Not surprisingly, my first list of 2017 is a music-related list.
Music-wise, 1997 wasn’t a hugely memorable year but there were definitely some highlights, as shown on this list. Personally, I spent a lot of time traveling that year. I was living in northern Alaska at the time but spent a lot of time traveling for work.
The top singles of that year included “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John, “Barbie Girl” by Aqua, and “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt, among others. Inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 were the Bee Gees, Buffalo Sprinfield, Crosby Stills and Nash, the Jackson 5, Joni Mitchell, Parliament Funkadelic, and The Rascals. There were some music-related deaths that year as well, most notably, The Notorious B.I.G., John Denver, and Michael Hutchence.
So without further fanfare, here is the list of my ten favorite albums that were released in 1997.
10. The Donnas – The Donnas
This debut album by the all girl pop-punk band was released in January on Super Teem Records. It was re-released in 1998 by Lookout! Records.
Highlights of this album included “Hey, I’m Gonna Be Your Girl,” “I Don’t Wanna Go,” and “Do You Wanna Go Out With Me.”
9. Forever and Counting – Hot Water Music
Released in October on Doghouse Records. It was reissued in 2008 by No Idea Records and again in 2012 on Rise Records.
Highlights of this album included “Better Sense,” “Position,” and “Rest Assured.”
8. The Bouncing Souls – The Bouncing Souls
This New Brunswick, New Jersey based punk band released this full length, their third, in September on Epitaph Records.
Highlights of this album included “Kate is Great,” “Single Successful Guy,” “Whatever I Want,” and “Serenity.”
7. Singles 1-12 – Melvins
The only compilation to appear on this list. It was released in August on Amphetamine Reptile Records. It was a compilation of various 7 inch singles that the band released on Amphetamine Reptiles that were released in 1996.
Highlights of this album included “Lexicon Devil” (Germs cover), “Leech,” “Queen,” “Poison,” and “Dallas.”
6. Making Friends – No Use For a Name
Released in August on Fat Wreck Chords. It contains a hidden track of a cover of the KISS song “Beth.”
Highlights of this album included “Growing Down,” “On the Outside,” and “Fields of Athenry.”
5. Secret Samadhi – Live
York, Pennsylvania rock band Live released this album in February on Radioactive. It was certified double platinum in July 1999 and hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard chart.
Highlights of this album included “Rattlesnake,” “Lakini’s Juice,” “Ghost,” “Freaks,” and “Turn My Head.”
4. The Colour and the Shape – Foo Fighters
Released in May on Capitol Records. This was the first Foo Fighters album that was recorded as an actual group since the 1995 self-titled album was recorded entirely by Dave Grohl. It got as high as #10 on the U.S. Billboard chart and #3 on the UK Albums chart and was included on Kerrang magazines “100 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.”
Highlights of this album included “Monkey Wrench,” “My Hero,” “Everlong,” “Walking After You,” and “No Way Home.”
3. So Long and Thanks For All The Shoes – NOFX
Released in November on Epitaph Records.
Highlights of this album included “It’s My Job to Keep Punk Rock Elite,” “Murder the Government,” “Monosyllabic Girl,” “All Outta Angst,” “Kill Rock Stars,” and “Quart in Session.”
2. American Lesion – Greg Graffin
Released in November on Atlantic Records. It was re-released in 2008 on Epitaph Records. Greg Graffin released this solo album apart from his band Bad Religion and marked a major departure for him musically. It consists almost entirely of just Greg’s vocals accompanied by either a piano or an acoustic guitar.
Highlights of this album included “Opinion,” “Predicament,” “When I Fall,” “Maybe She Will,” and “Back to Earth.”
And my all-time favorite album from 1997 is…
1. Aftertaste – Helmet
New York City based post-hardcore/noise rock band Helmet released Aftertaste in November on Interscope Records. It marked the last album released by the band until their “reunion” in 2004 (reunion is in quotes because the only returning member was vocalist/guitarist Page Hamilton). It reached #47 on the U.S. Billboard chart.
Highlights of this album included “Pure,” “Exactly What You Wanted,” “Driving Nowhere,” “Birth Defect,” “Broadcast Emotion,” “Diet Aftertaste,” and “High Visibility.”