As the new year draws closer, we’ve decided to take a look the music that’s gotten us to where we are today. So in an effort to broaden our musical horizons and our understanding of contemporary artists, we’re counting down 2012 by counting up from 1952, taking a look at a handful of songs from a different year every day until January 1st. You can find the full list here. Today we’re heading back to 1991!
Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch – “Good Vibrations”
By 13 years old, “Marky” Mark Wahlberg was addicted to coke. At 16, he was charged with attempted murder for beating the shit out of a Vietnamese man while yelling “Vietnam fucking shit,” and spent 45 days in prison (a few of Wahlberg’s eight siblings had also already been locked up). And at 20 years-old, he had a number one hit with “Good Vibrations,” a cocky-white-rap staple produced by his brother and New Kids On The Block member Donnie Wahlberg. The music video shows him dancing, boning, and working out – incidentally, Marky learned boxing technique for this video from boxer “Irish” Micky Ward, who Wahlberg would end up playing in 2010′s The Fighter.
My Bloody Valentine – “When You Sleep”
Probably the centerpiece of MBV’s revered second album, “When You Sleep” envelops you in its dreamy fog and refuses to let go. With about 12 vocal takes layered on top of one another, it feels unattainable, like a long lost flame or the jar of salsa you’re unable to open because your hand hurts from playing too much Goldeneye.
Metallica – “Enter Sandman”
Metallica’s self-titled “Black Album” cost $1 million and three marriages. The record saw the band’s thrash metal become more melodic and progressive, making for a winning formula – it sold over 30 million copies worldwide. They’ve performed “Enter Sandman” at every show since the album’s release.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Give It Away”
Eight years into their career, RHCP broke into the mainstream with ’91s Blood Sex Sugar Magic. Recorded by producer legend Rick Rubin in Harry Houdini’s haunted former mansion, the album found an unexpectedly perfect harmony between hard rock, rap, and funk. Now go to 2:16, press pause, and admire Anthony Kiedis’ inner thighs.
Nirvana – “Lithium”
A band called Nirvana made a record called Nevermind. It had a swimming baby on the cover and you could see its penis.