1991’s Best Rock Albums

1991's Best Rock Albums

Photo: David Lee / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

Our 1991’s Best Rock Album list presents a year in rock and roll that completely transformed the music business. The year was fueled by a teenage rebellion not seen since the 1960s. It wasn’t a political or economic rebellion, but rather a musical one. Tired of the 1980s big hair glam bands like Poison and Cinderella, a new movement called Grunge swept the rock and roll world. The grunge movement that had been brewing in the city of Seattle would be ignited on a world wide basis by the release of Nirvana’s Nevermind album. I had not seen young teenagers taken back and inspired by a musical band like they were by Nirvana in almost twenty years.

It was not only Nirvana that captured the attention of rock fans. Great new bands like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden set the stage for a decade of great new rock music, and a sound that 1990’s teenagers could call their own. Many of those bands had been around for a while, but 1991 was the year that they all captured a national audience. Those great new bands also excited 20 and 30 somethings that had grown up during the Led Zeppelin era of the 1970s.

1991 presented metal fans with one of the decades greatest albums. Metallica blew people’s minds with their album Metallica (Black Album) and there soon to be be iconic song “Enter Sandman.” Standing somewhere in between metal and grunge, identifying rock and roll at its finest was Guns N’ Roses phenomenal multiple CD releases of Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II.  Fans wold debate which album they liked better. In the end, it didn’t really matter, both Illusion albums were fantastic.

U2 also came roaring back in 1991 with the album Acthung Baby. It was a record that presented fans with a completely new sound wrapped in great new songs and a modern attitude that showed U2 was ready to compete with modernity by leading the way. It stands as one of their greatest works. Some U2 fans feel its their best album the band has ever released.

In 1990, rock fans welcomed back the return of the Allman Brothers Band. In 1991, fans were once again greeted with another returning legendary southern rock band. Lynyrd Skynyrd released their first new album of materiel since the tragic plane crash of 1977. The new album entitled Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 would launch the band’s second act with Ronnie Van Zant’s younger brother Johnny Van Zant on lead vocals.

Like every year we have covered since 1960, the second year of the decade of the 1990s is filled with music that crosses musical genres. Some years have great top 10’s and others so so top 10’s. 1991 has one of the best we have ever seen.

# 100 – The Beast Inside – Inspiral Carpets

The Beast Inside – Inspiral Carpets

# 99 – Bullhead – The Melvins

Bullhead – The Melvins

# 98 – The Promise – T’Pau

The Promise – T'Pau

# 97 – Mr. Lucky – John Lee Hooker

Mr. Lucky – John Lee Hooker

# 96 – Baby Animals – Baby Animals

Baby Animals – Baby Animals

# 95 – Electric Barnyard – The Kentucky Headhunters

Electric Barnyard – The Kentucky Headhunters

# 94 – Struck by Lightning – Graham Parker

Struck by Lightning – Graham Parker

# 93 – Information Libre – Sham 69

Information Libre – Sham 69

# 92 – Life’s Too Short – Marshall Crenshaw

Life's Too Short – Marshall Crenshaw

# 91 – LovelessMy Bloody Valentine

Loveless - My Bloody Valentine

# 90 – Rush StreetRichard Marx

Rush Street - Richard Marx

# 89 – Chorus – Erasure

Chorus - Erasure

# 88 – Uncle AnesthesiaScreaming Trees

Uncle Anesthesia - Screaming Trees

# 87 – Saigon KickSaigon Kick

Saigon Kick Album

# 86 – Black and White – The BoDeans

Black and White - The BoDeans

# 85 – Arise – Sepultura

Arise - Sepultura

# 84 – The Ghosts That Haunt MeCrash Test Dummies

The Ghosts That Haunt Me - Crash Test Dummies

# 83 – HoodooAlison Moyet

Hoodoo - Alison Moyet

# 82 – Sugar Tax – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Sugar Tax - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

# 81 – Slave to the GrindSkid Row

Slave to the Grind - Skid Row

# 80 – Shift-WorkThe Fall

Shift-Work - The Fall

# 79 – Hollywood VampiresL.A. Guns

Hollywood Vampires - L.A. Guns

# 78 – Different WorldUriah Heep

Different World - Uriah Heep

# 77 – When Your A Boy – Susanna Hoffs

When Your A Boy - Susanna Hoffs

# 76 – Steady Diet of NothingFugazi

Steady Diet of Nothing - Fugazi

# 75 – Holidays in EdenMarillion

Holidays in Eden - Marillion

# 74 – Travelers and ThievesBlues Traveler

Travelers and Thieves - Blues Traveler

# 73 – Waking Up the Neighbors – Bryan Adams

Waking Up the Neighbors - Bryan Adams

# 72 – Kerplunk – Green Day

Kerplunk - Green Day

# 71 – White Light From the Mouth of InfinitySwans

# 70 – Why Do Birds Sing?Violent Femmes

Why Do Birds Sing? - Violent Femmes

# 69 – Mr. BungleMr. Bungle

Mr. Bungle Album

# 68 – Widespread PanicWidespread Panic

Widespread Panic Album

# 67 – Mama Said – Lenny Kravitz

Mama Said - Lenny Kravitz

# 66 – Fireball ZoneRic Ocasek

Fireball Zone - Ric Ocasek

# 65 – Jungle FeverStevie Wonder

Jungle Fever - Stevie Wonder

# 64 – Hard At Play – Huey Lewis and the News

Hard At Play - Huey Lewis and the News

# 63 – Laughter & LustJoe Jackson

Laughter & Lust - Joe Jackson

# 62 – Kill Uncle – Morrissey

Kill Uncle - Morrissey

# 61 – True LovePat Benatar

True Love - Pat Benatar

# 60 – Unusual HeatForeigner

Unusual Heat - Foreigner

# 59 – Word of MouthMike + The Mechanics

Word of Mouth - Mike + The Mechanics

# 58 – Mane AttractionWhite Lion

Mane Attraction - White Lion

# 57 – Places I Have Never BeenWillie Nile

Places I Have Never Been - Willie Nile

# 56 – Road ApplesThe Tragically Hip

Road Apples - The Tragically Hip

# 55 – Biscuits (EP) – Living Colour

Biscuits (EP) - Living Colour

# 54 – Solid Ball of RockSaxon

Solid Ball of Rock - Saxon

# 53 – 2nd Wind – Todd Rundgren

2nd Wind - Todd Rundgren

# 52 – Shake Me UpLittle Feat

Shake Me Up - Little Feat

# 51 – Vagabond HeartRod Stewart

Vagabond Heart - Rod Stewart

# 50 – Woodface – Crowded House

Woodface - Crowded House

# 49 – Storyville – Robbie Robertson

Storyville - Robbie Robertson

# 48 – Marc CohnMarc Cohn

Marc Cohn album

# 47 – Lynyrd Skynyrd 91 – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd 91 - Lynyrd Skynyrd

# 46 – Trompe le MondePixies

Trompe le Monde - Pixies

# 45 – Girlfriend – Matthew Sweet

Girlfriend - Matthew Sweet

# 44 – Catfish Rising – Jethro Tull

Catfish Rising - Jethro Tull

# 43 – NotoriousJoan Jett And The Blackhearts

Notorious - Joan Jett And The Blackhearts

# 42 – The Sky Is Crying (posthumous) Stevie Ray Vaughan

The Sky Is Crying Stevie Ray Vaughan

# 41 – Brotherhood – The Doobie Brothers

Brotherhood - The Doobie Brothers

# 40 – Ceremony – The Cult

Ceremony - The Cult

# 39 – Pocket Full Of Kryptonite – Spin Doctors

Pocket Full Of Kryptonite - Spin Doctors

# 38 – Lean Into ItMr. Big

Lean Into It - Mr. Big

# 37 – Luck Of The Drawer – Bonnie Raitt

Luck Of The Drawer - Bonnie Raitt

# 36 – On Every StreetDire Straits

On Every Street - Dire Straits

# 35 – Mr. Bad Example – Warren Zevon

Mr. Bad Example - Warren Zevon

# 34 – We Can’t Dance – Genesis

We Can't Dance - Genesis

# 33 – Gish – Smashing Pumpkins

Gish - Smashing Pumpkins

# 32 –  Hey Stoopid – Alice Cooper

Hey Stoopid - Alice Cooper

# 31 – A Little Ain’t Enough – David Lee Roth

A Little Ain't Enough - David Lee Roth

# 30 – Pop Pop – Rickie Lee Jones

Pop Pop – Rickie Lee Jones

# 29 – Sailing The Seas Of Cheese – Primus

Sailing The Seas Of Cheese - Primus

# 28 – Night Ride HomeJoni Mitchell

Night Ride Home - Joni Mitchell

# 27 – 1916 – Motörhead

1916 - Motörhead

# 26 – Silver Lining – Nils Lofgren

Silver Lining – Nils Lofgren

# 25 – Ordinary Average Guy – Joe Walsh

Ordinary Average Guy - Joe Walsh

# 24 – Whenever We WantedJohn Mellencamp

Whenever We Wanted - John Mellencamp

# 23 –Temple of the Dog – Temple of the Dog

Temple of the Dog - Temple of the Dog

# 22 – Roll The Bones – Rush

Roll The Bones - Rush

# 21 – Make A Jazz Noise Here – Frank Zappa

Make A Jazz Noise Here - Frank Zappa

# 20 – Union – Yes

Union - Yes

# 19 – The Soul Cages – Sting

The Soul Cages - Sting

# 18 – Hymns To The Silence – Van Morrison

Hymns To The Silence - Van Morrison

# 17 – Diamonds and PearlsPrince

Diamonds and Pearls - Prince

# 16 –The Best Band You Never Heard in Your LifeZappa

The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life - Zappa

# 15 – Out of Time – R.E.M.

Out of Time - R.E.M.

# 14 – InnuendoQueen

Innuendo - Queen

# 13 – No More Tears – Ozzy Osbourne

No More Tears - Ozzy Osbourne

# 12  Into The Great Wide Open – Tom Petty & Heartbreakers

Into The Great Wide Open - Tom Petty & Heartbreakers

# 11 -Blow Up –The Smithereens

Blow Up -The Smithereens

# 10 – For Unlawful Knowledge – Van Halen

For Unlawful Knowledge - Van Halen

#  9 – Blood Sugar Sex Majik – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Blood Sugar Sex Majik - Red Hot Chili Peppers

#  8 – Shades of Two WorldsAllman Brothers Band

Shades of Two Worlds - Allman Brothers Band

#  7 – Bad Motor Finger – Soundgarden

Bad Motor Finger - Soundgarden

#  6 – Use Your Illusion II – Guns N’ Roses

Use Your Illusion II - Guns N' Roses

#  5 – Achtung Baby – U2

Achtung Baby - U2

#  4 – Ten – Pearl Jam

Ten - Pearl Jam

#  3 – Metallica (The Black Album) – Metallica

Metallica (The Black Album) - Metallica

#  2 – Use Your Illusion I – Guns N’ Roses

Use Your Illusion I - Guns N' Roses

#  1 – Nevermind – Nirvana

Nevermind - Nirvana

Best Albums of The Year Series

1960’s Best Rock Albums

1962’s Best Rock Albums List

1963’s Best Rock Albums List

1964’s Best Rock Albums List

1965’s Best Albums

1966’s Best Albums

1967’s Best Rock Albums

1968’s Best Rock Albums

1969’s Best Rock Albums 

1970’s Best Rock Albums

1970’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1971’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1972’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1973’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1974’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1975’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1976’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1977’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1978’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1979’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1980’s Best Rock Albums

1980’s Best Rock Albums List

1981’s Best Rock Albums List

1982’s Best Rock Albums List

1983’s Best Rock Albums List

1984’s Best Rock Albums List

1985’s Best Rock Albums List

1986’s Best Rock Albums List

1990s Best Rock Album Series

1990s’ Best Rock Albums

1991’s Best Rock Albums

1992’s Best Rock Albums

1993’s Best Rock Albums

1994’s Best Rock Albums

1995’s Best Rock Albums

1996’s Best Rock Albums

1997’s Best Rock Albums

1998’s Best Rock Albums

1999’s Best Rock Albums

1991’s Best Rock Albums article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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