1996: Alt-rock hits and pop best-sellers

1996 top bands include Belle & Sebastian, Beck, Modest Mouse and more.

Scottish indie rockers Belle & Sebastian release their debut Tigermilk in June of 1996, gathering enough support to sign on with a larger label for the follow-up If You’re Feeling Sinister, released just a few months later. Sinister has turned up on multiple best-of lists, landing at #14 on Pitchfork’s list of the top 100 records of the decade.

Beck reached his commercial peak with Odelay, while The Fugees burst onto the international scene with The Score.

The debut list includes favorites from Modest Mouse, Neutral Milk Hotel, Spice Girls and Jay-Z.

In the case of the Spice Girls, the quintet’s first single “Wannabe” hit #1 in over 30 countries and is still the all time best-selling single by an all-female group.

Do you think 1996 was the Greatest Year in Music? Let us know in the comments below and across social media with #XPNGreatestYear.


If You’re Feeling Sinister – Belle & Sebastian
Odelay – Beck
This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About – Modest Mouse
Tigermilk – Belle & Sebastian
One in a Million – Aaliyah
All Eyez on Me – 2Pac
Secrets – Toni Braxton
The Score – Fugees
Illadelph Halflife – The Roots
Now in a Minute – Donna Lewis
Pinkerton – Weezer
Sheryl Crow – Sheryl Crow
On Avery Island – Neutral Milk Hotel
Crash – Dave Matthews Band
Murder Ballads – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Goldfinger – Goldfinger
Different Class – Pulp
A Few Small Repairs – Shawn Colvin
The Road to Ensenada – Lyle Lovett
William Bloke – Billy Bragg
Dilate – Ani DiFranco
Sublime – Sublime
Fountains of Wayne – Fountains of Wayne
Everything Must Go – Manic Street Preachers
House of GVSB – Girls Against Boys
The Coming – Busta Rhymes
You? Me? Us? – Richard Thompson
Young, Rich & Dangerous – Kriss Kross
Boys for Pele – Tori Amos
Emperor Tomato Ketchup – Stereolab
Born on a Pirate Ship – Barenaked Ladies
The Trouble with the Truth – Patty Loveless
Millions Now Living Will Never Die – Tortoise
Kids on the Street – Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
Beautiful Freak – Eels
The Gray Race – Bad Religion
Myra Lee – Cat Power
Fuzzy Logic – Super Furry Animals
Bringing Down the Horse – The Wallflowers
Mercury Falling – Sting
Call the Doctor – Sleater-Kinney
Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop – Stone Temple Pilots
Villains – The Verve Pipe
10 Song Demo – Rosanne Cash
Reject All American – Bikini Kill
Evil Empire – Rage Against the Machine
Sell, Sell, Sell – David Gray
Fairweather Johnson – Hootie & the Blowfish
To the Faithful Departed – The Cranberries
Electriclarryland – Butthole Surfers
The Curtain Hits the Cast – Low
ATLiens – OutKast
All This Useless Beauty – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
Destruction by Definition – The Suicide Machines
Walking Wounded – Everything But the Girl
Good God’s Urge – Porno for Pyros
Turn the Radio Off – Reel Big Fish
Load – Metallica
Hot – Squirrel Nut Zippers
Dreamland – Robert Miles
Antichrist Superstar – Marilyn Manson
T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. – George Clinton & the P-Funk All-Stars
Just Like You – Keb’ Mo’
Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request – The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Peace Beyond Passion – Me’shell Ndegeocello
Reasonable Doubt – Jay-Z
It Was Written – Nas
Stakes Is High – De La Soul
12 Golden Country Gates – Ween
Songs for a Blue Guitar – Red House Painters
Coming Up – Suede
New Adventures in Hi-Fi – REM
Nine Objects of Desire – Suzanne Vega
What Would the Community Think – Cat Power
Recovering the Satellites – Counting Crows
Billy Breathes – Phish
Soundtracks for the Blind – Swans
Spice – Spice Girls
About to Choke – Vic Chestnut
Hard Core – Lil’ Kim

Category: 90s


Article by: Julie Miller