Saturday, September 28, 1991

Garth Brooks' Ropin' the Wind is first country album to debut at #1

First posted 2/22/2008; updated 12/3/2020.

Ropin’ the Wind

Garth Brooks


Released: September 2, 1991


Peak: 118 US, 133 CW, 41 UK, 22 CN, 21 AU


Sales (in millions): 14.8 US, -- UK, 19.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: country


Tracks:

Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Against the Grain (3/21/92, 66 CW)
  2. Rodeo (8/12/91, 3 CW)
  3. What She’s Doing Now (12/6/91, 1 CW)
  4. Burning Bridges
  5. Papa Loved Mama (2/1/92, 3 CW)
  6. Shameless (10/19/91, 1 CW, 71 UK)
  7. Cold Shoulder
  8. We Bury the Hatchet
  9. In Lonesome Dove
  10. The River (4/27/92, 1 CW)


Total Running Time: 39:21

Rating:

3.986 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“It makes sense that this was the first country album to debut atop the pop charts, for Garth Brooks was as omnivorous a commercial force as music will ever see. With an advertising degree from Oklahoma State in his pocket, he invaded Nashville in the mid-80s with unparalleled instincts for how to walk the line between corn pone and pop.” TL

“Music Row was suspicious – (particularly of his liberalism) but his tastes and influences were truly catholic – which explains how he careens so easily from the honky-tonk of Merle Haggard to the tenderness of James Taylor in a single verse.” TL “With Ropin’ the Wind, Garth Brooks begins to make his ‘70s rock influences more explicit. Naturally, that is most notable in his reworking of Billy Joel's Shameless, which he transforms from a rock power ballad into contemporary country. But that influence is also evident on ambitious epics like The River and even the honky tonk ravers of Papa Loved Mama and Rodeo.” STE

“Some might say that those rock influences are what make Brooks a crossover success, but he wouldn't be nearly as successful if he didn't have a tangible country foundation to his music – even when he comes close to standard arena rock bombast, there are gritty steel guitars or vocal inflections that prove he is trying to expand country's vocabulary, not trying to exploit it.” STE

“That Ropin’ is only his second-best selling album…probably sticks in Garth's craw, but it is his best, and ‘The River’ and We Bury the Hatchet (‘but leave the handle stickin' out’) endure as monuments to the cleverness of his songwriting and the intensity of his genre-busting ambition.” TL


Notes: On the Limited Series box set, the song “Which One of Them” was added to Ropin’ the Wind.

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Tuesday, September 24, 1991

Bryan Adams released Waking Up the Neighbours

First posted 3/28/2011; updated 9/10/2020.

Waking Up the Neighbours

Bryan Adams


Released: September 24, 1991


Peak: 6 US, 11 UK, 110 CN, 14 AU


Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 0.9 UK, 13.2 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: mainstream rock


Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Is Your Mama Gonna Miss Ya?
  2. Hey Honey, I’m Packin’ You In!
  3. Can’t Stop This Thing We Started (9/14/91, 2 US, 12 UK, 2 AR, 40 AC, sales: ½ million)
  4. Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven (2/22/92, 13 US, 8 UK, 14 AR, 36 AC)
  5. Not Guilty
  6. Vanishing
  7. House Arrest
  8. Do I Have to Say the Words? (8/1/92, 10a US, 30 UK, 5 AC)
  9. There Will Never Be Another Tonight (11/23/91, 31 US, 32 UK, 36 AR)
  10. All I Want Is You (7/18/92, 22 UK)
  11. Depend on Me
  12. Everything I Do I Do It for You (6/29/91, 1 US, 1 UK, 10 AR, 1 AC, sales: 3 million, airplay: 3 million)
  13. If You Wanna Leave Me (Can I Come Too?)
  14. Touch the Hand (5/2/92, 13 AR)
  15. Don’t Drop That Bomb on Me

Rating:

3.177 out of 5.00 (average of 13 ratings)


Quotable: “Old-fashioned good time…rock & roll.” – Jose F. Promis, All Music Guide


Awards:

About the Album:

“Although not as good as Reckless, Bryan Adams’ 1991 album, Waking up the Neighbours, signaled his commercial apex. Bridging the time gap between ‘80s arena rock and ‘90s angst-ridden grunge, the album also ushered in an era in which Adams became more known for his sweeping power ballads than his straight-ahead rock tunes. This album, filled with nearly 75 minutes of showstopping arena rockers and mid-tempo ballads, churned out no less than five hit singles, the most notable being the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves theme Everything I Do I Do It for You. That ballad spent seven weeks atop the U.S. pop charts, becoming the longest-reigning American chart-topper since Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry’ seven years earlier. The song also became a phenomenon in Europe, becoming Adams’ biggest hit ever” JF with a whopping sixteen weeks atop the UK chart.

“Other singles which followed included the joyous rocker Can’t Stop This Thing We Started, which became a number two hit, the mid-tempo ballads Do I Have to Say the Words? and Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven, and the fun, straight-ahead rocker There Will Never Be Another Tonight.” JF

Waking up the Neighbours was co-produced by Robert Jon ‘Mutt’ Lange, and as a result, many of these songs sound as though they could have easily been Def Leppard recordings, especially All I Want Is You, which sounds like ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ part two. Nonetheless, Waking up the Neighbours is a fun album and perfect for those who expect nothing more than an old-fashioned good time from their rock & roll.” JF

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Nirvana's Nevermind was released

First posted 3/15/2008; updated 10/4/2020.

Nevermind

Nirvana


Released: September 24, 1991


Peak: 12 US, 7 UK, 110 CN, 2 AU


Sales (in millions): 11.0 US, 1.81 UK, 30.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: rock > grunge


Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Cobain, Novoselic, Grohl) [5:01] (9/10/91 6 US, 7 AR, 1 MR, 7 UK)
  2. In Bloom [4:14] (11/30/92, 5 AR, 28 UK)
  3. Come As You Are/b> [3:39] (1/18/92 32 US, 3 AR, 3 MR, 9 UK)
  4. Breed [3:03]
  5. Lithium [4:17] (2/8/92, 64 US, 16 AR, 25 MR, 11 UK)
  6. Polly [2:57]
  7. Territorial Pissings (Cobain, Chet Powers) [2:22]
  8. Drain You [3:43]
  9. Lounge Act [2:36]
  10. Stay Away [3:32]
  11. On a Plain [3:16] (1/18/92, 25 AR)
  12. Something in the Way [3:52]

Songs written by Kurt Cobain unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 42:38


The Players:

  • Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar)
  • Dave Grohl (drums, backing vocals)
  • Krist Novoselic (bass)

Rating:

4.373 out of 5.00 (average of 22 ratings)


Quotable: “Nirvana planted the alternative flag on the Iwo Jima of American consciousness.” – Clark Speicher, The Review


Awards:

About the Album:

Nevermind was stuffed into enough stockings over Christmas of ‘91 to boot the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, from his roost at the top of the Billboard album chart. The album went on to sell over 10 million copies domestically – a feat accomplished by less than 100 albums in the history of music. Nirvana were “scrappy garageland warriors setting their sights on a land of giants.” IR After their “undistinguished 1989 debut, Bleach, [which] relied on warmed-over Seventies metal riffs,” IR Nirvana made the leap to Geffen because frontman Kurt Cobain “wanted the group to be popular, and could see them maybe selling as many records as Sonic Youth.” AD

“The production team of Butch Vig and Andy Wallace ‘tidied’ up the sound of the early Nirvana” AD while still emphasizing the “guitar-heavy blend of bubblegum punk” SK the band crafted on Bleach. “Nirvana…created precisely the sort of record…Sub Pop [strove] for with bands like Mudhoney and Tad since its inception in 1986.” SK

Nirvana displayed a knack for “evocative wordplay” AMG and “crisp pop melodicism.” BL The songs “exemplify the band’s skill at inscribing subtlety onto dense, noisy rock” IR that was “positively glistening with echo and fuzz-box distortion.” AMG “This is hard rock as the term was understood before metal moved in – the kind of loud, slovenly, tuneful music you think no one will ever [make] again until the next time it happens, whereupon you wonder why there isn’t loads more.” RC

What lifts Nevermind to the status of one of the greatest albums ever made is how it defined a new genre. “Nirvana planted the alternative flag on the Iwo Jima of American consciousness when Nevermind erupted onto the music scene.” CS “Few albums have occupied the cultural consciousness like this one.” DW It “served as the antidote to the musical holocaust of the ‘80s.” CS “This is now an omni-present all-time classic” AD “and just may be compared in the same breath to albums like Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.” CT

If the sound of grunge feels overly “familiar now, it’s only because thousands of rock records that followed it were trying very hard to cop its style.” DW The album served as a “foundation for most of the rock…of the ‘90s…loud, distorted guitars; raging, sometime screaming vocals; and lyrics that range from the pessimistic, to the positive, and to the apathetic.” JC “Like a meteor crashing into earth, Nevermind left a lasting impact on music and won’t soon be forgotten.” CS


Notes: “Endless, Nameless” was added as a hidden track to later pressings.

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