It’s 1991 and I’m 29 years old. Finally, the 90s are really here. Music is tightening up and I’m listening to the radio a bit more, buying more albums.
I suppose Nirvana is a big deal for a lot of people. But for me, the only thing I can sing is “Hello… hello…” Maybe I’m too old to dig it. I don’t know. I’m pushing 30 in ’91 so “Smells like Teen Spirit” is not something I’m looking to add to my personal record collection.
But hey, I just checked and there are almost 682 MILLION views of that song at YouTube. And in retrospect, I can see that Nirvana was hacking out a new path, musically speaking. So I give that honorable mention, for sure.
The runner-up for my favorite song for ’91 is the KLF’s “Justified and Ancient” with Tammy Wynette. But that doesn’t play quite so well today.
The tune at the top of my list for ’91 is probably U2’s “One” produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, whom I’ve mentioned earlier.
I remember traveling to the university where I would be doing my Ph.D. It was a long drive, and I played my Achtung Baby CD for a good part of it.
Achtung Baby is U2’s Sgt. Peppers, IMO. Pretty much all the songs are good and the whole thing just hangs together so nicely. I realize U2 have had their PR problems but in 1991, they were one of the hippest acts around.
Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus
To the lepers in your head?
For a pop music lover embarking on a Ph.D. in Psychology and Religion, it’s pretty clear why these lyrics would stop me cold.