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Top 5 “smells like ’94”

December 18, 2014

Next up on the time travel calendar: it was 20 years ago today this year.

In lieu of a Top 5 albums, a Top 5 quintessential sounds of 1994.  I wouldn’t say these examples sound “dated” per se; more so that a few notes ought to instantly transport listeners back exactly two decades.

Enjoy the trip!

5. smells like…Grade 8 dance
Boyz II Men, On Bended Knee

No vocal group did a better job at helping boys dance arm-length apart from their middle school crushes!


4. smells like…Unplugged
Nirvana, The Man Who Sold the World

Other groups did the unplugged routine first, others had arguably superior performances.  None anywhere near as iconic as the Nirvana set.


3. smells like…Woodstock
Green Day, When I Come Around

20 years later, I still have next to no idea what Billy Joe is singing in the verses.  I also might hesitate before putting what appears to be a divot of grass in my mouth; perhaps that’s why they put on a much better live show!


2. smells like…Britpop
Blur, Parklife

The middle years of the decade were also a golden age for music from across the pond.


1. smells like…Some of the best music of all-time.
Jeff Buckley, Grace

Oh who am I kidding, I can’t not do a Top 5 Albums!  Too many 1994 honourable mentions to mention, here goes:
5) Grace
4) Parklife
3) Day For Night
2) Twice Removed
1) The blue album


Albums by Suede & Soundgarden are celebrating their vicennial on the blog this week, enjoy!

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  1. jprobichaud permalink

    Some great great albums in 1994. Hard to argue with any of your picks.

    • Thank you sir – and for anyone reading the comments, I practically insist you go to and follow along with the Top 50 songs of ’94!

      • jprobichaud permalink

        Thanks for the plug. I’m looking forward to your post on Dog Man Star by the way.

      • Anytime – and as you might imagine, the review will be favourable!

  2. You know those survey emails that still go around today? “What is Geoff’s favourite band?” etc?

    A guy I knew named Freddy answered his survey questions thusly in 1994:

    “What is Mike’s favourite band?”
    A – Boyz II Men. Because he has a whole freaking case of them.

    It was true! At the store had a box with 100 copies of Boyz II Men II behind the counter, a sight to behold. That album was HUGE.

    • 100 copies would definitely qualify as a whole freaking case!

      • I have to admit it was a funny sight. We had 100 of those, and another case with 50 copies of Madonna’s Bedtime Stories that Christmas.

  3. Agree on Parklife and Grace!

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