Is there a better dilemma than getting to a record store on a Friday and having too many great new releases to decide between? It’s not a common phenomenon – careful label types usually study album release listing forensically for the perfect release date, as to not be in direct competition with other strong releases. Sometimes they must simply decided to spoil us. What about these classic release dates in music history?
May 16 1966
The Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘Blonde on Blonde’ both hit shelves on this day, becoming vital chapters in not just each acts’ career, but in the sprawl of ’60s alternative music.
November 22 1968
The Beatles’ ‘White Album’ and The Kinks’ ‘Village Green Preservation Society’ both came out on this day – how’s that for a landmark day in British rock ‘n’ roll?
February 11 1985
Whitney Houston’s ‘Whitney Houston’ and The Smiths’ ‘Meat Is Murder’ – can’t imagine there were many people with both those albums in their basket that release day, but both hugely important records in their own right.
September 24 1991
Two unfathomably noisy smashers, Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ and Primal Scream’s ‘Screamadelica’, came out on this day, presumably sparking a sudden surge in young people requiring hearing aids after repeated listens at buffalo-exploding volumes. Then of course there was Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’, also hitting record store shelves that day, not to mention hip-hop crew A Tribe Called Quest’s cult classic ‘The Low End Theory’ and (in the US) the debut album by a little-known act called Blur (‘Leisure’). An era-defining day.
November 19 1991
For those wanting an instant, stirring stadium rock adrenaline rush, there was U2’s ‘Achtung Baby’. For those wanting something a little subtler, there was Talk Talk’s underrated ‘Laughing Stock’. And for those nonplussed by these two, Michael Jackson’s ‘Dangerous’ was only a week around the corner.
November 4 1991
Everyone remembers My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Loveless’ – but don’t forget ‘Bandwagonesque’ by MBV’s Creation Records peers Teenage Fanclub, also released in time to soundtrack Guy Fawkes Day fireworks in 1991. Kaboom.
March 8 1994
Nine Inch Nails’ ‘The Downward Spiral’ and Soundgarden’s ‘Superunknown’ both arrived on this day, for a double dose of fuzzy guitar goodness.
May 10 1994
A milestone day in American college rock, Weezer’s ‘Blue Album’ and Sunny Day Real Estate’s ‘Diary’ both landed on this day. Both painstakingly honest guitar-driven gems, with a hand in creating the emo explosion that defined much early ’00s rock. Savvy record store owners could have bolstered sales by offering cut-price Kleenex when you buy both at the same time.
May 24 1994
Aaliyah’s ‘Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number’ and Beastie Boys’ ‘Ill Communication’ both dropped on this day – two seismic ’90s releases that continue to influence today.
June 13 1995
This day saw Alanis Morrissette’s ‘Jagged Little Pill’ and Björk’s ‘Post’ both released – a strong day for fans of strong pop/rock innovation.
Dates given are US release dates