Collective Soul

1995 Album of the Year

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Collective Soul 1995 albumCollective Soul reached its full musical promise and commercial success with their 1995 self-titled second album, sometimes referred to as their “blue album”. Here, the rock quintet from Georgia struck a nice blend of 1980s-style hard rock and early 1990s-style grunge rock to forge a distinctive sound which resonated well with rock fans in the mid nineties. Although far from ground breaking in originality and compositional quality, Collective Soul is solid from end to end and may be the most interesting overall release of 1995, hence making it our Album of the Year.

Although it was quite successful, group leader Ed Roland did not feel that Collective Soul’s 1993 debut album, Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid rose above the level of a professional demo. He even went so far as to refer to Collective Soul as the group’s “first record, flat out”. Still, with the phenomenal success of the song “Shine”, Roland put together a proper band, starting with fellow guitarists Ross Childress and Ed’s younger brother Dean Roland. The debut album eventually went double-platinum and the group immediately landed on major tours through 1994, including an appearance at the Woodstock ’94 Festival.

Later in the year, the group headed to Miami to record Collective Soul along with co-producer Matt Serletic. Although Ed Roland remained the predominant songwriter, with fifteen of his tracks recorded in the studio, Childress also contributed some help with a few compositions. Due to the group’s rising popularity and demand for live performances, the album was recorded, mixed and mastered rather quickly, but still achieved optimal sonic results.


Collective Soul by Collective Soul
Released: March 14, 1995 (Atlantc)
Produced by: Ed Roland and Matt Serletic
Recorded: Criteria Studios, Miami, October-December 1994
Album Tracks Group Musicians
Simple
“Untitled”
The World I Know
Smashing Young Man
December
Where the River Flows
Gel
She Gathers Rain
When the Water Falls
Collection of Goods
Bleed
Reunion
Ed Roland – Lead Vocals, Guitars
Ross Childress – Guitars, Vocals
Dean Roland – Guitars
Will Turpin – Bass, Vocals
Shane Evans – Drums

 
Collective Soul album

The album starts with the distant funky rap of “Simple” before the full song kicks in and remains strong and upbeat throughout, setting up the simple yet effective tone of the album. The second track falls into the same type of approach as the opener but with much more melody and other sonic intricacies. This untitled track is kind of unique (albeit a bit unprofessional), falling second in the running order, as opposed to the typical “hidden track” at the end of many 1990s albums.

Cowritten by Roland and Childress, the moody, acoustic folk ballad “The World I Know” is rich with orchestral elements to complement the somber lyrics and vocal delivery. There is good melodramatic motion throughout, especially when moving between distinct parts of the song which, as a whole, is a clever bit of melancholy which feels neither forced nor drab. The song peaked at #19 on the pop charts and spent several weeks at the #1 spot on the Mainstream Rock chart. An over-the-top sharp riff with slightly hip-hop rhythms drive the track “Smashing Young Man”. This song’s tongue-in-cheek lyrics were written in response to Smashing Pumpkins’ lead vocalist Billy Corgan, who earlier accused Collective Soul of plagiarizing music, with some poetic responses;

Beggar’s description of what I’ve been missing / Exploit your position, don’t think I didn’t listen…Success is so tragic, pain is your gadget / Your tongue’s just lashing, just bitching by habit / Hey I hope you’re feeling a little purer now…”

The most grunge-influenced track with its fantastic fits and starts, “December” brilliantly displays the band’s ability to write songs that are at once totally unique but radio friendly. The intro and verse guitar is finger-picked and accompanied by deeply harmonized vocals through the verses. Drummer Shane Evans provides some hand percussion in the second verse and well timed lead-ins before the choruses. The song was another hit for the group, peaking in the Top 20 on the pop charts. “Where the River Flows” follows with a heavy rock riff and gaited drums throughout, leading to “Gel”, another rock gem from this album. On many levels the musical heart of Collective Soul, “Gel” opens with a stripped down section that perfectly sets up the energy of the song proper. Later comes a good bluesy guitar by Childress with riff rudiments in the mid-section, while the brief, simple but highly effective lyric which gets the song’s point across in a brevity to match its title.

Collective Soul

The latter part of the album contains some lesser known but equally fine tracks to nicely round off this album. “She Gathers Rain” is a bit over the top with interplay between the opening guitar riff and strong drum beat but, as song settles into a groove, it is quite entertaining. “When the Water Falls” features nice bass work by Will Turpin, who provides the glue between the two complementing guitar riffs in the intro, with a later sweet musical arrangement and acoustic added to the mix along with complex lead and backing vocal arrangements. “Collection of Goods” features nice sonic effects throughout with a crisp guitar riff, worthy of earliest-era Rush, while “Bleed” moves towards more mechanical passages of guitar textures, with each section in turn, like passing through an assembly line. The album concludes with “Reunion”, a song which fully shows off the group’s Southern roots. This fine closer includes soulful vocals by Roland as well as a chorus of Gospel-like backing vocalists and a slide acoustic guitar to accentuate this simple but excellent song which concludes this simple but excellent album.

Collective Soul became the band’s highest selling album and spent well over a year on the Billboard album charts. Following its release, the group spent little free time, embarking on an extended national tour the next day, followed by an immediate commencement of writing and recording material for their next album.

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1995 page images

Part of Classic Rock Review’s celebration of 1995 albums.

 

River Songs by The Badlees

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River Songs by The BadleesAfter honing their sound for half a decade, The Badlees found their first real commercial success with River Songs. Originally released as the quintet’s third independent studio album in early 1995, the album was re-released internationally after the group signed with Polydor/Atlas later in the year. Led by guitarist and chief songwriter Bret Alexander, the group produced solid songs with scaled back musical arrangements utilizing an array of acoustic and native percussion instruments as well as a heavy use of harmonica as a lead instrument.

In early 1992, The Badlees released their first full-length album, Diamonds In the Coal, which featured a nice blend of pop, rock, and folk tracks. However, they decided to change directions for the 1993 follow-up, The Unfortunate Result of Spare Time, which had a slicker and more streamlined production style. Although disappointed with the overall result of this second album, the group worked hard to promote it through constant touring. This lead to the band getting the incredible opportunity to be one of the first Western rock bands to perform in mainland China during the 1994 Qingdao Beer Festival in August of that year.

After returning from China, the group started work on their third full length release. The daily 50-mile commute along the Susquehanna River inspired the title, River Songs, as they traveled to Harrisburg, PA to record the album. The deliberate musical intent of this record was to return to the distinct style they began forging in their early years.


River Songs by The Badlees
Released: February 28, 1995 (Rite-Off)
Produced by: The Badlees
Recorded: The Green Room, Harrisburg, PA, September-November 1994
Album Tracks Group Musicians
Grill the Sucker
Angeline Is Coming Home
Fear of Falling
Angels of Mercy
Queen of Perfection
Bendin’ the Rules
Gwendolyn
Ore Hill
Nothing Much of Anything
Song For a River
I Liked You Better When You Hated Yourself
Pete Palladino – Lead Vocals, Harmonica
Bret Alexander – Guitars, Mandolin, Dobro, Vocals
Jeff Feltenberger – Guitars, Vocals
Paul Smith – Bass, Vocals
Ron Simasek – Drums, Percussion

River Songs by The Badlees

The brief, 73 second opening instrumental, “Grill the Sucker” was meant to make an immediate statement foreshadowing the tone of the subsequent album. It starts with a fade in of Ron Simasek‘s drum shuffle soon joined by the group in a blue-grass inspired stomp which includes such rustic instruments as the dobro, stumpf fiddle, and jaw harp. Unfortunately, the later release changed the running order so this intended opening statement gets lost in the mix. Co-written by longtime band collaborator Mike Naydock, “Angeline Is Coming Home” would become The Badlees’ highest charting single. Driven by the signature harmonica and fine vocal melodies of Pete Palladino, it features artful lyrics about an addict’s triumphant return from rehab.

A true highlight on the album, “Fear of Falling” is built upon Alexander’s mandolin and melodic lyrics which speak of reaching for lofty goals, failing, and then getting up and trying again. Musically, the mandolin is blended with acoustic and electric guitar as well as some strategic Hammond organ by guest Robert Scott Richardson. Throughout the song, there is a potent mix of backing harmonies by Jeff Feltenberger and Paul Smith with Palladino providing the climatic closing crescendo of harmonica intermixed with vocal ad-libs.

 

Through the middle part of the album, the group alternates between upbeat pop/rock and more somber, folk-influenced tracks. “Angels of Mercy” features intelligent lyrics, chanting hooks, and entertaining guitar riffs, while “Queen of Perfection” features a heavy dose of dark humor along with an opening harmonica that harmonizes with an electric guitar and an interesting, country-like ending. The dramatic and deliberate “Bendin’ the Rules” was co-written by Alexander, Naydock, and Smith and it is notable for containing two of the very few proper guitar leads on the album. The highlight of this part of the album is “Gwendolyn”, a strong pop song with an excellent hook that pulls you right in. The track is pure musical fun and entertainment, starting with the high-pitched wail by Feltenberger and a later strong blues/rock guitar lead.

The Badlees in 1995
“Ore Hill” is Feltenberger’s sole composition on River Songs as a pure folk / Americana track with delicate acoustic guitar complimented by mandolin, harmonica, and interesting drum patterns. The thumping rocker “Nothing Much of Anything” seems a bit out of place at this point in the album but still features a good building chorus section along with interesting guitar textures by Alexander and bass patterns by Smith.

The quasi-title track “Song for a River” is actually about a person, using the “river” as a metaphor for that person’s life. The song was composed by Alexander and Naydock in the early 1990s but was not used because it was difficult to develop due to its length and unique arrangement. Eventually, Alexander decided to simply “talk” through the verses and add a repeating chorus throughout. Ultimately, the song employs three lead singers; Alexander, Palladino, and Feltenberger, whose majestic scat vocal notes were a tip of the hat to Pink Floyd’s “The Great Gig In The Sky”. Closing out this eight minute track is a fine outro of pure acoustic folk instruments. The album concludes with the light and entertaining “I Liked You Better When You Hated Yourself”, complete with sarcastic nostalgia and a middle yodeling section which became a fan favorite during subsequent live performances.

Following the success of River Songs, the band embarked on several national and international tours, supporting headlining acts such as Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, Bob Segar, Greg Allman, and The Gin Blossoms. They would shoot a Hollywood music video and record a follow-up material in a world class studio before reverting back to being a top-notch independent band for many more years.

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Check out The Badlees’ Career Profile on Modern Rock Review

1995 page images

Part of Classic Rock Review’s celebration of 1995 albums.

 

Alice In Chains

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Alice In Chains 1995 albumAlice in Chains took a whole bunch of personal turmoil and spun it into a fine album with their 1995 self-titled release. Informally referred to as “The Dog Record”, this third release saw the band building on their established atonal style as well as branching out with some accessible pop/rock tracks that helped the album sell over three million copies and reach double platinum status. This album is also notable as the group’s final studio release with original vocalist Layne Staley, as they would not complete another studio album before his death in 2002.

Following the massive success of their 1992 album, Dirt, Alice In Chains worked through a grueling tour schedule. However, bassist Mike Starr longed for home and was replaced by Mike Inez in advance of their acoustic-based, chart-topping album, Jar of Flies, released in early 1994. Soon after its release, Staley entered rehab for heroin addiction, which caused the group to cease touring and be replaced during the Woodstock ’94 festival.

Through the Spring and Summer of 1995 the group recorded Alice in Chains in Seattle with producer Toby Wright. Few of the songs had been written before the recording sessions began and, as Staley continued to struggle with addiction, guitarist Jerry Cantrell stepped up as chief composer as well as lead vocalist on several of the earliest tracks. Cantrell was facing his own turmoil after the break-up of his long time girlfriend, but this lent to helping him create some of the album’s signature tunes.


Balance by Van Halen
Released: November 7, 1995 (Columbia)
Produced by: Toby Wright & Alice in Chains
Recorded: Bad Animals Studio, Seattle, April–August 1995
Album Tracks Group Musicians
Grind
Brush Away
Sludge Factory
Heaven Beside You
Head Creeps
Again
Shame In You
God Am
So Close
Nothin’ Song
Frogs
Over Now
Layne Staley – Lead Vocals, Guitars
Jerry Cantrell – Guitars, Vocals
Mike Inez – Bass
Sean Kinney – Drums

 
Alice In Chains 1995 album

The album’s opening track as well as lead single, “Grind” is both slow and doomy, yet infectiously catchy. Cantrell made heavy use of wah effect on his guitars and Staley provided good harmonies to Cantrell’s lead vocals during the chorus breaks. “Brush Away” is less effective than the opener but does contain a nice effect of dual guitars. “Sludge Factory” follows with a slow drudge through initial sections and cool overdubs during the ‘B’ section. The song drifts into a long middle section which includes some distant spoken words and impressive drum patterns by Sean Kinney.

Cantrell’s “Heaven Beside You” is the first really great song on the album. It has a classic rock approach while maintaining an alternative edge, built on the acoustic guitar throughout with some later overdubbed electric guitar riffs and slight lead sections, all adding to the overall majesty of the song. The track was released as a single and reached the Top 5 of the Mainstream Rock chart in 1996.

 
“Head Creeps” has a nice vibe with animated rhythms by Inez and Kinney and a wild effect on Staley’s vocals all through its theatrical passages. Another successful mainstream rock track, “Again” employs the most direct heavy metal approach with its deadened hard guitar texture, rolling drums, thumping bass, and chanting vocals. “Shame In You” features a steady but deliberate drum pattern by Kinney before it breaks in with a fuller arrangement, ultimately finishing.

This album does descend to a nadir during the next three tracks. After a feedback drenched intro works its way into a freaky, slow groove. “God Am” becomes rather dry and listless for the duration. “So Close” continues much of this same vibe, albeit in a more succinct fashion, while on “Nothin’ Song” the vocals follow guitar through the verses while the choruses change direction in tone and tempo.

Alice In Chains

Wrapping things up are a couple of stronger tracks. The eight minute acoustic epic “Frogs” is slow, dark, and theatrical with Inez’s slicing bass and potent musical interlude between providing the early highlights. Later, a long outro section is quite entertaining, even though it remains very slow and steady with no deviation. The closer “Over Now” may be the most pop-oriented track on the album, with its pleasant guitar textures complementing the simple but effective vocal melodies and lyrics. The slight bridge and outro section bring a little more sonic candy to this song which features Cantrell on lead vocals.

Tracks from Alice In Chains received Grammy nominations in 1996 and 1997 and the album was up for several other industry awards. Debuting at number one, the album stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for nearly a year. While no tour followed the album release, the group did perform a single show in April 1996, which was recorded for a live MTV Unplugged album later that year.

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1995 page images

Part of Classic Rock Review’s celebration of 1995 albums.

 

Balance by Van Halen

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Balance by Van HalenThere is no doubt that the decade-long Sammy Hagar experiment had run its course by the time Van Halen had gotten to their tenth studio album (the fourth with Hagar), Balance. Released in early 1995, this album did continue their commercial streak by giving the “Van Hagar” lineup a perfect 4-for-4 when it comes to #1 albums in the USA. However, while still interesting and entertaining, this album was the less cohesive than any of the group’s previous efforts, probably due to the internal fighting within the band.

Following the late eighties success of 5150 and OU812, Van Halen started the 1990s by producing and releasing the album, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, which was marketed as the “return” to Van Halen’s hard rock roots. This was particularly due to Eddie Van Halen‘s abandonment of synth sounds in favor of guitar riff driven or, at the very least, hard rock piano tunes. In 1992, the album won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance and the band continued to enjoy top-level success in the rock world. However, with the emergence of grunge and alternative music, the rock world was drastically changing throughout the early nineties.

In 1994, the band got together at Eddie’s 5150 Studios with producer Bruce Fairbairn, dedicating eight hour days to write, rehearse, and record this new album. However, this dedication was less cohesive as Hagar and bassist Michael Anthony were less able to dedicate as much time as Eddie and his brother, drummer Alex Van Halen. Nevertheless, Balance was one of the quickest records the group had made to that date and Alex cites it as one of his favorites.


Balance by Van Halen
Released: January 24, 1995 (Warner Bros.)
Produced by: Bruce Fairbairn
Recorded: 5150 Studio, Studio City; CA, May–September 1994
Album Tracks Group Musicians
The Seventh Seal
Can’t Stop Lovin’ You
Don’t Tell Me (What Love Can Do)
Amsterdam
Big Fat Money
Strung Out
Not Enough
Aftershock
Doin’ Time
Baluchitherium
Take Me Back (Déjà Vu)
Feelin’
Sammy Hagar – Lead Vocals
Eddie Van Halen – Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
Michael Anthony – Bass, Vocals
Alex Van Halen – Drums, Percussion

 
Balance by Van Halen

An apocalyptic chorus of polyphonic chants by The Monks of Gyuto Tantric University starts off the opener “The Seventh Seal”, before the song breaks into a steady and standard rock beat and riff. The mystical overtones of this track were inspired by Eddie Van Halen’s newfound sobriety and his first attempt in twenty years to write songs without the aid of alcohol. “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” was inspired by Hagar’s relationship with his wife and features bright guitars and a moderate, pleasant and accessible approach with thumping rhythms and slight harmonies in the background. The song was commissioned by Fairbairn who wanted a more pop-oriented song, and this was successful as it was the only single from this album to reach the Top 40. “Don’t Tell Me (What Love Can Do)” is another accessible pop song but with some extra-intensive lead vocals by Hagar and the first real traditional guitar lead by Eddie Van Halen. The lead single from Balance released in late 1994, the song reached #1 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart.

With its overt promotion of marijuana and prostitution, “Amsterdam” was a bit controversial in 1995. Musically, Eddie’s verse riff and slow-walk interludes are the highlights in an otherwise clunky arrangement. “Big Fat Money” is a frantic rockabilly song with an energy that harkens back all the way to their debut album, 17 years earlier. A bizarre but entertaining hyper-jazz guitar lead accompanied by odd rhythmic rudiments by Michael Anthony and Alex Van Halen makes this a unique track for Van Halen. A plethora of old, out-of-tune orchestral instruments fashion the avant garde instrumental “Strung Out”, with the plucking and sawing effects acting as an intro to the ballad “Not Enough”. This final pop-oriented track features a grand piano intro in a somber, minor key before building into a full rock arrangement to make it a pleasant overall power ballad. “Aftershock” features a cool intro by Eddie Van Halen and, during the song proper, Anthony’s rapid bass pattern gives it a definite edge which elevates this track above standard rock fare.

Van Halen in 1995

The album winds down strongly with four unique tracks, starting with back-to-back instrumentals. “Doin’ Time” features a percussive orchestra by Alex Van Halen, perhaps meant to symbolize the “aftershock”. The second part of this piece has an interesting Caribbean flavor and leads in to “Baluchitherium”, which seems more like filler to extend the album beyond traditional album length (< 45 minutes) to CD length (> 50 minutes). “Take Me Back (Déjà Vu)” starts as an excellent acoustic, down-home ballad with excellent vocal melodies by Hagar. It eventually kicks in to being another standard pop/rocker but does feature a slow, bluesy, and moody guitar lead and an equally impressive closing section where Eddie craftily doubles acoustic and electric guitars. The closing track “Feelin'” features a dark, solo electric intro by Eddie Van Halen. Later comes a very rich backing vocal chorus and an intense crescendo section before Eddie’s quiet guitar phrase gently puts the song and the album to rest.

With Balance, Van Halen successfully took the honor of being the first act to debut at #1 in 1995 and the album eventually went triple platinum in sales. However, tensions between Hagar and the Van Halen brothers boiled over in 1996 while planning a career-long Greatest Hits album, which led not only to Hagar’s permanent departure but also to a very short (initial) reunion with original vocalist David Lee Roth. Van Halen’s third lead singer, Gary Cherone, would span the group’s next release, Van Halen III in 1998.

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1995 page images

Part of Classic Rock Review’s celebration of 1995 albums.

 

Jagged Little Pill
by Alanis Morissette

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Jagged Little Pill by Alanis MorissetteJagged Little Pill is one of the most indelible albums to emerge from the decade of the 1990s. This third overall studio release by Canadian Alanis Morissette was her international breakthrough and had great success in scores of countries around the globe. Co-written by producer Glen Ballard, the soul baring lyrics and grunge-influenced rock songs on this album were a radical departure from those on Morissette’s initial pair of dance/pop oriented albums which were recorded while she was still in her mid-teens.

The debut album Alanis and follow-up Now Is the Time, released in 1991 and 1992 respectively, were each minor successes within Canada. After graduating from high school, Morissette moved from her hometown of Ottawa to Toronto in order to work with more accomplished songwriters for a third album release. However, she had little success there and, at the suggestion of her publisher, she moved on to Los Angeles to meet with Ballard. The two had a strong musical connection and instantly began experimenting and composing new songs.

Starting in 1994, Ballard and Morissette worked on extensive demo recording sessions at Ballard’s home studio in the San Fernando Valley which often lasted up to sixteen hours. The tracks were deliberating constructed with minimal overdubbing in order to capture the raw emotion of the original tracks. Even after the production moved on to a proper recording studio, Morisette’s original demo vocals from the original sessions were retained to maintain that original feel, with polished commercial appeal relegated to a secondary role. In fact, the team expected only moderate success from this album, initially hoping to sell enough copies for Morissette to make a proper pop/rock follow-up.


Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette
Released: June 13, 1995 (Reprise)
Produced by: Glen Ballard
Recorded: Westlake Recording & Signet Sound, Hollywood, 1994–1995
Album Tracks Primary Musicians
All I Really Want
You Oughta Know
Perfect
Hand in My Pocket
Right Through You
Forgiven
You Learn
Head over Feet
Mary Jane
Ironic
Not the Doctor
Wake Up
Your House
Alanis Morissette – Lead Vocals, Harmonica
Glen Ballard – Guitars, Keyboards
Benmont Tench – Organ
Lance Morrison – Bass
Matt Laug – Drums, Percussion

 
Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette

The album’s opening track meanders in with harmonica and funky guitar before the signature beat kicks in for the song proper of “All I Really Want”. The verses are delivered in a vocal style halfway between talking and singing (but not quite rapping), while the chorus section contains odd but entertaining harmonies. “You Oughta Know” was the song which sparked the eventual popular inferno of Jagged Little Pill and it features some rapid vocal style changes which build the intensity until the climatic choruses. Lyrically, this track is a scathing, slightly profane indictment of a former love interest, with the vocal delivery being just as important as the words. “You Oughta Know” also features smooth bass throughout by guest Flea, who performed on the track along with his Red Hot Chili Peppers band mate Dave Navarro on guitar.

Moving on, “Perfect” starts as an acoustic ballad in seventies-singer-songwriter mode but elevates with a good mixture of guitars, bass, and natural drums as the song kicks in, while the lyrics address the pressures of high expectations on children. “Hand in My Pocket” works as an anthemic dissertation on conflicting emotions and pivot points in young adulthood as portrayed by a series of paired contradictions. It is musically pleasant with subtle but strong rock guitars, bouncy bass, dry but punctual drum programming, a slight harmonica lead and an intensifying organ through later stages of song.

“Right Through You” starts as strummed acoustic but quickly morphs to a richer rock arrangement, while the music is pleasant throughout. This is followed by the four songs which make up the climatic heart of the album. “Forgiven” may be the true forgotten classic from this album, featuring multiple sections with nice sonic dynamics and vocal inflections, an overall good arrangement with rock instrumentation and great rock drumming throughout by Matt Laug. “You Learn” may be the most pop accessible track on Jagged Little Pill as well as the quasi-title track and philosophical heart of the album. Musically, it features a smooth rock/jazz arrangement by Ballard while lyrically the song speaks of the important life lessons.

“Head Over Feet” is a complete break from the prevailing cynicism as a pleasant love song with sweet lyrics and a direct, repetitive hook. The song also features a slight, Dylan-esque harmonica lead by Morissette. Jangly guitars accompany the opening vocals, soon accompanied by waltz-like bass by Lance Morrison and shuffling drums by Laug. The lyrics seem to address a young woman who has fallen into an emotional slump;

I hear you’re counting sheep again, Mary Jane,
What’s the point of trying to dream anymore? I hear you’re losing weight, Mary Jane – I wonder who you’re losing it for…”

Starting as pleasant, quiet acoustic ballad but exploding into a melodic rock screed during the choruses, “Ironic” was an extremely popular song and video. The song reached the Top 10 in several national charts and is Morissette’s highest charting song to date in the United States, where it topped out at #4. As the album winds down, it does repeat over well-tread grounds lyrically, vocally, and musically, especially on “Not the Doctor” and with “Wake Up” just slightly better than previous track due to its smooth musical approach. A hidden track deemed “Your House” is fascinating as an outtake of beautifully haunting a-capella vocals, which is actually an apt way to close in the spirit of this album.

Alanis Morissette

As of 2016, Jagged Little Pill has gone on to sell over 33 million copies worldwide along with winning a total of 5 Grammy Awards. Following its initial success, Morissette launched an 18-month worldwide tour before taking a long break from music, which may have halted her chances of repeating its massive success.

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1995 page images

Part of Classic Rock Review’s celebration of 1995 albums.

 

Ozzmosis by Ozzy Osbourne

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Ozzmosis by Ozzy OsbourneOzzmosis is a solid rock album and, perhaps, the last best solo effort by Ozzy Osbourne. This seventh solo studio album was also sort of a comeback for the iconic rock vocalist, as he had announced his retirement from music following the release of No More Tears, his 1991 sixth album. This album is also notable as the only one to feature Osbourne’s former Black Sabbath band mate, Geezer Butler, on bass, although Butler had frequently toured with Osbourne in the recent past.

Following the untimely death of guitarist Randy Rhoads in 1982, Osbourne struggled to maintain a consistent backing band. However, in the latter part of the decade Zakk Wylde would come closest to replacing Rhoads, with the recording 1988’s No Rest for the Wicked and the very successful No More Tears, which went 4x platinum. Following this success, Osbourne proclaimed his next “retirement tour” would be called “No More Tours”.

With his return in 1995, Osbourne originally started the recording project with producer Michael Wagener. However, after recording several songs, the record label requested a change in production style, so Wagener was replaced by Michael Beinhorn and four tracks were re-recorded. Recorded in Paris and New York, the sessions also spawned two songs, “Aimee” and “Living with the Enemy”, which would not become part of the album until the 2002 remastered edition.


Ozzmosis by Ozzy Osbourne
Released: October 24, 1995 (Epic)
Produced by: Michael Beinhorn
Recorded: Guillaume Tell Studios, Paris, Bearsville Studios, Woodstock, NY, Right Track Recording & Electric Lady Studios, New York City, 1995
Album Tracks Primary Musicians
Perry Mason
I Just Want You
Ghost Behind My Eyes
Thunder Underground
See You on the Other Side
Tomorrow
Denial
My Little Man
My Jekyll Doesn’t Hide
Old LA Tonight
Ozzy Osbourne – Lead Vocals
Zakk Wylde – Guitars
Rick Wakeman – Piano, Keyboards
Geezer Butler – Bass
Dean Castronovo – Drums
 
Ozzmosis by Ozzy Osbourne

The album and its opener, “Perry Mason”, starts with dramatic, string-like textures by keyboardist Rick Wakeman, in setting up the rich vibe of the song. Osbourne provides a good hook with a cool backwards masking effect, which helped make this a hit record, reaching number three on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart in November 1995. “I Just Want You” follows as a romantic ballad, co-written by Jim Vallance. It starts with heavy synth strings accompanying especially dry and somber vocals by Osbourne. This track gets especially intense during the bridge and lead parts, with Wylde’s tremolo effected guitar flying into the final verse which elevates into a higher key, keeping the ever-intense ride at maximum intensity for the duration of this fine track.

“Ghost Behind My Eyes” has an interesting riff with a twangy sound beneath heavy effects, all acting in contrast to Osbourne’s chanting vocals, while “Thunder Underground” is the first real heavy metal track, built on the slow but strong rhythms by Butler and drummer Dean Castronovo. Co-written by Motorhead bassist Lemmy Kilmister, “See You on the Other Side” is the best overall song on the album. It starts with a thumping bass and drum rhythm which is soon complemented by Wylde’s picked guitar riff through the intro and verse. The choruses have much more intensity to drive home the message with an overall classic rock feel throughout in the excellent production and measured performance. A fantastic lead guitar is followed by a climactic bridge where Osbourne’s vocals soar above the interesting riff patterns, setting up the final verse/chorus sequence with great use of repetition through the elongated outro. The doomy and intense track with a dark metal feel, which at times goes a little overboard with the effects. However, this does have poetic lyrics;

Can I get a witness to take away the pain? Walking on the water, going nowhere fastest, feeling like I’m walking with no shoes on broken glass…”

“Denial” starts with long drum roll intro by Castronovo before Wylde’s wild guitar riff directs the song into the verse and choruses, while “My Little Man” has a wild, sitar-influenced synth intro, which persists throughout. The latter song features Steve Vai on lead guitar, who was part of the group at the beginning of recording but soon dropped out. While entertaining, “My Jekyll Doesn’t Hide” tries too hard to fit into the heavy grunge sound of the day and ultimately falls a bit short. But the album does recover nicely for its final track, “Old LA Tonight”, which starts as a piano ballad but soon builds into a track which rises above its power ballad approach. The middle guitar lead-up along with bass is particularly interesting and helps to end the album on a high note.

Ozzy Osbourne and Zakk Wylde-1

Ozzmosis reached the Top 5 on the American album charts and has since been certified double platinum. Osbourne and the group launched a “Retirement Sucks!” tour in support of the album before the supporting members began to go their separate ways. In 1996, Osbourne launched the successful Ozzfest tour, which grew in stature and ultimately became one his his most successful financial ventures.

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1995 page images

Part of Classic Rock Review’s celebration of 1995 albums.

 

(What’s the Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis

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(Whats the Story) Morning Glory by OasisThe second blow of the potent 1-2 punch by Oasis at the start of their career was the 1995 album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, which fully propelled the group towards worldwide accolades and fame. On this album, primary songwriter Noel Gallagher employed a richer array of compositional influences while thick production techniques were used in what would come to be known as the inception of the “Loudness wars”. These were some of the reasons why critics were initially lukewarm in response to this album, albeit they have reversed course by offering great acclaim for the record in more recent years.

Oasis released their debut album, Definitely Maybe, in September 1994 and it became the fastest selling debut album ever (to that point) in the UK. This sudden rush of fame did have some negative consequences, as lead vocalist Liam Gallagher (Noel’s brother) exhibited some bizarre behavior on stage and original drummer Tony McCarroll departed from the band. McCarroll was replaced by Alan White, who came with an impressive studio resume.

Recording sessions for (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? were in a Welsh studio during the Spring of 1995 with producer Owen Morris. The album was recorded quickly, especially early on when the group claimed they averaged almost a song per day. However, tensions broke out between the Gallagher brothers when Noel suggested he provide lead vocals for a few tracks, a move that Liam viewed as a leading indicator of his potential ouster as front man. This led to an altercation that ultimately suspended recording for three weeks. However, Morris has since stated that the sessions overall were “the best, easiest, least fraught, most happily creative time (he has) ever had in a recording studio” and that the resulting album is “dripping with love and happiness.”


(What’s the Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis
Released: October 2, 1995 (Creation)
Produced by: Owen Norris & Noel Gallagher
Recorded: Rockfield Studios, Monmouth, Wales, March–June 1995
Album Tracks Group Musicians
Hello
Roll with It
Wonderwall
Don’t Look Back in Anger
Hey Now!
The Swamp Song (Excerpt 1)
Some Might Say
Cast No Shadow
She’s Electric
Morning Glory
The Swamp Song (Excerpt 2)
Champagne Supernova
Liam Gallagher – Lead Vocals, Percussion
Noel Gallagher – Guitars, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
Paul Arthurs – Guitars, Piano, Keyboards
Paul McGuigan – Bass
Alan White – Drums, Percussion

(What's the Story) Morning Glory by Oasis

The opening track “Hello” is the only composition not credited solely to Noel Gallagher, as Gary Glitter and Mike Leander are given co-writing credits. After a false start of strummed acoustic, the song abruptly gives way to a heavier rock arrangement with a thick, opaque sound and heavy use of guitar processing with White’s rolling drums buried deep in the mix. “Roll with It” has a solid structure of straight-forward rock with a heavy emphasis on the hook and an interesting, echoed guitar lead. The song was released ahead of the album and climbed to #2 on the UK pop charts. The worldwide hit song “Wonderwall” starts as a simple acoustic, strummed folk track. However, it quickly evolves into a much more complex and original arrangement musically, which strikes the perfect vibe which finds the seam between romance and desperation matches its rich and philosophical lyric;

And all the roads we have to walk are winding, and all the lights that lead us there are blinding – there are many things that I would like to say to you but I don’t know how…”

“Don’t Look Back in Anger” is the best song overall song by Oasis and is fittingly delivered by its author, Noel Gallagher who proves he is every bit the lead vocalist as his younger brother. The song features complex passages that soar at times with underlying riffing and fine piano riffing by Paul Arthurs as well as potent bass by Paul McGuigan. The song’s title, lyric and sound pays homage to classic artists like David Bowie, The Beatles and John Lennon in particular (with the line “Gonna start a ‘Revolution’ from my bed….”) in an approach that legitimately feels like it was spawned in a bygone era. Released as a single in early 1996, “Don’t Look Back in Anger” became Oasis’s second song to top the British charts.

The album’s momentum continues with “Hey Now!”, a strong rocker with heavy seventies pop/rock elements and consistent slide guitar throughout. Through is five minute duration, this track employs differing rhythms (which sometimes seem clunky but never quite off-putting) as well as a fine melody by Liam Gallagher during the verses and a terrific, double tracked guitar lead later. The long, repetitive final chorus drives home the entertaining elements as the song concludes. The first of two short, untitled link tracks which feature a heavy blues, ZZ-Top style rock with alternating guitar and harmonica by guest Paul Weller, leads to the blues heavy “Some Might Say”. Featuring another cool lead section with some wild synth sounds tossed in for effect, “Some Might Say” was Oasis’s first UK chart-topper and it sold nearly a half million copies as a single upon its release. The final song written for the album, “Cast No Shadow” throws in the kitchen sink of sweet effects – strummed acoustic, slight electric overlays, slide guitar, mellow synths, steady yet strong rhythms, weepy lead vocals, rich background harmonies and deep lyrical lines;

As they took his soul they stole his pride…As he faced the sun he cast no shadow…”

Coming down the stretch, the album’s quality never relents. “She’s Electric” is a happy-go-lucky pop track with bright, hard rock music, chanting, lyrical rhymes and slightly Southern layered guitars. The title track, “Morning Glory”, closely resembles a popular R.E.M. song with its metallic, textured guitars pumping out a strong riff to complement the shouted and repeated vocal hook. “Champagne Supernova” is the perfect album ending, as it comes in subtly with strummed guitar, accordion and electric textures before White’s drum beat crashes in with the glue for the thick arrangement of the track’s body. This is a nice lead up to the guitar lead section, which is slight but potent, before the song goes through the initial verse again much more quickly and intensely and with a less organized outro riff section. After one final verse, the track fades out slowly, maintaining the overall feel of the song and album and sealing this record as a classic.

Oasis in 1995

(What’s the Story) Morning Glory? sold 350,000 copies in its first week and spent 10 weeks atop the UK Albums Chart. Following its release, Oasis went on an extensive world tour, which included shows in front of hundreds of thousands in their home country.

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1995 page images

Part of Classic Rock Review’s celebration of 1995 albums.

 

The Bends by Radiohead

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The Bends by RadioheadThe Bends is the classic rock coming of age album by Radiohead, for which they received critical acclaim as well as chart and commercial success. This 1995 album was at once a major shift in the group’s musical direction as well as a move towards accessible tunes, as reflected in its five charting singles. A major contributor to this compositional evolution was the more sprawling approach in front man Thom Yorke‘s songwriting, who delivered more global lyrical themes in comparison to the personal ones of earlier work. In turn, the music was sweeping and dynamic with diverse styles and arrangements added to their three-guitar attack to forge a grand and forceful sound.

The group’s first album was 1993’s Pablo Honey, which featured a strong alternative / grunge presence. This brought some international success and much subsequent touring. The following year, Radiohead released the EP, My Iron Lung, featuring some early versions of tracks which would be re-worked for The Bends. However, this EP had poor commercial success.

The Bends was produced by John Leckie, with Radiohead working on song arrangements for the album through the entirety of 1994. Work on the album was slow through the initial months, as the group felt pressure to create the perfect follow-up to Pablo Honey. An initial release date of October 1994 was pushed back several months as Leckie taught the band “how to use the studio in different ways”.


The Bends by Radiohead
Released: March 13, 1995 (Capitol)
Produced by: John Leckie
Recorded: Abbey Road and RAK Studios, London, August–November 1994
Album Tracks Group Musicians
Planet Telex
The Bends
High and Dry
Fake Plastic Trees
Bones
(Nice Dream)
Just
My Iron Lung
Bullet Proof..I Wish I Was
Black Star
Sulk
Street Spirit (Fade Out)
Thom Yorke – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Piano
Jonny Greenwood – Guitars, Piano, Keyboards
Ed O’Brien – Guitars, Vocals
Colin Greenwood – Bass
Phil Selway – Drums, Percussion
 
The Bends by Radiohead

Extra-present drums set the pace for the odd, spaced-out beat of the opening track “Planet Telex”. Released as a single, the track features some tremolo keyboard and guitar textures, with the chorus offering the most rewarding part of this otherwise bland emo screed. The title track, “The Bends”, follows with a strong rock arrangement through a long riff intro. The verses revert back to a more steady arrangement but the song rocks well throughout with lyrics that are thematic. The ballad “High and Dry” is the first real highlight of the album, as Yorke’s vocals are pleasant and melodic above a blend of acoustic and electric guitars by Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien. Written well before the album sessions, there was much debate on whether this light song would even be included on the album. Not only was it included, but it was also a successful single.

“Fake Plastic Trees” is another acoustic track but, unlike the previous ballad, this has more of a psychedelic, early Pink-Floyd-like vibe. “Bones” follows with a strong rhythmic presence by bassist Colin Greenwood and drummer Phil Selway as well as some topical tremolo guitar and a ringing distant guitar. This short, three-minute song finishes with strong rock riffs and accents. “(Nice Dream)” follows with a descending, four-chord acoustic riff in the intro which sets the meter for the moderate folk/alternative song. The best part of this track are the excellent post-chorus guitar layers. Another fine track, “Just” starts with a strummed intro, soon accompanied by a strong distorted electric. When it fully kicks in, this track features a great musical arrangement in verses to accompany the fine vocal melodies, perhaps the finest on the album.

Radiohead in 1995

“My Iron Lung”, the title track from the previously released EP, is an odd art of noise. The first part of song is built droning rhythm and jangly guitar melodies, while the second section is nearly incoherent in a deliberate attempt at pure noise. Alternative to the core, whine in vocals but song is saved by good melody and arrangement. On “Permanent Daylight”, Yorke’s vocals hide within a wall of noise, while “Bullet Proof..I Wish I Was” employs space-like psychedelic effects using echo and sustain in the background with a slow, acoustic folk in foreground. “Black Star” returns to upbeat rock with a full arrangement fading in through the intro and moderate verses with cool guitar textures and good drumming elsewhere. “Sulk” features an interesting, slow waltz shuffle drum beat upon which the rest of the textures are built. Each verse adds more sonic candy, especially with the guitar, bass, and keyboard textures. “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” concludes the album with a dark, repeating riff and elongated vocal phasing, making it a bit anti-climatic for an album ending.

While The Bends charted well in several countries throughout the world, it only peaked at #88 in the US, making it an initial disappointment. However, this album has only grown in stature and influence over the two decades following its release, with many Brit pop bands taking cues from many of its songs.

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1995 page images

Part of Classic Rock Review’s celebration of 1995 albums.

 

Foo Fighters

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Foo FightersWith the suicide of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain abruptly ending what looked like a promising rise for the rock trio in 1994, the group’s drummer, Dave Grohl, decided to write and record independent material as a “cathartic experience”. The resulting work, Foo Fighters, an album and act which derived its name from a term World War II aircraft pilots would use to describe various UFOs. No one (even Grohl) at the time knew that this album would act as the commencement of a highly successful rock band for decades to come.

The name originally served as a proxy, intentionally used by Grohl to preserve his anonymity after recordings were completed. Those recordings took place over just one week in October 1994 at Robert Lang Studios in Seattle, with Grohl frantically recording all instrumentation and vocals himself. Along with producer Barrett Jones, the duo spent long days recording up to four songs each day in the order that they would ultimately appear on the album. Having never been a front man, Grohl was initially insecure about his singing so he often double-tracked and applied added effects to his voice. Many of the compositions were initiated during Grohl’s time in Nirvana, as he would often bring a guitar along on tour. However, there were many parts composed on the fly during the short studio time.

Grohl originally pressed a limited number of LPs and cassettes to pass out among fellow musicians and friends. He had been offered a permanent gig as drummer for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and briefly considered taking it before Petty heard one of his tapes and encouraged Grohl to pursue “the solo thing”. Soon these tapes reached some major labels and Grohl signed with Capitol, who accepted the original recordings but had them remixed. Grohl then recruited a full band to forge a live show and fulfill Capitol’s request for a photo of a full band.


Foo Fighters by Foo Fighters
Released: July 4, 1995 (Capitol)
Produced by: Barrett Jones and Dave Grohl
Recorded: Robert Lang Studios, Seattle, October 1994
Album Tracks Primary Musician
“This Is a Call
I’ll Stick Around
Big Me
Alone + Easy Target
Good Grief
Floaty
Weenie Beenie
Oh, George
For All the Cows
X-Static
Wattershed
Exhausted
Dave Grohl – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Drums

Foo Fighters

The opener, “This Is a Call”, is actually one of the more recent songs written by Grohl and, right from the jump, his sense of melody and accessibility is evident along with his penchant for unabashed, hard-edged rock. the song starts with some double vocals above strummed electric for one line before the song explodes into a full and intense rock arrangement and it peaked at #2 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. “I’ll Stick Around” is more like a traditional Nirvana song with rotating riffs and a quasi-punk feel. The song’s vocal vibe ranges from detached whine to emotional screed with the music following perfectly throughout. The third song, “Big Me”, displays a third distinct type of talented musical style by Grohl. As a calm and melodic pop song, the track displays a knack for effective use of repetition and arrangement in getting the songs message out in a quick and effective way.

“Alone + Easy Target” dates back to 1991 and is another good jam, albeit not quite as innovative as the first three songs. “Good Grief” is driven by steady, upbeat drums and drilling guitar textures and the choruses get a little punk intensive, while “Floaty” contrasts with a pleasant 12-string acoustic intro before launching into a flange-drenched steady rock sway during the verses. “Weenie Beenie” brings the effects to a nearly absurd level with its textures and heavily treated vocals. While this is all fun as a headbanger, there is not much in terms of musical substance. “Oh, George” returns to melodic hard rock and is a loose tribute to George Harrison, who he calls his “favorite Beatle”.

Dave Grohl

Coming down the stretch, Foo Fighters maintains its energy and vibrancy while offering more diverse selections. “For All the Cows” is another Nirvana-esque track, starting with calm, jazzy verses and exploding into heavy punk screeds during the choruses. “X-Static” is notable as the only track with an outside musician, as Greg Dulli of Afghan Whigs plays guitar. “Wattershed” is a punk jam with nearly screamed vocals that rail against mailmen, banks, record contracts, and other divergent subjects. “Exhausted” closes things out and works great with its title as the closing track to this rapidly recorded collection. The track is notable for an extremely long “feedback” section in the middle, before the main musical riff reprises to shepherd out the album.

Foo Fighters charted well throughout the world and was promoted through several tours domestically and internationally. These tours served to gel the members as a proper “group” and much success would follow, starting with the 1997 second album, The Colour and the Shape, and continuing well into the next century.

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1995 page images

Part of Classic Rock Review’s celebration of 1995 albums.

 

Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt

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Tragic Kingdom by No DoubtNo Doubt offered an upbeat breath of fresh air to the mid nineties with their dynamic masterpiece, Tragic Kingdom. This third overall studio album by the California-based rock band found tremendous commercial and chart success and sustained seven singles over the period between late 1995 and early 1998. Led by the dynamic vocals of Gwen Stefani, the group composed songs blending a diverse array of musical genres including blues, rock, ska, reggae, grunge, new wave and punk.

The group was formed in 1986 by keyboardist Eric Stefani, with his sister Gwen occasionally joining in on backing vocals when they practiced in their parents’ garage. Bassist Tony Kanal later joined after catching one of the band’s early shows and began a (initially) secret relationship with Gwen. In early 1988, guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young joined No Doubt, rounding out the band’s long-standing lineup. Impressed by the group’s rabid live following, No Doubt was signed to a multi-album deal by Interscope Records in 1990. However, the group’s initial two releases, their 1992 self-titled debut and the self-produced The Beacon Street Collection failed to gain widespread success.

Producer Matthew Wilder was brought on board to produce Tragic Kingdom. The album included recordings made over a two and a half year period between March 1993 and October 1995, with recordings made in nearly dozen studios in and around Los Angeles. This album would also be the last to feature Eric Stefani, who was the primary composer of the material on the first two albums. After Eric officially left the band in 1994, most of the other group members stepped up to co-write the new material.


Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt
Released: October 6, 1995 (Interscope)
Produced by: Matthew Wilder
Recorded: Los Angeles, March 1993–October 1995
Album Tracks Group Musicians
Spiderwebs
Excuse Me Mr.
Just A Girl
Happy Now?
Different People
Hey You
The Climb
Sixteen
Sunday Morning
Don’t Speak
You Can Do It
World Go ‘Round
End It On This
Tragic Kingdom
Gwen Stefani – Lead Vocals
Tom Dumont – Guitars
Eric Stefani – Piano, Keyboards
Tony Kanal – Bass
Adrian Young – Drums, Percussion

Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt

The opener “Spiderwebs” starts with a steady reggae show piece with some brass before it quickly changes into a more frenzied and rock-oriented ska groove. Dumont’s crisply squeezed guitar chords and Kanal’s thumping bass lines accompany a steady beat by Young. Released as a single, the song reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart. “Excuse Me Mr.” features a more frenzied ska riff and is especially entertaining during the bridge section where a frantic drum shuffle is accompanied by honky tonk piano and some fat brass. This song was originally composed as an acoustic folk song but the recording was lost in a studio accident, causing the group to re-write and re-record a punked-up version. “Just a Girl” features a wild sounding guitar riff accented by slight bass and steady hi-hat fused drums through the intro and verses and, later on, Eric Stefani adds a soaring synth lead over the ever-intensive rhythms. The lead single from the album, the song charted twice in the Top 40, eventually peaking at number 3. The lyrics, written by Gwen Stefani, tell of her own experiences dealing with female stereotypes;

Take this pink ribbon off my eyes, I’m exposed and it’s no big surprise / Don’t you think I know exactly where I stand, this world is forcing me to hold your hand…”

“Happy Now?” is a more vocal and lyric driven track with strong guitar riffing and chords. This is one of several tracks which lyrically deal with Gwen Stefani’s recent breakup with Kanal, after a seven year relationship. “Different People” features strong rudiments and a great animated bass line, while “Hey You!” has a unique and excellent arrangement with a heavy sixties vibe brought on by the overt sitar and harpsichord as well as the more subtle structuring of the rock groove. “The Climb” is a dramatic blues song written by Eric Stefani and it features cool penny-whistle organ parts under the verses with several guitar textures by Dumont. The song goes through several trans-formative sections and a long ending dissolve where each musician gets to add bits of embellishment in turn. Following the standard ska of “Sixteen”, a drum shuffle fades in along with a driven bass which makes it closer to pure reggae with heavy rock guitars and dynamic, dramatic vocals.

The album’s first and only ballad, “Don’t Speak”, offers one its most indelible moments. The song starts with Eric Stefani’s slow, rocking electric piano in verses but breaks into jazzy acoustic choruses complete with a later excellent flamenco acoustic lead by Dumont. Slight use of strings and brass are just enough to bring out the emotions without getting overly sappy, shining the spotlight on Gwen Stefani’s vocals, which are best at their very best on this album. The song would go on to become the breakthrough single. received tremendous airplay, and helped elevate the album as well as previously released singles. It would also go on to be nominated for Song of the Year at the 1998 Grammy Awards.

Coming down the stretch, Tragic Kingdom features more entertaining tracks such as “You Can Do It”, which is funky, seventies style soul with heavy brass, disco strings, wah-wah guitar and rounded bass patterns. “World Go ‘Round” returns to the upbeat reggae with horns and Hammond organ and plenty of brass, while the closing title song is a strong and steady, guitar and vocal driven rocker which is set up like a theatrical mini-suite complete with horn sections and a rapid fingerboard guitar lead. The best of this lot is “End It on This” (which should have been the album closer). This last, great song on the album has a definitive new wave feel with rapid guitar riffs and bass notes accented by melodic piano patterns. The choruses feature especially potent keyboards and bass which work together to give a feel of rapid melodic motion. The song then steadies into a traditional guitar lead section before an intense and fantastic outro section.

No Doubt

Following Tragic Kingdom‘s release and success, No Doubt embarked on a an extensive tour which lasted about two and a half years. A 1997 performance from this tour was recorded in the group’s home city of Anaheim and released as a Live in the Tragic Kingdom DVD. The band would not follow-up with another studio album until Return of Saturn was released in 2000, a half decade after Tragic Kingdom.

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1995 page images

Part of Classic Rock Review’s celebration of the 20th anniversary of 1995 albums.