1995 – The Greatest Year in Music?

If you are new to the site, I started this series with the year 1987 and then noticed that 1991 and 1983 were also a couple of the greatest years in music.  I got to thinking, was there a pattern that every 4 years we have another great year in music.  Well, I am not sure the theory held up for me with 1979, but now I am exploring the year 1995. If you want to explore the other years, click on the link below…

1979 – The Greatest Year in Music?

1983 – The Greatest Year in Music?

1987 – The Greatest Year in Music?

1991 – The Greatest Year in Music?

Will 1995 be another great year or is my theory fully debunked with this year.  Let us explore and see and then decide a the end.  But first we have to ask What were the top albums of the year?, What were the debut albums from some of the great rock bands? and What was going on in the world of music that year?


1995 didn’t have any major news story that changed music like 1979 with the Sony Walkman and 1983 with the release of the CD, but a couple big stories did happen.

KISS_UnpluggedOn August 9th, a major even happened in the history of Kiss.  Kiss performed on MTV’s Unplugged series.  That in and of itself was nothing special, but some special guests were invited up on the stage and out walked Ace & Peter.  It was the first time in 16 years the original members of Kiss (Gene, Paul, Peter & Ace) had played together.  It was so well received that the following year, Kiss put their make-up back on and the first reunion tour was kicked off and the Kiss Unplugged album was finally released.  This event started it off.

Rock_and_Roll_Hall_of_Fame,_May_2016On September 1st, The opening of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame happened in Cleveland, OH.  No matter how controversial each year’s picks are and who is excluded from that list, everyone deep down loves the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  If you were in Cleveland, you would go so go ahead and admit it.  I don’t know if I will ever make it to the HOF as I am not sure I have any reason other than that to go to Cleveland…sorry Cleveland, I can’t think of a lot you have to offer (let the hate mail begin).


Post-Grunge was King and so was Hip-Hop and since I am an old school Rock guy, forgive me if I miss some crucial albums from this year that I am just not familiar with in the least.  I will do my best and try to capture as much as I can.

Alanis_Morissette_-_Jagged_Little_Pill.jpgAlanis Morrisette – Jagged Little Pill – (June 13th):  This was Alanis’ third album, but it was her Worldwide Debut as no one outside of Canada had heard of her. The album would go on to sell over 33 million albums around the world.  It was epic!  With 6 singles and hits such as “Ironic”, “You Oughta Know” and “Hand in My Pocket”, there was no going anywhere without hearing this gem.  She was talking about things in a way that really resonated with woman and everyone at the time and became very impactful.

Radiohead.bends.albumartRadiohead – The Bends – (March 13th): The band moved away from their heavily grunge influenced debut ‘Pablo Honey’, but still delivered a powerful and well-received sophomore album.  The album sold more than 3 million copies and I love the song ‘High and Dry’ as well as “Fake Plastic Trees” and “Planet Telex”.  It wound up on a number of magazines Top Albums of the year for 1995.  The album became a huge influence for the British Pop movement.

Oasis_-_(What's_The_Story)_Morning_Glory_album_coverOasis – What’s the Story (Morning Glory) – (October 2nd): The Gallagher Brothers released their second studio album and damn, what an album.  It took them to whole other level and made the worldwide superstars.  With songs like “Wonderwall”, “Don’t Look Back in Anger” and “Champagne Supernova”, I was immediately a fan.  One of my favorite albums of the year and it would go on to sell over 15 million albums so I wasn’t the only one that liked it.

Shania_Twain_-_The_Woman_in_MeShania Twain – The Woman in Me – (February 7th): In the world of Country Music, you don’t get much bigger than Shania.  And in 1995, it was the beginning of a huge Country music explosion.  This wasn’t as big as her next album, but without it, there woudn’t be Shania Twain.  When Mutt Lange got a hold of her (literally and figuratively), he turned her into a megastar and people that never listened to Country music now did.  The album sold over 10 million copies and gave us 8 freaking singles.

Coolio_-_Gangsta's_ParadiseCoolio – Gangsta’s Paradise – (November 21st):  The biggest selling single of the year came from this album.  The top-selling song “Gangsta’s Paradise”.  The song came from the Michelle Pfieffer movie ‘Dangerous Minds’ and was such a cultural phenomenon that Weird Al Yankovic did a parody of it much to the disdain of Coolio.  I am not a huge hip hop fan, but this was a great song and well deserved its many accolades.

download-15Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness – (October 23rd): This was the band’s third album, but my first in their world.  I really loved the songs “1979” and “Tonight, Tonight” among others.  The album went immediately to #1 on the Billboard Charts and has been certified Diamond Status with over 10 million units sold.  It is too bad in 2018 there is so much drama within the band.

WhiteZombie-AstroCreep2000White Zombie – Astro-Creep: 2000 – (April 11th):  This was my introduction to Rob Zombie.  Sadly, it was the final White Zombie album and then we would have a bunch of Rob Zombie solo albums.  This album went to #2 on the Billboard 200 and has sold over 3 million copies.  It brought us songs such as “More Human Than Human” and “Electric Head Part 2” and the band went a little more industrial in their sound then in previous releases.

No_Doubt_-_Tragic_Kingdom-1No Doubt – Tragic Kingdom – (October 10th):  It wasn’t the bands debut album, it was their third, but it was the first to introduce us to Gwen Stefani.  The album went to #1 and sold over 10 million copies.  Gwen introduced mainstream radio to Ska and such huge hits as “Just A Girl”, “Spiderwebs” and “Don’t Speak”.  She would later go on to solo fame before making even more hits with No Doubt.  Now she is a punchline when you here Blake Shelton’s name.  Talk about tragic.

There were two albums that I really enjoyed and I think are worth noting…

DC_Talk_-_Jesus_Freakdc Talk – Jesus Freak – (November 21st):  The Christian hip hop band went more rap rock with their now classic album.  It was the one of the biggest selling albums in its first week for a Christian artist at 80,000 copies and has gone on to be known as one of the most important Christian albums of all time.  It gave us classic songs such as my personal favorite “Jesus Freak” as well as “Colored People” and “What If I Stumble”.  I just picked this up on vinyl this past year.

Collective_Soul_Self-TitledCollective Soul – Collective Soul – (March 14th):  The band’s second album and the one that did it for me.  I like their debut, but this was more to my liking.  More rock, less alternative rock.  The Georgia band brought us some great songs including “Gel”, “December” and “The World I Know”. Ed Roland and company would solidify themselves where I now buy their albums sight unseen…and have never been disappointed!!


The debut albums from bands this year was quite incredible.  Some of these are the best albums of the year.  So why don’t I quit yapping and get to them…

FooFighters-FooFightersFoo Fighters – Foo Fighters – (July 4th): Dave Grohl finds new ground after the end of Nirvana and the death of Kurt Cobain.  Dave goes from behind the drum set to take on the lead singing role and to everyone’s surprise…Damn!!  What a great job he did.  The hard rocking sound brought is 6 singles including “This is a Call”, “I’ll Stick Around” and “For All the Cows” among others.  This was the start of a band that is still going strong 20+ years later.

Jewel_-_Pieces_of_YouJewel – Pieces of You – (February 28th):  Another big album this year was the debut of Jewel.  Her folk rock/pop sound took the airwaves by storm and was actually a stark contrast to Alanis Morrisette.  Her album went to #4 and has sold over 15 million albums worldwide.  It brought such jewels (see what I did there) as “Who Will Save Your Soul”, “You Were Meant For Me” and “Foolish Games”. The Alaskan princess went on to really great things.

Filter_shortbusFilter – Short Bus – (May 8th):  Richard Patrick took Trent Reznor’s advice and went his own path and formed his own band called Filter and we are so glad he did.  Filter brings us an intense industrial rock/metal sound that gets better with age.  The debut gave us the Filter classic “Hey Man Nice Shot”.  Filter is still going strong today although it is only Richard that is still an original member…it is his baby so that is fine.

LedbetterHeightsKenny Wayne Sheppard – Ledbetter Heights – (September 19th):  Another great product of the year was blues artist Kenny Wayne Sheppard.  Kenny was only 18 years old and he could sing and play one mean ass guitar.  It is one of the few blues releases to actually have mainstream success and would go on to reach Platinum status. Kenny is still killing today and he might be even better now.


The Remaining debut albums for the year worth noting are as follows (and there are a ton of debuts):

Slash's_Snakepit_It's_Five_O'Clock_Somewhere  Slash’s Snakepit – It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere – (February 14th)

Blink-182_-_Cheshire_Cat_cover  Blink-182 – Cheshire Cat (February 17th)

SilverchairFrogstompAlbumcover.jpg  Silverchair – Frogstomp – (March 27th)

Wilco  Wilco – A.M. – (March 28th)

SR-LemonadeAndBrownies  Sugar Ray – Lemonade and Brownies – (April 4th)

RainbowButtMonkeysLetters  Rainbow Butt Monkeys (now Finger Eleven) – Letters From Chutney – (April 19th)

Hanson-Boomerang  Hanson – Boomerang – (May 17th)

Ben_Folds_Five_-_Ben_Folds_Five  Ben Folds Five – Ben Folds Five – (August 8th)

GarbageSTinternational  Garbage – Garbage – (August 15th)

Faith_evans-faith Faith Evans – Faith – (August 29th)

Rammstein_Herzeleid_cover Rammstein – Herzeleid – (September 29th)

Adrenaline_Deftones  Deftones – Adrenaline – (October 3rd)

Fungus_amongus  Incubus – Fungus Amongus – (November 1st)

Enriqueiglesias_1995_cover  Enrique Iglesias – Enrique Iglesias – (November 21st)

The_Blood_Splat_Rating_System  Powerman 5000 – The Blood-Splat Rating System – (December 1st)

Other Notable Releases (at least to Me):

There are so many releases that I can’t list them all. So, I will capture the ones that impact me in some way.  These are the albums that I love that are from the time period some I didn’t listen to until many, many years later.

Waiting_Punchline  Extreme – Waiting For the Punchline – (January 19th)

Van_Halen_-_Balance  Van Halen – Balance – (January 24th)

To_Bring_You_My_Love  PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love – (February 27th)

Ggdaboy-1  Goo Goo Dolls – A Boy Named Goo – (March 14th)

MatthewSweet100Fun  Matthew Sweet – 100% Fun – (March 14th)

Skidrow-subhuman-1  Skid Row – Subhuman Race -(March 28th)

Firehouse-3  Firehouse 3 – (April 11th)

S-fne  Slaughter – Fear No Evil – (May 2nd)

DysDokken  Dokken – Dysfunctional (May 23rd)

Everclear-Sparkle  Everclear – Sparkle and Fade – (May 23rd)

MJ-HIStory  Michael Jackson – HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1 – (June 16th)

Forbidden  Black Sabbath – Forbidden – (June 20th)

NatalieMerchantTigerlily  Natalie Merchant – Tigerlily – (June 20th)

Bon_Jovi_-_These_Days_(1995)_Front_Cover  Bon Jovi – These Days – (June 27th)

311_album_cover  311 – 311 – (July 11th)

Pet_Your_Friends_Album_Cover  Dishwalla – Pet Your Friends – (August 22nd)

Faith_Hill_-_It_Matters_to_Me  Faith Hill – It Matters to Me – (August 29th)

7Mary3_AmericanStandard  Seven Mary Three – American Standard – (September 5th)

Lenny_Kravitz_Circus_album_cover  Lenny Kravitz – Circus – (September 12th)

Rhcp7-1  Red Hot Chili Peppers – One Hot Minute – (September 12th)

Michael-bolton-album-cover-greatest-hits  Michael Bolton – Greatest Hits (1985-1995) – (September 19th)

Harem_Scarem_Voice_of_reason  Harem Scarem – Voice of Reason – (September 25th)

Daydream_mariah_carey  Mariah Carey – Daydream – (October 3rd)

Candlebox_-_Lucy-1  Candlebox – Lucy – (October 3rd)

Green_Day_Insomiac  Green Day – Insomniac – (October 10th)

Vault_1995  Def Leppard – Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits – (1980-1995) – October 23rd

Ozzy_-_Ozzmosis_Cover  Ozzy Osbourne – Ozzmosis – (October 23rd)

CypressHill3TemplesOfBoom  Cypress Hill – Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom – (October 31st)

Madeinheaven  Queen – Made in Heaven – (November 6th)

Freshhorses  Garth Brooks – Fresh Horses – (November 21st)

The_Ghost_of_Tom_Joad  Bruce Springsteen – The Ghost of Tom Joad – (November 21st)

Other Important notable dates (well some aren’t too important):

  • February 1 – Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers band member Richey James Edwards goes missing
  • February 7 – Rapper Tupac Shakur is sentenced to 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 years in prison on a sexual abuse charge.
  • February 19 – Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee marries Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson.
  • March 1 – R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry suffers a brain aneurysm
  • March 26 – Eazy-E, rapper and record producer, dies at 31 (AIDS)
  • March 31 – Selenda is shot and killed by her personal assistant
  • April 28 – Melanie Martinez (singer), American singer, songwriter, photographer, and director is born
  • May 15 – Scott Weiland of STP is arrested on drug possession
  • June 14 – Rory Gallagher, Irish blues/rock guitarist, 47 dies from complications from liver transplant
  • July 4 – Post Malone, American rapper, singer-songwriter and guitarist is born
  • August 9 – Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead, dies at 53 (diabetes-related)
  • October 21 – Blind Melon singer Shannon Hoon is found dead of a cocaine overdose at the age of 28.
  • December 4 – The Beatles release “Free As A Bird” as their first new single in over 20 years.

There you have all the contenders that will be used to make the argument that 1995 was the greatest year in music.  I have to say my theory doesn’t really work for me on this year either.  I think both 1979 and 1995 are great years, they are not the greatest years. And as I said earlier, I am a rock/pop guy and not much else so I am sure I missed a lot so keep that in mind. Let me know your thoughts.

Okay, that officially kills my theory…but it won’t kill this series. I will keep exploring years in music and who knows where it will take me…Until next time…





30 thoughts on “1995 – The Greatest Year in Music?

  1. This was a terrible timw for me personally in music, because all my favourite bands were doing great albums that nobody cared about! Bon Jovi, Dokken, Maiden. I felt like I was on the “Outside Looking In” to quote a Dokken song from that year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me as well. I wandered aimlessly looking for music to connect to and didn’t find a whole bunch. There were few bands from this era that I still follow regularly today.


  2. Man reading this post there was a ton of music that come out in 95…
    Mmmm let’s see.. On a personal level I even tried adapting to the musical shift. Smashing Pumpkins/Oasis were bands that I started following.
    Course like Mike I was still buying Dokken/Extreme/Maiden and Halen whom I caught in Toronto for 2 dates with Our lady Peace opening…
    Halen was a mess visually as u had Alex in a neck brace and Ed with a blown hip but the show must go on or more like we like the dough!
    Halen even knoei calling that portion of the tour Ambulance Tour…haha

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha, I was in a Rainbow Butt Monkeys video in my youth!
    I’m a huge fan of ’92-’97 so I would say the great year streak continues, based on the strength of the bends & morning glory alone! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Like Geoff, I’m a big fan of music from 92-97. I’d maybe even stretch that to 99. Just cause I still listen to a bunch of albums released then!

    Anyhoo, there are some fine albums released in 95 and you’ve mentioned a few of them (not Oasis, though!!). However, no review of this year is complete without Alice In Chains’ self-titled album, Mad Season’s Above, Reef’s Replenish, and Blind Melon’s Soup. The latter likely my favourite of that year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 1995 was a great year for music! I still love Mellon Collie and Smashing Pumpkins songs. I think it still holds up in 2018. I listened to it a lot in high school. I was 14 in ’95. Lol. I didn’t know Kenny Wayne Shepherd was still around!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww. Their lyrics were weird but had some sort of special meaning for me. I guess you can say Mellon Collie was sort of a coming of age album for me. It helped me get through pain and heartbreak. Two other bands I liked around that time were Nine Inch Nails and Garbage. There are many others too.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. On a personal note, !995 was an awesome year. I fell in love with Alanis Morrisette. I warmed more than ever to PJ Harvey. My obsession with the Foo Fighters began. Smashing Pumpkins released a pretty damn good album as did No Doubt. Last but not least, I was surprisingly taken by Jewel. I still adore her haunting Adrian.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There were so many highlights that year, but I don’t know if it ranks as great…at least for me. As far as Smashing Pumpkins, I never really got into them with the exception of a couple songs. Foo Fighters on the other hand, I have all their albums (at least digitally). Still like them today.

      And I had a crush on Jewel myself.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I LOVE ‘The Vault,’ though I wish it contained the demo version of “When Love and Hate Collide” because it’s Steve’s last guitar solo! Also, you forgot AC/DC’s ‘Ballbreaker,’ which was released on September 26, 1995.

    Liked by 1 person

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