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Best Albums of 1994

Music list created by Stehako Avatar

This list was created by and in the opinion of Stephen H Koontz

Created January 1995
Updated May 2023

1994 is one of my favorite years in music and the quintessential 90s year. This list is stacked, with honorable mentions that could make the top 25 in most other years.

I enjoyed listening to many band's best albums, from 90s greats like Beastie Boys, Bush, Green Day, Soundgarden, The Offspring, and even... Madonna?


Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain - Pavement
American Thighs - Varuca Salt
Betty - Helmet
Let's Go - Rancid
Hoist - Phish
It Takes a Thief - Coolio
Amorica - The Black Crowes
Roman Candle - Elliot Smith
Out of Range - Ani DiFranco
Behind Bars - Slick Rick
Ruby Vroom - Soul Coughing
After the Storm - Crosby, Still, Nash
Rubberneck - Toadies
Too High to Die - Meat Puppets
Jar of Flies - Alice in Chains
Dance Naked - John Mellencamp
Dummy - Portishead
Grassroots - 311
Turbulent Indigo - Joni Mitchell
National Born Killer Soundtrack - Various Artists
Age Ain't Nothing But a Number - Aalyah
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He didn't just get Heidi Klum's attention


The world is now introduced to easy-listening ultra hipster tunes

G Love & Special Sauce

The only Madonna album to ever make it on my lists.


The former Zeppelin duo show their age and ever-present talent in this one-time outfit.

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant

An average album from the many released this decade by the aging, but never slowing, rocker.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Part of what makes this classic a movie for the ages.

Various Artists

The band is getting better at keeping disco cool for the 90s kids.


Harper's debut is a little rusty, but clearly there is much promise.

Ben Harper

The strangest arrangement of music, even for a soundtrack. But it fucking works.

Various Artists

This album was praised, but its timing, right after Cobain's still-mysterious death, makes his influence ever-present and disturbing.


Ween breaks out, and it's delicious


The Wu-Tang rapper can rap and it's thoroughly entertaining; but the production needs work.

Method Man

One of the Stones' weakest albums, still rockin'.

The Rolling Stones

They crept and they soon got up on top...

Bone Thugs n Harmony

One of the strangest and less satisfying albums from Cave and the Seeds.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

The essential mid-90's soundtrack.

Various Artists

Before they broke they showed much promise in their strange delivery and lyrics.


Right out of the gates the Atlanta pair proved they were nothin' to mess wit.


A much-praised album but one of my least favorite from the Brits.


A storyteller, a poet, an influential hip hop artist who choreographs a mighty album.


An album that falls through the cracks in the Barenaked discography, but one that beautifully combines the Canadian lore with modern philosophy.

Barenaked Ladies

A heart wrenching album that inspired and provoked many. An unpolished production with the voice of a beaten angel.

Tori Amos

...and the G-Funk era has begun.

Warren G

...is a fantastic example of the endless talent from the southern rockers.

Allman Brothers Band

A prime example of live prowess overtaking any studio production.


Beautiful songs but the album is sort of disjointed.

Jeff Buckley

Yet they made music and wrote lyrics that were worth arguing over.

The Cranberries

Still possibly the best animated soundtrack of all time.

Tim Rice, Elton John

This album required several listens before I accepted it as one to label 'kick-ass'.

Pearl Jam

The sole album from this 2Pac-led hip hop crew is raw, heavy and sadly forgotten.

Thug Life

Petty is a little more chill on his own otherwise he hasn't lost his touch and certainly isn't a step down from his work with The Heartbreakers.

Tom Petty

A band that seems to be forgotten but one I listened to a lot at the time and admittedly don't listen to anymore. Maybe it was just too in-the-moment and not actually great? I'd like to think not.


Likely my favorite REM album, even though my two favorite songs aren't on it. I think it simply released at the right time and I listened to it with certain people who I revere, helping to keep the sounds of album special.


Nearly every song is good and nearly every song is a minute too long. While they're approach is overwrought their sound is too good to forget.

Stone Temple Pilots

One of my favorite albums at the time has not held up as well, but it's difficult dismiss it and it will always hold an important spot in music for this year.


Pink Floyd shows they can still release a killer album even if it hasn't become a classic like all the others.

Pink Floyd

At the height of their career came one of the most complete albums of the year.


A brilliant performance filled with hurt and angst, love and brilliance. It's made all the more significant knowing Cobain's death would soon follow and this would release and air after death.


I consider us all lucky that producers and radio allowed this band to gain exposure, because it's rare such a sound gets play.

Blues Traveler

At first its sophomoric but then its quickly addicting and rambunctious and then finally... sad because they then sold out.

The Offspring

Home to what is still my favorite rap song of all time, 'Juicy', and to a collective of inspiring, cerebral lyrics with the facade of an angry Brooklynite in middle of turmoil. Even though highly produced, it doesn't get much more raw than this.

Notorious BIG

The updated British invasion gets a lift with this ultra hip album that is still great even if not fresh.


One of my favorite hard rock albums of all time. It should be depressing but I still enjoy the hell out of it.

Nine Inch Nails

Beck was just getting started with this somewhat uneven album; but he helped define 'cool' in this very cool year.


Cash never excited me too much... until this bad-ass, rusty, hard boiled album.

Johnny Cash

One of the most iconic hip hop albums of all time.


The coolest geek album ever made. I listened to this album when I was skiing every weekend in the winter, both amplified each other quite well.


The album that would have me following this stellar band for years. It's mostly nostalgic at the point, with brilliance still brimming.

Dave Matthews Band

The trio's best album is their most energetic, poignant and bombastic. It inspired me to start a rock/hip-hop career... which never took off.

Beastie Boys

I listened to album countless amount times this year and the next. It essentially defines what my year in music was like.

Green Day

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