This week’s Throwback Thursday is a tip of the hat to Lollapalooza’s inaugural year, 1991. Lollapalooza starts today in Chicago’s Grant Park. To celebrate the festival’s 25th year, Lolla runs 4 days instead of the usual 3.

 Just 10 bands made up the inaugural festival’s lineup. The albums they were touring behind are listed below.

Time’s Up – Living Colour

Living Colour followed up their debut album Vivid  the only way they knew how, by creating a guest filled, Grammy Awards winning album. Time’s Up received Gold Certification shortly after it’s release, hit #13 on the Billboard 200, and won the Grammy for Best Hard Rock Album of The Year, although it’s not a traditional hard rock album. “Instead of merely copying a winning formula, Time’s Up challenged the listener more — both musically and lyrically. A host of guest artists lent their hands to the proceedings, such as Little RichardQueen Latifah, Maceo Parker, and Doug E. Fresh, which hints at just how all-encompassing Time’s Up is.” (Greg Prato, AllMusic) Notable singles from the album include “Type“, “Elvis is Dead“, and “Love Rears Its Ugly Head“.

Buy Time’s Up

 Pretty Hate Machine – Nine Inch Nails

Pretty Hate Machine is the debut album from Nine Inch Nails. “Instead of numbing the listener with mechanical repetition, Pretty Hate Machine’s bleak electronics were subordinate to catchy riffs and verse-chorus song structures, which was why it built such a rabid following with so little publicity.” (Steve Huey, AllMusic) In fact, despite its slow rise to popularity, Pretty Hate Machine became one of the first independently released albums receive Platinum Certification. The album was composed mostly of re-recordings from the demo tape, Purest Feeling recorded by Trent Reznor, who had been working as a janitor/handy man at Right Track Studio in Cleveland. Reznor chose to record the album without a traditional band, playing all the instruments himself, but after gaining significant traction via word-of-mouth, quickly put a band together and set up a tour. With a large and loyal cult following, the band embarked on a world tour which would bring them to Chicago for the inaugural Lollapalooza. The album contains various hit singles, including “Head Like A Hole” (one of their most iconic live songs), “Down In It“, and “Sin“.

Buy Pretty Hate Machine

Hard Volume – Rollins Band

Hard Volume is the second studio release Rollins Band. “At the time the band was strapped for cash and living on very little food, the pain and anguish depicted on the record is very real. While it is DEFINITELY not for the weak of heart or lightweight, this album is the absolutely best at what it does- capturing intensity, rage and frustration.” (PunkNewsChris True of AllMusic calls the album a “looser affair than their debut album”, with songs “based more on the groove than they are on Life Time. The opener, “Hard,” may seem a little over the top lyrically, but it has a swagger unmatched in the Rollins Band’s catalog. This is also the first Rollins release to showcase both a more atmospheric approach (“Love Song“), and the Andrew Weiss bass sound that was made famous on End of Silence.”

Buy Hard Volume

Why Do Birds Sing? – Violent Femmes 

Why Do Birds Sing? is the fifth studio album from Violent Femmes and would be the last to feature original drummer Victor DeLorenzo. “The opening track, “American Music,” is a mixture of ‘60s garage rock, first-generation rock ‘n’ roll, and the Femmes’ own slightly skewed worldview. The call-and-response hooks and anthemic drive helped make it a No. 2 single on the Modern Rock charts and one of their signature songs.” (Diffuser) Although the album did not receive much commercial success, the band found themselves artistically revived. While the majority of the records sees the band maintaining their acoustic sound, Violent Femmes almost found themselves more at-home when they went electric, which “amped up the urgency. But event then, it’s the savage irony of Gano’s lyrics that make the most impact.” The other most notable songs from the album include “More Money Tonight“, “Girl Trouble“, and “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me“.

Buy Why Do Birds Sing?

Ritual de lo habitual – Jane’s Addiction

Ritual de lo habitual is Jane’s Addiction second and last album before their first breakup. The album is broken up into to halves. The first side is composed of seemingly unrelated rock songs. The second side is dedicated to Perry Ferrell’s friend who died of heroin overdose at age 19. The album peaked at the 19 spot on the Billboard 200, and the singles “Stop!” and “Been Caught Stealing” both hit #1 on the Modern Rocks Tracks billboard. “While its predecessor, 1988’s Nothing’s Shocking, served as a fine introduction to the group, Ritual de lo habitual proved to be even more daring; few (if any) alt-rock bands have composed a pair of epics that totaled nearly 20 minutes, let alone put them back to back for full dramatic effect.” (Greg Prato, AllMusic) Although the album was a huge success, attaining Double Platinum Certification, the group called decided to call it quits. As Ferrell told Face Magazine 

The band was put together to fall apart. Nothing I do will ever last more than five years. You have to keep moving. But the sparks between us work. It makes the music. You have one person who likes Joy Division, another who likes Metallica and Brahms, another who loves James Brown. That’s how it comes to sound like the glorious mess that it is.

And so it was, for better or worse, the end of Jane’s Addiction (at least for a while), but with death comes life, and farewell tour that Ferrell put together became known as Lollapalooza, which has become one of the most popular music festivals in the world.

Buy Ritual de lo habitual

Superstition – Siouxsie & The Banshees

Siouxsie & The Banshees’ 10th studio album Superstition is a “softer pop sound” than we are used to. Featuring “more precise production and a lighter feeling to many of the songs, mixed with the Banshees‘ penchant for minor keys and strange imagery,” songs like “Fear (of the unknown)” and “Drifter” helped make the band more accessible than ever.(Chris True, AllMusic) The band’s biggest breakthrough however, came via their single “Kiss Them For Me” which became the group’s first Top 40 Hit, reaching the # 23 spot on the billboards. A few critics criticized the band for taking the “pop-route”, but as Popheaval notes, “The record has a number of uptempo stompers that prove that just as much as the Banshees were going pop, they were going rock, too – hell, the powerhouse that is “Silly Thing” even had Jon Klein perform a screechy guitar solo that could almost be taken from a heavy metal song! “Cry” is a grower of a song that tells of the injustice of the world and how animal species are hunted to death one after another.” A pop record or not, Superstition remains Siouxsie & The Banshees’ best selling album in the US, and if not for them, we may never have TV on the Radio’s “I Was a Lover” and “Wash the Day“.

Buy Superstition

The Reality of My Surroundings – Fishbone 

The Reality of My Surroundings is the third album from rock group Fishbone. Perhaps the most creative album the band produced, it was also their most commercially successful. The album peaked at #49 on the Billboard 200, and backed by the singles “Everyday Sunshine” and “Sunless Saturday“, the group made television appearances on Saturday Night Live and The Arsenio Hall Show. As noted by Greg Prato, Fishbone continued to explore their hard rock side on such standouts as “Fight the Youth,” “Behavior Control Technician,” “Those Days Are Gone,” and the crushing album closer, “Sunless Saturday.” But as on their older releases, other music styles are digested and spit out — the wonderful tribute to Sly & the Family Stone, “Everyday Sunshine,” the reggae-tinged “Pray to the Junkiemaker,” the explosive punk rocker “Pressure,” and the humorous funk of “Housework.” As unpredictable and spread out as the album is, it remains as the band’s cornerstone achievement, helping them get on stage at the first Lollapalooza.

Buy The Reality of My Surroundings

Body Count – Ice T & Body Count 

Body Count is the self-titled debut album from the American heavy metal group Body Count. The group was founded by Ice T and guitarist Ernie C out of their mutual interest in the metal genre. Most songs were either written, or co-written by Ice T, following themes of violence, sex, racism, and “Voodoo”. The album is best known for the single “Cop Killer” whose lyrical content forced Ice T to eventually remove it from the album, but no from their live performances. The album became so controversial that president George H.W. Bush publicly denounced the album causing many retail stores to remove it from their shelves. In North Carolina, police told a retail store that they would no longer continue to respond to emergency calls at that location if they didn’t remove it from their shelves. After careful listening and analysis, the album was eventually deemed sell-able in New Zealand by their Indecent Publications Tribunal. Other notable songs from the album include “There Goes The Neighborhood“, “Momma’s Gotta Die Tonight“, and “The Winner Loses

Buy Body Count

Piouhgd – Butthole Surfers

Piouhgd is the fifth studio album from the Butthole Surfers. The album’s title is still the subject of some controversy, as the original release read “Piuohgd“, but upon its re-release the title read “Pioughd“, and even various other misspellings. By this time the group was being mentioned among other rock power houses like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., and Big Black, but Piouhgd saw the group veering off in a different direction. They had become known for their legendary shows, “often featuring pyromania, surgery film shows, seizure inducing strobes and vomit inducing volume.” (Drowned in Sound) Although the album took the band in a slightly different direction, it was, as John Doran writes, “Far from sounding like some kind of shiny sell out, tracks like_ ‘Revolution’ _come on as overwhelming as nearly anything else they’ve recorded. It’s a bugged-out hippy jam that slowly transforms into a colossal stoner romp with Paul Leary’s warmly overdriven guitar, psych keyboards, police sirens, phones ringing and the loon Haynes chanting Gary Shandling’s name.  After this album the Buttholes still had some fuel left in the tank but this was to be their last truly exhilarating and unhinged slice of punk rock psychedelia.”

Buy Piouhgd

 Behavior Modification – EBN

“More of a multi-media organization than a band, Emergency Broadcast Network construct video pastiches much as techno artists use samplers to create audio effects.” (John BushAllMusic) The group’s fame came after a their video remix of The Gulf War over-dubbed with George H. W. Bush’s cover of “We Will Rock You” became an underground hit, as fans shared bootlegged copies with their friends. The group then took their project to Lollapalooza, where a top station wagon, the group stacked televisions playing their VHS tapes. Bands took notice and started asking the guys to do work for them. U2 hired them to do the visuals for their Zoo TV Tour, and the also produced the visuals for The Edge’s 1993 MTV Music Awards performance of “Numb“. EBN would release two “albums”, Commercial Entertainment Product in 1992, and Telecommunications Breakdown in 1995, which contained contributions from Bill Laswell, Institute of Technology, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Brian Eno, and Jack Dangers.

Buy Behavior Modification