How Good Was The Year (in music) - 1995?

Following a fairly subdued thread considering the music of 1972 (earning it 19th place, on 7.53) HGWTY returns to a decade more relevant to the musical memory of many of us here, as we revisit the music of 1995.

A reminder of the premise of the thread

After a number of days of posting and reminiscing, we’ll be rating the music of the year out of ten, based on the albums, singles, gigs, whatever that stand out for you that year, and voting for our favourite nominated albums and songs.

Everyone can nominate one album and one song from the year which will then be collated into side-polls two days before the thread closes - please make it clear when you post a nomination for the poll (as opposed to just posting clips or lists of songs and albums you like, which are very welcome).

Rank Year Rating Top Album Top Song
1 1991 8.98 Slint - Spiderland Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy
2 1997 8.6 Radiohead - OK Computer The Beta Band - Dry The Rain
3 1967 8.48 Love - Forever Changes Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Some Velvet Morning
4 1977 8.41 Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express Donna Summer - I Feel Love
5 1992 8.29 Pavement - Slanted & Enchanted Pulp - Babies
5 2013 8.29 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Jubilee Street
7 2019 8.14 Self Esteem - Compliments Please Big Thief - Not
8 1975 8.13 Neil Young - Tonight’s the Night / Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Cortez the Killer
8 2007 8.13 LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver / Radiohead - In Rainbows LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends / M.I.A. - Paper Planes
10 2004 8.1 Madvillain - Madvillainy / Arcade Fire - Funeral The Walkmen - The Rat
10 2001 8.1 The Strokes - Is This It Roots Manuva - Witness (1 Hope) / Mogwai - My Father My King
12 1981 8.06 The Cure - Faith New Order - Ceremony
12 2002 8.06 Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge
14 1979 7.96 Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures Joy Division - Transmission
15 1982 7.76 The Cure - Pornography / Kate Bush - The Dreaming Robert Wyatt - Shipbuilding / The Associates - Party Fears Two
16 2014 7.69 FKA Twigs - LP1 FKA Twigs - Two Weeks
17 2010 7.66 Kanye West - MBDTF / Joanna Newsom - Have One One Me / Beach House - Teen Dream Robyn - Dancing On My Own
18 1970 7.61 Neil Young - After the Goldrush Curtis Mayfield - Move on Up
19 1970 7.53 Can - Ege Bamyasi Stevie Wonder - Superstition
20 1990 7.47 Sonic Youth - Goo The Cure - Pictures of You
20 1976 7.47 David Bowie - Station to Station Bob Dylan - Hurricane
22 1986 7.42 Talk Talk - The Colour of Spring New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle
23 2005 7.39 Sufjan Stevens - Illinois Amerie - 1 Thing
24 1965 7.38 The Beatles - Rubber Soul Frank Wilson - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
25 2017 7.36 Protomartyr - Relatives in Descent Kendrick Lamar - Humble
26 1999 7.3 Mogwai - Come On Die Young Björk - All Is Full Of Love
27 2009 7.1 Fever Ray - Fever Ray Animal Collective - My Girls
28 1974 6.95 Neil Young - On The Beach Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - The Bottle
29 1985 6.53 Tom Waits - Rain Dogs Prince and the Revolution - Raspberry Beret
30 1962 6 Howlin’ Wolf - Howlin’ Wolf Dick Dale - Misirlou
31 1961 5.16 John Coltrane - My Favourite Things Roy Orbison - Crying



1995 was the year of OJ Simpson’s trial for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, the disappearance of Manic Street Preachers’ Richey Edwards, the collapse of Barings Bank, the Doomsday cult sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, the Oklahoma bombing, Robbie Williams leaving Take That, Sony launched the Playstation games console, the assassination of Israel Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the premieres of Toy Story and Goldeneye, Princess Diana’s interview with Martin Bashir and the murder of singer Selena Quintanilla Pérez by the president of her own fan club.

We said goodbye to Dean Martin, Selena, Bob Ross, Easy-E, Ginger Rogers, Jerry Garcia, Peter Cook, Don Cherry and Fred Perry, and hello to Dua Lipa, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Jack Grealish and Denzel Curry.

But how good was the music?

You have roughly ten days to nominate one album and one song which will then go into a poll along with a number rating poll for year overall out of 10, which will close a few days later.

Some lists for inspiration:

Best Albums of 1995 : Best Ever Albums
100 Greatest Albums of 1995
NME's best albums and tracks of 1995
100 Greatest Songs From 1995

Nominations will be tallied here as the week goes on:

Album Nominations

Song Nominations


It’s a 10.

  1. Belter of a year! Here are a few of my favourites from back then, but there were so many great albums to choose from.

Album Nomination: The Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

It’s at the very least tied for greatest album ever written and without a doubt the greatest and most prolific era of music by anyone. It’s a massive, magical, violent, gentle, layered, dream-like journey that taps into every emotion and dials them all up to ten. I know I’m a broken record about this but it was also a total reinvention and an absolutely massive risk to take, but due to its own success and ubiquity its recognized as neither. Billy completely changed his singing style (remember, he hadn’t introduced the patented Corgan sneer or blood curdling scream yet on record) and incorporated a whole new range of sounds and styles, and packaged everything into a towering commercial and artistic achievement. Every second of it is perfect (and listen to that guitar playing and drumming, it’s unreal), and the crazy thing is that it very easily could be a 5 disc album too between all of the equally perfect B-Sides, outtakes, unreleased material, and demos.

Song Nomination: The Smashing Pumpkins - 1979

I’ll keep it simple. As my wife said to me a couple days ago, it’s the best song of the 90s and the song of a generation. That bridge is the greatest bridge in all of music.

Nearly 30 years later and there’s still nothing that even comes close to touching it.
Greatest fucking band in the world.


Nominate: Pulp - Different Class

Probably will find more profound words at some stage but it’s a 10/10 album - the Big Hits, the brilliant album tracks, the cultural impact and all.


Going to nominate a track early: Luniz - I Got 5 On It. Album to follow.

And I’ll be voting high. This was the year I started spending my pocket money on albums and when music really took over. So much I still love.


Nominate Album: Sparklehorse - Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot


Ludicrous year


maaaaaaaan, tough to pick a song to nominate a single track to nominate. got to go with mobb deep - shook ones part II because it’s perfect

assorted bangerz:

might be my favourite rza beat. lot of competition for that title this year alone

sometimes i say things like az is better than nas. it isn’t true, but it isn’t entirely not true either

first two goodie mob albums fucking rule.

what a great rap voice. the best.

wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up

might end up nominating liquid swords for the album. that, cuban linx, and the dirty version all in the same year, wu were un-fucking-touchable at this point

“e-i-h-t, now should I continue, yeah you left out the g because the G ain’t in you” brutal


This one just edges it imo


Maybe my full album list, no real order

The Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Foo Fighters - S/T
Everclear - Sparkle and Fade
311 - S/T
Radiohead - The Bends
Alice in Chains - S/T
Mad Season - Above
Oasis - What’s the Story Morning Glory
Green Day - Insomniac
Elliott Smith - S/T
Sparklehorse - Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot
Kyuss - And the Circus Leaves Town
Neil Young and Pearl Jam - Mirror Ball
Yo La Tengo - Electr-O-Pura
The Flaming Lips - Clouds Taste Metallic
Blink 182 - Cheshire Cat
Red Hot Chili Peppers - One Hot Minute

1 Like

What a year! Let’s gooooo


Nominate album PJ Harvey, To Bring You My Love

Nominate song Sonic Youth, Diamond Sea

Great year!


Pretty much the greatest alt country album - a true classic.

Nominate album Son Volt - ‘Trace’



You’re not kidding!

1 Like

just had a look, turns out 1995 banged.


Gonna nominate Autechre - Tri Repetae, one of my all-time favourites that I discover something new every time I listen, while ‘Clipper’ and ‘Rsdio’ are pure comfort food at this point. There’s been an almost obscene amount of good Autechre since but I think this will always be my favourite. They also released the “Anvil Vapre” and “Garbage” EPs this year, presumably just to show off.

Rest of my top 10 in alphabetical order and on another day I could have picked them as favourites
I especially agonised a bit about GZA, Mobb Deep and Smashing Pumpkins, which all got me through tough times and are just pure joys to listen to. Slowdive and Woob are recent discoveries, but loved them.

Aghast - Hexerei im Zwielicht der Finsternis
Chemical Brothers - Exit Planet Dust
GZA - Liquid Swords
Hum - You’d Prefer An Astronaut
Mobb Deep - The Infamous
Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
Slowdive - Pygmalion
Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness
Woob - Woob² 4495

Other good albums
Aphex Twin - I Care Because You Do | Basic Channel - BCD | The Black Dog - Spanners | Blut Aus Nord - Ultima Thulee | D’Angelo - Brown Sugar | Deftones - Adrenaline | DJ Krush - Meiso | Elastica - Elastica | Fugazi - Red Medicine | Garbage - Garbage | Goodie Mob - Soul Food | Group Home - Livin Proof | In Flames - The Jester Race | In The Woods - Heart of the Ages | Meshuggah - Destroy Erase Improve | Nightmares on Wax - Smokers Delight | Ol Dirty Bastard - Return to the 36 Chambers | Oval - 94 Diskont | Quicksand - Manic Compression | Radiohead - The Bends | Richard H Kirk - The Number of Magic | Scorn - Gyral | Scott Walker - Tilt | Seefeel - Succour | Tricky - Maxinquaye | Unwound - Future of What | 2pac - Me Against the World

Shook Ones Part II and 1979 were already picked so I’ll go with this for the song nomination, which might as well have been the official theme song of the Playstation 1 if you ask me

Song nomination: Chemical Brothers - Chemical Beats

think I’ll give 95 a 10.



album: David Bowie-Outside

song: Diamond Sea by Sonic Youth

3 or 4 albums from this year that are in my top 20 all time. Hard to choose. Definitely a 10 year.

edit: had to change album from Melon Collie. I listened to Outside constantly while in a painkiller daze with a massive kidney stone and It inspired my first attempts at song writing.


Nominate Album: GZA - Liquid Swords