The 10 Best Rock Albums of 1995

10 Great Rock Albums That Turn Twenty In 2015

1995 was a pivotal year for rock music. While some bands like Foo Fighters and Garbage were just getting started, others like The Smashing Pumpkins and Oasis were hitting career highs. Meanwhile Alice In Chains were coming to an end, only to reunite many years later with another singer. Here are ten of the best albums released in 1995 that will turn twenty years old this year.

The Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

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The Smashing Pumpkins - 'Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness". Virgin Records

The Smashing Pumpkins' third album is epic in musical ambition and length (a twenty-eighty track double-CD). While Billy Corgan's rock contemporaries were making guitar based albums generally with one sound, Corgan's four Mellon Collie singles range from the heavy guitar rock of "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" and "Zero" to the drum machine/keyboard laced pop of "1979" to full string arrangements on the grandiose "Tonight, Tonight". Mellon Collie was a bold musical statement of a band unwilling to follow trends and was remarkably The Smashing Pumpkins best selling album of all time with diamond certification (over 10,000,000 in sales) in the U.S.

Foo Fighters - 'Foo Fighters'

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Foo Fighters. Capital/Roswell Records

Dave Grohl recorded the first Foo Fighters' album himself singing all the vocals and playing all the instruments himself (except for one guitar part by Afghan Whigs' Greg Dulli). The album was a musical catharsis for Grohl who recorded the album just six months after Kurt Cobain's death. The album's production by Barrett Jones and Grohl was much more raw than subsequent Foo Fighters albums but still delivered the hits "This Is A Call", "I'll Stick Around" and "Big Me". In a December 2014 interview Grohl told Howard Stern that he had wanted to rerecord his debut album with his current Foo Fighters band. Drummer Taylor Hawkins talked Grohl out of it saying, "I do not want to piss on that Picasso." 

Alice In Chains - 'Alice In Chains'

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Alice In Chains. Columbia Records

Alice In Chains' self-titled final album with Layne Staley on vocals was a difficult album to make. With Staley in the grips of heroin addiction, the rest of the band began the album as a Jerry Cantrell solo album. Later, despite his frail condition, Staley was brought in to sing and wrote lyrics to nine of the twelve tracks. Guitarist Jerry Cantrell sang lead on the album's first three singles "Grind", "Heaven Behind You" and "Over Now" while Staley sang lead on their last single "Again". While the album was not as successful as their previous album Dirt it's amazing the album got made at all considering Staley's deteriorating state. Despite this Staley delivers a strong final album performance.

Oasis - '(What's The Story) Morning Glory?'

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Oasis - '(What's The Story) Morning Glory?'. Creation Records

Oasis' second album (What's The Story) Morning Glory? helped propel the band to international stardom with the singles "Wonderwall" and "Champagne Supernova" both reaching #1 on the U.S. Modern Rock Charts for ten and five weeks respectively. The tour for the album was fraught with tension. Noel Gallagher, his brother Liam and bassist Paul McGuigan all left the band at various times in the tour only to return later. The band also broke up briefly in 1996. Oasis lasted through lineup changes and five more albums until their eventual breakup in 2009.

Garbage - 'Garbage'

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Garbage. Almo Sounds

Producer/musician Butch Vig (Nirvana's Nevermind, Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream) put together his own band, Garbage, with two producer/musician friends Duke Erikson and Steve Marker. The trio recruited Scottish singer Shirley Manson after Marker saw her sing in a video with the band Angelfish on MTV's '120 Minutes' show. They flew Manson to Madison, Wisconsin to record Garbage's debut album. If the first Foo Fighters album going platinum was a surprise, Garbage's success was an even bigger surprise. The album's singles "Stupid Girl" and "Only Happy When It Rains" helped propel the album to double platinum sales in the U.S. 

Radiohead - 'The Bends'

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Radiohead - "The Bends'. Parlophone, Capitol Records

Radiohead's second album The Bends is an anomaly in their catalog. Although the album contains some of Radiohead's most accessible songs "High and Dry" and "Fake Plastic Trees" it was initially a commercial disappointment compared to their debut Pablo Honey with its megahit "Creep". The Bends was engineered by Nigel Goodrich who went on to produce all subsequent Radiohead albums. It marks the band's most commercial sounding album to date and set the stage for their more experimental masterwork, OK Computer.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - 'One Hot Minute'

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Red Hot Chili Peppers - 'One Hot Minute'. Warner Bros. Records

Red Hot Chili Peppers' only album with then former Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, One Hot Minute, produced three hit singles "My Friends", "Aeroplane", and "Warped". The album was considered a commercial disappointment selling less than half the amount of 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magik. The album had less funk-rock and leaned more towards psychedelic hard rock than any other Chili Peppers album. Navarro admitted he was not a funk-rock guitarist. Ultimately Navarro was in the band for five years then fired over creative differences. Navarro was snubbed from Red Hot Chili Peppers' Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction and One Hot Minute songs were never played live again.

No Doubt - 'Tragic Kingdom'

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No Doubt - 'Tragic Kingdom'. Trauma, Interscope Records

No Doubt burst into the mainstream in 1995 with their eventual diamond selling album Tragic Kingdom spawning the hits "Just A Girl", "Spiderwebs" and "Don't Speak". The band paid their dues forming in 1986 going through multiple lineup changes, tragedies, and being dropped from their label when their self-titled debut album tanked in 1992. No Doubt persevered and went from a club band to arena rock stars.

Green Day - 'Insomniac'

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Green Day - 'Insomniac'. Reprise Records

Green Day followed up their breakthrough 1994 album Dookie with the heavier music and darker lyrics found on their fourth studio album Insomniac. The album contained the hits "Geek Stink Breath", "Brain Stew/Jaded" and "Walking Contradiction". Although Insomniac did not have the lasting sales of Dookie, the album went double platinum in the U.S. 

Deftones - 'Adrenaline'

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Deftones - 'Adrenaline'. Maverick Records

Deftones' debut album Adrenaline didn't make much impact on the radio waves but it set up the template for the band's alternative metal sound. Adrenaline was recorded very quickly by producer Terry Date (Soundgarden, Pantera) with singer Chino Moreno using a hand-held mic. Although the album did not chart it contains classic Deftones' songs like "Engine No. 9" which has been covered by Korn and Live. The Adrenaline song "7 Words" is Deftones' second most played song live and still closes many of the band's concerts.