It’s a brand new year. A time to look ahead to the great things us music fans have got to be excited about.
But every passing year also reminds us that we’re getting older. So we thought we’d take a look back at some of the big records you grew up with that are celebrating anniversaries this year.
To keep it simple, we’ll only be looking at notable anniversaries: 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years. We’ll also be placing more emphasis on debuts and notable releases, so while Built to Spill’s sixth album You in Reverse was great in 2006 and well worth a listen, it didn’t really make an impact on the overall musical landscape.
Some of these made us feel rather old when we realised our favourite records are over two decades old, and who’d have thought people like Eminem and Jay-Z had been releasing music for 20 years now?
January is typically a slow start to a New Year release wise, and that’s evidenced by the lack of anniversaries in our first month. Still, January 2006 was a pretty good one, with both The Kooks and Arctic Monkeys releasing their debut albums (on the same day no less), and Gossip hitting new heights with breakthrough third album Standing In The Way of Control.
23rd: The Kooks – Inside In/Inside Out (10)
23rd: Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (10)
24th: Gossip – Standing In The Way Of Control (10)
Things begin to pick up in February, as we celebrate the 15th birthday of Stephen Malkmus’ first solo release following the break-up of indie-rockers Pavement two years prio. Liars also released third LP Drum’s Not Dead a decade ago, an album that would transform them from ignored experimental noiseniks into fully fledged hype-machine botherers.
6th: Belle and Sebastian – The Life Pursuit (10)
13th: Stephen Malkmus – Stephen Malkmus (15)
18th: Throwing Muses – The Real Ramona (25)
19th: Dinosaur Jr. – Green Mind (25)
20th: Liars – Drum’s Not Dead (10)
Things get nostalgia heavy in March with a deluge of debut record anniversaries.
Damon Albarn’s animated Gorillaz released their first full-length record a boggling 15 years ago, while 2006 saw introductory albums from everyone from Charlie Simpson’s moany rockers Fightstar.
Elsewhere, we mark the 25th anniversary of Slint’s math-rock classic Spiderland, and Alien Ant Farm’s joining of the nu-metal party by way of a Michael Jackson cover 15 years ago.
3rd: Daft Punk – Discovery (15)
12th: R.E.M – Out of Time (25)
13th: Fightstar – Grand Unification (10)
13th: Graham Coxon – Love Travels At Illegal Speeds (10)
13th: Placebo – Meds (10)
19th: Alien Ant Farm – ANThology (15)
21st: Band of Horses – Everything All The Time (10)
25th: Sleater-Kinney – Call the Doctor (20)
26th: Neutral Milk Hotel – On Avery Island (20)
26th: Gorillaz – Gorillaz (15)
27th: Be Your Own Pet – Be Your Own Pet (10)
27th: Slint – Spiderland (25)
May marks the month in which the world said goodbye to Bikini Kill with their last ever studio album 20 years ago as they asked us to Reject All American, Welsh band Feeder went from post-Britpop also-rans to veritable pop-rockers with ‘Buck Rogers‘ and third album Echo Park in 2001, and we saw 2006 debut records from two oft-forgotten indie bands: brooding post-punk types White Rose Movement and Ontario’s lo-fi pop heroes Tokyo Police Club.
5th: Bikini Kill – Reject All American (20)
9th: Unwound – Repetition (20)
10th: The Streets – The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living (10)
16th: Rage Against The Machine – Evil Empire (20)
17th: White Rose Movement – Kick (10)
23rd: Feeder – Echo Park (15)
24th: Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere (10)
25th: Tokyo Police Club – A Lesson In Crime EP (10)
The Smashing Pumpkins unleashed debut album Gish in 1991, 25 years before Billy Corgan would write wrestling theme songs for TNA, while five years later we saw the first full-length release from Northern Ireland’s alt.rock upstarts Ash (1977).
Sum 41 were giving everyone a ‘Fatlip‘ in 2001 with debut album All Killer, No Filler, while 2006 seemed to be the year of the ‘other’ band, as both The Libertines’ Carl Barat and The White Stripes’ Jack White released debut records with their ‘other’ bands (Dirty Pretty Things and The Raconteurs, respectively).
1st: Snow Patrol – Eyes Open (10)
6th: Ash – 1977 (20)
6th: Sleeper – The It Girl (20)
8th: Dirty Pretty Things – Waterloo to Anywhere (10)
8th: Sum 41 – All Killer, No Filler (15)
9th: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium (10)
16th: The Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers (10)
20th: Manic Street Preachers – Everything Must Go (20)
22nd: Hot Chip – The Warning (10)
28th: The Smashing Pumpkins – Gish (25)
29th: The Futureheads – News and Tributes (10)
June seems to be the month for the more esoteric acts who like to take a risk or two (and, err… The Automatic). It’s been a staggering two decades since Jay-Z (then still with the hyphen in his name) released debut album Reasonable Doubt into the world and changed the face of hip hop forever, and in the same month of 1996, Beck was finally capturing the mainstream’s attention with fifth album Odelay.
Radiohead released Amnesiac 15 years ago, while Sonic Youth’s penultimate studio album is a decade old this year.
5th: Radiohead – Amnesiac (15)
13th: Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped (10)
18th: Beck – Odelay (20)
19th: The Automatic – Not Accepted Anywhere (10)
25th: Jay-Z – Reasonable Doubt (20)
There’s probably a reason why Muse’s release schedule favours the month of July so much (probably communicated to Matt Bellamy via an ancient alien race), but until we fathom it let’s just ponder the fact it’s been 15 years since the Teignmouth band’s exhilarating breakthrough Origin of Symmetry, and a decade since Black Holes and Revelations really took them into the stratosphere.
2001 is well documented as a revival year for guitar bands, so it’s no surprise to see so many 15-year anniversaries of the bands at the centre of it all. The White Stripes, The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs all have releases to celebrate (those last two being debuts).
3rd: Muse – Black Holes and Revelations (10)
3rd: The White Stripes – White Blood Cells (15)
9th: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Yeah Yeah Yeahs EP (15)
10th: Thom Yorke – The Eraser (10)
17th: Muse – Origin of Symmetry (15)
30th: The Strokes – Is This It? (15)
August seems to be a month in a favour with bands at the heavier end of the spectrum (must be those dark nights beginning to draw in). Metallica’s masterful Black Album proved heavy metal belonged in the mainstream as much as anywhere else and celebrates its 25th birthday this year, while At The Drive-In’s loopy jazz-metal was introduced by way of debut album Acrobatic Tenement, which hits the two decade milestone.
Slipknot released their second full-length album 15 years ago, and it’s going to be hard for Blur to have the 25th anniversary celebrations for debut album Leisure be heard over the noise of crushing metal riffs.
12: Metallica – Metallica (The Black Album) (25)
16: Sebadoh – III (25)
18: At The Drive-In – Acrobatic Tenement (20)
26: Blur – Leisure (25)
28: Slipknot – Iowa (15)
A number of big anniversaries for fans of ’90s music in September. Twenty-five years ago we had shoegazing debuts from both Slowdive and Swervedriver, Courtney Love’s band Hole, Primal Scream keeping baggy alive with the seminal Screamadelica, the final album from Pixies, and Nirvana’s meteoric rise following the release of second album Nevermind.
Suede continued to burn the torch for Britpop with Coming Up in 1996, while Weezer were keeping college radio stations in business with Pinkerton in the same year.
2nd: Suede – Coming Up (20)
2nd: Slowdive – Just For A Day (25)
4th: System of a Down – Toxicity (15)
17th: Hole – Pretty On The Inside (25)
23rd: Fatboy Slim – Better Living Through Chemistry (20)
23rd: Primal Scream – Screamadelica (25)
23rd: Pixies – Trompe le Monde (25)
24th: Nirvana – Nevermind (25)
24th: Weezer – Pinkerton (20)
25th: Larrikin Love – The Freedom Spark (10)
30th: Swervedriver – Raise (25)
You’d be forgiven for not realising Taylor Swift’s brand of spunky pop was in fact 10 years old (though, to be fair, she did have more of a country flavouring a decade ago), but October marks the anniversary of her self-titled debut.
Five years prior to that The Hives were our ‘Main Offender‘ with the release of early Greatest Hits compilation Your New Favourite Band, and Brand New were busy moulding a new form of emo with debut Your Favourite Weapon that would go on to be perfected by My Chemical Romance half a decade later.
9th: Albert Hammond Jr. – Yours To Keep (10)
9th: Brand New – Your Favourite Weapon (15)
22nd: Aphex Twin – drukQs (15)
22nd: The Hives – Your New Favourite Band (15)
23rd: My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade (10)
24th: Taylor Swift – Taylor Swift (10)
27th: Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (10)
30th: Superchunk – No Pocky For Kitty (25)
By the time November rolls around, things are slowing up a bit for the year, but there’s still some big anniversaries left in the tank.
It’s been 25 years since My Bloody Valentine unleashed second album Loveless on the world, reshaping guitar music and practically inventing the shoegaze genre with one album, while just five years later a young Marshall Mathers would release his debut album Infinite, before going on to shape one of the most successful hip hop careers of all time.
Andrew W.K. told us to ‘Party Hard‘ in 2001, while Jarvis Cocker took his first steps into a solo career a decade ago.
4th: My Bloody Valentine – Loveless (25)
6th: The Long Blondes – Someone To Drive You Home (10)
12th: Eminem – Infinite (20)
13th: Jarvis Cocker – Jarvis (10)
13th: Andrew W.K. – I Get Wet (15)
19th: Teenage Fanclub – Bandwagonesque (25)
Somewhat unsurprisingly, the release schedule grinds to a halt in the month of December with a competitive Christmas market to deal with, so no music anniversaries here to speak of.