10 Reasons 1994 Was the Best Year for Music

Categories: Lists

Nirvana.jpg
Courtesy of the label
Was 1994 the best year for pop music in history? Quite possibly.

Sure, some of it was terrible, but overall it was amazing: Nordic black metal, Britpop, pop punk, trip hop, and the best R&B of the '90s. (Boyz II Men were peaking). Hip-hop's Golden Age was winding down, but a new, arguably more compelling era for the genre was beginning, with the debut works from Nas and Biggie Smalls. Green Day would establish pop punk as a force for years to come, while across the pond Oasis and Blur were stirring the pot. Hole, meanwhile, unleashed a powerful post-feminist statement. It was also the year Beck gave slackers a good name.

But that's just part of the story. Here are 10 reasons why 1994 was the best year for music, ever.

See also: The 10 Best Male Rappers of All Time

transilvanianhunger.jpg
Darkthrone - Transilvanian Hunger

10. Black-Metal Renaissance
If the '80s were metal's glory days, 1994 was Nordic black metal's renaissance. Darkthrone released Transilvanian Hunger -- a masterpiece that set Norway on fire. Emperor's In the Nightside Eclipse was Nordic black metal's boldest statement, making black metal into fine art.

aceofbase.jpg
Ace of Base - The Sign

9. The Glory Days of Pop
Pop music was ridiculously diverse in 1994. In the same year, R Kelly's "Bump n' Grind" became one of R&B's biggest singles, and Ace of Base's "The Sign" ruled the charts. The sweet satisfaction of rock-pop classics like Counting Crows' "Mr. Jones" and Sheryl Crow's "All I Wanna Do" will never happen again, in the same year where Mariah Carey released the greatest Christmas album in history.

DefinitelyMaybeOasis2PR200712.jpg
Oasis - Definitely Maybe

8. Britpop Was Born
When a new sense of hope drove the British youth to chew up "anti-grunge" bands like Blur and Oasis, the two groups would ignite nationalistic pride that culminated in the release of Oasis' Definitely Maybe, a working-class rocker that went on to become one of England's most popular albums ever. Twenty years later, the Brits are still losing their shit over a possible Oasis reunion.

Live_Through_This.jpg
Hole - Live Through This

7. Women Ruled
Part of Sarah McLachlan's inspiration for Lilith Fair was rooted in the goings-on of 1994, when Liz Phair and Tori Amos were in their creative primes, The Cranberries were writing protest songs, and Hole were body slamming men on tour. It also signaled the debut of Veruca Salt, and the first time a woman (Roseanne) would host the MTV VMAs.

Pulp_Fiction_OST_-_LP_RECORD-495479.jpg
Pulp Fiction Movie Poster

6. The Best Film Soundtracks
Besides the goth gems off The Crow soundtrack, 1994 also was the year of The Lion King soundtrack, Above the Rim, Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia" and Pulp Fiction. And while the Reality Bites soundtrack wasn't particularly great, it did give us Lisa Loeb singing "Stay" in an NYC apartment -- filmed by Ethan Hawke (true story).


My Voice Nation Help
106 comments
bgoad
bgoad

just now

anytime my kid could be being abused or molested one time is too many read markie mc night


just now

READ SISTER OF MELODY GOODMAN LOOKING FOR DENNIS-GORDON AND DRAG QUEEN OF THEM ALL TUCSON CASS-MELODY -DIED SISTER I NEED HELP SHHHHHHH MARKERRY-REMEMBER ME -TUCSON YOU WERE AND PHOENIX-MELODY BEAUTIFUL MODEL LIKE GIA KILLED BY FAMILY SHIT! READ MARKIE MC NIGHT


11 days ago

READ SEE THE FRIEND IN THIS VIDEO CLIP THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON MOST PEOPLE HAVE BETRAYED ME CAREFUL IT COULD BE YOUR SPOUSE AND YOU COULD NEVER KNOW OR YOUR BEST FRIEND OR YOUR DOCTOR -MINE I THINK WAS GOING TO LET THEM KILL ME-HE IS INVOLVED DR BEACH READ MARKIE MC NIGHT I NEED DR PHIL DR BEACH HAD A CON MAN IN HIS OFFICE THAT DATED PEGGY AND WAS ON DR PHIL-MY MEDICAL RECORDS WERE STOLEN TOO-WATCH YOURS READ MARKIE MC NIGHTEdit (in 6 minutes)


Kerry Goad6 minutes ago via YouTubeOnly Me
  • READ THEME MY LIFE MARKERRY SOLL GOAD -MARKIE MC NIGHT SISTER TO DARROW K SOLL KILLED NO SUICIDE -I AM A MEDIUM PROPHET DANGEROUS HERE CAN NOT CALL PEOPLE THEY HAVE TRIED TO DRUG AND KILL ME MANY TIMES I CALL POLICE AND THEY WILL AGAIN CHILD STOLEN BY CPS HUGE RING THEY SELL CHILDREN SEX AND MORE -I GREW UP IN IT-FAMILY-GOVERNOR AND SHERIFF DIRTY CAREFUL VERY -MANY COPS DEAD I GET THEM SEAN DRENTH AND LARRY DEVER -MYRON CHISEM-A FEW DIED I THINK BECAUSE OF ME -READ MARKIE MC NIGHT WATCH SKULLS MOST LAYERS IN THIS TOWN ROGER MORRIS-ED NOVAK MOST PUBLIC DEFENDERS CPS-NEED NON DIRTY FBI JOHN SANDWEG FUCKED ME AND HIS DAD IS IN THE FBI READ MARKERRY SOLL CHILD KENNEDY KORY I NEED HER ASAP-SHE IS LIKE ME THEY WANT HER DOWN NAMED AFTER DARROW READPelican Brief Trailerwww.youtube.comFirst-rate legal thriller based on John Grisham's #1 bestseller. http://www.johngrishamonline.com
LikeLike · · Subscribe on YouTube · SharePelican Brief TrailerPelican Brief TrailerEdit (in 6 minutes)Pelican Brief TrailerPelican Brief TrailerEdit (in 5 minutes)Pelican Brief TrailerEdit (in 6 minutes)Pelican Brief TrailerPelican Brief TrailerEdit (in 6 minutes)Pelican Brief TrailerDeleteShare

Timothy Nolan
Timothy Nolan

Sure… if you were born in 1984 (that's why these things are dumb).

Andrew Creech
Andrew Creech

Put the spoon and lighter down, VV writer. Sheeshus. First of all, this is about as subjective as it gets. Second of all, no one was alive prior to say 1920 to tell us how good it was back then. Third, 1994 lacked the virtuosos other years had side-by-side with incredible songwriters like Cobain. What a waste of time.

Adrian Gorgonio
Adrian Gorgonio

I think it was during one day in the year of the fox...

Lori Honulik
Lori Honulik

♥♥1994?!?! KURT C?!?! Seriously?!?! Sorry if I offend anyone, but, but, but I happen to like my music to be inspirational, rejoicing, fun and powerful. He was a tortured soul with a lot of problems. I am sad he was like that and sad he ended up like he did, but I don't feel bad for people who go that route. It is a choice they make. Either see your life and be ecstatic you have it or change what you want. Don't take the easy way out and hurt your loved ones. That is a very selfish act, in my opinion. And, if you are miserable with your own life, don't drag everyone else down with you. ♥♥

anthonya
anthonya

@scruffytheyak it's a bit of an exaggeration and there are some weak points in the piece, but 1994 did have an impressive batch of albums.

anthonya
anthonya

@scruffytheyak it's a bit of an exaggeration and there are some weak points in the piece, but 1994 did have a killer batch of albums

David Betak
David Betak

You folks are a Riot!!! This year would not even crack my top ten list!?

Chris Quintano
Chris Quintano

Zed Liu right!!! So glad to have been a part of it!

Zed Liu
Zed Liu

Chris Quintano it turns out we're right!!

Robert Cardinelle
Robert Cardinelle

If you are a damn weirdo 1999 was a mediocre best. Get real! 1999 was a boat load of copy cats regurgitating sounds and perverting them that had already been done and come before them. 1999 was definitely about the mass exposure and the money, over value-added. creative, originality and the heart of music.

Mike Katzman
Mike Katzman

1994 might've been the last best year for music, but 1973 and/or 1974 are top contenders for that title.

David Betak
David Betak

Bullcr***p! You are so funny! It definitely is not the best year in music. Not even close.

Nick du Plessis
Nick du Plessis

I think in '94 I decided it was a good time to get more into jazz and classical.

Elena Louvros
Elena Louvros

Sorry, but whenever I see a pic of Kurt Cobain I don't see an iconic musician. I see a sullen and moody coward who left his daughter fatherless.

Joseph Daniel Kennedy
Joseph Daniel Kennedy

maybe the best year for people born 1980 and onward... which I am a part of,and would concede is mostly true, maybe just 92-94ish in generaly, but definitely numerous better years in the 60s and 70s.

Jeff Skinner
Jeff Skinner

1994 was a very good year, but 1976 was the best year. Every song in '94 was born out of the music created in '76.

John Bailo
John Bailo

The 90s seem less important as time wears on.

Quay Quayhaylaya
Quay Quayhaylaya

Yeah good point. That's the year the whiny dissatisfied jerk off Cobaine offed himself. I see where you're going with this.

Steven Hlavac
Steven Hlavac

They point to "Ace of Base" as one of the reasons??? Geez, I just threw up a little in my mouth... :)

Beth Pagni O'Malley
Beth Pagni O'Malley

I totally agree.....was living in Seattle at the time and the scene there was beyond amazing. You could actually listen to the radio and hear decent music.

Max Goransson
Max Goransson

'94 was definitely not nearly the best year for music.

BackToTheFuture
BackToTheFuture

The #1 reason why 1994 was the best year for music ever: 


Because it's 20 years later, the gap when cultural nostalgia kicks in hard.  And publications are always desperate whores for page clicks and "sparking debate."


Ten years from now, it will be amazing to reflect on the timeless significance of Ken Jennings, "The Passion of the Christ" and Usher's "Yeah."

Now Trending

New York Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...