Amoeblog

The 20 Best Shoegaze Albums

Posted by Billy Gil, March 7, 2014 06:21pm | Post a Comment

Islowdivenspired by the reunion of shoegaze greats Slowdive, Amoeblogger Brad Schelden and I have compiled our list of favorite shoegaze albums.

For any who don’t know, shoegaze is a style of music rooted in the noise pop of The Jesus & Mary Chain and dream pop of Cocteau Twins from the early ’80s. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, bands took elements put forth by those bands—loud, distorted guitars, heavily reverbed vocals and emphasis on atmosphere over discernable lyrics—and came up with a new sound, first truly realized by My Bloody Valentine on their classic 1988 album, Isn’t Anything. Shoegaze (or shoegazing) was a term NME and Melody Maker in the U.K. used to describe the visual representation of the sound from bands who rose in My Bloody Valentine’s wake, depicting bands’ apparent lack of movement onstage and propensity to stare down at their numerous effects pedals. The genre hit its heyday in the early ’90s but persists today, with bands like My Bloody Valentine and Swervedriver reuniting and artists like M83 and Diiv using elements of their sound (so-called nu-gaze, but I’ll avoid that terrible term). So with that lengthy explanation, here we go.

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The 90s...the best albums of 1992...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 26, 2012 06:00pm | Post a Comment
1992 was a big deal for many reasons. This was my last year of High School. The year I turned 18. My last year living at home. It was also my first year at college. My first year living away from home. And another year that I got even more obsessed with music. And it all happened 20 years ago! Hard to believe. By 1992 I had really worn out my copy of Disintegration by The Cure. So I was ready for the new Cure album. Wish was released in March of 1992. It would really become the album that I most associate with 1992. I can remember listening to it for the first time. It became the album that I would listen to most throughout the summer and well into 1993. I was still primarily listening to cassettes at this point. I don't think I got a CD player until 1993. I held out for a while for some reason. The Cure was one of the first bands whose catalog I upgraded to CD as soon as I got a CD player. 1992 was also the year that I discovered Lush, Curve & Pale Saints! The year I discovered Bjork & The Sugarcubes. The first time I heard PJ Harvey and Red House Painters. These bands would all become a huge part of my musical life throughout the 90s. I became a lifelong fan of both PJ Harvey and Red House Painters. And I seriously can't imagine my life without these guys. I was still listening to a lot of radio in 1992. KROQ was starting to become a bit annoying this year though. It seemed that every other song was Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers or U2. I didn't like any of those bands and had to constantly change the station whenever they came on. But KROQ still played a lot of Morrissey & The Cure. It is where I first heard Lush, The Sugarcubes, The Lemonheads, James, Cause & Effect, Catherine Wheel, Soup Dragons, St. Etienne, Curve & Utah Saints. So I did still manage to listen to it quite a bit. I also watched 120 Minutes every Sunday. Dave Kendall was the host until 1992 when Lewis Largent took over. 1992 was also the first year of Alternative Nation on MTV. I became a big fan of this show and its host Kennedy! She probably annoyed most people. But I loved her. And I loved being introduced to new bands by watching their videos. 120 Minutes was always cooler though. There was too much Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers on Alternative Nation just like on KROQ. Just to give you an idea of what was being played on KROQ in LA here is their top 20 songs of 1992...

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under the Bridge
2. Pearl Jam - Jeremy
3. The Cure - A Letter to Elise
4. Nirvana - Come As You Are
5. U2 - One
6. Toad the Wet Sprocket - All I Want
7. Shakespear's Sister - Stay
8. Pearl Jam - Even Flow
9. Morrissey - Tomorrow
10. R.E.M. - Drive
11. James - Born of Frustration
12. Sugarcubes - Hit
13. The Cure - Friday I'm in Love
14. Temple of the Dog - Hunger Strike
15. L7 - Pretend that We're Dead
16. Peter Gabriel - Digging in the Dirt
17. The Charlatans - Weirdo
18. Cause & Effect - You Think You Know Her
19. Annie Lennox - Why
20. Alice in Chains - Would

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coming out today 11/20...rhino brit box...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 20, 2007 10:49pm | Post a Comment
Rhino has finally decided to put out a special box set just for me. If I could imagine up any box set to best describe me and capture my little world of music, it would look something like this new brilliant box set released today by Rhino. The new "Brit Box" is a 4 cd set of the british music from the 80's and 90's that made me who I am. I have many mix tapes that resemble a lot of what is included in this box. Some of them made by me and many made by friends. I can remember the exact moment that I heard some of the songs on this box for the first time. The exact moment that I went to a record store in search of the albums from these artists. There are 78 songs by 78 different artists in this box.

The box is officially called "The Brit Box: U.K. Indie, Shoegaze, and Brit Pop Gems of the Last Millennium." It really looks awesome. The box is shaped like one of those red telephone booths in England. I have never seen one up close but we all know what they look like. It even has a working light. It also comes with an 80 page book of interviews and photos. It includes essays by Alan Mcgee, Stephen Street, and Alan Moulder. It drives me a little crazy when box sets or collections have a random order to the track listing. So it made me happy to see that the tracks are all in a basic order. The box set is not perfect. But it comes really close. I own or have owned at one point almost all of the songs in this box. If I didn't own one of the albums that all these songs were on, then I definitely had a close friend that did. I might have picked a couple different songs for some of these artists and I probably would have included a couple more artists. But overall, the box is very impressive. I really can't wait to open one up and read all those interviews and stories in that fancy little booklet. And I can not wait to listen to all these songs again. I have never stopped listening to most of the bands in this box. The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, The Stone Roses, Lush, Suede, Blur, & Pulp remain some of my favorite bands. It is really hard to even put into words the lasting effect that these bands have had on me and on a whole generation of music fans.

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top 12 british albums of the early 90's...that need reissues!

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 27, 2007 07:30pm | Post a Comment
In my continuing series of lists, here is my next list. I was thinking again about how much I love the reissues. Those great 2 CD remastered deluxe versions. I get very excited when my favorite albums get the deluxe treatment. There has been a lot of deluxing over the last couple years of some of my favorites from the 70's and 80's.

But not much from that very important time in music which was the early 90's. I might be a bit biased about this period since this is also the period in which I graduated high school and started college. A period when my obsession with music and bands really developed. There have already been some great Slowdive and Pulp reissues, so those will not be on the list. The first two Ride albums "Going Blank Again" and "Nowhere" have also been reissued. But all these reissues are just imports, so I'm still hopeful they will be cheaper domestic versions out soon. There is a possibility that Morrissey will be going back to Warner! He is currently without a label again. Which is great news, since that is where his catalogue as well as the Smith's resides. It can't be too long until we see some great Rhino style Smiths and Morrissey reissues!

I originally was going to go through my CDs and just grab the ones that stood out from the 90s. When I was done, I looked at all the albums and realized all the bands were from England and all the albums were put out in the early 90's. I also realized these were the dirtiest and most used CD's in my collection. They have been through a lot and have been played many times and traveled all up and down the coast of California. It started out as 10 but quickly changed to 12. I could have easily went on and made a list of 25 but I had to stop somewhere. So here it is....My list of the top 12 british albums of the early 90's that I would like to see reissued...


Lush "Spooky" (1992) 4AD/Reprise

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