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Five Albums Released in 1993 That Should Get the ‘In Utero’ Treatment

Nirvana Portrait at the Warfield Theater

This week’s biggest music news has been the twentieth anniversary reissue of Nirvana’s In Utero. To celebrate the album’s birthday, producer Steve Albini and surviving members Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear, and Dave Grohl oversaw the creation of a remastered, repackaged, and expanded 3 CD/1 DVD rereleasewhich came out yesterday on Universal. Over the past few days, the internet has seen more than its share of celebratory retrospectives on the original album and analyses of the remixed and expanded edition. But the best take so far has come from Steven Hyden over at Grantland, who somehow manages to say a lot about In Utero by focusing on a much less “cool” album — Counting Crows’ August and Everything After — also released twenty years ago this month.

You should really read Hyden’s full article, but for our purposes, it’ll suffice just to know his main point — that while the best parts of both In Utero and August and Everything After evoke moments of almost insufferable loneliness,

“Listening to In Utero makes those moments seem noble; it connects you with a rock legend and elevates your feelings to similarly larger-than-life status. Listening to August and Everything After makes loneliness seem like what it really is: a small and pitiful feeling drenched in a disgusting cocktail of tears and snot that causes outsiders to recoil . . . In Utero represents who we’d like to be; August and Everything After is who we want to hide.”

What a beautiful way to account for taste in popular music. But reading Hyden got me thinking; what else does 1993 have to hide? What other pure expressions of loneliness can we admit, now that we’re freed from the shackles of youth, deserve to be commemorated like In Utero?

So here’s my list of albums from 1993 that need to be remixed and rereleased with bonus tracks, live material, alternate drum takes, discarded backup harmonies, or whatever. What are yours? Let me know in the comments or on the twitter.

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Snoop Doggy Dogg, Doggy Style

Release date: November 23, 1993

Representative lyric: “For all of the [ladies, for whom I have the utmost respect] I might take home, I got the Johnson’s Baby Powder and Cool Water Cologne.”

Why it deserves a commemorative reissue:

One of the most influential albums in rap history, Doggy Style peaked at #1 on the Billboard charts twice, has sold more than 5 million copies, and resulted in one of the greatest VMA performances of all time. So, it has landmark status. But the original record left so many unanswered questions on the table. For instance, I’m still not sure I fully understand Snoop’s stance on the ladies (both NSFW, obviously). Nor is it entirely clear whether or not Snoop knows how to spell his name. Maybe somewhere in Dr. Dre’s basement there are discarded vocal tracks that hold the final word on whether or not Snoop loves a you-know-what, or 370 additional minutes of different creative ways of saying the letters in Snoop Doggy Dogg. A seven-disc reissue with at least two discs of never-before-heard Nate Dogg (RIP) warm-up vocal exercises is the only answer.

 

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Adam Sandler, They’re All Gonna Laugh at You!

Release date: September 28, 1993

Representative lyric: “Sloppy Joe. Slop-a-schloppy Joe.”

Why it deserves a commemorative reissue:

Nirvana and Counting Crows aside, nothing captures the loneliness of late childhood and early adulthood quite like tracks like “The Longest Pee,” and “The Beating of a High School Science Teacher,” just two of the highlights of They’re All Gonna Laugh at You!  Even the album’s title circles the drain of utter despair. The angst of its replied response — But That’s the Whole Point, Mom! — virtually oozes from the cracked CD clamshell, a relic of those endless dark bus rides to and from junior high Academic Team meets, where you sat alone hoping someone would notice how thoughtfully you appreciated Sandler’s subversive stupidity. Why not give the world more? Surely there are alternate takes of “Lunchlady Land,” or at least tape of Chris Farley goofing off at the rehearsals for the SNL performance. Or, just go the Grown Ups route and hire Kevin James to pale in comparison. 

 

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Ace of Base, The Sign

Release date: November 23, 1993 (U.S. release)

Representative lyric: “All that she wants is another baby. She’s gone tomorrow boy. All that she wants is another baby. Heyeyeh.”

Why it deserves a commemorative reissue:

Because I’m not sure that the members of Ace of Base really understood English in 1993. For starters, I think that maybe they meant to call their band “Ace of Bass,” but then Swedish got in the way. Then there’s that problematic lyric I quoted here. For the first four or five (hundred) times I heard the lead-off track on The Sign, “All That She Wants,” I thought it was a song about a woman who travelled around getting pregnant and then just abandoning her babies the day after their birth. After close inspection, though, it seems they meant it to be about a libidinous man-hopper. By “baby,” I now think, they meant “lover.” Maybe a reissue, complete with Swedish-language versions of the songs, would help the album make more sense. Google translate couldn’t do a much worse job translating the lyrics than whoever did it the first time. Also, maybe unearthing previously unheard material would reveal all of the bass that Jorg, Helga, Sloergen, and Betty (maybe not their real names) were supposed to be the aces of.

 

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Ru Paul, Supermodel of the World

Release Date: June 8, 1993

Representative Lyric: “See that chair. I put it there. The vibrations of love are everywhere.”

Why it deserves a commemorative reissue:

I don’t think anyone can explain the majesty of RuPaul’s debut album better than whatever enlightened scribe wrote the wikipedia page for Supermodel of the World:

“Ru Paul isn’t the novelty act some have dismissed him as being. Boasting a decent vocal range and a strong passion for ’70s disco/soul, Ru Paul is a bonafide dance/house music artist whose debut album, Supermodel proved him to be a definite asset to ’90s house and R&B. When he tears into “Supermodel (You Better Work)” and other overtly ’70s-influenced dance-floor gems, Ru Paul shows himself to be a sweaty, emotional belter who projects a lot more soul and honest emotion than most of the cookie-cutter artists dominating ’90s urban-contemporary radio. Hopefully, those able to look past his wild image will come to realize how good a singer he is.”

I can only pray that someone unearths some demos and alternate takes from the Supermodel sessions, so we can all bask in more of the “decent vocal range” and “sweaty, emotional” belting that Ru brought to the table on the original versionThen, and only then, could we all come to realize how good a singer he is.

 

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Shaquille O’Neal, Shaq Diesel

Release date: October 26, 1993

Representative lyric: “Forget Tony Danza, I’m the boss. When it comes to money I’m like Dick Butkas.”

Why it deserves a commemorative reissue:

If In Utero is who you want to be and August and Everything After is what you want to hide, then Shaq Diesel is that disfigured evil twin brother your parents kept locked in the attic for twenty years. But I say it’s time we let that diesel monkey out of the basement to have his day in the sun. Sure, maybe Shaquille was as about as good at being a rapper as he was at leading the NBA in blocks and/or rebounds. But who among you wouldn’t buy an expanded edition of Shaq Diesel if alongside the original and some outtakes, there was a third disc devoted to Shaq mentoring Demarcus Cousins in the ways of Shaqfuism? What if you were guaranteed at least one version of a track called “Boogie’s Boogie”?? If there’s any justice in America, the record industry will make it happen.

Article written by J.D. Holler

1 Comment for Five Albums Released in 1993 That Should Get the ‘In Utero’ Treatment



  1. Randal S. Morgan, Esquire
    2:25 pm September 26, 2013 Permalink

    Alapalooza by Weird Al Yankovic would be on my list.

    Three words…

    “Frank’s 2000″ TV”