Definitely Maybe Mellow Gold Parklife Ill Communication
Illmatic Dummy Dog Man Star Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

Looking back, it's hard not to see 1994 as a pivotal year in '90s pop music: the close of the decade's first act and the dawn of its second, with the April suicide of Kurt Cobain dramatically closing the door on the rise of alternative rock. Even if Kurt had managed to stick around, there was no denying that the tide was shifting, the grip of grunge loosening as such bratty upstarts as Green Day and garage geeks as Weezer began racking up the big modern-rock hits while Beck, Guided by Voices, and Pavement all worked the fringes of indie rock. Rock wasn't the only genre seeing the winds of change, either. Such early '90s hip-hop superstars as Public Enemy and Arrested Development saw their status slip as the east coast titans Nas and the Notorious B.I.G. rose. But perhaps the biggest ruckus in pop came out of England with the explosion of Britpop, spearheaded by Blur's magnificent Parklife -- yet it was soon overshadowed by the debut of Oasis, whose Definitely Maybe turned out to be the U.K. equivalent of Nevermind: It changed the sound and style of British rock & roll and provides one of many reasons to love 1994.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Like any year that provides a surplus of favorites, I've decided to limit any crossovers from the albums and singles lists: hence, there's no "Sabotage," no "Girls & Boys," no "Cigarettes & Alcohol," no "Babies," no "Loser," no "Cut Your Hair" on the singles list, although they certainly get as much play as anything in my top ten here. That's a testament to the strength of the albums released during this year, but it also indicates how in '94 every style needed a strong single to push through: even lo-fi indie rockers needed something that could earn semi-regular rotation on MTV. In a time where singles often don't make a splash for much longer than the day they're leaked onto the net, it's hard not to miss that just a little bit.

Blur - Parklife
Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Oasis - Definitely Maybe
Suede - Dog Man Star
Nick Lowe – The Impossible Bird
Pulp – His 'n' Hers
Ween - Chocolate and Cheese
Portishead - Dummy
Beck - Mellow Gold
Weezer - Weezer
Beastie Boys - Ill Communication
The Black Crowes – Amorica
Stereolab - Mars Audiac Quintet
Sugar – File Under: Easy Listening
Silver Jews - Starlite Walker
Guided by Voices - Bee Thousand
Morrissey - Vauxhall and I
Green Day - Dookie
Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible
Nirvana - MTV Unplugged in New York
Liz Phair – Whip-Smart
R.E.M. - Monster
Beck - One Foot in the Grave
Frank Black - Teenager of the Year
The Auteurs - Now I'm a Cowboy

Stone Temple Pilots – "Interstate Love Song"
Stone Temple Pilots – "Vasoline"
Soundgarden – "My Wave"
Supergrass – "Caught by the Fuzz"
Veruca Salt – "Seether"
Dwight Yoakam – "Fast as You"
The Charlatans – "Can't Get Out Of Bed"
Madonna – "Take a Bow"
Gene – "Sleep Well Tonight"
Shampoo – "Trouble"
Des'ree – "You Gotta Be"
Whale – "Hobo Humpin Slobo Babe"
Primal Scream – "Rocks"
The Breeders – "Saints"
Björk – "Big Time Sensuality"
Warren G f/ Nate Dogg – "Regulate"
Urge Overkill – "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon"
Meat Puppets – "Backwater"
Snoop Doggy Dogg – "Gin & Juice"
Salt N Pepa – "Whatta Man"
Alice in Chains – "No Excuses"
Radiohead – "My Iron Lung"
The Stone Roses – "Love Spreads"
Dinosaur Jr. – "Feel the Pain"
TLC - "Creep"

John Bush
Portishead - Dummy
Digable Planets - Blowout Comb
Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Jeru the Damaja - The Sun Rises in the East
The Fall - Middle Class Revolt
Tortoise - Tortoise
Sebadoh - Bakesale
Stereolab - Mars Audiac Quintet
Global Communication - 76:14
Beastie Boys - Ill Communication
Unwound - New Plastic Ideas
Shellac - At Action Park
Rodan - Rusty
Blur - Parklife
µ-Ziq - Bluff Limbo
The Halo Benders - God Don't Make No Junk
Butterglory - Crumble
As One - Reflections
Built to Spill - There's Nothing Wrong with Love
Orbital - Snivilisation
The Cardigans - Emmerdale

Craig Mack f/ Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, Rampage - "Flava in Ya Ear [Remix]"
Jeru the Damaja - "You Can't Stop the Prophet"
Shy FX & UK Apachi - "Original Nuttah"
4 Hero - "Universal Love"
Photek - "The Physical"
Paperclip People - "Throw"
69 - "Jam the Box"
Dave Clarke - "Red 2: Wisdom to the Wise"
The Dust Brothers - "Chemical Beats"
Aphex Twin - "Blue Calx"
Global Communication - "14:31"
Cardinal - "If You Believe in Christmas Trees"
Beck - "Loser"
The Fall - "Hey Student"
Gigolo Aunts - "Bloom"
Supergrass - "Caught by the Fuzz"
Shellac - "The Admiral"
Rodan - "The Everyday World of Bodies"
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion! - "Bellbottoms"
Digable Planets - "For Corners"

Heather Phares
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works, Vol. 2
The Auteurs - Now I'm a Cowboy
Beck - Mellow Gold
Frank Black - Teenager of the Year
Blur - Parklife
Brainiac - Bonsai Superstar
Lisa Germano - Geek the Girl
Guided by Voices - Bee Thousand
Kristin Hersh - Hips and Makers
Luna - Bewitched
Oasis - Definitely Maybe
Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Portishead - Dummy
Silver Jews - Starlite Walker
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion! - Orange
Stereolab - Mars Audiac Quartet
Suede - Dog Man Star
Thinking Fellers Union Local #282 - Strangers from the Universe
Ween - Chocolate and Cheese
Weezer - Weezer

Beastie Boys - "Sabotage"
Beck - "Loser"
Blur - "Girls & Boys"
Coolio - "Fantastic Voyage"
Elastica - "Connection"
Kristin Hersh - "Your Ghost"
Luna - "California All the Way"
Madonna - "Secret"
Nine Inch Nails - "Closer"
Oasis - "Cigarettes & Alcohol"
Outrageous Cherry - "Pale, Frail Lovely One"
Pavement - "Range Life"
Liz Phair - "Supernova"
Portishead - "Sour Times"
Pulp - "Lipgloss"
Radiohead - "My Iron Lung"
Silver Jews - "Trains Across the Sea"
Sonic Youth - "Bull in the Heather"
Urge Overkill - "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon"
Veruca Salt - "Seether"

Jason Lymangrover
Beastie Boys - Ill Communication
Beck - Mellow Gold
Beck - One Foot in the Grave
Beck - Stereopathic Soul Manure
Deee-Lite - Dewdrops in the Garden
Digable Planets - Blowout Comb
Gang Starr - Hard to Earn
Golden Palaminos - Pure
Jamiroquai - Return of the Space Cowboy
MC 900 Ft. Jesus - One Step Ahead of the Spider
Nas - Illmatic
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Portishead - Dummy
Rollerskate Skinny - Shoulder Voices
Sonic Youth - Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star
Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary
Warren G - Regulate…G Funk Era
Ween - Chocolate and Cheese
Weezer - Weezer

David Jeffries
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works, Vol. 2
Beastie Boys - Ill Communication
Big Mello - Wegonefunkwichamind
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - Creepin on ah Come Up
Born Jamericans - Kids from Foreign
Digable Planets - Blowout Comb
Disco Inferno - D.I. Go Pop
The Future Sound of London - ISDN
Warren G - Regulate...G Funk Era
Jeru the Damaja - The Sun Rises in the East
Massive Attack - Protection
Method Man - Tical
Nas - Illmatic
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die
Portishead - Dummy
Renegade Soundwave - How You Doin?
Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - The Main Ingredient
Scarface - The Diary
UGK - Super Tight…

Greg Heaney
Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Soul Coughing - Ruby Vroom
Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart
Ween - Chocolate and Cheese
Weezer - Weezer
They Might Be Giants - John Henry
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion! - Orange
MC 900 Ft. Jesus - One Step Ahead of the Spider
Bouncing Souls - The Good, the Bad & the Argyle
Jeru the Damaja - The Sun Rises in the East
Beck - Mellow Gold
Melvins - Stoner Witch
Shellac - At Action Park
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
NOFX - Punk in Drublic
Neurosis - Enemy of the Sun
Lush - Split
Method Man - Tical
Beastie Boys - Ill Communication
Jeff Buckley - Grace

James Christopher Monger
Julian Cope - Autogeddon
Jeff Buckley - Grace
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Let Love In
Suede - Dog Man Star
Soundgarden - Superunknown
Johnny Cash - American Recordings
Lisa Germano - Geek the Girl
Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder - Talking Timbuktu
Ween - Chocolate and Cheese
Soul Coughing - Ruby Vroom
Thomas Newman - The Shawshank Redemption
Beastie Boys - Ill Communication
Grant Lee Buffalo - Mighty Joe Moon
The Magnetic Fields - The Charm of the Highway Strip
Garmarna - Vittrad
The Auteurs - Now I'm a Cowboy
Ted Hawkins - The Next Hundred Years
Lyle Lovett - I Love Everybody
The Grays - Ro Sham Bo

Satchel - "Trouble Come Down"
Love Spit Love - "Wake Up"
Portishead - "Dummy"
Blur - "Girls & Boys"
Single Gun Theory - "I've Been Dying"
The Stone Roses - "Love Spreads"
Tom Petty - "You Don't Know How It Feels"
The High Llamas - "Gideon Gaye"
Tori Amos - "Pretty Good Year"
Killing Joke - "Millennium"
Frank Black - "I Want to Live on an Abstract Plain"
Hedningarna - "VargTimmen"
The Divine Comedy - "Tonight We Fly"
Kristin Hersh - "Your Ghost"
Sloan - "Penpals"
Weezer - "Buddy Holly"
Danzig - "Cantspeak"
The Mavericks - "What a Crying Shame"
Pink Floyd - "High Hopes"
R.E.M. - "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?"

Andy Kellman
Special honorable mention goes to Virgin's Ambient 4: Isolationism, compiled by Kevin Martin.

Nas - Illmatic
The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die
Bark Psychosis - Hex
Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart
Lush - Split
Shellac - At Action Park
Tortoise - Tortoise
OutKast - Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik
Soundgarden - Superunknown
Drexciya - Drexciya 4: The Unknown Aquazone
Global Communication - 76:14
Robert Hood - Internal Empire
Gang Starr - Hard to Earn
TLC - CrazySexyCool
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works, Vol. 2
Gravediggaz - 6 Feet Deep
Jeru the Damaja - The Sun Rises in the East
Portishead - Dummy
Joi - The Pendulum Vibe
Kenny Larkin - Azimuth

Metalheads - "Inner City Life"
Tricky - "Aftermath"
Nas - "The World Is Yours"
Craig Mack - "Flava in Your Ear"
Wu-Tang Clan - "C.R.E.A.M."
The Notorious B.I.G. - "Juicy"
Chavez - "Repeat the Ending"
Suburban Knight - "Midnite Sunshine"
Method Man - "Bring the Pain"
Brandy - "I Wanna Be Down"
TLC - "Creep"
Mary J. Blige - "Be Happy"
Gang Starr - "Mass Appeal"
DBX - "Losing Control"
69 - "Desire"
O.C. - "Time's Up"
Aaliyah - "Back & Forth"
Janet Jackson - "Any Time, Any Place"
Shudder to Think - "X-French Tee Shirt"
Saint Etienne - "Like a Motorway"

Sean Westergaard
Ginger Baker - Going Back Home
Frank Black - Teenager of the Year
The Blood Oranges - Crying Tree
Café Tacuba - Re
James Carter - JC on the Set
Thomas Chapin Trio - Menagerie Dreams
Graham Connah Group - Snaps Erupt at Pure Spans
Dirty Three - Sad & Dangerous
Paul Dresher - Liquid and Stellar Music/This Same Temple
Ellery Eskelin - Jazz Trash
Wayne Horvitz/Pigpen - Live in Poland
Mick Karn/David Torn/Terry Bozzio - Polytown
Latin Playboys - Latin Playboys
Little Axe - Wolf That House Built
Pluto - Shoehorse Emerging
Elliott Sharp - Terraplane
Soul Coughing - Ruby Vroom
Splatter Trio +2 - Fistful of Dewey
U. Srinivas - Rama Sreerama
T.J. Kirk - T.J. Kirk
John Zorn/Masada - Masada, Vol. 1: Alef

Matthew Garbutt
Beastie Boys - Ill Communication
Digable Planets - Blowout Comb
G. Love and Special Sauce - G. Love and Special Sauce
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - Tatay
Hüsker Dü - The Living End
Jeru the Damaja - The Sun Rises in the East
Massive Attack - Protection
Method Man - Tical
Nas - Illmatic
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Let Love In
OutKast - Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik
Portishead - Dummy
Pulp - His 'n' Hers
Renegade Soundwave - Howyoudoin?
Saint Etienne - Tiger Bay
Stereolab - Mars Audiac Quintet
Tav Falco's Panther Burns - Deep in the Shadows
Thee Headcoatees - Ballad of the Insolent Pup
Thee Headcoats - Conundrum
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion! - Orange

Alex Reece - "Pulp Fiction"
Beck - "Loser"
Bikini Kill - "Rebel Girl"
Bomb the Bass - "Bug Powder Dust"
Dawn Penn - "You Don't Love Me (No No No)"
Doc Scott - "Last Action Hero"
Domino - "Ghetto Jam"
Edwyn Collins - "A Girl Like You"
Gravediggaz - "6 Feet Deep"
Inspiral Carpets - "Saturn 5"
Jhelisa - "Friendly Pressure"
LFO - "Tied Up"
Mazzy Star - "Fade into You"
My Life Story - "You Don't Sparkle in My Eyes"
Prince - "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World"
Roni Size & DJ Krust - "Witchcraft"
Tindersticks - "Kathleen"
Tricky - "Ponderosa"
UK Apachi & Shy FX - "Original Nuttah"
Wu-Tang Clan - "C.R.E.A.M."

Jack Semmence
Although I was only four years old at the time (sorry), 1994 turned out to be a huge year for my future music taste, and I could easily put several albums from this list into my favorite records ever. It was the death of grunge and the birth of Britpop, with R.E.M. still jangling away regardless, but I was too busy making macaroni pictures to pay any attention. So with the help of significant hindsight, here are my top 10 albums and singles from 1994 (completely Wiggles-free).

Oasis - Definitely Maybe
Weezer - Weezer
Nirvana - MTV Unplugged in New York
Jeff Buckley - Grace
Blur - Parklife
R.E.M. - Monster
The Prodigy - Music for the Jilted Generation
Green Day - Dookie
Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible
Beck - Mellow Gold

Oasis - "Live Forever"
R.E.M. - "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?"
Beck - "Loser"
Oasis - "Whatever"
Bruce Springsteen - "The Streets of Philadelphia"
Blur - "To the End"
Green Day - "When I Come Around"
Blur - "Girls & Boys"
Soundgarden - "Black Hole Sun"
Nirvana - "About a Girl" (YouTube)

Richard Wilson
Sebadoh - Bakesale
The God Machine - One Last Laugh in a Place of Dying
Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary
Superchunk - Foolish
Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Screamfeeder - Burn Out Your Name
Hole - Live Through This
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Let Love In
Beck - Mellow Gold
Weezer - Weezer
Compulsion - Comforter
Beastie Boys - Ill Communication
Method Man - Tical
Green Day - Dookie
NOFX - Punk in Drublic
Senser - Stacked Up
Eat Static - Implant
The Future Sound of London - Lifeforms
The Prodigy - Music for the Jilted Generation
Banco de Gaia - Maya

James Wilkinson
Saint Etienne - Tiger Bay
Blur - Parklife
Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Sleeps with Angels
Stereolab - Mars Audiac Quintet
R.E.M. - Monster
Ride - Carnival of Light
The Stone Roses - Second Coming
Oasis - Definitely Maybe
The Cardigans - Emmerdale
Morrissey - Vauxhall and I
Green Day - Dookie
Elliott Smith - Roman Candle
Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Pulp - His 'n' Hers
Veruca Salt - American Thighs
Weezer - Weezer
Inspiral Carpets - Devil Hopping
Beck - Stereopathetic Soul Manure
Johnny Cash - American Recordings
The Charlatans - Up to Our Hips

Daryll-Ann - Come Around EP
Supergrass - "Caught by the Fuzz"
American TV Cops - "Thirst"
Elastica - "Line-Up"
Ash - "Jack Names the Planets"
Vibrasonic - "Kingsley J"
Daryll-Ann - "I Could Never Love You"
Elastica - "Connection"
Oasis - "Whatever"
Suede - "Stay Together"
These Animal Men - "This Is the Sound of Youth"
Possum Dixon - "Watch the Girl Destroy Me"
Dinosaur Jr. - "Feel the Pain"
Cracker - "Low"
Boo Radleys - "Barney (...And Me)"
Gene - "For the Dead"
Manic Street Preachers - "Faster"
Shed Seven - "Mark"
Sonic Youth - "Bull in the Heather"
Kristin Hersh & Michael Stipe - "Your Ghost"

Daniel Clancy
Blur - Parklife
Oasis - Definitely Maybe
Beastie Boys - Ill Communication
Nirvana - Unplugged in New York
Pulp - His 'n' Hers
Weezer - The Blue Album
Green Day - Dookie
Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible
Frank Black - Teenager of the Year

Oasis - "Supersonic"
Blur - "Girls & Boys"
Pulp - "Do You Remember the First Time?"
Beck - "Loser"
Beastie Boys - "Sabotage"
Elastica - "Connection"
Green Day - "Basket Case"
R.E.M. - "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?"
Primal Scream - "Rocks"
Soundgarden - "Black Hole Sun"

John Buchanan
There was such an embarrassment of great albums released in '94 it was really hard to whittle my list down to just 20. This was the year I first started buying music in earnest, and many of these albums have become firm favorites in my collection which I still regularly listen to today. However, while my taste was trending to alt-rock on the albums front, I was still a heavy listener to Top 40 radio, as can be seen below.

Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works, Vol. 2
Autechre - Amber
Bush - Sixteen Stone
Come - Don't Ask Don't Tell
The Cranberries - No Need to Argue
Drive Like Jehu - Yank Crime
Th' Faith Healers - Imaginary Friend
Helmet - Betty
The Jesus Lizard - Down
Kerbdog - Kerbdog
Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible
Mule - If I Don't Six
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
Pearl Jam - Vitalogy
Portishead - Dummy
Red Red Meat - Jimmywine Majestic
The Sabres of Paradise - Haunted Dancehall
Shellac - At Action Park
Suede - Dog Man Star
Therapy? - Troublegum

Aaliyah - "Back and Forth"
Ace of Base - "Don't Turn Around"
Bon Jovi - "Always"
Counting Crows - "Round Here"
Cypress Hill - "We Ain't Goin' Out Like That"
Celine Dion - "Think Twice"
Enigma - "Return to Innocence"
Eternal - "Stay"
Guns N' Roses - "Sympathy for the Devil"
Janet Jackson - "That's the Way Love Goes"
The Jesus and Mary Chain - "Sometimes Always"
Ini Kamoze - "Here Comes the Hotstepper"
Lisa Loeb - "Stay (I Missed You)"
Madonna - "I'll Remember"
Nine Inch Nails - "Closer"
Dawn Penn - "You Don t Love Me (No, No, No)"
Prince - "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World"
R.E.M. - "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?"
Snoop Doggy Dogg - "Gin & Juice"
Bruce Springsteen - "Streets of Philadelphia"

Aneet Nijjar
Suede – Dog Man Star
Manic Street Preachers – The Holy Bible
Morrissey – Vauxhall and I
Pulp – His 'n' Hers
Hole – Live Through This
R.E.M. – Monster
Massive Attack – Protection
The Prodigy – Music for the Jilted Generation
Saint Etienne – Tiger Bay
Portishead – Dummy
Beastie Boys – Ill Communication
Luscious Jackson – Natural Ingredients
One Dove – Morning Dove White
The Sabres of Paradise - Haunted Dancehall
Nas – Illmatic

Suede - "Stay Together"
Oasis – "Supersonic"
Blur – "To the End"
Elastica – "Connection"
Bikini Kill – "Rebel Girl"
Beck – "Loser"
Kylie Minogue - "Confide in Me"
Madonna – "Secret"
Dawn Penn – "You Don't Love Me (No No No)"
Shaggy – "Oh Carolina"
Stereolab - "Ping Pong"
Underworld – "Cowgirl"
DJ Shadow - "Lost and Found"
Metalheads – "Inner City Life"
Shy FX & UK Apachi - "Original Nuttah"
Wu-Tang Clan – "C.R.E.A.M."
Livin' Joy – "Dreamer"
Culture Beat – "Mr. Vain"
Whigfield – "Saturday Night"

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