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21 Turning 25 in '21

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Darius Rucker Fell From the Top Spot Much Too Quickly in 1996


She arrived in the middle of the fall, but the day was pleasantly warm. And the sun has continued to shine on the world for the twenty-five years since she emerged, a six and a half pound package of sweetness gifted to me in 1996.

My daughter is the main reason the sun has appeared so often, but she has received plenty of assistance from the world of music. Born the same year were a couple of dozen fantastic albums, including two from the Canadian indie act Belle and Sebastian.

Stuart Murdoch and his eclectic group gave us Tigermilk that spring and If You're Feeling Sinister six months later. In addition to those two records, here are twenty one others that are turning 25 in 2021.

1. Looking East by Jackson Browne

Among his All-Star cast for this eleventh album were David Crosby, Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder, Waddy Watchell, Benmont Tench and Mike campbell.

2. Bad Hair Day by Weird Al Yankovic

The amusing accordianist stirred some controversy with the first single from this album, for a religious sect were offended by his turning Collio's hit into “Amish Paradise.”

3. Born on a Pirate Ship by Bareked Ladies

“I broke into the old apartment” admits Steven Page on the single from their third album, which also contains lesser-known gems like “Call Me Calmly” and “Stomach vs. Heart.”

4. KISS Unplugged

Drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley, whom had been banished from the glam quartet, re-joined the band for this momentous project.

5. Villains by the Verve Pipe

All summer music fans were singing “Can't be held responsible, We were only freshmen,” the chorus from the smash hit from this album with an equally vibrant title track.

6. Make Your Mama Proud by Fastball

“Are You Ready for the Fallout” received some airplay for this new band, whose next record became Gold because of “The Way” and “Was I Out Of My Head.”

7. This Is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing To Think About by Modest Mouse

Eight years would pass before “Float On” helped Isaac Brock break through, yet this debut offers a preview of the alternative rock MM would make for the next twenty-five years.

8. Fairweather Johnson by Hootie and the Blowfish

Missing were “Only Wanna Be With You” and “Hold My Hand” from the smash debut album before it, so this follow-up failed to live up to its high anticipation.

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9. Crash by Dave Matthews Band

Many Gold Disks were to follow this debut which, sparked by the single “Crash Into Me,” introduced Matthews's laid-back rock to music fans at home and abroad.

10. All This Useless Beauty by Elvis Costello

Sir Paul McCartney co-wrote several songs on this album, but the most enduring single is “You Bowed Down.”

11. Self-Titled by Duncan Sheik

Everyone was singing “Barely Breathing” in 1996, the highlight of this folk-rock debut album.

12. Bringing Down the Horse by the Wallflowers

Thanks to hits like “One Headlight” and “Three Marlenas,” Jakob Dylan was able to stand on his own rather than just being known as the son of a Nobel Prize winning songwriter.

13. Odelay by Beck

“Devil's Haircut” opens it with a reverberating bass riff, while other classics like “New Pollution” and “Where It's At” make it one of the best records of the year.

14. Beautiful Freak by Eels

Years later Marc Oliver Everett's project would enjoy a revival, when Shrek used “My Beloved Monster and Me” from this album.

15. Self-Titled by Sheryl Crow

Her debut wasn't bad but Crow really hit her stride on this sophomore disk, which included hits like “Everyday Is a Winding Road” and “If It Makes You Happy.”

16. Pinkerton by Weezer

“Tired of Sex” may seem an unusual title for an opening track, yet it somehow prepares fans for singles such as “The Good Life,” “El Scorcho” and “Pink Triangle.”

17. How Bizarre by OMC

It did sound a bit weird, but the title track was just accessible enough to earn the alt rock band a smash debut record.

18. Self-Titled by Fountains of Wayne

Many catchy records were to follow, but Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlessinger gave us a glimpse of their pop songwriting chops through singles like “Radiation Vibe” and “Sink To the Bottom.”

19. Yourself or Someone Like You by Matchbox Twenty

20. Car Button Cloth by the Lemonheads

“If I Could Talk I'd Tell You” and “It's All True” open Evan Dando's seventh album, the last released until ten years later.

21. Being There by Wilco

Jeff Tweedy had so much material for his follow up to the debut AM, that this offering had to be a double album highlighted by “Outta Mind Outta Site.”

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