1994 saw the continued corporate exploit of the underground music scene, including the pillaging of the punk scene, while at the same time manufactured “alternative” bands were starting to take the focus away from those bands that had been around and helped to build things up. The biggest event of the year was the death of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. I remember my wife (my girlfriend at the time) and I were driving around the northwest side of Oklahoma City, listening to The SPI (93.7 KSPI) when the DJ came on and read the news report of the discovery of Cobain’s body. MTV went 24/7 news coverage of the event, including interviews, news reports, commentary, and so on. Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth had been scheduled to host 120 Minutes that week but he cancelled and a very somber Lewis Largent hosted the show, opening with the final video that Nirvana had released, “Heart Shaped Box.”
Overall 1994 was another year in musical flux. What had once been truly underground and alternative was now firmly in the mainstream of American popular culture. Despite all of that, the 1990s were a great time to be alive and a young adult and the music of the day certainly reflected that mood. You can check out some similar posts I did for 1991, 1992, and 1993.
20. Bee Thousand by Guided by Voices
19. Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star by Sonic Youth
18. Diary by Sunny Day Real Estate
17. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain by Pavement
16. The Crow Soundtrack by Various Artists
15. Pulp Fiction Soundtrack by Various Artists
14. Without a Sound by Dinosaur Jr.
13. 24 Hour Revenge Therapy by Jawbreaker
12. Jar of Flies by Alice in Chains
11. Stoned & Dethroned by The Jesus and Mary Chain
10. File Under: Easy Listening by Sugar
9. Punk in Drublic by NOFX
8. Monster by R.E.M.
7. Stranger Than Fiction by Bad Religion
6. Foolish by Superchunk
5. Bakesale by Sebadoh
4. Dookie by Green Day
3. Let’s Go by Rancid
2. Question the Answers by The Mighty Mighty Bosstomes
1. Weezer [The Blue Album] by Weezer