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Often on websites aimed at students, you’ll see articles entitled ‘This Will Make You Feel Old’ followed by a list of things which are celebrating a birthday at the given time. Well guess what, this is one of those; and to top that you probably started high school about a decade ago, and that’s not going to change so let’s just celebrate some of these awesome albums that have significant birthdays this year.
It doesn’t seem like yesterday that it was 2004, people actually cared about Lindsay Lohan’s career, Paris Hilton was still the ‘it girl’ and nobody had heard of Kim Kardashian. Aside from those things, the album that made Green Day’s decade, American Idiot, hit the shelves in September. Spawning singles such as ‘Jesus of Suburbia’, ‘Holiday/Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ and ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’, it was an album that was heard by millions and bought by millions more. It was a political statement that ripped right at the heart of the Bush administration when it needed it the most. Two other landmark alternative albums that smacked people over the heads that year were My Chemical Romance’s Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge; love it or hate it you cannot deny the impact it had, creating hundreds of look-a-like bands and a huge fan following – the album made a massive splash in the rock world. The other, on the more indie side of things was Aha Shake Heartbreak by Kings of Leon, the second album from the group. Interestingly it was the only Kings of Leon album ever to carry the ‘Parental Advisory’ sticker on the front cover. Keane’s Hopes and Fears was also released in 2004, with the now perpetually famous ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ appearing on that record.
Time-travelling back another decade, to when most of us were still in carry-cots and baby cribs, albums that are turning twenty years old in 2014 are equally worth noting. Another Green Day album, the one that ripped them on to the mainstream stage and provided an anthem for a generation, Dookie dropped in February 1994. Aside from the fallout of the explosion – props to anyone who gets that reference – that the band had to deal with, it cemented them as the nineties kings of punk rock, with other bands like The Offspring quickly looking to follow suit. I promise I’m done talking about Green Day now. Other bands that released career-defining albums in 1994 were Nine Inch Nails with the album The Downward Spiral and the ever divisive Oasis with Definitely Maybe.
I don’t know about you, but I was think of the 90s being 10 years ago and the 80s being 20 years ago, so to realise that these albums released in 1984 are turning 30 this year scares me a little bit. An album that cemented The Boss that is Bruce Springsteen in the popular music field was the album Born In The USA, which went on to sell thirty million copies worldwide. It charted the rises and falls in the life of the average Joe following the American Dream. Other albums celebrating the big 3-0 this year are Metallica’s Ride The Lightening, Van Halen’s 1984 and Prince’s Purple Rain.
It can sometimes seem a little arbitary to select albums based on the year they were released; good music comes out every year and it can be celebrated as whole, but I think these albums are pretty special. 2004 especially marked the beginning of my interest in music, and without the plethora of great albums that came out that year I would have been a different person, so select the decade of your choice and revisit those old favourites.