90s music gems, Vol. 1

When you think of 90s music, what pops up in your mind? Hootie & the Blowfish? Nirvana? Dare I say… Sugar Ray? :)

Back in the day I hosted a radio show called Freaks in Flannel. Despite the name, I tried to stay away from flannel and pop, and instead played a mix of 90s music that I acquired from my dad’s CD collection and the radio station’s library.

Here are some 90s music gems that I highly recommend, if you’re feeling like jumping back in time.

PortisheadDummy (1994)

Portishead DummyIf you haven’t listened to Portishead yet, do it now—right now! Dummy is the debut album from this England-based trip hop group. In a nutshell, Portishead’s music contains slower tempos, hip hop samples, and bluesy introspective lyrics sung by Beth Gibbons. Dummy contains some of their signature tracks, including “Sour Times”, “Wandering Star”, “Roads”, and one of my favorite gal anthems, “Glory Box”.


BeckOdelay (1996)

Beck Odelay

I’d confidently say that Odelay is one of the greatest albums of all time. Beck is pure musical genius, and this entire album lays it all out for you. His vocals are somewhat more spoken than sung, dense with rhymes reminiscent of old school hip hop. Odelay has a hip hop vibe, mixed with southern-sounding rock and plenty of samples and distortions. Amazing tracks on here are “Devil’s Haircut”, “Hotwax”, “The New Pollution”, “Novacane” and “Where It’s At”. This is a must-have in your collection—check out the full review here.

Fatboy SlimYou’ve Come a Long Way, Baby (1998)

Fatboy Slim

Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably heard tracks from You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby played on radio stations and in clubs throughout the 90s. Fatboy Slim, aka Norman Cook,  is an English musician and DJ who masterfully uses samples and beats to create highly danceable tunes. Great tracks on this album include “Right Here, Right Now”, “The Rockafeller Skank”, and “Praise You”.


The Flaming LipsTransmissions from the Satellite Heart (1993)

The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips are a bunch of weirdos. When they’re not tripping on acid, they’re writing quirky songs that range from super simple rock tunes to all-encompassing soundscapes. Transmissions is actually their 6th album, and it brought us the unforgettable tune “She Don’t Use Jelly”. “Turn It On” is another great track, very raw-and-gritty-sounding like the majority of their early work. This album is lovably odd. There’s a chance you’ll hate it, but maybe not!

Kayla Liederbach

Kayla manages social media and customer support at Murfie. You can hear her on the radio hosting U DUB, the reggae show, Wednesdays on WSUM. She enjoys hosting the Murfie podcast, cooking, traveling, going to concerts, and snuggling with kittycats.

This Week in Music History (March 28th-April 3rd)

What does music history have for us this week? Learn up and boogie down.

(Click on the album covers to check prices, and remember that Murfie music can be streamed, or downloaded in MP3, AAC, and lossless formats FLAC & ALAC.)



Led Zeppelin released their fifth studio record, Houses of the Holy, on this day in 1973. A song by the same name was recorded during the studio sessions for the album, but the band decided it didn’t fit with the rest of the material and it ended up on their following record, Physical Graffiti.



Sting Ray Davis, founding member of Parliament and Funkadelic, was born on this day in 1940. Davis’ iconic deep voice marinated funk in a bassy sauce of groove and grit, and it can be heard on the song that epitomizes the genre “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker).”



Paul Simonon and Topper Headon of The Clash were arrested in Camden Town on this day in 1978. The punk pair allegedly shot racing pigeons with air guns from the top of their rehearsal space. The police responded appropriately, sending a helicopter to make the arrest.



Chuck Berry released Johnny B. Goode on this day in 1958. The song would inspire countless bands and riffs alike, and has been covered by the likes of PhishCeline Dion, and The Sex Pistols.



Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff was born on this day in 1948. Cliff was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, an award that doesn’t hold a candle to the Order of Merit awarded by the Jamaican government in 2003, the nation’s third highest honor. Jimmy Cliff is undoubtedly a well-respected man.



Nirvana went into Madison’s own Smart Studios (2 miles from Murfie HQ) to demo songs on their forthcoming album, Nevermind on this day in 1990. (You may have Nevermind, but how about Bleach?)



The Doors‘ frontman, Jim Morrison, turned himself in to the FBI on this day in 1969. The eccentric singer allegedly exposed himself on stage in Miami, and some audience members weren’t too keen on lighting his fire.

This Week in Music History (March 20th-26th)

What does music history have for us this week? Learn up and boogie down.

(Click on the album covers to check prices, and remember that Murfie music can be streamed, or downloaded in MP3, AAC, and lossless formats FLAC & ALAC)



David Bowie got married on this day in 1970, and managed to release 12 records while in the 10-year long relationship. In other news, the former starman just released his first record in a decade, The Next Day. Welcome back, Bowie!


7032-largeOzzy Osbourne, original frontman of Black Sabbath, was voted preferred ambassador of Earth in the event of encountering extraterrestrial life by a Yahoo poll on this day in 2004. We can only hope…



13353-largeBob Dylan released his fifth studio album, Bringing It All Back Home, on this day in 1965. This record has split personalities—electric on side A and acoustic on side B. Truly the best of both worlds!


8197-largeThe Smiths, fronted by the eccentric Morrissey, played their first show in London on this day in 1983, and would sign with Rough Trade records two months later. The world has never been so happy to be so sad.



48503-largeAlice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies lived up to its name when it topped the charts in both the U.K. and the U.S on this day in 1973. Perhaps it was Cooper’s infamous showmanship that catapulted this album to platinum status.



44876-largeJohn Lennon and Yoko Ono began their iconic bed-in protest at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel on this day in 1969. So you say you want a revolution, eh?



35938-largeHappy Birthday Diana Ross! A certified Motown icon, Diana turns 69 today, which means she has more hit singles (70) than years lived.


This Week in Music History (March 11th-17th)

What does music history have for us this week? Learn up and boogie down.


12617-largeOtis Redding’s (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay reaches No.1 on March 3rd, 1968—three months after his fatal plane crash in Lake Monona (only a mile from Murfie HQ).



23133-largeBillie Holiday is charged for possession of narcotics by a Philadelphia court in 1958—a year of probation would make anyone blue.



133605-largePink Floyd released their iconic record “Dark Side of the Moon” on this day in 1973—available on Murfie in any format you like (MP3, AAC, and lossless formats FLAC & ALAC).



c0e6067c-a110-11e1-bc46-12313926e067Happy Birthday Jim Pons (born 1949)!  Jim was the guitar player of The Turtles, the 60’s American pop outfit responsible for “Happy Together.”



49251-largeMarc Bolan of T Rex released his first book of poetry on this day in 1969—it was called “The Warlock of Love”.


71315-largeTammi Terrell died from a brain tumor on this day in 1970. Her death caused Marvin Gaye to became disillusioned with the music industry—Marvin then attempted to secure a position on the Detroit Lions football team.



36842-largeBig Star frontman Alex Chilton died on this day in 2010. Hanging out down the street will never be the same, but the music lives on.

This Week in Music History (February 28th-March 6th)

Ahh. Let’s reminisce a bit, shall we?

Feb. 28th

1970 – Led Zeppelin played as the “The Nobs” at performance in Denmark to avoid a lawsuit from the Ferdinand von Zeppelin family.

Mar. 1st

1975Stevie Wonder’s “Fulfillingness’ First Finale” won Album of the Year at the Grammys.

Mar. 2nd

1942Lou Reed was born in Brooklyn.

Mar. 3rd

1978 – Van Halen began their first World Tour in Chicago, IL.

Mar. 4th

1877 – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky debuted his ballet “Swan Lake.”

Mar. 5th

1969 – French Rapper MC Solaar was born.

Mar. 6th

2012 – Bruce Springsteen released his most current album “Wrecking Ball.

* * * * *

Nice, right? And the music lives on!