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

# 99 – Bullhead – The Melvins

# 98 – The Promise – T’Pau

# 97 – Mr. Lucky – John Lee Hooker

# 96 – Baby Animals – Baby Animals

# 95 – Electric Barnyard – The Kentucky Headhunters

# 94 – Struck by Lightning – Graham Parker

# 93 – Information Libre – Sham 69

# 92 – Life’s Too Short – Marshall Crenshaw

# 91 – LovelessMy Bloody Valentine

# 90 – Rush Street – Richard Marx

# 89 – Chorus – Erasure

# 88 – Uncle Anesthesia – Screaming Trees

# 87 – Saigon KickSaigon Kick

# 86 – Black and White – The BoDeans

# 85 – Arise – Sepultura

# 84 – The Ghosts That Haunt Me – Crash Test Dummies

# 83 – Hoodoo – Alison Moyet

# 82 – Sugar Tax – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

# 81 – Slave to the Grind – Skid Row

# 80 – Shift-WorkThe Fall

# 79 – Hollywood VampiresL.A. Guns

# 78 – Different WorldUriah Heep

# 77 – When Your A Boy – Susanna Hoffs

# 76 – Steady Diet of NothingFugazi

# 75 – Holidays in Eden – Marillion

# 74 – Travelers and Thieves – Blues Traveler

# 73 – Waking Up the Neighbors – Bryan Adams

# 72 – Kerplunk – Green Day

# 71 – Blow Up -The Smithereens

# 70 – Why Do Birds Sing? – Violent Femmes

# 69 – Mr. BungleMr. Bungle

# 68 – Widespread PanicWidespread Panic

# 67 – Mama Said – Lenny Kravitz

# 66 – Fireball ZoneRic Ocasek

# 65 – Jungle FeverStevie Wonder

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

# 63 – Laughter & LustJoe Jackson

# 62 – Kill Uncle – Morrissey

# 61 – True LovePat Benatar

# 60 – Unusual HeatForeigner

# 59 – Word of Mouth – Mike + The Mechanics

# 58 – Mane Attraction – White Lion

# 57 – Places I Have Never Been – Willie Nile

# 56 – Road ApplesThe Tragically Hip

# 55 – Biscuits (EP) – Living Colour

# 54 – Solid Ball of Rock – Saxon

# 53 – 2nd Wind – Todd Rundgren

# 52 – Shake Me UpLittle Feat

# 51 – Vagabond HeartRod Stewart

# 50 – Woodface – Crowded House

# 49 – Storyville – Robbie Robertson

# 48 – Marc CohnMarc Cohn

# 47 – Lynyrd Skynyrd 91 – Lynyrd Skynyrd

# 46 – Trompe le MondePixies

# 45 – Girlfriend – Matthew Sweet

# 44 – Catfish Rising – Jethro Tull

# 43 – NotoriousJoan Jett And The Blackhearts

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

# 41 – Brotherhood – The Doobie Brothers

# 40 – Ceremony – The Cult

# 39 – Pocket Full Of Kyrptonite – The Spin Doctors

# 38 – Lean Into It – Mr. Big

# 37 – Luck Of The Drawer – Bonnie Raitt

# 36 – On Every StreetDire Straits

# 35 – Mr. Bad Example – Warren Zevon

# 34 – We Can’t Dance – Genesis

# 33 – Gish – Smashing Pumpkins

# 32 –  Hey Stoopid – Alice Cooper

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

# 30 – Pop Pop – Rickie Lee Jones

# 29 – Sailing The Seas Of Cheese – Primus

# 28 – Night Ride HomeJoni Mitchell

# 27 – 1916 – Motörhead

# 26 – Silver Lining – Nils Lofgren

# 25 – Ordinary Average Guy – Joe Walsh

# 24 – Whenever We WantedJohn Mellencamp

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

# 22 – Roll The Bones – Rush

# 21 – Make A Jazz Noise Here – Frank Zappa

# 20 – Union – Yes

# 19 – The Soul Cages – Sting

# 18 – Hymns To The Silence – Van Morrison

# 17 – Diamonds and PearlsPrince

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

# 15 – Out of Time – R.E.M.

# 14 – InnuendoQueen

# 13 – No More Tears – Ozzy Osbourne

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

# 11 – Alanis – Alanis Morissette

# 10 – For Unlawful Knowledge – Van Halen

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

#  8 – Shades of Two WorldsAllman Brothers Band

#  7 – Bad Motor Finger – Soundgarden

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

#  5 – Achtung Baby – U2

#  4 – Ten – Pearl Jam

#  3 – Metallica (The Black Album) – Metallica

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

#  1 – 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

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