‘Spillyear 1993

This evening I shared a bottle of 1993 Bordeaux (not this one) that my brother bought on a gap year two decades ago. It was very nice.

I don’t know if 1993 was an especially good vintage for wine, but it was a great one for music. Or maybe that’s just because I was 15, which is always a great time for music. What do you think?

Listen to the playlist here

Add your top 3 here 

44 thoughts on “‘Spillyear 1993

  1. I added these 3 tracks without giving it too much thought:

    The Auteurs – Junk Shop Clothes
    The Boo Radleys – Lazarus
    Belly – Low Red Moon

    But am now cursing myself for leaving out Tindersticks, and One Dove’s “White Love”, and “Swim” by Madder Rose, and could easily have picked something by Suede or Bjork or Red House Painters, and oh my gosh Grant Lee Buffalo’s Fuzzy was that year too, and Siamese Dream and Pablo Honey and In Utero and Exile in Guyville, and I actually really liked the Cranberries at the time, and Zooropa is my favourite U2 album, and then there was Blur’s “For Tomorrow” and Elastica’s “Stutter” announcing the arrival of Britpop (and St Etienne quietly making one of its few masterpieces, So Tough), and “Mmm Skyscraper I Love You” by Underworld , and the Breeders’ “Cannonball”…

    A great year to be 15 and in love with indie music.


    This is the year that I have pegged, 100%, as the most important year for me formatively in music, which of course means that THIS IS THE YEAR THAT NEARLY ALL THE BEST ALBUMS OF ALL TIME WERE RELEASED!

    To paraphrase the movie Stand By Me, that I just watched “”I never had any ALBUMS later on like the ones I had when I was FIFTEEN. Jesus, does anyone?”

    • A funny sort of in between year. I’d started scouring second hand shops for interesting records and amongst some less interesting things got stuff by Wire, Gang Of Four and Fad Gadget for the first time. What seemed to be lacking for me was anything new. At some point I bought Manic Street Preachers – Gold Against The Soul and I’m not even sure why now. I probably listened to it twice (sorry any Manics fans out there).
      The stuff I’ve listed was all stuff that was under my radar until the following year.

  3. …a great year indeed, so many great songs to choose from, and thanks barbryn for reminding me of Madder Rose’s “Swim, forgotten classic, but here are three songs of 1993 that are in my alltime top 100:

    the Posies – Dream all day
    Stereo MC’s – Connected
    Dinosaur Jr. – Start Choppin’


    Grant Lee Buffalo – Fuzzy
    Pearl Jam – Crazy Mary (great Victoria Williams cover)
    Smadhing Pumpkins – Cherub Rock
    Sugar – If I can’t change your mind

  4. I think my three favourite albums of all time are from 1993, and I could happily pick any three songs from any of them.

    “Siamese Dream” – Smashing Pumpkins (at a push back then I liked “Today” the most)
    “In Utero” – Nirvana (“Scentless Apprentice”)
    “Gold Against The Soul” – Manic Street Preachers (“La Tristesse Durera”)

    I was so invested in these, in such a deep way. And only slightly below –

    “Suede” – Suede (key song: “The Next Life”)
    “Modern Life Is Rubbish” – Blur (“Chemical World”)
    “Last Splash” – Breeders (“Cannonball”/”Saints”)
    “Storm In Heaven” – Verve (“Blue”/”Slide Away”)
    “Thirteen” – Teenage Fanclub (“Hang On”/”Get Funky”)

    Then but not so much now

    “Copper Blue” – Sugar (“Good Idea”)
    “Pablo Honey” – Radiohead (“Anyone Can Play Guitar”)
    “Bring It Down” – Madder Rose (“Swim”/”Beautiful John”/”Car Song” but listening to it now, it just brill)

    More than honourable mentions: “Pets” by Porno For Pyros, Belly, Elastica (yeah, I got one of their 1000 limited debut 7″s by going to Rough Trade early on a monday but they’re a 1994 band), Dinosaur Jr, “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star, “French Disko”, Hole, “White Love” by One Dove, going to see Cornershop expecting a fight with facists, did “Beaster” come out the same year?, Slowdive’s record, and this is without delving into the less obvious stuff…

  5. Gonna be really predictable here, can’t help it. Eenie meeny.

    Nirvana – Dumb
    Smashing Pumpkins – Disarm, Cherub Rock, Today, Rocket depending on mood of the moment.
    Naughty by Nature – Hip Hop Hooray (great year for hip hop too.)

    also – forgot to dond Blimpy’s Pets. Mentions for Fields of Gold, James – Laid, Counting Crows.

    • I’d forgotten Laid was 1993. I bought “Sometimes” on cassette single. I think I may have even made that my album of the year in my mental list at the time.

  6. I can remember going out to buy Björk‘s debut album Debut because I’d heard “Human Behaviour” on the radio and wondering what it would be like. To be honest, it was a bit of an odd one on first hearing but I persevered and grew to love it. I’m definitely picking a track from it.

    A friend lent me Last Splash by The Breeders, because she knew that I liked Throwing Muses and Belly. I loved it so much that I bought that too. I think I’ll have to have a track from this one too.

    It is hard to know what to pick for my third choice. There are a few albums that I was listening to in 1993 that I still like a lot, Smashing PumpkinsSiamese Dream, New Order‘s Republic, For the Beauty of Wynona by Daniel Lanois and Donald Fagan‘s Kamakiriad all have great tracks, so I am torn, because the track from 1993 that I know I loved the most was from Hand on the Torch by Us3, so I have to pick that.

    So, my tracks are;

    Björk – Venus As A Boy
    The Breeders – Cannonball
    Us3 – Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)

  7. Can’t remember much about 1993. I was 34, started a new job … probably pretty busy. I’ll pick 3 singles:

    4 Non Blondes – What’s Up
    Annie Lennox – Little Bird
    R.E.M. – Everybody Hurts

    • Blanket donds for 1993 so far. I was deejaying last Saturday and it was dead until four ladies of a forty-something vintage walked in. Then a group of gay guys walked in and I went into ’80’s disco mode (PSB/Soft Cell/D Mode/Tears for Fears). Noting a very Freddie Mercury moustache and vest, I put on Don’t Stop Me Now and the atmosphere went up a notch. I said “Watch this!” to my friend. “You must be fucking joking!” he said. As Queen ended, I played What’s Up and after 4 seconds of bemusement the place was singing along. Heeeeeeeyyyyyeeeeyyyyyyaaaaayyyyyyyay! I followed it up with Sheryl Crow’s All I Wanna Do. Another 1993 tune, I think. At least four people came up to ask, “Is this 4 Non Blondes?”

  8. the last dance – disco inferno
    my curse – the afghan whigs
    nostalgia – cracker

    i’d have picked start choppin’ if it wasn’t already. blue light is my favourite from the mazzy star. she said – god machine but there’s a couple other great ones from their album. Two Spaces from Frank Black (or LA or don’t ya rile ’em), disarm/cherub rock/soma – pumpkins, sister Havana – urge overkill, 50 ft queenie – pjh

    I think copper blue out in ’92, beaster in ’93

  9. More donds from me for Mazzy Star, Dino Jr and Belly.

    vanwolf quietly mentions Peej’s Rid Of Me, her last ‘Primal’ album (in Dead terms). I’ll pick its magnificent two-fer, Man-Size and Man-Size Sextet, that prove how great a songwriter she is.

    Two other albums I still treasure from 1993 that came to my attention out of the blue were Eleventh Dream Day’s El Moodio and Shrimp Boat’s Cavale. EDD’s Rubberband is my very favourite song about saliva and Shrimp Boat’s What Do You Think Of Love is just a beautifully tipsy take on the theme.

    PJ Harvey – Man-Size and Man-Size Sextet
    Eleventh Dream Day – Rubberband
    Shrimp Boat – What Do You Think Of Love

    • On a personal level, 1993 started off badly with my Mum dying (only half-expectedly) in February. But by the end of my 40th year of existence that November, I had embarked upon a very enjoyable, grown-up relationship with a lady from Glasgow that made me think the key-ring my son gave me for my milestone birthday might have a point. Above the outline of a bubbling champagne glass and a pair of stockinged, high-heeled legs, it declares ‘Life begins at 40!’…..

      • And 1993 saw the first of a series of annual ‘exotic holidays’ to escape from the UK Autumn/Winter. First trip to India, to see the Taj, Jaipur, Delhi, Goa etc. Which was nice….

  10. I was 35. It’s not a year I remember much about musically to be honest. A lot of very bad personal stuff happened and I probably wasn’t paying attention.

    That said, I also bought Bjork’s Debut (on cassette) and was bowled over by it. Venus is taken so that leaves either Human Behaviour of Big Time Sensuality.

    I just had a look at my small collection of 12″ singles because I had a vague idea that I’d bought a few back then but I found that about half of them are from 1991 and none from 91 at all. I did find one excellent cassette single (why, oh why?) which I should have bought as a 12 inch but that’s as far as I’ve got. So here is my top two – another song to follow at some point..

    Bjork – Human Behaviour
    Leftfiel and Lydon – Open Up

    • Tempted to go with “All Apologies” but I only really know the song because of Sinead’s ethereal cover version. I think number three will have to be:

      Suede – So Young

      Not bought at the time but I do remember hearing it constantly on the radio and liking.
      I should confess to never having heard a single note by Red House Painters and having very little idea of who they were.

  11. 1993 – I was working full time – graveyard shift – and going to school full time. Two nights a week, I’d catch an early morning bus directly from work to go to class and try to stay awake long enough to get an education.

    I really don’t remember a whole lot of that year except for a certain weather event that at least gave me a few unscheduled days off from work and school.

    1) Pearl Jam – Black (Arena-rockin’ power ballads didn’t die out in the ’90s. Here’s the best example, and one of the most searing songs of love lost.)
    2) Chris Isaak – Two Hearts(That soaring falsetto and keyboard solo always gave it a ‘South Of The Border’ feel.)
    3) REM – Everybody Hurts(One that didn’t impress me at first – sounded soppy and sentimental – but that’s it’s charm: it’s a very simple song from a band not known for such.)

    Honourable mention: Alabama – Angels Among Us, Belly – Slow Dog, Dinosaur Jr. – Out There, Proclaimers – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

  12. Peter Hammill – Primo on the Parapet
    Tindersticks – City Sickness
    Einstürzende Neubauten – Die Interimsliebenden
    American Music Club – Johnny Mathis’s Feet
    Red House Painters – Katy Song
    St Etienne – Junk the Morgue
    Slowdive – Souvlaki Space Station
    Lloyd Cole – So You’d Like to Save the World
    Dead Can Dance – The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove
    Al Stewart – Trains

  13. Turku’s rave and experimental scene was producing sounds. Sähkö records was getting it’s start and Röntgen was the first off the press.

    The last two albums I’ve played were from 1993 and two hits from those albums would be Alison by Slowdive and The Good, The Bad (Le Bien, Le Mal) by Guru

  14. I Heard You Looking – Yo La Tengo
    Pantomime Horse – Suede
    Tie dye – Tindersticks
    Swallow That – Superchunk

    couldn’t keep it to 3 !

  15. saneshane’spillyear 1993 LINK playlist LINK

    1:Björk – There’s more to life than this (studio version)

    2:Eggs – The Government Administrator

    3:Sheep On Drugs – 15 Minutes of Fame

    Mazzy Star – Fade Into You

    The Breeders | Cannonball (Official Video)

    Radiohead – Creep

    Unrest – Make Out Club

    Jazz Butcher – Penguins

    Ultra Vivid Scene – Don’t Look Now (Now)

    Dinosaur Jr. – Start Choppin’

    Spiral Tribe – Sirius 23

    µ-ziq – phi*1700 (u/v)

    I didn’t know The 3D’s – nilpferd sent me the album long after ’93 this track is my fav:

    The 3ds – Outer Space

    their track The Venus Trail sounds so much like Kool Thing – by Sonic Youth I can’t work out if it’s a cover or not – who cares, they are both ace.

  16. I’m very late, but I liked 1993 so I’m going to comment anyway.
    1. Depeche Mode – Walking In My Shoes
    2. Morphine – You Look Like Rain
    3. Beck -Loser

    I was mainly listening to Einstürzende Neuabuten, Nick Cave’s Live Seeds and Roy Harper, but these singles stand out (also Creep by Radiohead)

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