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 1993...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 18, 2012 12:38pm | Post a Comment
1993 and 1994 are probably two of my favorite years of the 90s. These were the best years of Britpop. Some amazing years for British music. Suede, Blur, Pulp, & The Verve all had amazing albums out these years. I had always been into British music since I remember ever being into music. New Wave & Goth in the 80s. And now Shoegaze & Britpop in the early and mid 90s. I gave myself a couple of rules when making these lists for the top ten of each year. I made sure to only pick one album for each artist. I didn't want the list to be a Blur and Suede album every year. So I picked my favorite album from each of those artists. And for the most part my favorite album was the album that introduced me to the band. Not necessarily the bands first album. But my first album by that band. The album that I think of when I think of that band. There are three American bands on my list this year. Still outnumbered by the British bands of course. I had for the most part stopped listening to the radio in 1993. Most of the bands I found out about were from 120 Minutes or Alternative Nation. I was also heavily influenced by my friends and roommates in 1993. This was the first year that I heard Suede, Slowdive & The Verve. I think I probably saw a Suede video when I heard them for the first time. I was hooked within the first couple seconds of the video. This was the band for me. I couldn't get enough of them throughout the rest of the 90s. I was already familiar with Blur but 1993 was really the first year that I really got obsessed with them.  Saint Etienne and Catherine Wheel were probably the albums that I listened to most this year. Where You Been by Dinosaur Jr.Star by Belly just barely didn't make my top ten this year. They were also both listened to a lot by me in 93 and 94. Here it is...my top 10 albums of 1993...

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out today 8/26...the verve...the week that was...

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 28, 2008 01:51pm | Post a Comment
blur
There are many bands over the years that I have been obsessed with. At one point it was Depeche Mode, The Cure, and The Smiths. Then it was Suede, Pulp, Blur, and The Verve. Once your obsession reaches a certain point, I think it never really goes away. Part of it is always there or it just builds and gets bigger and stronger. I have no doubt that these bands will be with me the rest of my life. Depeche Mode and The Cure are my Rolling Stones and The Who. The Smiths are my Beatles. My obsession can live on in Morrissey's solo career much like that of Paul McCartney does for fans of The Beatles. The Verve could not have come at a better time in my life. I sort of needed them. I needed a new band to latch on to and get obsessed with. My shoegaze bands like Ride, The Pale Saints, and Slowdive were starting to break up and dissolve away. The first Blur album had come out a couple of years prior to 1993, but I didn't really get into them until 1993. This was the year of the first Verve album, A Storm in Heaven and also the year of Blur's second album, Modern Life is Rubbish. The album that really made me a fan. 1993 was also the year of the self titledthe-verve album by Suede and my first Pulp album, His 'N' Hers. Pulp had already been around for a decade or so but I had never heard of them until 1993. I suddenly had all these new bands to obsess over. The albums were all excellent and easy to get obsessed with. Many of my friends, and most everyone else in the world, were all into Oasis, but I remember seeing Oasis in some interview and right then deciding that I didn't want to like this band..but they obviously played a part in this period of music. Their debut album Definitely Maybe would come out a year later in 1994. These bands were also all over the magazines and a lot of my friends were also getting into the same bands. It was just an exciting time for music.

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