The 90’s were exciting times for music lovers with never-ending classics released. Most who grew up in the era would agree that the chosen albums, all released in the year that was 1997 are well worth looking back at.
With the recent ’20th Anniversary Tour of Guide To Better Living’ for Grinspoon and the upcoming, ‘Hi-Vis High Tea Album Launch Tour’ next month for Frenzal Rhomb; who also released a phenomenal album in the same year; what better time than now to celebrate.
Kicking things off with ten homegrown artists, we will follow up with five British artists. Whether it be Britpop or British Rock; if it came out in 1997 and caused a riot on the radio then you should find it here. Call it what you will, your honourable mentions section or in this case Best of the Brits.
So, enjoy the nostalgia and join us in the coming weeks to delve into albums of different musical genres that also celebrate their 20th Birthdays.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: The Boatman’s Call
There is none better to get the boat a rocking, then with the tenth record from post-punk veterans, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Ever since taking Australia by storm with The Birthday Party, vocalist Nick Cave has been known for his dark lyrics, deep voice, and stage presence. His distinct voice sheds light in the darkness of beautifully constructed pieces.
Standout Tracks: Into my arms, People Ain’t No Good, (Are You) The One That I’ve Been Waiting For?
INXS: Elegantly Wasted
Also the tenth album for INXS, Elegantly Wasted was sadly the last to feature the talented Michael Hutchence (R.I.P. 1960-1997). Both the title track and Don’t Lose Your Head; which featured on the Nicolas Cage, John Travolta action blockbuster Face/Off (1997); saw a well-deserved reception.
Standout Tracks: Elegantly Wasted, Don’t Lose Your Head
Standout Tracks: Elegantly Wasted, Don’t Lose Your Head
Silverchair: Freak Show
With the church boy looks of lead singer Daniel Johns, Silverchair was an early part of the post-grunge party, heavily influenced by Nirvana and the like. The second album by the lads took Australia and the world by storm and was produced by Nick Launay (The Birthday Party, Models, Midnight Oil).
Standout Tracks: Freak, Abuse Me, The Door.
Jebediah: Slightly Odway
The debut from Perth band, Jebediah brought on a number of hits which all had videos released. Lead by the distinct voice of Kevin Mitchell, who now goes by the stage name of Bob Evans. Concentrating on folk pop nowadays, Mitchell’s roots lie within alternative rock.
Standout Tracks: Leaving Home, Teflon, Military Strongmen, Jerks of Attention.
Grinspoon: Guide to Better Living
The debut LP for Alternative Rockers’ Grinspoon featured a number of hits, notably Just Ace, however, Sickfest was first to gain the attention of Triple J’s Unearthed. Originally recorded on the debut EP, Grinspoon (1995), two years later it was recorded for Guide to Better Living and blends in nicely with the other fifteen tracks; sixteen if including the secret track Protest.
Standout Tracks: Post Enebriated Anxiety, Sickfest, Railrider, Just Ace, DCX3, Pedestrian.
Toe To Toe: Tao
When it comes to hardcore Sydney’s finest Toe To Toe, lead by frontman, Scott Mac released this corker of an album. Making it the second LP after a number of EP’s and split singles it stands the day to be a fan favourite. Keeping it real with Rise Up (2017) Toe To Toe is here for the long haul.
Standout Tracks: Falling Short, Giant Killer, Hoax, Crawl Space
Something for Kate: Elsewhere for 8 Minutes
The distinct voice of Paul Dempsey, nowadays also known for his renowned solo career, brings back massive slabs of nostalgia with this promising debut. Also, part of the post-grunge movement, Melbournes’ alternative rockers, Something For Kate sure know how to write a good tune or two.
Standout Tracks: Anarchitect, Prick, Captain (Million Miles an Hour)
The second full-length for Regurgitator saw an array of hits with the likes of Polyester Girl, Everyday Formula, Black Bugs and others, accompanying music videos, also gaining heavy rotation on Australian television. As regulars on ABC Television’s Recovery program, along with peers such as Frenzal Rhomb and Custard, the popularity of this group of talented musicians exists to this day.
Standout Tracks: ! (The Song Formerly Known As)I Like Your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff, Everyday Formula, Black Bugs
The third full length for Canberra’s’ Alchemist; Spiritech, to this day is one of the all-time greatest Australian metal records. From the epic opener, Chinese Whispers and Road to Ubar to the UFO-inspired Spiritechnology, the progressive metal blends avant-garde with death metal. One of a kind, sounding like no other. There is none more original than Alchemist. After disbandment vocalist, Adam Agius got together with members of Alarum, another progressive metal band also based in Canberra to form The Levitation Hex. Most recently Cohesion (2016) hit the stores and the band tours frequently spreading metal to the masses.
Standout Tracks: Chinese Whispers, Road to Uber, Spiritechnology.
Frenzal Rhomb: Meet The Family
The third full-length for Sydney punk rockers Frenzal Rhomb contains fan favourites galore and with eighteen tracks it is a task in itself to find a dud. Lead by Jason Whalley or simply Jay the album was the first to feature guitarist Lindsay McDougall and the final recording with Nat Nykruj on drums.
Standout Tracks: Mum Changed the Locks, Racist, Mr. Charisma, Ship of Beers, There’s Your Dad.
Best of the Brits 1997
The Verve: Urban Hymns
Standout Tracks: Lucky Man, Bittersweet Symphony, Sonnet, The Drugs Don’t Work
Standout Tracks: Song 2, Beetleburn
Cornershop: When I Was Born for the 7th Time
Standout Tracks: Brimfull of Asha, Candyman, Good Shit
White Town: Women in Technology
Standout Tracks: Your woman, Wanted
Radiohead: Ok Computer
Standout Tracks: Paranoid Android, Let Down, Karma Police, No Surprises, The Tourist