I was not working at Laurie's Planet of Sound in 1997. I had just turned 21 and was still stuck in Jacksonville, FL. With the gift of hindsight, I present to you:
Sam O'Rama's Top Ten Albums of 1997!
10. Flaming Lips - Zaireeka
In an awesome exhibition of the excesses of the uber-crummy mid 90's I give you an album you have to listen to 4 cds at once to experience it correctly, and whilst I own it, I have never listened to it in its intended form. Hooray, 1997!! Good start!
9. Smoking Popes - Destination Failure
I would be fired for not including this one. Last studio album, yet 10 years later we are hoping for a new one! Come on Caterers!!
8. Matthew Sweet - Blue Sky On Mars
Probably his worst, which gracefully exhibits what a crummy year this was. Aw, hell, still better than a lot of crap happening then. Matthew makes an amazing pop song under TWO MINUTES!
7. Jayhawks - Sound of Lies
First post Olson offering, hell yeah! One of the best albums you can sometimes pick up for like $2.99 in a cutout bin. We know better, if we have it used it's a mere $6.99, and a damn steal!
6. Ween - The Mollusk
Spend some time with this one, I once poo-pooed these fuckers, but now I'm in awe.
5. Stereolab - Dots and Loops
I cannot recommend this enough, especially in the Drag City-made vinyl version. The music is incredible enough on its own, but once you pull out the white and aqua vinyl from the lime and aqua sleeves you are just consumed by this entire entity. Beautiful all around.
4. Will Oldham - Joya
His first non-Palace album, and a really incredible entity. Nothing by this guy sucks. I was put off for so many years because of his reluctance to pick a moniker, now I could care less what he calls himself, so long as he keeps doing what he has to do.
3. Pavement - Brighten the Corners
Not the most popular from the beloved Alt-rock posterboys of the days of Alternative Nation, but the most rewarding if you give it a 16th chance. So very rewarding. Everybody wants one, everybody needs one, oh my god. oh your god....
2. Sloan - One Chord To Another
Wake Up America! Go out and buy every single Sloan record!! This one holds a special place in my heart as the first one I ever purchased (not until 1999, mind you) and dang, no, it's just that good, please buy it!!!
1. Radiohead - OK Computer
Well duh. Also purchased 2 years after release. What was I doing in 1997? Oh yeah, listening to crummy "ska" music. Seriously, this will be the one you play for your rugrats 10 years from now. They will HATE it, but maybe when they turn like 17, they will embrace it in a fit of rebellion.