Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Year 1996 Albums Calendar and Rankings

1996 was a year that I was amidst in listening to progressive metal and getting my 1st taste of progressive rock beyond Rush. Although it was odd how '96, '97, '98 I did check out a lot of it, to mixed success. But I guess 1996 maybe was best known for waiting for the next Dream Theater album after being obsessed with them, buying bootlegs and loving their new EP from 1995, despite the departure of Kevin Moore.

King's X and Fates Warning were the other go-to's around that time. Ear Candy came out in May, but it was actually in July or August I 1st checked them out and did enjoy their newest album quite a bit after initially thinking they were a Lenny Kravitz wannabe band.

I went on to see King's X live in 1996 along with Galactic Cowboys, another new band to me. And their new album Machine Fish was a record I enjoyed and have since.

Rush of course released their 1st album in 3 years in Test For Echo, which I can't say was a huge disappointment, but ultimately, seems a bit sad given it was really the 1st new album they released after me being an addicted fan (I suppose 2nd, but when Counterparts came out in 1993, I didn't even know it was coming out, and I was still digesting some of their massive catalog).

But I guess when I was only luke warm about the new Rush album, and my almost impatience waiting for a new Dream Theater album. A couple of things filled that void for me.

1) The Rush tribute album  from Magna Carta Working Man. It had a bunch of musicians I enjoyed including I recall all of the Dream Theater guys aside from Derek Sherinian I think.Plus it was co-produced by Mike Portnoy, lol.

But the likes of Fates Warning, Shadow Gallery, Devin Townsend and some others.

2) Victor, the Alex Lifeson side/solo project, which I later came to learn about the singer being Edwin from I Mother Earth

3) The underground progressive rock and metal scene. "Neoprog" and Power Metal along with labels like Magna Carta and these Import prog and metal companies like Impulse music which I came across selling cds at Record Shows and they were originally based in the Twin Cities, but eventually moved to Roselle, IL.

And it was through Impulse I first hear about Angra, a brazilian band who played incredible fast and technical, and had this soaring singer named Andre Matos that I absolute loved. And their album Holy Land I eventually came to love the most.

Another one I read about 1st on the Ytsejam through the Dream Theater fans, and eventually purchased the debut album Behind, from Germany's Superior.

Oddly Andre even later went on to sing on a Superior tune on their next album.

The other records from 1996, Spock's Beard, I Mother Earth, DJ Shadow, Porcupine Tree, Eric Johnson among others actually make 1996 a pretty deep year that also is somewhat top heavy. I mean Holy Land is an all-time classic, but after that there's just a long list of very good records that extend into the 20's or more.

1. Angra - Holy Land
2. Superior - Behind
3. Spock's Beard - Beware of Darkness
4. King's X - Ear Candy
5. I Mother Earth - Scenery and Fish
6. Victor - Victor
7. Galactic Cowboys - Machine Fish
8. DJ Shadow - Entroducing....
9. Eric Johnson - Venus Isle
10. Porcupine Tree - Signify
11. Enchant - Wounded
12. Marillion - Made Again
13. The Tea Party - Alhambra [EP]
14. Various Artists - Working Man: A Show of Bands
15. The Flower Kings - Retropolis
16. Super 8 - Super 8
17. Galactic Cowboys - Feel the Rage [EP]
18. Lemur Voice - Insights
19. Jason Falkner - Presents Author Unknown
20. Rush - Test for Echo
21. sElf - The Half-Baked Serenade
22. Orphaned Land - El Norra Alla
23. Screaming Headless Torsos - Live!!
24. Altura - Mercy
25. Visionary - Visionary
26. Yes - Keys 2 Ascension
27. 24-7 Spyz - Heavy Metal Soul by the Pound
28. Fountains of Wayne - Fountains of Wayne
29. George Michael - Older
30. Paula Cole - This Fire
31. dredg - Conscious [EP]
32. The Wondermints - Wonderful World of the Wondermints
33. The Wishing Tree - Carnival of Souls
34. Archive - Londium

Tony Williams - Wilderness
Afro Celt Sound System; Volume 1: Sound Magic
Psychotic Waltz - Bleeding
Visionary - Visionary
dredg - Conscious [EP]

Landberk - Indian Summer
rel January 1, 1996

Alex Lifeson Victor AC.jpg
Victor - Victor
rel January 9, 1996

Galactic machine.jpg
Galactic Cowboys - Machine Fish
rel January 30, 1996

A blue and grey cover. with a school of fish
Tortoise - Millions Now Living Will Never Die
rel January 30, 1996

SpocksBeard BewareOfDarkness.jpg
Spock's Beard - Beware of Darkness
rel January 1996

Jongleries Élastiques
Miriodor - Jongleries Élastiques
rel February 13, 1996

In Flames-The Jester Race.jpg
In Flames - The Jester Race
rel February 20, 1996

Helloween - The Time of the Oath
rel March 1, 1996

Tea Party Alhambra.jpg
The Tea Party - Alhambra
rel March 1, 1996

Freak Kitchen - Spanking Hour
rel March 12, 1996

Stereolab - Emperor Tomato Ketchup
rel March 18, 1996

Angra Holy Land-f.jpg
Angra - Holy Land
rel March 23, 1996

Marillion - Made Again.jpg
Marillion - Made Again
rel March 25, 1996

Stone Temple Pilots - Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop
rel March 26, 1996

Ulver - Kveldssanger
rel March 1996

Crimson Edge of Sanity.jpg
Edge of Sanity - Crimson
rel April 2, 1996

Steve Morse - 1996 - StressFest.jpg
Steve Morse Band - StressFest
rel April 9, 1996

cover illustration derived from "Crimebuster"
Rage Against the Machine - Evil Empire
rel April 16, 1996

Scenery And Fish.jpeg
I Mother Earth - Scenery and Fish
rel April 23, 1996

DMB Crash.png
Dave Mathews Band - Crash
rel April 30, 1996

Super 8
Super 8 - Super 8
rel May 7, 1996

George Michael - Older album cover.png
George Michael - Older
rel May 13, 1996

Amorphis - Elegy
rel May 14, 1996

Mistaken Identity Reid.jpg
Vernon Reid - Mistaken Identity
rel May 14, 1996

King's X Ear Candy.jpg
King's X - Ear Candy
rel May 20, 1996

Jason Becker - 1996 - Perspective (original).jpg
Jason Becker - Perspective
rel May 21, 1996

The Wallflowers - Bringing Down the Horse
rel May 21, 1996

The Flower Kings - Retropolis
rel May 25, 1996

Porno for Pyros-Good God's Urge.jpg
Porno for Pyros - Good God's Urge
rel May 28, 1996

Belle and Sebastian - Tigermilk
rel June 6, 1996

Cardiacs - Sing to God
rel June 11, 1996

Sloan One Chord to Another.jpg
Sloan - One Chord to Another
rel June 12, 1996

Beck - Odelay!
rel June 18, 1996

Opeth Morningrise.jpg
Opeth - Morningrise
rel June 24, 1996

The Goddess of Darkness
Ars Nova - The Goddess of Darkness
rel June 1996

Bleeding cover.jpg
Psychotic Waltz - Bleeding
rel July 1, 1996

Orphaned Land - El Norra Alila.jpg
Orphaned Land - El Norra Alla
rel July 18, 1996

Altura - Mercy
rel July 23, 1996

Various Artists - Working Man: A Show of Bands
rel August 2, 1996

Olivia Tremor Control - Dusk at Cubist Castle.jpg
Olivia Tremor Control - Music From the Unrealized Film Script, Dusk at Cubist Castle
rel August 6, 1996

Failure - Fantastic Planet
rel August 13, 1996

Presents Author Unknown.jpg
Jason Falkner - Presents Author Unknown
rel August 13, 1996

At the Drive-In - Acrobatic Tenement cover.jpg
At the Drive-In - Acrobatic Tenement
rel August 18, 1996

Theatre of Tragedy - Velvet Darkness They Fear
rel August 18, 1996

The Church - Magician Among the Spirits
rel August 19, 1996

Enchant Wounded.jpg
Enchant - Wounded
rel August 27, 1996

Travelling Without Moving.jpg
Jamiroquai - Travelling Without Moving
rel August 28, 1996

Eric Johnson - Venus Isle
rel September 3, 1996

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones - Live Art
rel September 10, 1996

Lemur Voice - Insights
rel September 10, 1996

Rush Test for Echo.jpg
Rush - Test for Echo
rel September 10, 1996

DEUS - In A Bar, Under The Sea (cover).gif
dEUS - In a Bar, Under the Sea
rel September 14, 1996

Two men look through vinyl albums at a record store.
DJ Shadow - Entroducing....
rel September 16, 1996

KulaShaker K.jpg
Kula Shaker - K
rel September 16, 1996

The Cardigans - First Band on the Moon
rel September 17, 1996

Tool - Ænima
rel September 17, 1996

Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Mark O'Connor - Appalachia Waltz
rel September 17, 1996

Archive - Londium
rel September 23, 1996

24-7 Spyz Heavy Metal Soul By the Pound.jpg
24-7 Spyz - Heavy Metal Soul by the Pound
rel September 24, 1996

Volume 1 - Sound Magic (Afro Celt Sound System album - cover art).jpg
Afro Celt Sound System; Volume 1: Sound Magic
rel September 24, 1996

Album Op Zop Cover.jpg
Adrian Belew - Op Zop Too Wah
rel September 24, 1996

Sheryl Crow, album.png
Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow
rel September 24, 1996

On Air (Alan Parsons album - cover art).jpg
Alan Parsons - On Air
rel September 24, 1996

Quiet John Scofield.jpg
John Scofield - Quiet
rel September 24, 1996

A village in a mountainous landscape during night. A man with a conical hat and a cane, and a saddled horse can be seen in the foreground. At the top left corner of the image is written "Weezer", and at top right is "Pinkerton".
Weezer - Pinkerton
rel September 24, 1996

Lamb - Lamb
rel September 30, 1996

No-Man - Wild Opera
rel September 1996

Porcupine tree signify.jpg
Porcupine Tree - Signify
rel September 1996

Wishingtree carnival.jpg
The Wishing Tree - Carnival of Souls
rel September 1996

Fountains of Wayne-Fountains of Wayne (album cover).jpg
Fountains of Wayne - Fountains of Wayne
rel October 1, 1996

Galactic feel.jpg
Galactic Cowboys - Feel the Rage [EP]
rel October 8, 1996

Paula Cole - This Fire
rel October 15, 1996

Yes - Keys 2 Ascension
rel October 28, 1996

Jerry Garcia and Dave Grisman - Shady Grove
rel October 29, 1996

Superior - Behind
rel October 1996

X Japan - Dahlia
rel November 4, 1996

Wonderful World of the Wondermints
The Wondermints - Wonderful World of the Wondermints
rel November 5, 1996

Anathema Eternity.jpg
Anathema - Eternity
rel November 11, 1996

PatMethenyGroup Quartet.jpg
Pat Metheny - Quartet
rel November 19, 1996

Rick Wright - Broken China
rel November 26, 1996

Self - the half-baked serenade.jpg
sElf - The Half-Baked Serenade
rel November 1996

Tony Williams - Wilderness
rel December 1996

Anglagard BuriedAlive.jpg
Anglagard - Buried Alive
rel 1996

Tales From the Hudson.jpg
Michael Brecker - Tales from the Hudson
rel 1996

dredg - Conscious [EP]
rel 1996

Genesis Revisited.jpg
Steve Hackett - Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited
rel 1996

Screaming Headless Torsos - Live!!
rel 1996

somnambulist selt titled album cover.JPG
Somnambulist - Somnambulist
rel 1996

Tipsy - Trip Tease
rel 1996

Visionary - Visionary
rel 1996