Most Unrightfully Ignored Albums of the 1990s – LeBrain’s List Part 2

In alphabetical order, here’s Part 2:  88 albums that meant the world to me in the 1990′s but never got the respect I felt they deserved.  

Dokken – Dysfunctional (reunion with George, adventurous album)
Steve Earle – I Feel Alright (jail obviously did him some good — his best record)
Steve Earle – El Corazon (among his best records)
Extreme – III Sides To Every Story (don’t get me started!)
Extreme – Waiting For the Punchline (a stripped-down oft-forgotten classic with Mike Mangini)
Faith No More – Angel Dust (…)
Faith No More – King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime
Fight – War Of Words (I didn’t like Halford’s followup effort but this one is brutally heavy)
The Four Horsemen – Nobody Said It Was Easy (it wasn’t easy, is why)
The Four Horsemen – Gettin’ Pretty Good…At Barely Gettin’ By (but they released two great records in the 1990’s)

Fu Manchu – The Action Is Go (started me on my Fu Manchu addiction)
The Gandharvas – Sold For A Smile (my cousin turned me onto this one while I was in Calgary)
Halford – Live Insurrection (better than any of the live albums that Priest did without him)
Harem Scarem – Mood Swings (brilliant album, you can hear Queen influences, but it’s the guitar and vocals that set it apart)
Harem Scarem – Karma Cleansing (…now a bit more progressive, like progressive-lite)
Harem Scarem – Big Bang Theory (…and now, short and to the point!)
Helix – It’s A Business Doing Pleasure (too soft for the general Helix masses)
The Hellacopters – Grande Rock (the album Kiss should have made instead of Psycho Circus)
Glenn Hughes – From Now On… (anthemic and spiritual)
Iron Maiden – Fear Of the Dark (it gets a bad rap but it pretty much got me through 1992)
Journey – Trial By Fire (I don’t think they’ve ever made a better record to be honest)
Killer Dwarfs – Dirty Weapons (ditto!)

44 comments

  1. BTW it took me a while to get into Fights followup as well. It should be on this list too!!!! It has a different sound and War of Words is GREAT, maybe one of my top 5 albums all time. Strongly suggest you try again…I wouldnt have either but my friend kept insisting. More than worthy 2nd effort but War oW is just a classic!!!! Put it on when your driving or working around the house etc…it will catch you.

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    1. Well Mike, what can I say except I will try again! I have multiple versions of all his records…you know he remixed them recently? I think he may have even released demo versions of them. Regardless, I will take your advice. Maybe you’ll see a review here.

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      1. I was skeptic against A Small Deadly Space bit was glad to be wrong….Fear of the Dark is one I had a hard time getting into …guess I need to try that one again.

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  2. There’s less here that I’m familiar with. I might have a different perspective being in the UK, but I think saying that the FNM albums and even Fear of the Dark were “ignored” is a bit of a stretch?

    Good to see Fight on there and the Halford live album is great. You really think Trial By Fire is their BEST album? Reeaalllyyyy? ;)

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    1. Well I can only go by my own personal experience HMO. In my experience, with Maiden, I stopped seeing the videos on TV, stopped hearing the songs on the radio, and stopped seeing the albums on the charts. In fact I never saw the videos for that album, aside Be Quick Or Be Dead, until recently!

      FNM was similar. Less so with Angel Dust, but I never saw the videos on TV anymore, and the kids weren’t buying them. Which was a shame, as they really fit in with the alterna-90’s. Led it, more than fit in with it, but were left behind by “cooler” bands from Seattle.

      And yes, I love that Journey LP. It’s the only one I still listen to regularly.

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      1. Fair enough about Journey! You know what you like, respect is due! :)

        It may have just been a UK thing. FOTD went No. 1 and the singles did quite well so… I thought it should have been more ignored! Haha

        I think (and may have even read the band saying this in interviews too) that Faith No More were well understood from an early stage by UK fans and they always did well here. Prime time TV appearances on shows like The Word. (Doing Everything’s Ruined with Bill Gould in a bee suit!?) They were even on Top of the Pops quite a bit! I remember them even doing Digging The Grave on TOTP! Weird. I guess the US and Canada have caught up with them now at least.

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        1. FOTD definitely did not go anywhere near #1 here. It was a real shame but their last big album here was probably Seventh Son.

          And Faith No More, you guys were ahead of the game! They had nothing like that going on here. A bee suit? I have to see that.

          When I was working at the store, and kids were buying Korn and System of a Down discs, I would always say, “You wanna hear the band that started it all for these guys? Buy Faith No More, Angel Dust.” But because they weren’t new right then and there, kids didn’t know them. It was sad.

          I’ll never forget, I had this one customer, Kevin. What an idiot he was. Anyway he said to me, “Can I hear Faith No More’s greatest hits CD? That’s all you need from them. Just the greatest hits.” I said, “Oh buddy, that is so wrong, you have no idea.”

          He didn’t even buy the greatest hits, incidentally. Idiot!

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        2. Those Nu-Metal kids didn’t know they were born! Here’s the Bee Suit clip! Not great quality but you get the idea.

          FNM were so ahead of the game and those are the kind of bands that often get unfairly ignored or overlooked. But that stuff stands the test of time. I always loved their cover of the Bee Gees “I Started A Joke”. Awesome.

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        3. I like it better than the original, actually. Same with Easy. You said it…you can’t put into words how good that band was, and how important they were. Even if unappreciated.

          Their reunion surprised me as much as anyone else.

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        4. Yeah King For A Day is one of my favourites. I rate four albums of theirs at 5 stars: Introduce Yourself, Real Thing, Angel Dust, and King For A Day. To me all four are awesome, perfect, amazing, flawless.

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        5. I’ve not heard any of those tracks since the 90s and it was his voice that put me off. Now that I think of it I think I’ve got a few of the tracks on comps so I’ll have a listen to those first. The thing with FNM is that the albums take ages to sink in.I always get into the albums a song at a time!
          “Bands that were ahead of their time”. That could be another list for you!

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  3. Four Horsemen played here in Tbay back in 96 and Ron Young from Little Ceaser was fronting them..great bar show with the Buffalo Brothers opening!
    Those two Horsemen records a classics….glad I picked up a t shirt at the show which is still own to this day!….great songs….RIP Frank Starr!

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    1. Ahh Ron Young. Perhaps best known for being in Terminator 2 and Red Hot Chili Peppers for about 10 minutes!

      There’s another Horsemen record…I guess before Lizmi went up to Canada with Frank Starr and did Gettin’ Pretty Good, Haggis did a Horsemen record with another singer. I have it, it’s good, but very country. You can see why Haggis didn’t release it at the time.

      But Lizmi’s Horsemen record is clearly the better of the two. Even if Starr had lost the screamy part of his range, it’s the superior record. In a lot of ways I like it better than the first one. Song For Absent Friends brings a tear to my beer.

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  4. i am SOOOO glad Four Horsemen made the list (’cause it’s on mine) I have Frank Starr’s autograph on a ticket stub from “front 54” in 1994! met him again the next year – shortly before his motorcycle accident… i love these guys! they were with me all through high school! RIP Frank Starr indeed Deke!+

    good call on Deep purple’s purpendicular too! i believe you and I went through that one together!

    how about:

    motley crue – st (john corabi)
    you am i – anything from the 90’s really!

    ohhh, there are many…

    i am sure there is a “Savatage’ album coming on your list!!!

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    1. SHHH! T-Rev you’re spoiling the surprises :) You know me too well.

      Now Trev, did you not say that the one time you saw the Horsemen in ’94, that they played a few songs that did NOT make it onto the new album?

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  5. i don’t remember the Four horsemen comment about missing tracks???? that was a long time ago my friend… they could have played an obscure “skynyrd” song for all i knew, and i would have thought it was theirs!!

    p.s. “it’s five o’clock somewhere” – classic!! Eric Dover…whoooo!

    i do love the new Slash too (better than his last “guest star” album)

    do you haf any mahio lanssa?

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  6. Nice to see Steve Earle show up here, and I completely agree, although I think his resurgence started with ’95s “Train A Comin’.” “I Feel Alright” is probably my favorite Earle album. As for Extreme, “III Sides…” is highly underrated but I could never get into “Waiting For The Punchline.” I got rid of that CD years ago after trying unsuccessfully to enjoy anything about it. They’re best when they focus on their power-pop or acoustic sides, but their metal and funk-metal doesn’t work as well for me.

    Also, thanks for showing some love to The Killer Dwarfs. I hadn’t heard them back in the day, but when VH1 Classic started in 2000 they were showing several Dwarfs videos and I couldn’t believe how good they were.

    Not sure how I would’ve felt about “Fear Of The Dark” had I been a Maiden fan from the beginning, but since I came to their music in the late-’90s my mind was open to everything they did and I really liked “Fear Of The Dark.”

    Looking forward to part 3.

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    1. I love Steve Earle, and you’re right, I could easily have put Train A’ Comin’ on this list. I chose not to, simply because I haven’t listened to it enough. I have so many discs (I’m sure you can tell) that some have simply fallen through the cracks of life. Sadly there are only 24 hours in a day.

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  7. Check out Steve Earles album Shut Up and Die Like A Aviator….a live album recorded in Canada on the Hard Way tour…..classic rebel cowboy rock….

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        1. It’s cool. I was looking back over the comments on that one. That was some thread! Still think you should check out Steve Perry’s For the Love of Strange Medicine. It’s quite similar to Trial By Fire, I think you’d like it.

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  8. Nice call on the Gandharvas – Sold for a smile’s probably got more depth overall, but their first record (a soap bubble and inertia) also has one of the top 5 songs of the decade, First day of spring!

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    1. I had a little bit of a bonus: I bought both the US and Canadian versions of Sold For A Smile, because they feature different mixes. But the US version also features
      “First Day of Spring” as a live bonus track! Score! Live in Colorado judging by the on-stage banter!

      Liked by 1 person

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