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article by: Michael Canter

22 June 2012

Friday Flashback 1995

FRIDAY FLASHBACK: Every Friday we set the Hot Tub Time Machine to one year in rock history and give you the best (and worst) music from that year, all day long beginning at 1:00 AM EST and running for 24 hours on Jivewired Radio powered by Live365.

This week: 1995
Next week: 1989

To listen, just press play on the radio widget to the right or use this link to open in a new window that will allow you to listen when you navigate away from this page:

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Album Art from 1995, Click Images to Download

1995 Album I Wish I Owned: Clouds Taste Metallic by The Flaming Lips
1995 Album I'd Give Back If I Could: Balance by Van Halen
1995 Nominee For Worst Album Cover Ever: Garbage by Garbage
1995 Most Underrated Song: Tomorrow by Silverchair
1995 Most Overrated Song: You Were Meant For Me by Jewel
1995 Most Memorable Song: Only Wanna Be With You by Hootie & The Blowfish
1995 Most Significant Song: Gangsta's Paradise by Coolio
1995 Most Forgotten Song: I Kissed A Girl by Jill Sobule
1995 Fan's Choice For Most Popular Song: Gangsta's Paradise by Coolio
1995 Album Of The Year: Cracked Rear View Mirror by Hootie & The Blowfish
1995 Most Likely To Start A Party Song: This Is How We Do It by Montell Jordan
1995 Please Don't Play Anymore Song: Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex
1995 Song That I Like More Than I Actually Should: Cumbersome by Seven Mary Three
1995 Album I Liked More Than I Thought I Would: Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt
1995 Song That I Tend to Leave on REPEAT: All Mixed Up by 311
Guilty Pleasure of 1995: Buddy Holly by Weezer
Breakout Artists of 1995: Hootie & The Blowfish, Weezer, No Doubt, Oasis
Overplayed In 1995: Hootie & The Blowfish
Not Played Enough In 1995: Yo La Tengo
Greatest Single Chart Re-Entry from 1995: Like The Way I Do by Melissa Etheridge (1988)
Best Cover Song Of 1995: The Man Who Sold The World by Nirvana
An unheralded great album from 1995: Soup by Blind Melon
An unheralded great single from 1995: In A Daydream by The Freddy Jones Band
Best Soundtrack of 1995: Empire Records

Jivewired's Top Five Six Seven Songs Of The Year
01. Hey Man, Nice Shot by Filter
02. 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins
03. All Mixed Up by 311
04. My Friends by Red Hot Chili Peppers
05. Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead
06. In A Daydream by The Freddy Jones Band
07. Tomorrow by Silverchair

Jivewired's Top Five Six Albums Of The Year
01. MTV Unplugged In New York by Nirvana
02. The Bends by Radiohead
03. Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness by Smashing Pumpkins
04. Vitalogy by Pearl Jam
05. One Hot Minute by Red Hot Chili Peppers
06. Soup by Blind Melon

1995: The concept of the album was rapidly diminishing. Vinyl was left for dead.  CD Sales were rapidly diminishing.  Cassettes?  Did they still make cassette players in '95?  The culprit? MP3s and file sharing. Audio compression technology and digital encoding made music files small and transportable. Consumers could now buy or trade, steal or give away only the songs they wanted or liked from a particular album.

What you sacrificed in quality you made up for in convenience.  Compressed files represented a fractional facsimile of audio quality at best.  And studio engineers, bless their souls, just made things louder to mask the inefficiencies of digital files.  As in these-go-to-eleven louder.

Think of audio compression in terms of your favorite slice of pizza.  It's piping hot.  All your favorite toppings are piled on top of that oozing, gravity fighting, melted mozzarella and pizza sauce mouthwatering deliciousness.  Now imagine taking that same slice of pizza and wadding it up into a doughy ball, as tight and as small as humanly possible and then popping that into your mouth.  It won't taste anything like that slice of pizza in it's original form.  Welcome to audio compression.

MP3 downloads took home shopping to a new level.  One click, and you owned your favorite song. Why bother with an entire album?  Just pick out the songs you like and voila, your purchase would be complete in a few seconds.

That is if you bothered to pay for them.

Wait.  What?

Oh yeah.  The file swap replaced the homemade compilation CD which had in turn replaced the homemade mixtape.  In the wake of the Emily White controversy of this past week, file sharing, on some level, has been around since the very first recording devices.  MP3 files just gave file sharers easier access and a hell of a lot more notoriety.

Ironically, the process for developing the MP3 almost died during development. Karlheinz Brandenburg, often called the father of MP3 technology was a specialist in mathematics and electronics who had been researching methods of compressing music beginning in 1977. In an interview with Intel, Brandenburg described how MP3 technology took several years to fully develop and almost failed, stating "In 1991, the project almost died. During modification tests, the encoding simply did not want to work properly. Two days before submission of the first version of the MP3 codec, we found the compiler error." 

It is unfair to compare the quality of the albums released during the vinyl era (when making and distributing an album was an expensive process) to the quality of the albums released during the CD and MP3 era. With the development of the MP3, the concept of the album skewed toward one or two good songs interspersed with simple filler. No wonder then that quality and clarity on an album was so much better during the 1960s and 1970s. In the earlier era record labels could not risk releasing an artist's LP until it contained the best possible music, mastering and production.  The vinyl album was a classic work of art, like the Mona Lisa.  The CD album was a professional studio photograph, still wonderfully and delicately crafted, just a little more modern.  The digital album, at least at the advent of MP3 technology, was a Polaroid Instamatic.  Pose, click, strip, shake, develop.  Don't forget the flash. Repeat as necessary.

With the death of Kurt Cobain in April 1994, the grunge movement was all but dead and the indie underground searched for a new face to emerge.  One wasn't immediately coming.

The boom of independent music had changed the dynamics of the music industry. High speed internet connections gave indie musicians a platform to directly distribute their music, thus bypassing the need for major label representation. Some great music was released, but a lot of average stuff was too. What we saw was an explosion of mediocrity.  Many avant-garde and homespun recording artists had the ability to make a name for themselves on the strength of a song or video which could go viral via the internet that was almost always followed by a quick descent back to mediocrity and relative obscurity. The motivation to innovate became inversely proportional to the low cost of making albums.  Following suit, the industry was flooded with a record number of under-the-radar and way-under-the-radar releases that helped launch bands like Better Than Ezra and Toadies, for instance, into short term mainstream popularity.

Even among the mainstream veterans, it became commonplace to release an album that contained only one or two songs worthy of being released. But there were some wonderful exceptions in 1995. Pearl Jam (Vitology), Radiohead (The Bends) and The Smashing Pumpkins (Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness) released critically acclaimed records that year.  Commercially successful albums in 1995 included Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Moreissette, Pieces Of You by Jewel and Cracked Rearview Mirror by Hootie & The Blowfish (both debuts), Division Bell by Pink Floyd, and Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt. Michael Jackson released his first double-album HIStory, which became the best-selling multiple-album of all-time, with 22 millions copies sold worldwide. On December 4th, The Beatles released Free As A Bird as their first new single in 25 years.

Jerry Garcia died on August 9th, probably the most tragic event of the year, musically speaking. On a high note, Bruce Springsteen reformed the E-Street Band for arguably the most successful tour of the year. In fact, large scale tours of historically successful artists helped the major labels to keep the indie artists at bay. Concert tours in 1995 by U2, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Eagles (who reformed in 1994) and Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band remain among the top-grossing tours of all-time. How ironic that Jerry Garcia died just as the whole scene morphed into the ultimate in capitalism and consumerism. How ironic that the idealism of the hippie age had died with Garcia just as music was becoming more and more faceless, and in light of the fact that viral marketing in music was a concept originally pioneered by the Grateful Dead.

Gone Too Soon
  • David Cole, C+C Music Factory (January 24)
  • Bob Stinson, The Replacements (February 18)
  • Melvin Franklin, The Temptations (February 23)
  • Eazy-E (March 23)
  • Selena (March 31)
  • Rory Gallagher (June 14)
  • Charlie Rich (July 25)
  • Jerry Garcia (August 9)
  • Ronnie White, The Miracles (August 26)
  • Shannon Hoon, Blind Melon (October 21)
  • Junior Walker (November 23)
  • Dean Martin (December 25)

Richard Shannon Hoon (September 26, 1967 – October 21, 1995):

Shannon Hoon, lead singer of Blind Melon was pronounced dead when his tour hand could not wake him for a scheduled performance at Tipitina's in New Orleans on October 21, 1995.

Hoon had formed Blind Melon in 1991, naming the band after a term a friend's father used (based on the Cheech & Chong character Blind Melon Chitlin') to describe the neighborhood potheads. In 1991, the new band mates produced a four song demo tape and subsequently signed a $500,000 contract with Capitol Records.  Their debut eponymous album, produced by Richard Prashar (Pearl Jam) went platinum on the strength of the single No Rain and began touring, opening for Guns 'N Roses.

By this time Hoon was battling drug and alcohol dependency issues.

In 1993, Hoon was arrested for indecent exposure after he disrobed onstage and urinated on a fan in the front row while performing in Vancouver.  After taking a hiatus from touring, Blind Melon returned to the studio to record Soup in New Orleans, which was released in 1995.

At this time it was thought that Hoon had cleaned himself up and had really focused on the album and subsequent tour.  He had recently had a baby daughter with his girlfriend.

However, in July 1995 Hoon had entered rehab again. In August, Blind Melon planned to tour to support the new album, so a drug counselor was assigned to tour with the band at the request of family and friends.  The counselor was unable to keep Hoon from falling back into a pattern of drug and alcohol use and was sent packing just days before Hoon's death.

After a performance in Houston which Hoon was not proud of, he allegedly launched into an all-night drug and alcohol binge. The next day, on October 21, 1995, Blind Melon was scheduled to play the Tipitina's show in New Orleans.  When one of the band's roadies went to the tour bus to wake Hoon up for a sound check, he was unable to wake him. An ambulance was summoned and Hoon was pronounced dead on the scene, at the age of 28.  The cause of death was determined to be an overdose of cocaine.

It's not really ironic, if you think about it:

irony (i*ron*y) - noun.  The use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaningAn outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.

Critics have argued that Alanis Morissette doesn't really understand the meaning of the word ironic, and that the examples of irony she gives in her hit song are simply not ironic.  We asked the Jivewired interns to help determine the actual level of irony in the song. To wit:

1. "An old man turned ninety-eight.  He won the lottery and died the next day."
While an amusing if not morbid coincidence, there is nothing particularly ironic about the old man's death. It is certainly an awe-inspiring sequence of events -- a gentleman celebrating his 98th birthday, winning the lottery, and dying all in a two day period. Not necessarily irony, but, wow, incredibly bad luck.  He didn't even have time to leave a will.  Or spend any of it.

2. "It's a black fly in your Chardonnay."
The irony here is that there is nothing remotely ironic about this line. In perhaps her one moment of unadulterated genius, Morissette has shown the true meaning of irony by giving an example of irony that isn't remotely ironic. 

3. "It's a death row pardon two minutes too late."
A virtual toss up, and it really depends on the context. By the secondary definition of the word, yes, it semi-qualifies, but it's a real stretch.  Even though the intended outcome was death, the circumstances surrounding the outcome certainly changed but the intended result did match the outcome, unless you can say without hesitation that the actual outcome should be a pardon.  I say no irony.  But the staff has decided to give her credit for this one.  In full disclosure, it should be noted that most of them are Morissette fans and liberals who abhor capitol punishment.  Except Tommy, who feels that a DWI is definitely a death-worthy offense. Open for further debate but we're out of adult libations.

4. "It's like rain on your wedding day."
Not even close.  Who predetermined that every wedding day should be sunny and without precipitation?  It sucks, but it's not ironic.  Give me a break.

5. "It's a free ride when you've already paid."
Nope.  Irony and bad timing are not the same thing.  Moving on.

6. "It's the good advice that you just didn't take."
Another on-the-fence instance of irony. Ignoring good advice is ironic, but only if the listener suffers some kind of befitting karmic punishment as a result. The implication of irony is sketchy at best, but the staff gave it to her indicating that it's likely a bad result occurred because of this and is just implied for purpose of flow and rhyme.  Whatever. 

7. "Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly/ He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids good-bye/ He waited his whole damn life to take that flight/And as the plane crashed down he thought, Well, isn't this nice?"
Give Morissette a big gold star, because it contains not one, but two legitimate instances of actual irony.  A) It is, indeed, ironic that someone who is afraid of flying would die in a plane crash during his first flight; it's an unexpected disruption in the normal course of events that gives us insight into human folly. And B) said someone is being, you guessed it, ironic when he says, "Well, isn't this nice?" since we must presume that he is being sarcastic in that situation.

8. "It's a traffic jam when you're already late/ A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break."
Irony is not bad-timing.  Have I mentioned that previously?

 9. "It's like ten thousands spoons when all you need is a knife."  
If Morissette is rifling through a silverware drawer which is known to contain only knives, then this is indeed ironic. But most silverware drawers contain various forms of eating utensils, including knives.  Being out of clean knives wouldn't be ironic.  It would just mean you are out of clean knives.

10. "It's meeting the man of my dreams and then meeting his beautiful wife."
The implied irony of this line is that Alanis has searched in vain for the man of her dreams, and then finally finds this man, only to discover that he's happily married to a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model or something of the like.   A moment's consideration will show that the situation is actually in no way ironic, since we would expect all the good ones to be taken.   An excellent try, but still a failure.

Final tally:  four by-the-book-definition forms of irony out of ten instances (one debatable). I hope I didn't ruin the song for you.  (Source: Matt Sturges)

Everybody is playing The Empire Records Drinking Game!

You must drink whenever:
  • Someone says “Rex Manning”
  • Somebody dances
  • Lyrics are referenced in dialogue
  • The missing money deposit is referenced
  • Anyone acts like the stereotype they embody, except Gina (see below)

Two drinks whenever:
  • Anyone says "Empire Records, open 'til midnight"
  • Joe yells
  • A song plays
  • The intercom gets used

Chug an entire drink whenever:
  • Gina does something slutty

Make sure you have a designated driver or a place to sleep over.

Go Forth, For You Are The Future of Rock & Roll.....:

The following bands were formed in 1995:  Black Eyed Peas, Evanescence, Foo Fighters, Maroon 5, Matchbox Twenty and Sleater-Kinney.  On the flip side, 1995 also gave us Buckcherry, the re-united Journey without Steve Perry, 'N-Sync, Stains and Nickelback.  You may say I am being unfair to Nickelback.  I present into evidence the song Rock Star.  That is all.

..... and We Honor Those Who Have Gone Before:

The following bands were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1995:  The Allman Brothers Band, Al Green, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Martha & The Vandellas, The Orioles, Neil Young and Frank Zappa.

Playlist Adds For Friday Flashback 1995

****Release dates are to the best of my knowledge and in most cases represent the release date of the album from which the single derived. In cases of singles and/or B-Side releases only, we use the official U.S. single release date for the A-Side.****

October 1994 (and earlier):
001. Stay (I Missed You) by Lisa Loeb
002. My Name Is Jonas by Weezer
003. Vasoline by Stone Temple Pilots
004. Hannah Jane by Hootie & The Blowfish
005. Let Her Cry by Hootie & The Blowfish
006. Only Wanna Be With You by Hootie & The Blowfish
007. Time by Hootie & The Blowfish
008. I'll Stand By You by The Pretenders
009. The Mountains Win Again by Blues Traveler
010. Star 69 by R.E.M.
011. What's The Frequency Kenneth? by R.E.M.
012. The Best Of What's Around by The Dave Matthews Band
013. What Would You Say? by The Dave Matthews Band
014. Ants Marching by The Dave Matthews Band
015. Jimi Thing by The Dave Matthews Band
016. Warehouse by The Dave Matthews Band
017. Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Pilots
018. Still Remains by Stone Temple Pilots
019. Big Empty by Stone Temple Pilots
020. All I Wanna Do by Sheryl Crow
021. Strong Enough by Sheryl Crow
022. Buddy Holly by Weezer
023. Selling The Drama by Live
024. Human Nature by Madonna

November 1994:
025. About A Girl (Live) by Nirvana
026. Come As You Are (Live) by Nirvana
027. The Man Who Sold The World (Live) by Nirvana
028. Polly (Live) by Nirvana
029. You Don't Know How It Feels by Tom Petty
030. You Wreck Me by Tom Petty
031. It's Good To Be King by Tom Petty
032. Always by Bon Jovi
033. Last Goodbye by Jeff Buckley

December 1994:
034. Corduroy by Pearl Jam
035. Nothingman by Pearl Jam
036. Better Man by Pearl Jam
037. Mother Mother by Tracy Bonham
038. In A Daydream by The Freddy Jones Band

January 1995:
039. Protection by Massive Attack
040. Bang & Blame by R.E.M.
041. I'm The Only One by Melissa Etheridge
042. Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex
043. Everything Zen by Bush
044. When I Come Around by Green Day

February 1995:
045. Pretty Penny by Stone Temple Pilots
046. Down By The Water by PJ Harvey
047. Send His Love To Me by PJ Harvey
048. Good by Better Than Ezra
049. Freak Like Me by Adina Howard
050. Run Around by Blues Traveler
051. Who Will Save Your Soul? by Jewel
052. You Were Meant For Me by Jewel

March 1995:
053.  Lightning Crashes by Live
054. Waiting In Vain by Annie Lennox
055. High & Dry by Radiohead
056. Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead
057. Just by Radiohead
058. My Iron Lung by Radiohead
059. Street Spirit (Fade Out) by Radiohead
060. Passenger Side by Wilco
061. Hook by Blues Traveler
062. December by Collective Soul

April 1995:
063. More Human Than Human by White Zombie
064. Secret Garden by Bruce Springsteen
065. Strange Currencies by R.E.M.

May 1995:
066. Flying Lessons (Hot Chicken #1) by Yo La Tengo
067. She by Green Day
068. Baby Did A Bad Thing by Chris Isaak
069. Wynona's Big Brown Beaver by Primus
070. Waterfalls by TLC

June 1995:
071. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me by U2
072. Days Like This by Van Morrison
073. Kiss From A Rose by Seal
074. All Over You by Live
075. Roll To Me by Del Amitri
076. Right Through You by Alanis Morissette
077. You Learn by Alanis Morissette
078. Tomorrow by Silverchair
079. History by The Verve
080. On Your Own by The Verve
081. Wonder by Natalie Merchant
082. Carnival by Natalie Merchant

July 1995:
083. I'll Stick Around by Foo Fighters
084. Big Me by Foo Fighters
085. This Is A Call by Foo Fighters
086. Ironic by Alanis Morissette
087. You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette
088. Breakfast At Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something
089. He Man Nice Shot by Filter
090. Down by 311
091. All Mixed Up by 311

August 1995:
092. Galaxie by Blind Melon
093. Toes Across The Floor by Blind Melon
094. Walk by Blind Melon
095. Mouthful Of Cavities by Blind Melon
096. Gangsta's Paradise by Coolio
097. Date Rape (re-release) by Sublime
098. Stupid Girl by Garbage
099. Crush With Eyeliner by R.E.M.
100. Possum Kingdom by Toadies
101. Runaway by Janet Jackson

September 1995:
102. Cumbersome by Seven Mary Three
103. One Of Us by Joan Osborne
104. Warped by Red Hot Chili Peppers
105. Aeroplane by Red Hot Chili Peppers
106. My Friends by Red Hot Chili Peppers
107. Walkabout by Red Hot Chili Peppers
108. Windfall by Son Volt
109. Tear Stained Eye by Son Volt
110. 'Til I Hear It From You by Gin Blossoms
111. Name by Goo Goo Dolls

October 1995:
112. Wonderwall by Oasis
113. Champagne Supernova by Oasis
114. Brain Stew by Green Day
115. Geek Stink Breath by Green Day
116. I Kissed A Girl by Jill Sobule
117. Spiderwebs by No Doubt
118. Just A Girl by No Doubt
119. Sunday Morning by No Doubt
120. Don't Speak by No Doubt
121. Tonight, Tonight by Smashing Pumpkins
122. Galapogos by Smashing Pumpkins
123. Thirty-Three by Smashing Pumpkins
124. 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins
125. By Starlight by Smashing Pumkins
126. Hand In My Pocket by Alanis Morissette

November 1995:
127. Grind by Alice In Chains
128. I Want To Come Over by Melissa Etheridge
129. Glycerine by Bush
130. The World I Know by Collective Soul
131. The Ghost Of Tom Joad (Live) by Bruce Springsteen & Tom Morello

December 1995:
132. Free As A Bird by The Beatles

Previous In This Series:  Friday Flashback 1983

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