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1991 Forever And Ever: 91 classic albums turning 30 in 2021

 

Any way you slice it, 1991 was a breathtaking year for music. On the alternative rock spectrum, the rise of grunge here in the States (Nirvana, Pearl Jam) was paralleled by first-strikes by some of the UK’s most impactful bands of the decade (Blur, Massive Attack), while albums regarded as all-time classics, from My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless to Spiderland by Slint, helped set a noisy tone for the rest of the ’90s.

Efforts from R.E.M. and Red Hot Chili Peppers ushered in a new popular sound, and September 24 brought perhaps the decade’s defining release: An LP called Nevermind that would sell more than 30 million copies worldwide, and by January of the New Year, in a symbolic moment of cultural shift, supplant Michael Jackson’s November record Dangerous as the Number 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart. Impactful hip-hop releases (Main Source’s Breaking Atoms, De La Soul’s De La Soul Is Dead, Black Sheep’s A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing) helped propel rap into mainstream culture in the coming years, and weathered titans of rock and roll — Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Ozzy, Motörhead — were duly represented as hair metal breathed its last gasp.

There’s no greater reason to embrace 2021 than being able to leave 2020 in the rearview, but this list of 91 albums turning 30 this year means we’ll be celebrating anniversary goodness throughout the calendar. (Note: Release dates have been pulled from a variety of online sources; report errors to editorial@vanyaland.com.)

 

January 4: Main Source, Breaking Atoms

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January 15: Gang Starr, Step In The Arena

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January 15: David Lee Roth, A Little Ain’t Enough

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January 21: Motörhead, 1916

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January 29: Jesus Jones, Doubt

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February 1: TAD, 8-Way Santa

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February 18: Throwing Muses, The Real Ramona

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February 19: Dinosaur Jr., Green Mind

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March 1: 808 State, ex:el

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March 4: Morrissey, Kill Uncle

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March 4: The KLF, The White Room

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March 12: R.E.M., Out of Time

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March 15: The Jesus Lizard, Goat

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March 25: Sepultura, Arise

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March 26: Mr. Big, Lean Into It

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March 27: Slint, Spiderland

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March 28: Roxette, Joyride

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April 1: Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, God Fodder

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April 1: Jawbox, Grippe

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April 2: Lenny Kravitz, Mama Said

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April 2: The Orb, The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld

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April 8: Massive Attack, Blue Lines

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April 16: Temple of the Dog, Temple of the Dog

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April 29: Chapterhouse, Whirlpool

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April 30: Boyz II Men, Cooleyhighharmony

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May 7: EMF, Schubert Dip

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May 14: Ice-T, O.G. Original Gangster

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May 14: De La Soul, De La Soul Is Dead

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May 14: Primus, Sailing The Seas of Cheese

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May 20: Seal, Seal

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May 22: Morbid Angel, Blessed Are The Sick

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May 27: Electronic, Electronic

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May 27: The Wedding Present, Seamonsters

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May 28: Smashing Pumpkins, Gish

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May 28: Jodeci, Forever My Lady

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May 28: NWA, Efil4zaggin

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June 3: Type O Negative, Slow, Deep and Hard

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June 4: Dangerous Toys, Hellacious Acres

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June 6: Swans, White Light from the Mouth of Infinity

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June 10: Siouxsie And The Banshees, Superstition

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June 11: Skid Row, Slave To The Grind

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June 18: Van Halen, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge

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June 25: L.A. Guns, Hollywood Vampires

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July 1: Geto Boys, We Can’t Be Stopped

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July 1: Green Day, 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours

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July 2: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Into The Great Wide Open

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July 22: LFO, Frequencies

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July 26: Mudhoney, Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge

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August 1: Fugazi, Steady Diet of Nothing

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August 6: P.M. Dawn, Of the Heart, of the Soul and of the Cross: The Utopian Experience

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August 12: Metallica, Metallica

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August 13: Cypress Hill, Cypress Hill

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August 13: Mr. Bungle, Mr. Bungle

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August 26: Blur, Leisure

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August 27: Pearl Jam, Ten

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August 30: Tesla, Psychotic Supper

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September 2: Slowdive, Just For A Day

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September 3: Naughty By Nature, Naughty By Nature

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September 16: Saint Etienne, Foxbase Alpha

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September 16: Talk Talk, Laughing Stock

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September 17: Guns N’ Roses, Use Your Illusion I

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September 17: Guns N’ Roses, Use Your Illusion II

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September 17: Mariah Carey, Emotions

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September 17: Hole, Pretty On The Inside

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September 17: Ozzy Osbourne, No More Tears

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September 23: Kyuss, Wretch

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September 23: Primal Scream, Screamadelica

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September 23: Pixies, Trompe le Monde

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September 24: Nirvana, Nevermind

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September 24: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blood Sugar Sex Magik

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September 24: The Cult, Ceremony

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September 24: A Tribe Called Quest, The Low End Theory

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September 24: Soundgarden, Badmotorfinger

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September 24: Prong, Prove You Wrong

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September 30: Orbital, Orbital

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September 30: Swervedriver, Raise

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October 1: Prince, Diamonds and Pearls

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October 1: Public Enemy, Apocalypse ’91… The Enemy Strikes Black

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October 14: Erasure, Chorus

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October 22: Del The Funky Homosapien, I Wish My Brother George Was Here

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October 22: Black Sheep, A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

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October 22: Matthew Sweet, Girlfriend

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October 29: Ice Cube, Death Certificate

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November 4: My Bloody Valentine, Loveless

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November 5: Corrosion of Conformity, Blind

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November 18: U2, Achtung Baby

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November 19: Teenage Fanclub, Bandwagonesque

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November 26: Michael Jackson, Dangerous

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December 17: Green Day, Kerplunk

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Unknown: Dag Nasty, 85-86

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Unknown: Operation Ivy, Operation Ivy

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