Two decades ago my life and popular music both changed forever – almost simultaneously.
My biggest concern at the time was that my marriage was ending. I was too young to be a divorcee, but then again, I was too young to be married and have a baby girl too. But sometimes things just are what they are, and you do the best with what you’ve got.
(This blog was originally much longer, going into much more detail about my life in 1991, but I decided this morning that it was just too personal to post on the internet. That’s also why I’m a bit later than normal getting it out there.)
But since music was and is part of my life (see previous post) – that very painful year had a soundtrack. Two of my favorite bands in the world released fantastic albums that even many critics hail as among the best in their respective catalogs. REM released by far their biggest commercial success, Out Of Time – and U2 released the incredible Achtung Baby.
But as much as those two albums mean to me personally, it was the less established bands that really made that year what it was. They came out of nowhere and injected a much needed spark into a music scene that was getting old and worn out. 1991 was the year of plaid flannel and dirty hair. It was the year that Grunge and Alternative Rock rose to power.
Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Matthew Sweet all released albums within just a few month time-frame that affected me on a very deep and visceral level – and also affected the trajectory of the music industry as a whole.
For me – it was personal. These albums exhibited the energy, emotion, and youthfulness that I needed to deal with the situations that I faced at just that moment. And for that reason, they will always be a part of who I am.
Here is just a taste of the soundtrack that was 1991: