: All Music Guide (4.5/5), Fast 'n' Bulbous (9+/10), Mojo, Prefix (9/10), Q (3/5), Trouser Press, Uncut (4/5)
Other Albums Released in November 1980
Artist Album Reviews
ABBASuper Trouper AMG
The Swedish group's last major hit album included the club hit "Lay All Your Love on Me" and "The Winner Takes It All"
Adam and the AntsKings of the Wild Frontier AMG, RC, SP, TP
"Antmusic" was one of several hit singles on Adam Ant's second LP, which featured a completely new lineup after Malcolm McLaren formed Bow Wow Wow out of the first set of Ants
The Birthday Party [The Boys Next Door]The Birthday Party AMG, TP
The pre-Bad Seeds outfit for Nick Cave and Mick Harvey changed their name from The Boys Next Door to The Birthday Party at the time of this album's release; this "deeply unsettling" album (Trouser Press) has been released under both names
BlondieAutoamerican AMG, RC, RS, TP
The new wave band's ambitious but inconsistent fifth LP has been called a "terrible album" by Rolling Stone, but it features two of the group's best-known singles: "The Tide Is High" and "Rapture" (the latter actually becoming the first rap song ever to top the U.S. singles chart)
Bow Wow WowYour Cassette Pet RC, TP
This eight-song, cassette-only release (yes, there was such a thing) showcased the new, Malcolm McLaren-created band's Burundi beat sound and vocals by then-14-year-old frontwoman Annabella Lwin
Circle JerksGroup Sex AMG, RC, SP, TP
Group Sex is the debut album for the influential Los Angeles hardcore punk band fronted by original Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris; its 14 songs run for a total of just 15 minutes
Elvis CostelloTaking Liberties AMG, BC, RC, TP
This American collection of previously unreleased tracks and B-sides from 1977-80 is similar to the UK release Ten Bloody Marys & Ten How's Your Fathers, released the same month
Neil DiamondThe Jazz Singer AMG, BBC
The singer's biggest hit (with sales of over 6 million copies), this 1980 LP is the soundtrack to the movie flop of the same name, best known for being the only film to star both Neil Diamond and Laurence Olivier; among the album's hit singles were "America" and "Love on the Rocks"
The FallGrotesque (After the Gramme) AMG, SP, TP
The prolific band's third album originally contained just 10 tracks, but a later CD version added standouts "Totally Wired" and "How I Wrote Elastic Man"
The JamSound Affects AMG, BBC, SP, TP, UN
Possibly the Paul Weller-led band's best album, this fifth LP includes "Pretty Green," "That's Entertainment," and their "Taxman"-aping hit "Start!"
JapanGentlemen Take Polaroids AMG, TP
This is the fourth album for the British art-rockers led by David Sylvian
John Lennon and Yoko OnoDouble Fantasy AMG, BBC, RC, RS
Originally received poorly by critics, Double Fantasy's place in music history changed when, three weeks after its release, John Lennon was murdered; the 14-track playlist is evenly split between Lennon tunes like "(Just Like) Starting Over" and "Woman" and Yoko Ono compositions like "Kiss Kiss Kiss"
LoverboyLoverboy AMG
The Canadian rock band's debut is more New Wave than their following albums, though it lacked the arena-rock hits that would come later
Barry ManilowBarry AMG
The master of adult contemporary went platinum yet again with this self-titled effort, which included his hit single "I Made It Through The Rain"
Bette MidlerDivine MadnessAMG, RC
The performer's second live album was culled from her concert movie of the same name
MotörheadAce of SpadesAMG, RC
The British metal band's fourth album included the hit title track
PylonGyrate AMG, P4K, RC, ST, TP
The acclaimed Gyrate was the first of just two albums released by the influential but short-lived Athens, Georgia alternative-rock band
REO SpeedwagonHi Infidelity AMG, RC
Released at the end of 1980, REO's ninth album went on to become 1981's best-selling album, thanks in part to the success of tracks like "Keep On Loving You"
ShalamarThree for LoveAMG, RC
Three is actually album number four for the R&B group
Steely DanGauchoAMG, RC
For many years -- 20, to be exact -- it seemed like Gaucho (which contained the hit "Hey Nineteen") would be the duo's final album, though they eventually returned to the studio in 2000
Rod StewartFoolish BehaviourAMG, RC
Not one of the singer's better albums, Behaviour was nevertheless another hit
VisageVisage AMG, TP
The New Wave band's debut album -- with a lineup that included Ultravox's Midge Ure and Magazine's John McGeoch and Dave Formula -- includes their best-known song, "Fade to Grey"
Neil YoungHawks & Doves AMG, P4K, RC
Only side two -- "Hawks" -- was recorded specifically for this album; the flip side consists of various tracks recorded by Young during the mid-1970s

Key to review sources: AC = Austin Chronicle; AMG = All Music Guide; BBC = BBC Music; BC = Blogcritics; BL = Blender; CMJ = CMJ; DU = Dusted; EW = Entertainment Weekly; LAT = Los Angeles Times; MA = Metal Archives; MM = Melody Maker; NME = New Musical Express; NR = No Ripcord; NYT = New York Times; P4K = Pitchfork; PM = PopMatters; PN = Punknews; RC = Robert Christgau; RS = Rolling Stone; SL = Slant Magazine; SP = Sputnikmusic; ST = Stylus; TMT = Tiny Mix Tapes; TP = Trouser Press; TR = Treble; UN = Uncut

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

Comments (3)

  • Sally  

    Oasis might as well have never done another album after morning glory

  • MikeW  

    Yes Grandaddy stands as one of my favorite all time bands, Sophtware slump was the album that introduced them to me and created a longtime love affair with htis group. Sumday released a couple years better in my opinion is their true Magnum Opus, but I love seeing a write up on this prolific No. Cal band, they might be broken up but they are not forgotten

  • Mitch Tough  

    OK, my essentials from this group REO Speedwagon's 'Hi Infidelity", The Circle Jerks "Group Sex", and The Cure's "Mixed Up." Not an amazing month relative to others in this series..

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