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

  • Comments: ↓ 7 user comments
  • Publish Date: October 20, 2010

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

Albums from October 2000

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Key Release:
Stankonia 95
by OutKast

Few hip-hop artists achieve quite the level of critical acclaim earned by Atlanta's OutKast over the years, and no OutKast album has ever topped the score for Stankonia. (In fact, to this day, only two new studio albums in our entire database have surpassed Stankonia's Metascore.) Named the best album of 2000 by music critics in the Village Voice's annual survey, the disc included hits like "B.O.B." and "Ms. Jackson," while its ambitious stylistic diversity established Andre 3000 and Big Boi as one of hip-hop's most inventive outfits.

"To call Stankonia the album of the year would be easy. It would also be somewhat incomplete. The Atlanta duo's fourth album is more than simply a great record; it's a complex tome that enmeshes contemporary hip-hop values with a timeless Southern soul, while pushing the envelope damn near off the table."

-- Urb

Other Albums Released in October 2000
Artist Album Metascore Users
Badly Drawn BoyThe Hour of Bewilderbeast788.5
A decade later, this strong debut album feels more like an aberration rather than a hint of better things to come
Johnny CashAmerican III: Solitary Man808.0
The third of six albums in Cash's American series included covers of songs by Neil Diamond, U2, Tom Petty, and Nick Cave
CineramaDisco Volante718.8
The second studio LP for David Gedge's post-Wedding Present band finds Cinerama starting to inject some of the Weddoes' harder, guitar-driven sound into their mix of '60s-influenced pop
EverlastEat at Whitey's679.6
Everlast's third solo outing received mixed reviews despite a varied guest roster that included Carlos Santana and Cee-Lo
Nelly FurtadoWhoa, Nelly!799.1
The singer-songwriter's debut album was a critical and commercial hit
Laurent GarnierUnreasonable Behavior838.8
The French electronica artist's jazzy take on house music is an ambitious success
GodsmackAwaken/an/a
The title track from the metal band's double-platinum sophomore album was a #1 hit
GomezAbandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline749.1
This 20-song disc compiled previously unreleased tracks by the English indie rockers
Green DayWarning688.5
One of the band's least successful releases, Warning found Green Day taking a poppier approach
PJ HarveyStories from the City, Stories from the Sea88 9.2
The best album in a strong discography, the Mercury Prize-winning Stories includes Harvey's duet with Thom Yorke, "This Mess We're In"
Ja RuleRule 3:3656 7.3
The rapper's chart-topping second album was not a hit with reviewers
Jay-ZThe Dynasty: Roc La Familian/an/a
Originally designed as a Roc-A-Fella showcase before becoming the rapper's fifth LP, The Dynasty also provided a big break to then-emerging producers Kanye West and The Neptunes
Limp BizkitChocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water495.5
Despite poor reviews and one of the worst album titles in music history, Fred Durst & co.'s third album was one of the past decade's best-selling LPs ...
Linkin ParkHybrid Theoryn/an/a
... though it didn't sell quite as many units as Linkin Park's debut album, which trails only The Beatles 1 on the list of best-selling albums of the 21st century
LudacrisBack for the First Timen/an/a
The Southern rapper's debut studio LP was also a hit, though reviews were decent but not great
J. Mascis & the FogMore Light7310.0
More Light was the first of two albums for Mascis' post-Dinosaur Jr. side project before re-forming the latter band
MystikalLet's Get Ready7410.0
The New Orleans rapper's hit fourth album includes the single "Shake Ya Ass"
OrgyVapor Transmissions609.1
The sci-fi-themed Vapor Transmissions was the second of three albums for the synth-rock outfit
PoeHaunted76 9.8
One of the all-time high-scoring releases with Metacritic users, the concept album Haunted found the singer-songwriter grappling with the death of her father; she has yet to record a follow-up
RadioheadKid A809.1
Radiohead followed their all-time classic OK Computer by experimenting -- successfully -- with glitchy electronica; recorded during the same sessions, a companion album, Amnesiac, would come the following year
Roni Size/ReprazentIn the Mode799.0
Method Man and Zack de la Rocha are among the guests on the jungle collective's 2000 release, which is nothing if not frenetic
The Sea and CakeOui759.0
The fifth album for the jazzy post-rock outfit received typically strong reviews
Paul SimonYou're the One769.2
You're the One is the most successful of the three albums released by Simon in the past 20 years
U2All That You Can't Leave Behind807.2
A massive hit, the Grammy-winning ATYCLB was produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois
WallflowersBreach719.7
The third studio album for Jakob Dylan & co. was produced by Michael Penn
Robbie WilliamsSing When You're Winning697.7
A hit in the U.K. (but not in America), Sing is the third solo album for the Take That member
Dwight YoakamTomorrow's Sounds Today7510.0
The country singer's 12th album included several appearances by singer and former Hee Haw host Buck Owens

Albums from October 1990

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Key Release:
Nowhere
by Ride

Anyone with even a passing interest in the shoegaze movement would be remiss without Nowhere in her collection. Mixed by Alan Moulder, the Oxford, England band's debut isn't a perfect album -- though it does contain a perfect song in single "Vapour Trail" -- but the shimmering, feedback-laced guitar work of Andy Bell (who would later join Oasis) and Mark Gardener and the rhythm section of Steve Queralt and Loz Colbert combine to make a beautiful noise, even if the substance isn't always there. If you do seek out the album, look for the 2001 CD reissue, which adds four tracks from Ride's Today Forever EP.

"Nowhere seems to hold consensus as the second-best record of the shoegaze era, and with very good reason."

-- Andy Kellman, All Music Guide (4.5/5)

More Reviews: CMJ, Entertainment Weekly (B), Pitchfork (#74 album of 1990s), Trouser Press
Other Albums Released in October 1990
Artist Album Reviews
10,000 ManiacsHope Chest AMG
This compilation includes new mixes of tracks from the band's first two releases (from 1982-83)
The Beautiful SouthChoke AMG, CMJ, EW, TP
The second album for the English band (that featured former members of The Housemartins) includes their biggest hit, "A Little Time"
Big Daddy KaneTaste Of Chocolate AMG, EW, TP
The rapper's third album was not -- unlike his first two -- a hit, despite positive reviews
Blake BabiesSunburn AMG, CMJ, RC, TP
Sunburn was the third -- and until 2001, last -- album for the alt-rock band fronted by Juliana Hatfield
Roseanne CashInteriors AMG, EW, RC
The country singer's introspective, self-produced album drew acclaim from critics but didn't fare as well with fans who wanted something more country-sounding
The CharlatansSome Friendly AMG, CMJ, EW, RC, TP
This debut album's standout tracks like "The Only One I Know," "Sproston Green," and "White Shirt" proved that the UK band were more than just Stone Roses knock-offs
Darling BudsCrawdaddy AMG, CMJ, EW, TP
Stephen Street produced this second album for the UK act, which contained the alternative-radio staple "Crystal Clear"
Brian Eno & John CaleWrong Way Up AMG, CMJ, EW, RC, TP
The one and only LP collaboration between veteran producer Eno and Velvet Underground co-founder Cale is surprisingly poppy and accessible, with the pair splitting vocal duties
Galaxie 500This Is Our Music AC, AMG, CMJ, DU, P4K, RC, TMT, TP
The dream-pop trio's third LP was their last; frontman Dean Wareham (who is performing Galaxie 500 songs on tour this fall) would go on to found Luna, while the band's rhythm section would later record as Damon & Naomi
Emmylou HarrisBrand New Dance AMG, EW
This covers collection includes the country singer's take on tracks by the likes of Bruce Springsteen and David Mallett
Hindu Love GodsHindu Love GodsCMJ, EW, TP
This one-off side project for three-fourths of R.E.M. -- with Warren Zevon subbing for Michael Stipe -- consists of 10 covers (including Prince's "Raspberry Beret") that were recorded during a drunken jam session and were not originally intended for release
Inspiral CarpetsLifeAMG, CMJ, EW, TP
The English band's debut album spawned the Madchester hit "This Is How It Feels," though the UK release lacked the album's second-best song, "Commercial Rain"
The La'sThe La's AMG, EW, RC, TP, TR
This acclaimed eponymous LP (which reached the U.S. in 1991) remains the one and only studio album released by the Liverpool band best known for their hit single "There She Goes"
Van MorrisonEnlightenment AMG, EW, RC, RS
The singer-songwriter's 20th album was reissued in 2008 with two bonus tracks
Pet Shop BoysBehaviour AMG, EW, TP
"So Hard" and "Being Boring" are the standout tracks on the duo's acclaimed fifth album
Renegade SoundwaveIn Dub AMG, CMJ, TP
Probably the London electronica outfit's best album, the all-instrumental In Dub combines new material with alternate versions of previously released tracks
The ShamenEn-TactAMG, CMJ, EW, TP
A classic of the early 1990's techno scene, En-Tact found the one-time Scottish psychedelic rockers in full-on rave mode for the first time with mixing help from Orbital and Paul Oakenfold, though the stronger 1991 U.S. version added the hit single "Move Any Mountain"
Paul SimonThe Rhythm Of The Saints AMG, EW, RC, RS
Simon's follow-up to his megahit Graceland again found him dabbling in world music (this time, with an emphasis on Brazilian sounds), and was another commercial success
Skinny PuppyToo Dark Park AMG, CMJ, TP
The industrial band's sixth album was one of their harshest but most successful releases
SlayerSeasons in the Abyss AMG, CMJ, EW, MA, SP
This fifth album found Slayer returning (in part) to the speed-metal sound of Reign in Blood
Traveling WilburysTraveling Wilburys Vol. 3 AMG, BC, EW, RC, UN
There was no Vol. 2; instead, this was the second and final collaboration between George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne (but not Roy Orbison, who died after the supergroup's first album was released)
Dwight YoakamIf There Was A Way AMG, RC
The country singer's fourth album spawned five hit singles

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 October 1980

Image

Key Release:
Remain in Light
by Talking Heads

Even in an unusually strong month for album releases, one title stands out. Rated as the fourth-best album of the 1980s by Rolling Stone and the second-best by Pitchfork, the groundbreaking Remain in Light still sounds like few other albums ever released. The eight tracks -- typically on the lengthy side, and often darker than on past Heads albums -- feature funk and Afrobeat rhythms, an expanded backing band, and varied vocal styles from frontman David Byrne, who speaks on "Seen and Not Seen," preaches on "Once in a Lifetime," and even comes close to rapping for a moment on "Crosseyed and Painless." It would be the last of the band's three collaborations with producer Brian Eno, and the recording of the album was so contentious that it almost killed the band; Talking Heads would not release another album together until 1983's Speaking in Tongues. But make no mistake: it is simply one of the best albums ever recorded.

"Both daringly experimental and pop-accessible, Remain in Light may be the Talking Heads' defining moment."

-- Ryan Schreiber, Pitchfork

More Reviews: All Music Guide (5/5), Robert Christgau (A), PopMatters, Rolling Stone, Slant Magazine (4.5/5), Sputnikmusic (5/5), Treble, Trouser Press
Other Albums Released in October 1980
Artist Album Reviews
Angry SamoansInside My Brain AMG, RC, TP
This brief album (originally a 6-song EP but later released with 5 additional tracks) was the first recorded output from the L.A. hardcore punk rock band
BauhausIn the Flat Field AMG, TP, TR
The goth band's debut LP was received poorly by the UK music press at the time but has grown in stature since; the 2009 "Omnibus Edition" includes a disc of 16 singles and outtakes
CameoFeel Me AMG, RC
The second of two 1980 releases for the funk band included the title track and "Keep It Hot"
Johnny CashRockabilly Blues AMG, RC
As its title suggests, the album -- a mix of covers and originals -- finds Cash in rockabilly mode
Cheap TrickAll Shook Up AMG, TP
Beatles producer George Martin helmed this relatively experimental (but ultimately unsuccessful) outing for the rock band
The ClashBlack Market Clash AMG, RC, TP
This U.S.-released 10" compilation of singles and unreleased tracks included rare cut "Capital Radio One" and alternate versions of "Armagideon Time" and "Bankrobber"; the 1993 version Super Black Market Clash features a vastly different (but much longer) tracklisting
The DamnedThe Black Album AMG, TP
The fourth LP for the UK band was originally released as a double album, with a single 17-minute song ("Curtain Call") on side three and six live tracks occupying side four.
Dire StraitsMaking Movies AMG, RC, SP
The band's third album includes "Romeo and Juliet" but not the unreleased title track
Earth, Wind & FireFaces AMG, RC
Though it lacked a top-ten single, this double LP was still a top-ten album
The (English) BeatI Just Can't Stop It AMG, RC, TP
The first of just three albums for the band is one of the classics of the 2-Tone ska revival; standout tracks include "Mirror in the Bathroom," "Twist & Crawl," "Best Friend," and the Beat's terrific cover of "Tears of a Clown"
INXSINXS AMG, TP
Released in their native Australia in 1980, the band's lackluster debut LP wouldn't surface in the US for another four years
Joe Jackson BandBeat Crazy AMG, RC, TP
Jackson's third album incorporated reggae rhythms but was a commercial disappointment
Colin NewmanA-Z AMG, RC, TP
Originally intended as Wire's fourth album, A-Z instead became Newman's solo debut, and it's a very strong one at that; fans of any of his band's first three albums will find a lot to like here
Gary NumanTelekon AMG, TP
Numan's last #1 album in the UK was his follow-up to The Pleasure Principle (which contained his biggest hit, "Cars"); a 1998 reissue adds the hit singles "I Die: You Die" and "We Are Glass"
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the DarkOrganisation AMG, P4K, TP
Never officially released in the U.S., OMD's second album includes the single "Enola Gay"
The PoliceZenyatta Mondatta AMG, BBC, RC, RS, TP
"Don't Stand So Close to Me" is only the first of several standout tracks on the band's quickly-recorded third LP, which has divided critics over the years but is generally considered a classic
PrinceDirty Mind AMG, BL, EW, NR, PM, RC, RS, TP
Prince's eclectic and (at the time) shocking third album is easily one of his best, though it's also brief; "When You Were Mine" and the title track are two of just eight tracks.
The ResidentsCommercial Album AMG, BC, P4K, PM, TP
With 40 tracks clocking in at a minute each, Commercial Album was the anonymous avant-garde band's reductionist take on popular music, and each song did in fact air on the radio -- when The Residents purchased 40 commercial spots at a local San Francisco top-40 station
RockpileSeconds of Pleasure AMG, PM, RC, TP
Though the British band -- which counted Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds among its members -- would record four albums, Seconds of Pleasure is the only one released under the Rockpile name
The SpecialsMore Specials AMG, BBC, RC, TP
Though the ska revival band's second album couldn't quite live up to their classic eponymous debut, only the presence of a few filler tracks mars an otherwise strong tracklist (especially for the U.S. release, which adds "Rat Race")
Bruce SpringsteenThe River AMG, BC, RC, RS
One of The Boss' best-selling albums of all time, this double-LP was originally intended as a bleak, single-album follow-up to Darkness on the Edge of Town, until Springsteen recorded a handful of more upbeat tunes to insert into the tracklisting
Donna SummerThe Wanderer AMG, RC
The disco star's eighth album -- and the first-ever release for the new Geffen Records -- was more rock-oriented than prior efforts despite returning Giorgio Moroder as producer
The Teardrop ExplodesKilimanjaro AMG, BBC, RC, TP, UN
Kilimanjaro was the first release for the English psychedelic band led by Julian Cope
U2Boy AC, AMG, BBC, P4K, RC, RS, TP, UN
Steve Lillywhite (a last-minute substitute for Martin Hannett) produced this debut album for the Irish band that would eventually become mega-stars; tracks include hit "I Will Follow"

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

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Comments (7)

  • essa  

    Excellent choices on the essentials this month.

  • James R.  

    All excellent choices. "Nowhere" never seems to get enough love and is a worthy choice in the face of stiff competition from Pet Shop Boys and The La's. I'll agree with Matt S. in that the choice between "Kid A" and "Stankonia" is really harsh, they were two of the very most forward-thinking albums of the whole decade and having to pick between the two is just rough. "Remain in Light" is such an obvious choice that it barely warrants mention, of course. Album of 1980, and I am aware that "Closer" and "Back in Black" came out that year.

  • Anand  

    Excellent choices on the essentials this month.

  • Matt S.  

    Ride's Nowhere has got to be one of the most underrated and underappreciated albums of the past few decades (I secretly like it better than Loveless, but don't tell anyone)... the nod here is well deserved. Also, I do not envy the person who had to choose between Stankonia and Kid A for the October 2000 highlight. What are the odds that two of the most groundbreaking albums in recent memory were released in the same month?

  • A.C.  

    I agree with the choices for essential releases, we need more Outkast type hip hop in the world today. Radiohead's Kid A deserves a spot near the top for essentials, even though Ok Computer destroys it.

  • RayRay  

    I'm shocked that you'd mention The Angry Samoans in this survey. Inside My Brain is an excellent album. Greg Turner, the lead guitar player, was my calculus teacher.... no joke.

  • Mitch Tough  

    Best album on the page - Slayer's "Seasons in the Abyss"

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