New Wave Selected Ambient Works 85-92 Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) Rid of Me
Midnight Marauders Exile in Guyville Suede Debut

Stephen Thomas Erlewine
If 1991 was the year that punk broke, 1993 was the year that Alternative took hold. Nirvana and Pearl Jam delivered follow-ups to their blockbusters, rock radio was ruled by their imitators Stone Temple Pilots, pop radio saw more guitars than it did in years thanks to R.E.M. and their followers, like the Gin Blossoms. Thanks to PJ Harvey, Liz Phair, Belly, Luscious Jackson, Juliana Hatfield, and the Breeders, it was the year of Women in Rock -- so coined by papers looking hard for a trend -- but Guyville didn't cower either, thanks to major-label debuts by Urge Overkill and the Afghan Whigs. And that was just in the U.S.! Over in the U.K., things were just as interesting, as Britpop started to explode thanks to Suede's debut and Blur's Union Jack makeover, but at this point, these bands weren't being invited to 10 Downing Street, they were competing with indie eccentrics like the Auteurs and Boo Radleys. But there was plenty of great music being made without guitars: electronica also made inroads with Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works 85-92, house bubbled out into the mainstream with Stereo MC's and, most importantly, the sound of '90s hip-hop was cemented with the success of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg and the underground emergence of the Wu-Tang Clan. Any one of these things would make 1993 a year to remember, but all of this at once makes 1993 unforgettable.

Suede - Suede
Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville
Urge Overkill - Saturation
Nirvana - In Utero
Blur - Modern Life Is Rubbish
PJ Harvey - Rid of Me
Dinosaur Jr. - Where You Been
Stereolab - Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements
Luscious Jackson - In Search of Manny
The Lemonheads - Come on Feel the Lemonheads
Dwight Yoakam - This Time
Paul Weller - Wild Wood
Frank Black - Frank Black
The Breeders - Last Splash
Björk - Debut
Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Yo La Tengo - Painful
Belly - Star
The Boo Radleys - Giant Steps
Mercury Rev - Boces

Cypress Hill - "Insane in the Brain"
The Breeders - "Cannonball"
Stone Temple Pilots - "Plush"
Aimee Mann - "I Should've Known"
Gin Blossoms - "Hey Jealousy"
Ice Cube - "It Was a Good Day"
Dr. Dre - "Let Me Ride"
Urge Overkill - "Sister Havana"
Belly - "Feed the Tree"
Ween - "Push th' Little Daisies"
Suede - "Metal Mickey"
James - "Laid"
Cracker - "Low"
U2 - "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)"
New Order - "Regret"
One Dove - "White Love"
Nirvana - "Heart Shaped Box"
Radiohead - "Creep"
Dinosaur Jr. - "Start Choppin'"
R.E.M. - "Man on the Moon"

John Bush
Acetone - Cindy
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92
Björk - Debut
Black Dog Productions - Bytes
The Boo Radleys - Giant Steps
The Flaming Lips - Transmissions from the Satellite Heart
Mercury Rev - Boces
µ-Ziq - Tango N' Vectif
New Order - Republic
Orbital - Orbital 2
Pet Shop Boys - Very
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
Epic Soundtracks - Rise Above
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Extra Width
Stereolab - The Groop Played "Space Age Bachelor Pad Music"
Suede - Suede
Tiger Trap - Tiger Trap
A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders
Urge Overkill - Saturation
Verve - A Storm in Heaven

Aphex Twin - "On"
Archers of Loaf - "Web in Front"
Autechre - "Basscadet"
The Black Dog - "Cost II"
Blur - "Chemical World"
The Boo Radleys - "Lazarus"
The Breeders - "Cannonball"
Digable Planets - "Where I'm From"
4 Hero - "Journey from the Light" YouTube
The Martian - "Stardancer"
Masters at Work - "I Can't Get No Sleep"
Nuyorican Soul - "The Nervous Track"
Omni Trio - "Mystic Stepper (Feel Better)"
Omni Trio - "Renegade Snares"
Orbital - "Lush 3"
The Sabres of Paradise - "Smokebelch I"
Slam - "Positive Education"
Spiritualized - "Electric Mainline"
Stereolab - "French Disko"
Verve - "Slide Away"

David Jeffries
Tha Alkaholiks - 21 & Over
The Boo Radleys - Giant Steps
The Breeders - Last Splash
Cracker - Kerosene Hat
Cypress Hill - Black Sunday
Dead Can Dance - Into the Labyrinth
Earth - Earth 2
The Jerky Boys - The Jerky Boys
R. Kelly - 12 Play
LL Cool J - 14 Shots to the Dome
Masters of Reality - Sunrise on the Sufferbus
Melvins - Houdini
New Order - Republic
Pet Shop Boys - Very
Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville
Pitchshifter - Desensitized
Snoop Doggy Dogg - Doggystyle
Treponem Pal - Excess & Overdrive
A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders
Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

2Pac - "Keep Ya Head Up"
Apache Indian - "Boom Shack-A-Lak"
David Bowie - "Miracle Goodnight"
Cocoa Tea - "Grow Your Locks"
Digital Underground - "The Return of the Crazy One"
Domino - "Getto Jam"
Electroset - "How Does It Feel?" YouTube
The Fall - "Why Are People Grudgeful?"
Beres Hammond - "Putting Up Resistance"
Nick Heyward - "Kite"
Billy Ray Martin & Spooky - "Persuasion"
MK - "Always"
Ned's Atomic Dustbin - "Saturday Night"
Paperboy - "Ditty"
Porno for Pyros - "Pets"
Adam Sandler - "Lunchlady Land"
Shaggy - "Oh Carolina"
Snow - "Informer"
Utah Saints - "Something Good"
Zhané - "Hey Mr. DJ"

Thom Jurek
John Campbell - Howlin' Mercy
Rosanne Cash - The Wheel
Catherine Wheel - Chrome
Dead Can Dance - Into the Labyrinth
Depeche Mode - Songs of Faith and Devotion
Snoop Doggy Dogg - Doggystyle
Eleventh Dream Day - El Moodio
Guru - Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1
PJ Harvey - Rid of Me
Mick Jagger - Wandering Spirit
Ronny Jordan - The Quiet Revolution
Daniel Lanois - For the Beauty of Wynonna
Maria McKee - You Gotta Sin to Get Saved
Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell
Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville
Jane Siberry - When I Was a Boy
Swervedriver - Mezcal Head
Henry Threadgill - Too Much Sugar for a Dime
Verve - A Storm in Heaven
Counting Crows - August and Everything After
Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
David Sylvian & Robert Fripp - The First Day
Billy Joe Shaver - Tramp on Your Street
Paul Weller - Wild Wood
The Julius Hemphill Sextet - Five Chord Stud
Tindersticks - Tindersticks
Steve Young - Switchblades of Love
Billy Harper - Somalia
James Blood Ulmer - Harmolodic Guitar with Strings
Frank Zappa - The Yellow Shark

Andy Kellman
Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
PJ Harvey - Rid of Me
The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen
Swervedriver - Mezcal Head
Catherine Wheel - Chrome
Slowdive - Souvlaki
Black Moon - Enta da Stage
Scrawl - Velvet Hammer
Insides - Euphoria
The Auteurs - New Wave
Janet Jackson - Janet
The Verve - A Storm in Heaven
Seefeel - Quique
Black Dog Productions - Bytes
De La Soul - Buhloone Mindstate
His Name Is Alive - Mouth by Mouth
Souls of Mischief - 93 'Til Infinity
Me'shell NdegéOcello - Plantation Lullabies
B12 - Electro-Soma
Curve - Cuckoo

The Afghan Whigs - "Debonair"
Drexciya - "Bubble Metropolis"
4 Hero - "Journey from the Light"
Rufige Kru - "Ghosts of My Life"
Dr. Dre - "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang"
Wu-Tang Clan - "Protect Ya Neck"
Catherine Wheel - "Crank"
Jeru the Damaja - "Come Clean"
Swervedriver - "Duel"
Shellac - "Wingwalker"
The Pharcyde - "Passin' Me By"
Basic Channel - "Phylyps Trak"
PJ Harvey - "Man-Size"
Ed Rush - "Bludclot Artattack"
Redman - "Time 4 Sum Aksion"
Disco Inferno - "The Last Dance"
LTJ Bukem - "Atlantis (I Need You)"
Björk - "Human Behaviour"
Onyx - "Throw Ya Gunz"
Omni Trio - "Renegade Snares"

Andrew Leahey
Jellyfish - Spilt Milk
U2 - Zooropa
The Posies - Frosting on the Beater
Radiohead - Pablo Honey
Buffalo Tom - Big Red Letter Day
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
Mazzy Star - So Tonight That I Might See
Belly - Star
Letters to Cleo - Aurora Gory Alice
Pearl Jam - Vs.
The Breeders - Last Splash

Buffalo Tom - "Late at Night"
U2 - "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)"
Jellyfish - "The Ghost at Number One"
Mazzy Star - "Fade Into You"
The Posies - "Solar Sister"
The Smashing Pumpkins - "Cherub Rock"
Belly - "Feed the Tree"
Cracker - "Low"
The Breeders - "Cannonball"
Nirvana - "All Apologies"

Uncle Dave Lewis
In 1993 I was working at the Tower Records in Torrance, CA. I don't remember the year very fondly for music, but looking back there were quite a few good things released this year. Working long hours at the store I probably heard Crash Test Dummies' "MMM MMM MMM MMM" a few more times than I would have liked, and resolved to write better songs than that one myself; and while I feel I have done so, I haven't had any hits like that one! Hovhaness' "Mount St. Helens Symphony" had us all singing the big tune in it, with made up lyrics: "Hear the bubbling lava flow/Mount St. Helens is about to blow..."

Shonen Knife - Let's Knife
Cracker - Kerosene Hat
Stereolab - Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements
The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen
Queen Latifah - Black Reign
Elmer Bernstein/RPO Pops - Elmer Bernstein by Elmer Bernstein
Crash Test Dummies - God Shuffled His Feet
Keith Jarrett - Bridge of Light
Junko Onishi Trio - Crusin'
Frank Zappa - The Yellow Shark
Gerard Schwarz/Seattle Symphony - Alan Hovhaness: Mount St. Helen's Symphony
Luscious Jackson - In Search of Manny
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Extra Width
Meridian Arts Ensemble - Smart Went Crazy
Deep Forest - Deep Forest
Antonio de Almeida/Moscow Symphony Orchestra - Malipiero: Sinfonia del Mare - Symphonies 3 & 4
The Baltimore Consort - La Rocque n' Roll
Rig - Belly to the Ground
George Gershwin - Gershwin Plays Gershwin: The Piano Rolls
Netherlands Wind Ensemble Bernstein - Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

Jason Lymangrover
A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders
The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92
Brad - Shame
Cypress Hill - Black Sunday
Digable Planets - Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)
Dinosaur Jr. - Where You Been
Flaming Lips - Transmissions from the Satellite Heart
Judgment Night
The Lemonheads - Come on Feel the Lemonheads
Lenny Kravitz - Are You Gonna Go My Way
Morphine - Cure for Pain
Pearl Jam - Vs.
Sloan - Smeared
Slowdive - Souvlaki
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
Stereolab - Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements
Suede - Suede
Swirlies - Blonder Tongue Audio Baton
Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman
Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

In '93, I spent way too many hours watching BET's Rap City in my dorm room when I should have been studying.

Black Moon - "Who Got da Props?"
Brand Nubian - "Love Me or Leave Me Alone"
Chaka Demus & Pliers - "Murder She Wrote"
Da Lench Mob - "Guerillas in tha Mist"
De La Soul - "Breakadawn"
Diamond & the Psychotic Neurotics - "Sally Got a One Track Mind"
Double XX Posse - "Not Gonna Be Able to Do It"
Guru - "Trust Me"
KRS-One - "Sound of da Police"
LL Cool J - " Pink Cookies in a Plastic Bag Getting Crushed by Buildings"
Lords of the Underground - "Chief Rocka"
The Pharcyde - "Passin Me By"
Masta Ace - "Born to Roll"
Mad Cobra - "Flex" YouTube
Onyx - "Slam"
Paperboy - "Ditty"
Positive K - "I Got a Man"
Redman - "Time 4 Sum Aksion"
2Pac - "I Get Around"

Honorable Mention:
Biz Markie - "Let Me Turn You On"

J. Scott McClintock
Jellyfish - Spilt Milk
Martin Newell - The Greatest Living Englishman
Saint Etienne - So Tough
Brian Dewan - Tells the Story
Masters of Reality - Sunrise on the Sufferbus
Redd Kross - Phaseshifter
Sloan - Smeared
Jesus Jones - Perverse
The Auteurs - New Wave
Björk - Debut
Frank Black - Frank Black
Grant Lee Buffalo - Fuzzy
James Hall - My Love, Sex & Spirit
The Fall - The Infotainment Scan
Lisa Germano - Happiness
Catherine Wheel - Chrome
Depeche Mode - Songs of Faith and Devotion

David Bowie - "Buddha of Suburbia"
The Breeders - "Hag"
The Boo Radleys - "Rodney King (Song for Lenny Bruce)"
Curve - "Superblaster"
David Sylvian & Robert Fripp - "Brightness Falls"
Medicine - "She Knows Everything"
Digable Planets - "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)"
808 State - "10 X 10"
Daniel Lanois - "For the Beauty of Wynona"
Miranda Sex Garden - "Sunshine"
Nirvana - "All Apologies"
The Posies - "Solar Sister"
Shonen Knife - "Tortoise Brand Pot Scrubbing Cleaner's Theme (Sea Turtle)"
Suede - "Animal Nitrate"
Swirlies - "Pancake"
U2 - "Lemon"
Underworld - "Cowgirl"
The Golden Palominos - "The Wonder"
Stereolab - "Space Age Bachelor Pad Music"
Sloan - "Underwhelmed"
Sade - "Cherish the Day"
Porno for Pyros - "Packin'"

James Christopher Monger
Grant Lee Buffalo - Fuzzy
Jellyfish - Spilt Milk
Red House Painters - Red House Painters
Eleventh Dream Day - El Moodio
Masters of Reality - Sunrise on the Sufferbus
The Auteurs - New Wave
Komeda - Pop PÃ¥ Svenska
Brian Dewan - Tells the Story
Martin Newell - The Greatest Living Englishman
Robyn Hitchcock - Respect
The Boo Radleys - Giant Steps
Suede - Suede
Lisa Germano - Happiness
Björk - Debut
Redd Kross - Phaseshifter
Morphine - Cure for Pain
Daniel Lanois - For the Beauty of Wynonna
Jeff Buckley - Live at Sin-é
Tom Waits - The Black Rider
Danny Elfman - The Nightmare Before Christmas

Miranda Sex Garden - "Sunshine"
Porno for Pyros - "Packin'"
Ayub Ogada - "Obiero"
Jesus Jones - "The Devil You Know"
Flop - "Woolworth"
Frank Black - "Los Angeles"
Ren & Stimpy - "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy"
James - "Sometimes (Lester Piggott)"
David Bowie - "Buddha of Suburbia"
Crowded House - "Pineapple Head"
Ad Vielle Que Pourra - "Avel a Varo"
World Party - "Is It Like Today?"
Midnight Oil - "Truganini"
Sloan - "Underwhelmed"
Belly - "Gepetto"
The Pogues - "Tuesday Morning"
Nirvana - "All Apologies"
The Posies - "Definite Door"
The Flaming Lips - "Turn It On"
Milton Nascimento - "Hello, Goodbye"

Heather Phares
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92
The Auteurs - New Wave
Björk - Debut
Frank Black - Frank Black
Blur - Modern Life Is Rubbish
The Boo Radleys - Giant Steps
The Breeders - Last Splash
Dinosaur Jr. - Where You Been
PJ Harvey - Rid of Me
His Name Is Alive - Mouth by Mouth
Mercury Rev - Boces
Nirvana - In Utero
Royal Trux - Cats & Dogs
Smog - Julius Caesar
Stereolab - Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements
Suede - Suede
Swirlies - Blonder Tongue Audio Baton
Urge Overkill - Saturation
Unrest - Perfect Teeth
Yo La Tengo - Painful

Belly - "Feed the Tree"
Björk - "Human Behaviour"
Frank Black - "Los Angeles"
The Breeders - "Cannonball"
Butthole Surfers - "Who Was in My Room Last Night?"
Cypress Hill - "Insane in the Brain"
Digable Planets - "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)"
Dinosaur Jr. - "Start Choppin'"
Dr. Dre - "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang"
Ice Cube - "It Was a Good Day"
James - "Laid"
Nirvana - "Heart Shaped Box"
Primus - "My Name Is Mud"
Radiohead - "Creep"
Salt-N-Pepa - "Shoop"
Smashing Pumpkins - "Today"
Stereo MC's - "Connected"
Suede - "Metal Mickey"
Urge Overkill - "Sister Havana"
Ween - "Push th' Little Daisies"

Tim Sendra
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92
The Boo Radleys - Giant Steps
The Flaming Lips - Transmissions from the Satellite Heart
Jane Pow - Love It Be It!/State
The Nightblooms - 24 Days at Catastrophe Cafe
The Pooh Sticks - Million Seller
Saint Etienne - So Tough
Slowdive - Souvlaki
Smog - Julius Caesar
Epic Soundtracks - Rise Above
Stereolab - Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements
Swirlies - Blonder Tongue Audio Baton
Tiger Trap - Tiger Trap
Tindersticks - Tindersticks
The Trash Can Sinatras - I've Seen Everything

The Auteurs - "Show Girl"
Helen Love - "Riding Hi"
Huggy Bear - "Herjazz"
Lois - "The Trouble with Me"
Mazzy Star - "Fade Into You"
The Pastels - "Thank You for Being You"
Snoop Doggy Dogg - "Gin and Juice"
Suede - "Animal Nitrate"
A Tribe Called Quest - "Award Tour"
Wu-Tang Clan - "C.R.E.A.M."

Sean Westergaard
Aisha Kandisha's Jarring Effects - Shabeesation
Joey Baron - RAIsedpleasuredot
Tim Berne's Caos Totale - Nice View
Oren Bloedow - Oren Bloedow
William S. Burroughs - Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales
Ry Cooder & V.M. Bhatt - Meeting by the River
Robert Dick - Third Stone from the Sun
Eleventh Dream Day - El Moodio
The Ex/Tom Cora - And the Weathermen Shrug Their Shoulders
Ronald Shannon Jackson - Raven Roc
Jon Jang & the Pan-Asian Arkestra - Tiananmen!
Medeski, Martin & Wood - It's a Jungle in Here
Naked City - Radio
Plunderphonics - Plexure
Hal Russell NRG Ensemble - The Hal Russell Story
Nicky Skopelitis - Ekstasis
David Sylvian & Robert Fripp - The First Day
Henry Threadgill - Too Much Sugar for a Dime
Uncle Tupelo - Anodyne
Justin Warfield - My Field Trip to Planet 9

Although a few songs in these lists were released in 1992, they peaked in the U.S. in 1993.

Previously
AllMusic Loves 1968
AllMusic Loves 1977
AllMusic Loves 1984
AllMusic Loves 1987
AllMusic Loves 1999