Fear of a Black Planet Nowhere Ritual de lo Habitual Repeater
Twin Peaks Reading, Writing and Arithmetic Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

Think back to 1990, the year before the first Lollapalooza, the year hip-hop went pop via MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice -- a year where classic rockers still had such a stranglehold on the mainstream that Paul Simon could appear on Billboard's Modern Rock Singles chart. It could be said that this was a year of transitions, with rap's golden age starting to slowly wind down and alt-rock beginning to boil over, but looking back 20 years on, 1990 sure delivers a number of stone-cold classics, whether it's the Bomb Squad in full flight on Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet, the pristine pure pop of the La's, the shimmer and roar of Ride's Nowhere, Neil Young lumbering with Crazy Horse on Ragged Glory, the Breeders' glorious Pod, or Digital Underground's inspired funk fantasia Sex Packets -- and that's just a list of albums! AllMusic celebrates all this and much, much more in the 1990 edition of AllMusic Loves.

David Jeffries
The Beloved - Happiness
Big Stick - Drag Racing Underground
Deee-Lite - World Clique
Digital Underground - Sex Packets
DJ Magic Mike - Bass Is the Name of the Game
EPMD - Business as Usual
The Fall - Extricate
Happy Mondays - Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches
Ice Cube - AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted
The KLF - Chill Out
The La's - The La's
Lee "Scratch" Perry - From the Secret Laboratory
LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out
Pet Shop Boys - Behavior
Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet
Junior Reid - One Blood
Renegade Soundwave - In Dub
Jonathan Richman - Jonathan Goes Country
Too Short - Short Dog's in the House
A Tribe Called Quest - People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

James Christopher Monger
1990 signaled the official death knell for the cassette tape (except for punk/new wave imports and Grateful Dead bootlegs). CD long box murals replaced posters, Kosovo replaced "Kokomo," heavy metal ruefully entered its wilderness years, and the Sony Discman became affordable enough to become a legitimate Christmas present. It was all Super Nintendo, leather bomber jackets, Seinfeld, and Scud missiles, with a soundtrack that, to this day, makes me want to put on my Army surplus boots, Cramps t-shirt, and trench coat, and hoist a (pre-minor in possession) Fosters oil can to my lips as the Pixies blow a hole in the roof (and a blood vessel in my eye) of Detroit's Latin Quarter.

Pixies - Bossanova
Trip Shakespeare - Across the Universe
The Pogues - Hell's Ditch
Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas
Robyn Hitchcock - Eye
Jellyfish - Bellybutton
Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks
Jane's Addiction - Ritual de lo Habitual
They Might Be Giants - Flood
Chickasaw Mudd Puppies - White Dirt
Inspiral Carpets - Life
Andy Prieboy - Upon My Wicked Son
The Waterboys - Room to Roam
Ween - GodWeenSatan: The Oneness
Midnight Oil - Blue Sky Mining
Peter Murphy - Deep
The La's - The La's
Steeleye Span - Tempted and Tried
World Party - Goodbye Jumbo
Social Distortion - Social Distortion

The Sisters of Mercy - "Ribbons"
The Mock Turtles - "The Willow Song"
The Church - "Metropolis"
Ministry - "Stigmata"
Pale Saints - "Little Hammer"
June Tabor & Oysterband - "Finisterre"
Echo & the Bunnymen - "Thick-Skinned World"
Danielle Dax - "Daisy"
The Teardrop Explodes - "Not My Only Friend"
Paul Simon - "The Obvious Child"
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - "Nothing Without You"
John Cale/Brian Eno - "One Word"
LL Cool J - "Mama Said Knock You Out"
Faith No More - "Epic"
The Sundays - "Here's Where the Story Ends"
Trash Can Sinatras - "Circling the Circumference"
Dead Can Dance - "Saltarello"
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - "The Weeping Song"
Iggy Pop - "Candy"
Depeche Mode - "Enjoy the Silence"

Jason Lymangrover
Brand Nubian - One for All
The Breeders - Pod
Cop Shoot Cop - Consumer Revolt
Digital Underground - Sex Packets
The Fall - Extricate
Fugazi - Repeater
Happy Mondays - Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches
Jane's Addiction - Ritual de lo Habitual
The La's - The La's
LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out
Loop - A Gilded Eternity
Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet
Ride - Nowhere
Special Ed - Legal
Sonic Youth - Goo
The Sundays - Reading, Writing and Arithmetic
Teenage Fanclub - A Catholic Education
They Might Be Giants - Flood
A Tribe Called Quest - People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
Ween - GodWeenSatan: The Oneness

John Bush
They Might Be Giants - Flood
Jane's Addiction - Ritual de lo Habitual
The Breeders - Pod
Ride - Nowhere
Pixies - Bossanova
Lush - Gala
David J - Songs from Another Season
Peter Murphy - Deep
Skinny Puppy - Too Dark Park
Nitzer Ebb - Showtime
Godflesh - Streetcleaner
My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult - Confessions of a Knife
The Flaming Lips - In a Priest Driven Ambulance
The Sundays - Reading, Writing and Arithmetic
The Black Crowes - Shake Your Money Maker
Fugazi - Repeater
Galaxie 500 - This Is Our Music
The KLF - Chill Out
The Shamen - En-Tact
The Sisters of Mercy - Vision Thing

David J - "I'll Be Your Chauffeur"
Lush - "De-Luxe"
The Stone Roses - "One Love"
New Order - "World in Motion"
They Might Be Giants - "Birdhouse in Your Soul"
The Wedding Present - "Corduroy"
Pixies - "Velouria"
Jane's Addiction - "Stop"
Morrissey - "November Spawned a Monster"
Peter Murphy - "Cuts You Up"
Ride - "Dreams Burn Down"
The Orb - "Little Fluffy Clouds"
Nitzer Ebb - "Getting Closer"
Public Enemy - "Welcome to the Terrordome"
Skinny Puppy - "Tormentor"
LFO - "LFO"
The Shamen - "Pro>Gen"
1000 Homo DJs - "Supernaut"
Ned's Atomic Dustbin - "Kill Your Television"
The Flaming Lips - "Unconsciously Screamin'"
Fugazi - "Repeater"

Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Despite his absence on these or any other lists, to me 1990 will always be the year of Andrew Ridgeley. He hasn't had a year before or since, that's for sure, and we shall never see his likes again.

Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet
Happy Mondays - Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches
The La's - The La's
The Breeders - Pod
Pixies - Bossanova
The Replacements - All Shook Down
World Party - Goodbye Jumbo
Nick Lowe - Party of One
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Ragged Glory
Sonic Youth - Goo
Prince - Graffiti Bridge
Digital Underground - Sex Packets
The Black Crowes - Shake Your Money Maker
Paul Simon - The Rhythm of the Saints
Sinéad O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
Deee-Lite - World Clique
George Michael - Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1
The Sundays - Reading, Writing and Arithmetic
A Tribe Called Quest - People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
Ween - GodWeenSatan: The Oneness

Deee-Lite - "Groove Is in the Heart"
3rd Bass - "The Gas Face"
Public Enemy - "Welcome to the Terrordome"
Madonna - "Vogue"
The La's - "There She Goes"
The Black Crowes - "Jealous Again"
Smithereens - "Yesterday Girl"
George Michael - "Freedom! '90"
Primal Scream - "Loaded"
LL Cool J - "Mama Said Knock You Out"
Garth Brooks - "Friends in Low Places"
The Sundays - "Here's Where the Story Ends"
Lisa Stansfield - "All Around the World"
The Charlatans - "The Only One I Know"
A Tribe Called Quest - "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo"
Michael Penn - "No Myth"
The Church - "Metropolis"
Julee Cruise - "Falling"
Nick Lowe - "You Got the Look I Like"
Urge Overkill - "Ticket to LA"

James Wilkinson
Inspiral Carpets - Life
The La's - The La's
The Charlatans - Some Friendly
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Ragged Glory
James - Gold Mother
The Sundays - Reading, Writing and Arithmetic
Green Day - 39/Smooth
Ride - Nowhere
Teenage Fanclub - A Catholic Education
Happy Mondays - Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches
They Might Be Giants - Flood
Uncle Tupelo - No Depression
The High - Somewhere Soon
Jellyfish - Bellybutton
Robyn Hitchcock - Eye
Sonic Youth - Goo
The Posies - Dear 23
Mazzy Star - She Hangs Brightly
Galaxie 500 - This Is Our Music
The Pooh Sticks - Formula One Generation

The La's - "Timeless Melody"
The Charlatans - "Then"
Inspiral Carpets - "This Is How It Feels"
The Stone Roses - "One Love"
The Charlatans - "The Only One I Know"
Happy Mondays - "Kinky Afro"
Blur - "She's So High"
Happy Mondays - "Step On"
James - "Lose Control"
Inspiral Carpets - "She Comes in the Fall"
The Wedding Present - "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)"
The High - "Box Set Go"
Green Day - "Paper Lanterns"
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - "Mansion on the Hill"
808 State - "Cubik"
Ride - "Dreams Burn Down"
They Might Be Giants - "Birdhouse in Your Soul"
Northside - "Shall We Take a Trip"
Deee-Lite - "Groove Is in the Heart"
Inspiral Carpets - "Biggest Mountain"

Matt Collar
Black Box - Dreamland
Blake Babies - Sunburn
The Charlatans - Some Friendly
Depeche Mode - Violator
Fugazi - Repeater
Galaxie 500 - This Is our Music
Happy Mondays - Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches
LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out
The La's - The La's
Peter Murphy - Deep
Sinéad O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
Pet Shop Boys - Behavior
Pixies - Bossanova
The Posies - Dear 23
Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet
The Railway Children - Native Place
Ride - Nowhere
Sonic Youth - Goo
The Soup Dragons - Lovegod
The Sundays - Reading, Writing and Arithmetic
Teenage Fanclub - A Catholic Education

Heather Phares
Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks
Black Box - Dreamland
The Breeders - Pod
Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas
Julee Cruise - Floating into the Night
Deee-Lite - World Clique
Galaxie 500 - This Is Our Music
His Name Is Alive - Livonia
Inspiral Carpets - Life
The La's - The La's
Mazzy Star - She Hangs Brightly
My Bloody Valentine - Glider
Pavement - Perfect Sound Forever
Pixies - Bossanova
Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet
Royal Trux - Twin Infinitives
Sonic Youth - Goo
They Might Be Giants - Flood
Ween - GodWeenSatan: The Oneness
Yo La Tengo - Fakebook

Black Box - "Everybody Everybody"
Blur - "She's So High"
The Breeders - "Doe"
The Charlatans - "The Only One I Know"
Julee Cruise - "Falling"
Deee-Lite - "Groove Is in the Heart" (YouTube)
Digital Underground - "The Humpty Dance"
Dinosaur Jr. - "The Wagon"
DNA & Suzanne Vega - "Tom's Diner"
Faith No More - "Epic"
Happy Mondays - "Step On"
Inspiral Carpets - "This Is How It Feels"
Jane's Addiction - "Been Caught Stealin'"
The La's - "I Can't Sleep"
Pixies - "Velouria"
The Sundays - "Here's Where the Story Ends"
Sonic Youth - "Dirty Boots" (YouTube)
They Might Be Giants - "Birdhouse in Your Soul"
Ween - "Don't Laugh (I Love You)"
World Party - "Way Down Now"

Andy Kellman
Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet
Ice Cube - AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted
Depeche Mode - Violator
Kool G Rap & DJ Polo - Wanted: Dead or Alive
The Breeders - Pod
Johnny Gill - Johnny Gill
Ride - Nowhere
Fugazi - Repeater
Brand Nubian - One for All
EPMD - Business as Usual
LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out
Galaxie 500 - This Is Our Music
Above the Law - Livin' Like Hustlers
Caron Wheeler - UK Blak
Eric B. & Rakim - Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em
Lalah Hathaway - Lalah Hathaway
Guy - The Future
Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas
The Sundays - Reading, Writing and Arithmetic
Pale Saints - The Comforts of Madness

Public Enemy - "Welcome to the Terrordome"
Main Source - "Looking at the Front Door"
My Bloody Valentine - "Soon"
En Vogue - "Hold On"
Depeche Mode - "Enjoy the Silence"
Caron Wheeler - "Livin' in the Light"
Eric B. & Rakim - "Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em"
N.W.A - "100 Miles and Runnin'"
Bell Biv DeVoe - "Poison"
Janet Jackson - "Alright"
Electronic - "Getting Away with It"
4 Hero - "Mr. Kirk's Nightmare"
Bark Psychosis - "All Different Things"
Tony! Toni! Toné! - "It Never Rains (In Southern California)"
Lush - "Sweetness and Light"
Mica Paris - "I Should've Known Better"
Julee Cruise - "Falling"
The Chimes - "Heaven"
Prince - "Thieves in the Temple"
Suburban Knight - "The Art of Stalking"

Aneet Nijjar
Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas
Happy Mondays - Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches
Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet
The Breeders - Pod
Pet Shop Boys - Behaviour
Sonic Youth - Goo
The Fall - Extricate
A Tribe Called Quest - People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
George Michael - Listen Without Prejudice, Vol.1
Galaxie 500 - This Is Our Music

Saint Etienne - "Only Love Can Break Your Heart"
LFO - "LFO"
Deee-Lite - "Groove Is in the Heart"/"What Is Love?"
Madonna - "Vogue"
The KLF - "What Time Is Love?"
A Tribe Called Quest - "Bonita Applebum"
Orbital - "Chime"
New Order - "World in Motion"
Electronic - "Getting Away with It"
Depeche Mode - "Enjoy the Silence"

Greg Heaney
They Might Be Giants - Flood
Pixies - Bossanova
Fugazi - Repeater
Ween - GodWeenSatan: The Oneness
Jonathan Richman - Jonathan Goes Country
Ice Cube - AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted
Cop Shoot Cop - Consumer Revolt
Flaming Lips - In a Priest Driven Ambulance
Godflesh - Streetcleaner
MC 900ft Jesus - Hell with the Lid Off
Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Devil's Night Out
Digital Underground - Sex Packets
Afghan Whigs - Up in It
Gwar - Scumdogs of the Universe
Bad Religion - Against the Grain
King Missile - Mystical Shit
Slayer - Seasons in the Abyss
Galaxie 500 - This Is Our Music
Unrest - Kustom Karnal Blackxploitation
Megadeth - Rust in Peace

Pixies - "Allison"
They Might Be Giants - "Twisting"
AC/DC - "Thunderstruck"
Lush - "De-Luxe"
Ween - "Up on the Hill"

Andrew Leahey
I'm the youngest writer at AllMusic, which may explain why my memories of 1990 are mostly confined to Casey Kasem's Top 40 show, ABC's TGIF lineup, and the total dominance of my Little League team. Hopefully, it also excuses the presence of Steelheart on my list. I'll still vouch for the Firehouse album, though.

Jellyfish - Bellybutton
INXS - X
The Sundays - Reading, Writing and Arithmetic
The Black Crowes - Shake Your Money Maker
Mariah Carey - Mariah Carey
Mazzy Star - She Hangs Brightly
Cathy Dennis - Move to This
Firehouse - Firehouse
Depeche Mode - Violator
The La's - The La's
Garth Brooks - No Fences
The Posies - Dear 23
The Replacements - All Shook Down
Madonna - The Immaculate Collection

Jellyfish - "Baby's Coming Back" (YouTube)
George Michael - "Freedom! '90" (YouTube)
INXS - "Bitter Tears" (YouTube)
The La's - "There She Goes"
Jude Cole - "Baby It's Tonight"
Mariah Carey - "Vision of Love"
Alannah Myles - "Black Velvet"
Warrant - "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
Rod Stewart - "Downtown Train"
INXS - "Suicide Blonde"
Janet Jackson - "Escapade"
Whitney Houston - "I'm Your Baby Tonight"
Damn Yankees - "High Enough"
The Psychedelic Furs - "House"
Mazzy Star - "Halah"
Lou Gramm - "Just Between You and Me"
Taylor Dayne - "With Every Beat of My Heart"
Steelheart - "I'll Never Let You Know"
Wilson Phillips - "Hold On"
Depeche Mode - "Policy of Truth"

Matthew Garbutt
A Tribe Called Quest - People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas
Deee-Lite - World Clique
Digital Underground - Sex Packets
Edwyn Collins - Hellbent on Compromise
En Vogue - Born to Sing
Flat Duo Jets - Flat Duo Jets
The Gun Club - Pastoral Hide & Seek
Inspiral Carpets - Life
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - The Good Son
Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet
Renegade Soundwave - Soundclash
Tav Falco's Panther Burns - Return of the Blue Panther
Teenage Fanclub - A Catholic Education
The Black Crowes - Shake Your Money Maker
The Cramps - Stay Sick!
The James Taylor Quartet - Do Your Own Thing
The La's - The La's
The Sundays - Reading, Writing and Arithmetic
Thee Headcoats - The Kids Are All Square -- This Is Hip!

Jonathan Ball
Cop Rock, anyone?

Morrissey - Bona Drag
My Bloody Valentine - Glider
Crime & the City Solution - Paradise Discotheque
Depeche Mode - Violator
The KLF - Chill Out
Peter Murphy - Deep
Bob Mould - Black Sheets of Rain
Purple Outside - Mystery Lane
David Bowie - Changesbowie
Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks
Ride - Nowhere
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - The Good Son
Jane's Addiction - Ritual de lo Habitual

Peter Murphy - "Cuts You Up"
Screaming Blue Messiahs - "Four Engines Burning (Over the USA)"
Billy Idol - "Cradle of Love"
Depeche Mode - "Policy of Truth"
Morrissey - "Piccadilly Palare"
The Charlottes - "Love in the Emptiness"
The Charlatans - "The Only One I Know"
The Cure - "Never Enough"

Daniel Clancy
I was only six years old for the majority of 1990, although I was blessed with both MTV and older siblings who were very much in-tune with what was happening at the time. While it was perhaps a little too early for the music to influence me directly, it no doubt entered my psyche and helped shape what I was to listen to in future years. I have vivid memories of dancing around my front room while "Love Shack" was on the TV, wondering whether those outfits made the B-52's cooler than everybody else or not, and being perplexed but somehow injected with a sense of rebellion on hearing the rally cry from the film The Wild Angels at the beginning of Primal Scream's "Loaded." Blur's "She's So High" remains one of my favorite tracks today and was possibly the highlight of the band's comeback gigs in 2009, helping to make me feel a part of 1990.

The B-52's - "Love Shack"
Blur - "She's So High"
The Charlatans - "The Only One I Know"
Deee-Lite - "Groove Is in the Heart"
Faith No More - "Epic"
Happy Mondays - "Step On"
The La's - "There She Goes"
Primal Scream - "Loaded"
Sonic Youth - "Kool Thing"
The Stone Roses - "Fools Gold"

Richard Wilson
Afghan Whigs - Up in It
Buffalo Tom - Birdbrain
Happy Mondays - Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches
Jane's Addiction - Ritual de lo Habitual
Lard - The Last Temptation of Reid
Lemonheads - Lovey
Mudhoney - Superfuzz Bigmuff Plus Early Singles
Pixies - Bossanova
Sonic Youth - Goo
Teenage Fanclub - A Catholic Education
Flaming Lips - In a Priest Driven Ambulance
Sebadoh - The Freed Weed
Bad Religion - Against the Grain
Carter USM - 101 Damnations
The Charlatans - Some Friendly
James - Gold Mother
Pale Saints - The Comforts of Madness
Ride - Nowhere
Silverfish - Fat Axl
Snuff - Snuffsaidbutgorblimeyguyvstonemeifhedidn'tthrowawobbler...

Happy Mondays - "Step On"
Inspiral Carpets - "This Is How It Feels"
Nine Inch Nails - "Head Like a Hole"
The Cure - "Pictures Of You"
Jane's Addiction - "Been Caught Stealing"
Pixies - "Velouria"
The Charlatans - "Then"
The Jesus and Mary Chain - "Head On"
The Stone Roses - "One Love"
The Wonder Stuff - "Don't Let Me Down, Gently"
Ned's Atomic Dustbin - "Kill Your Television"
Ride - "Chelsea Girl"
My Jealous God - "Pray"
Slowdive - "Slowdive"
Swervedriver - "Son of Mustang Ford"
Blur - "She's So High"
Teenage Fanclub - "Everything Flows"
Afghan Whigs - "Retarded"
Therapy? - "Meat Abstract"
Thousand Yard Stare - "Weatherwatching"

Previously
AllMusic Loves 1965
AllMusic Loves 1968
AllMusic Loves 1974
AllMusic Loves 1977
AllMusic Loves 1980
AllMusic Loves 1984
AllMusic Loves 1987
AllMusic Loves 1988
AllMusic Loves 1993
AllMusic Loves 1999
AllMusic Loves 2000
AllMusic Loves 2001
AllMusic Loves 2002
AllMusic Loves 2003
AllMusic Loves 2004
AllMusic Loves 2005
AllMusic Loves 2006
AllMusic Loves 2007
AllMusic Loves 2008
AllMusic Loves 2009