While Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre were honing the West Coast sound over in Los Angeles, the Wu-Tang Clan pioneered a hardcore rap sound that led to the East Coast Renaissance. Artists such as Nas, Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G. drew inspiration from their work.
Wu-Tang’s debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), was produced by band leader RZA, who mashed up clips from kung-fu movies, old soul tracks, and dirty drum beats, creating a street-smart soundscape over which the band’s nine members could spit their rhymes.
These Decades weeks usually offer one of three kinds of artists. You have the big names that I just never got into (see Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana), the artists I’ve heard of but never really heard (see Kate Bush), and then my favorite: the ones who are completely new to me.
The third group, in turn, breaks down into two more groups. The ones I was just as well never hearing, and the ones I really like.
Kirsty MacColl is the latter.
I strive to appreciate music and movies across many different genres, but everything has its limits. I can name a dozen or so horror films I really love, for example, but most turn me off completely.
When it comes to music, I’ve always had blind spots for heavy metal and rap. Rap is like horror, where I can pick and choose the bright spots. But metal is a non-starter. That displeasure extends to metal’s gentler cousin, grunge, which is one reason I’m a little out of step with the music of the early 90s.
1993 saw the release of Kate Bush’s seventh studio album, The Red Shoes. This was her follow-up to her two most successful releases, Hounds of Love and The Sensual World, and it joined those albums in reaching Platinum status in the UK.
This would be Bush’s last album for 12 years, a hiatus she spent raising her son.
Here’s the part of the Decades series where I explore celebrated albums with which I am not familiar. What 1993 releases did I miss, and how well will I receive them now?
Nirvana’s third (and, due to Kurt Cobain’s death a year later, final) studio album, In Utero, had the unenviable task of following Nevermind, which became one of the best-selling and most-celebrated albums of all-time just two years earlier.