Every weekday in the month of February, we’re looking at one of the most important albums of the last 40 years.
Listen at the top of every hour during the workday, as we play a track from the album, give you a bit of history and explain why it made the list.
It’s the big hits, the album cuts and maybe even a B-side here and there.
Kurt Cobain became very unhappy with how polished their massive breakthrough Nevermind was. For their 1993 follow-up album, Cobain wanted it to sound muddier, more distorted, and less pop. The band was extremely focused and worked hard, with two or three takes for each song. The album came out and it was a success and…Continue Reading
Perfectionism would be a problem that would basically end Guns N’ Roses, but in 1987 it helped them create the perfect album. All the band members wrote different tracks; Axl recorded each line one by one; Slash discovered his guitar sound; and 18-hour days from an engineer all combined to get it to sound perfect.…Continue Reading
Dave Grohl recorded the first Foo Fighters album all by himself. For the second record he had put a band together and started to work differently. The producer of the record polished up their sound and Grohl wrote much more from the heart. He wrote about his marriage crumbling, his frustrations with the band and…Continue Reading
Blink-182 were at the height of their popularity when it came time to record the follow up to Enema of the State. The recording sessions were extremely difficult as each of the three band members had very different ideas of what the group should sound like. The record label was also actively involved and, in…Continue Reading
In 1983, Mötley Crüe were the kings of the Sunset Strip. They signed a big record contract and released an album that immediately got them in trouble. Shout at the Devil reached the ire of Tipper Gore and countless other parenting groups. This only made them more popular and soon their mix of glam and…Continue Reading
Sublime was poised to have major success by 1996. Their indie releases had created a huge amount of buzz and now they had a major label, a big-time producer and amazing songs. Sadly, lead singer Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose before he could see how successful the record would be. Producing giant hits…Continue Reading
Eddie Van Halen was tired of not having control. He was mad at producers, record labels and managers so he built his own studio. From there, he started to record 1984. He wanted synths on the album, he wanted every song to be a bit different and he wanted, more than anything else, no cover…Continue Reading
This is the album that turned Tool into a prog-metal band. They had toured straight for two years and had become much better musicians and were ready to put those skills to the test. Maynard James Keenan tried to erase some of the negativity in his life before writing this album and, for the first…Continue Reading
Billy Corgan said that he wanted to create an album that would be the ’90s version of “The Wall”. He decided to use different producers than the Pumpkins had previously worked with to create a very different sound than 1993’s Siamese Dream. The album ventured from hard rock to synth-based to even a full orchestra.…Continue Reading
MTV started to create a buzz for Def Leppard before Pyromania hit stores in 1983. The band could feel the momentum and went into a London studio and worked on choruses, riffs, and bridges that they would take to uber-producer Mutt Lange who basically built them into songs. This was also a transition for the…Continue Reading
The end of the ’90s saw the rise in rap rock but Linkin Park was a bit different than some of the other bands of that era. You can hear influences of everyone from Depeche Mode to the Deftones. The album was so popular upon release that it was selling about 100,000 copies a week…Continue Reading
Ozzy was out of Black Sabbath and really down on his luck. With a kick in the ass from Sharon, he started to audition musicians for a solo album. Randy Rhoads was immediately a stand out and the rest of the band fell into place. Randy was a massive inspiration to Ozzy and even though…Continue Reading
1995’s One Hot Minute was a big flop for the Chili Peppers. The use of new guitarist Dave Navarro plus the focus on rock over their traditional funk/punk combo was a real disappointment. The band righted the ship with 1999’s Californication. Guitarist John Frusicante rejoined the band and Anthony Kiedis and John started to write…Continue Reading
Slippery When Wet was the album that made Bon Jovi one of the biggest bands in the world. They toured over a year on that album, took a month off, and started working on the follow up. They wrote 34 songs with assistance from outside songwriters. They held a focus group of fans and played…Continue Reading
It is very difficult to make your sophomore album better than your debut, but STP accomplished that with 1994’s Purple. Moving away from the meat and potatoes grunge rock of 1992’s Core, the band embraced their love of AM radio and amped up their pop sensibilities to create this masterpiece. The band would go on…Continue Reading
The comeback that began with 1987’s Permanent Vacation continued two years later for Aerosmith thanks to 1989’s Pump. Pump showed that the newly sober rock band could be different then some of their ’70s contemporaries. Instead of relying on the style that made them famous, they adjusted to sound more like the hair metal/hard rock…Continue Reading
The album where Metallica cut their hair and changed their logo… It had been five years since they released their genre defining Black Album. They were the biggest hard rock band in the world and they decided to try something different. A lot of fans were mad and thought the band had abandoned their heavy…Continue Reading
Green Day was a San Francisco punk band that put out two records on the independent Lookout label, but in 1994 they released their major label debut and a record that made punk rock the most popular sound in the country. An album full of Generation X problems, dirty jokes and Ramones-style riffs, Dookie went…Continue Reading
AC/DC needed a hit album. Their record company was all over them to create something special and the hiring of producer Mutt Lange was just what they needed. Mutt kept an out-of-hand Bon Scott focused and managed to take their hard rock sound and clean it up. The record label was completely freaked out by…Continue Reading
After their tremendous breakthrough with Ten, Pearl Jam was faced with the task of trying to capitalize on that success with sophomore album. They road-tested many of the songs and when they finally released Vs. in 1993, they sold more copies in a single week than any album in history. Seven million copies later, this…Continue Reading