By Ryan Smith
Continuing the experiment, let’s do another one of these, shall we? To remind those readers who have just recently joined us and are unfamiliar with Back in 5, it is a segment where we explore forward-thinking music of the past by going back ten years at a time and revisiting the current month in each respective decade. Beginning with Sweden’s progressive metal giants Opeth, who are releasing their eleventh album, Pale Communion, next Tuesday, let’s jump back ten years from there to…
Canadian hip-hop artist k-os releases his second record, Joyful Rebellion, to critical acclaim. Highlights of the record are the artist’s now trademark lyrical skills, sharp arrangements, and brilliant hooks. The album includes instant classics like “Crabbuckit,” and the amazing “Man I Used To Be.” (‘What is a man if he acts like an ape?’)
Jeff Buckley releases his first and only complete album, Grace. The album showcases the artist’s songwriting abilities, unique and astounding vocals, and a softer side to the American alternative rock sound of the early nineties. Buckley would leave us in tragically 1997, caught up in the wake of a boat while swimming. The album, containing single “Last Goodbye” and his gorgeous cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” stands as a snapshot of the man’s pure, unadulterated talent.
British heavy metal band Iron Maiden’s grueling World Slavery Tour lives up to its name as the band brings their music behind the Iron Curtain, the first time a full concert event from a western band has ever taken place in the Soviet Bloc.
Lou Reed releases his fourth solo record, Sally Can’t Dance. While the album is a chart success, it features very little output from the Reed we all know and love and would lead him to release the bafflingly brilliant noise piece Metal Machine Music in a bold attempt to free himself from commercial responsibility.
Bob Dylan releases Another Side of Bob Dylan, his fourth studio album. The record, recorded in one night, presents a lighter sound than his listeners are used to. Feeling boxed in by the politically charged folk music movement he’d helped spearhead, Dylan returns to folks roots with Another Side and delivers material like “It Ain’t Me Babe,” which would later become a hit for Johnny Cash and The Turtles.
That concludes this edition of Back in 5, I hope you enjoyed our look back at forward-thinking music of decades past! I’m blown away that we were able to feature some of the best songwriters in music history. k-os, Buckley, Reed, Dylan… apparently this was a hell of a month! I’ll leave you with k-os’ “Man I Used To Be” from ten years back! Long live forward-thinkers!
RYAN SMITH spends a great deal of his time under troll bridges shaking his fist and hollering obscenities at the mainstream, but occasionally finds himself on the side of a pop act that the underground has disowned. A schizoid fan for the 21st century? Although he has a diverse musical taste that runs the gamut from black metal to country to most forms of jazz, Ryan’s first love will always be progressive music.