Ten Artists Celebrating The 20th Anniversary Of Their Debut Album In 2013
If you’re a legendary rock band like The Rolling Stones you measure your birth by an event like your first gig. If you’re anyone else, your band started the day you released your first album. Yes, some bands started years before that but no one cares about your first jam with your first of eight drummers.
In 2013, a lot of big time artists will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their debut album. Some of the names listed below may surprise you, some may make you laugh, and some may make you feel old. We apologize in advance for the last one.
Ace of Base
Ace of Base’s 1993 album (called The Sign in the U.S. and Happy Nation in Europe) is the third bestselling debut of all-time. It’s sold more than 21 million copies. The Swedish quartet was the ABBA of their day. That’s an appropriate comparison since both bands hail from Sweden. If you want bouncy pop songs with catchy hooks (and who doesn’t) look no further than AoB.
Archers of Loaf
Archers of Loaf are one of the best indie rock bands of all-time. They also have one of the worst band names of all-time. Their debut album, Icky Mettle, was made for $5,000 and is widely regarded as one of the best indie rock albums of all-time. They released three more studio albums and tour extensively of all-time. I know that doesn’t make any sense but I wanted to end every sentence of this entry with the phrase “of all-time.”
Great Big Sea
This Canadian folk trio released their self-titled debut in March of 1993. In 2013, they’ll celebrate that achievement with a tour of North America. Great Big Sea tickets will be sold in 28 U.S. and Canadian cities. Their trek launches March 5 in Anaheim and ends April 26 in Halifax. Highlights of their itinerary include Great Big Sea in Chicago on March 20, Great Big Sea in New York on April 19, and Great Big Sea in Boston on April 20 & 21. The band hasn’t released an album since 2010 but that really doesn’t matter since they always sound great live.
The title of Collective Soul’s debut album is quite a mouth full: Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid. It was the first of four straight Platinum certified records released by the staunch alternative band from Atlanta. Collective Soul is best known for their songs “Shine,” The World I Know,” and “December.”
Liz Phair is celebrating two anniversaries in 2013, one good and one bad. Her and her fans will be reveling in the fact that her seminal debut, Exile in Guyville, is turning 20. Her and her fans will also be cursing the 10th birthday of her 1993 self-titled album that was universally derided as a puerile sellout. Phair did a lot of devolving in a decade.
The year 1993 could have given the world nothing but Radiohead’s debut album, Pablo Honey, and it would still be one of the most memorable years of the decade. The opus’ lead single, “Creep,” actually dropped in 1992 but it didn’t really catch on until the band released Pablo Honey in February of 1993.
Shaquille O’Neal’s debut album, Shaq Diesel, dropped Oct. 26, 1993. The date is significant since it’s around the time the NBA season usually commences. That’s what you call marketing. Laugh all you want but Shaq Diesel peaked at number 25 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified Platinum.
Some of the entries on our list might make you feel old but realizing Sheryl Crow released her debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club, in 1993 is likely to have you exclaim: “that was only 20 years ago!” Crow has done so much since TNMC was in everyone’s compact disc player and won three Grammy Awards that you might assume her first album was released long before ‘93.
Some bands have great timing (The Beatles, Sex Pistols, Nirvana). Some bands have bad timing (Big Star, Dire Straits, Television). And some bands have awful timing. For example, Tool. In 1993, while everyone was listening to grunge music, Tool released a nearly 70-minute long heavy metal album. A great testament to the band’s prowess: Undertow has sold nearly 3 million copies.
What exactly did Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) accomplish? Well, it marked the return of NYC rap, it greatly influenced hardcore hip hop, its production values revolutionized the genre, its free-associative lyrics are still being emulated, and it helped paved the way for other East Coast rappers like Jay-Z and Nas. The rap gods aren’t fair; Shaq’s album charted 16 spots higher than Enter the Wu-Tang even though it’s one of the greatest albums ever released.