the best of 1991 (musically)

The best of 1991: 20 Records to Celebrate Instead of Nirvana's Nevermind (hat tip Blissblog)

Completely agree with this writer that in an epoch-making time the wrong record (and everything it represented) is celebrated.

It's not just a matter of Nevermind being unbelievably overrated as a rock record, or that its “revolutionary” effect of restoring rock to its gritty authentic essence was such a forced media construct, dreamed up by a poisonous cocktail of record industry and aging rock journalists who wanted something like Nirvana to happen; the ultimate amalgam of the most lame rock authenticity clichés - garage/punk “rock out”-energy and scruffy/maladjusted indie songwriting.


It's not that I think rave culture (or for that matter hip hop or metal) was more or less sociologically important than grunge, I don't really care and have nothing invested in whether it was so or not, it's that it came up with such unbelievable riches, such endless innovation and astonishingly new and fresh music, that if you're looking back at 1991 and see Nevermind, you're not just missing out, you're simply missing one of the greatest musical revolutions ever, and that in favour of a triviality that just repeats the past.


By 1991, Kraftwerk had finally proven beyond all doubt that they had won. The unfolding future was their spawn. And with The Mix, they sort of acknowledged this.* The album should really have been the closing of the doors to the past, but sadly, grunge simultaneously reopened them and insisted that it was better to live with rock regression than with electronic progression.

*although it must be said The Mix is not a great record