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November 11, 2021


[Album 984 – 989 / 1001]

Of the ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die,’ 26 are from the year 1992.

I’ve reviewed all but 6 of them (Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92, Koffi Olomide – Haut de Gamme: Koweit, Rive Gauche, Morrissey – Your Arsenal, Baaba Maal – Lam Toro, R.E.M. Automatic for the People, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Devotional Songs) already.

Which 1992 albums are the most essential to hear again?

Ranked by their essential-ness, here’s how I’d prioritize revisiting these 26 albums, enjoy!



26. Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power. What did you say? Are you talking to me?!

25. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Devotional Songs.

24. Koffi Olomide – Haut de Gamme: Koweit, Rive Gauche.

23. Baaba Maal – Lam Toro.

22. Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92.

These rankings likely/probably/surely say more about me than the albums/artists themselves.

And when a new-to-me album doesn’t rank higher, I’ve realized in most cases, my ’emotional bandwidth’ at the time of listening was a big factor.

Since these final 100 albums or so were experienced during the pandemic / often during an extended online learning period, that’s a suboptimal listening context, and certainly impacted my initial impressions &/or desire to revisit.

Perhaps in an alternate timeline, these would be at the opposite end of the revisiting order?

21. Dr. Dre – The Chronic. One of three “Doctors” with debut albums & questionable medical credentials on the 1001 list!



20. Sonic Youth – Dirty. Their 5th of 5 appearances on the 1001 list.

19. Stereo MCs – Connected. Having the album helps its percentages – having the album on cassette, maybe doesn’t help it quite as much!

18. Ministry – Psalm 69. Cheers to my friend Jeff for lending me his CD.

17. Arrested Development – 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life of…. Some terrific singles (Everyday People, Tennessee, Mr. Wendel)

16. The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury.

15. The Pharcyde – Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde.

14. Ice Cube – The Predator.

A solid year for hip hop.

13. Spiritualized – Lazer Guided Melodies. Like the music, love the 4-song suite album idea!



12. Sugar – Copper Blue. A good mix of Sugar / Copper / Blue elements.

11. kd Lang – Ingenue. Her second of two.

10. Alice in Chains – Dirt. Them Bones especially.

9. Tom Waits – Bone Machine. His 5th of 5.

8. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Henry’s Dream. His first of a bunch of solo appearances.

7. PJ Harvey – Dry. Her first of three. Or as an artist of the week clue…



6. Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine. Bombtrack, what an opening riff.

5. Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes. Fabulous debut (and what a run of albums she had in the 90s).

4. Lemonheads – It’s A Shame About Ray. Bit Part has some of my favourite lyrics from the decade.

3. Morrissey – Your Arsenal. It’s getting more challenging to separate the solo artist from the art.

2. R.E.M. – Automatic for the People. Man on the Moon / Nightswimming / Find the River, what a closing trifecta!

1. Pavement – Slanted & Enchanted. Their first of two on the list. I gather they’ll be playing some shows in Europe in 2022, hoping they keep the momentum going and make a stop or two in Canada!




Verbalize the Positive

1992 – Fully Completely! Wish! Smeared! New Miserable Experience! What a year!

From → 1990s

  1. That’s a good year. I don’t mind Dirty as second to last either.

    • It’s funny as I imagine many would consider Pavement & Sonic Youth as comparable artists – but Pavement usually ends up near the top of these lists for me, Sonic Youth, less frequently!

      • They both kind of have a slacker vibe, but Pavement are more concise and accessible I think.

  2. 92 an interesting year for sure Geoff. Had a good chuckle when you wrote about the Dr having questionable medical credentials lol

    • Cheers, Deke – this ’92 – ’97 window is my favourite, as we talked about a bit the other night, such a great era for Can Con!

      • Can Con did rule back than…that is an episode in itself..we should consider that as well… Treblecharger, Static In Stereo, IME, so many to pick from…

      • Absolutely – and I was definitely a fan of all of the above, especially early treble charger!

  3. I remember that post well with the 3 doctor comparison. One of my favs (the post, not the album). Strange year as it is a very eclectic bunch there, but some really good ones (R.E.M.).

  4. LOL I had to know you’d slot Pavement #1! Top 5 for me are Rage, Waits, Alice In Chains and Pavement. Order tbd.

    • If Fully Completely had made the list, it would have been #1 naturally – but as a plan B, Slanted & Enchanted ain’t bad either!

  5. Oh, 1992 was the year that Def Leppard’s ‘Adrenalize’ and Bon Jovi’s ‘Keep the Faith’ were released!

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