Nirvana and Radiohead Top Gibson's Top Albums of the 90s List
2. OK Computer, Radiohead (1997): Radiohead are the Pink Floyd of this generation. They're a band that's capable of being wildly experimental and yet extremely accessible (code words for "weird" and "good"). OK Computer, the British band's third album, found the boys in transition from the stadium-sized riffs of The Bends to the bedroom blips of Kid A. It's an incredibly dense album, sonically, that's able to conjure some amazing atmospheres. It reveals different details depending on if you're listening on headphones, in your car or on your living room stereo. Of course, all that would be for nothing if the band didn't write great tunes – from the sweeping, mini-epic "Paranoid Android" to the music box twinkle of "No Surprises." And then, there's the album's overarching theme – Thom Yorke's vision of a society that struggles with becoming less connected emotionally as it gets more connected digitally. Guitar tandem Jonny Greenwood and Ed O'Brien make sure that you don't just hear the unease in Yorke's voice, but feel it in their ominous, even sinister, playing. The end result: one of the best albums of the '90s, and an all-time classic. – Bryan Wawzenek
1. Nevermind, Nirvana (1991): Nirvana's 1991 masterpiece Nevermind changed everything – and the radical 180-degree turn the music industry experienced in the wake of Nevermind's immediate impact happened in a blink of an eye. Before the phalanx of spandex-clad glam bands that had dominated the '80s knew what two-by-four had just smacked them upside their Aquanet-lacquered coifs (that two-by-four being Nevermind's first single "Smells Like Teen Spirit"), it was out with pointy guitars, eyeliner – and some might argue musicianship ¬– and in with angst, anger and a whole lot of flannel. Produced by Butch Vig, Nevermind had very low commercial expectations when it was released in September of '91. So meteoric was Nevermind's rise, however, that it dethroned the King of Pop's Dangerous album barely three months after its release. This was the very moment alternative rock became mainstream, and the music industry has never been the same. Easily one of – if not the – most influential albums in the history of recorded music. – Sean Patrick Dooley
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