Everyone has a story about where they were when planes hit the trade center. People of my generation were in school when the planes hit. Others were promoting their new records. While most people remember where they were not many remember that 9/11 was a Tuesday which means record release day in America. We look at the top ten records released that fateful day.
10. Nickelback: Silver Side Up
It is ironic that the day the twin towers fell that the fall of rock music started the same day. Canadian post-grunge band, Nickelback released their major label debut album, Silver Side Up. The album produced horrid reviews for good reasons yet it produced hit songs like “Never Again,” “Too Bad,” and their biggest single, “How You Remind Me.”
9. Slayer: God Hates Us All
There was not a whole lot remarkable about Slayer‘s ninth studio record, God Hates Us All. The record was hailed as a return to form after a slew of disappointing albums in late 90s. The real reason people remember God Hates Us All is because it was Slayers most brutal album since Seasons in the Abyss and it was released on September 11th.
8. P.O.D.: Satellite
The fourth studio album from San Diego band, P.O.D. was a flash in the pan. Their mixture of nu metal, rap rock, and Christian message appealed to a mass audience in the post 9/11 world. The album received mediocre critical reviews yet still pulled three Grammy nominations including Best Hard Rock Performance for “Alive” and “Youth of a Nation.”
7. Damien Marley: Halfway Tree
In 1996, Bob Marley‘s son, Damien released his debut album, Mr. Marley. The album received a fair amount of positive press but it wasn’t until his sophomore album, Halfway Tree that Marley truly arrived. The album went to #2 on the US reggae charts and received the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.
6. Mercury Rev: All Is Dream
On his album Falling Off the Bone, comedian Todd Barry tells a story about being in Manhattan on September 11 when one of his friends recognizes him in the crowd and says “The new Mercury Rev album is out.” So at least Todd Barry will never forget 9/11 was a Tuesday. All Is Dream was Mercury Rev’s highest charting album in the UK, peaking at #11. The album garnered a good deal of critical success with Pitchfork giving it a 8.5 and AllMusic giving it a 4/5.
5. Ben Folds: Rockin’ the Suburbs
If you had to name 100 albums associated with 9/11, at no point would Ben Folds’ Rockin’ the Suburbs come up. The album’s goofy titular lead single complete with “Weird Al” Yankovic directed video make it feel completely removed from the general darkness of the time in America. Despite the goofiness of the single, the album was fairly well received with AllMusic giving it 4.5/5.
4. Beulah: The Coast is Never Clear
True, Beulah is one of my favorite bands but this is not just a homer pick. After the strong critical reception of 1999’s When Your Heartstrings Break, Beulah followed with a cool, calm indie pop album. It seems ironic that one of the sunniest indie pop albums would be released after summer and just as America was entering one of its darkest periods but such was the case. The album produced Beulah’s most commercially viable songs such as “Silver Lining” (which was used in a Target commercial) and “A Good Man Is Easy To Kill” (which was used in the trailer for The Perfect Score).
3. System of a Down: Toxicity
There is conflicting reports about when this album was released; some sites say September 4th and others say September 11th. Either way, System of a Down‘s Toxicity was a major player in the post-September 11th world. The album produced modern rock hits like “Chop Suey!”, “Toxicity”, and “Aerials.” It was named SPIN Magazine’s #1 record of the year and #44 in Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Albums of the Decade.
2. Bob Dylan: Love and Theft
Coming off of his 1997 platinum comeback album Time Out of Mind, Bob Dylan released “Love and Theft”. Although the album only achieved gold status, the album was critically praised with outlets like AllMusic calling it “his true return to form, not just his best album since Blood on the Tracks, but the loosest, funniest, warmest record he’s made since The Basement Tapes.” If you want higher praise than that, perhaps #467 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time or Newsweek calling it the second best album of its decade is good enough for you.
1. Jay-Z: The Blueprint
Very few albums have had the cultural impact that Jay-Z‘s The Blueprint has. Jay-Z had introduced himself with Reasonable Doubt and had cultivated a following with Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, but he cemented himself as the biggest name in hip hop with The Blueprint. The album produced monster hits like “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”, “Girls, Girls, Girls”, and “Jigga That Nigga” as well as now hip hop standards like “The Takeover”, “Song Cry,” and “Renegade.” It was named #2 in Entertainment Weekly’s Best Albums of the Decade, #5 in Pitchfork Media’s “The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s”, and #456 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.