Well, we made it through Y2K and we are officially in the new millennium! Some bands looked at the Millennium as a new start, experimenting with unfamiliar sounds on their upcoming records. Whether is was a debut LP, a stylistic shift from one genre to another, or a comeback record, you will find it this year. These albums are in no particular order and are just a few of the great records from 2000.
The New Pornographers – Mass Romantic
Mass Romantic is the debut record to come from the Canadian indie rockers and was released on November 21st, 2000. The album was 3 years in the making with some of the songs being written as early as 1998. The album failed to chart in Canada or the United States, but after positive reviews and critical acclaim the group found themselves on a sold out tour. The group refers to themselves as a supergroup, consisting of Zumpano’s Carl Newman, John Collins of Thee Evaporators, Dan Bejar of Destroyer, Limblifter’s Kurt Dahle, filmmaker Blaine Thurier, and Neko Case. Production on the LP was difficult because of the many different elements being included on the record. The group found it hard to narrow down the amount of different instruments used on each track. The group managed to win Alternative Album of the Year at the 2001 Juno awards, and was rated 9th best album of 2001 by Pitchfork.
Radiohead – Kid A
This was the 4th studio album to come from Radiohead and was a worldwide success. The album went platinum in the UK in the first week of sales and was the first Radiohead record to debut at #1 in the United States. The monstrous number of sales are somewhat credited to an interesting marketing campaign. What’s common now was not so common then, they leaked their album on the internet a week early to get fans familiar with it. The song writing and recording process was experimental for the group, as they started to focus on more of a electronic sound. It would turn out to be a sound that both critics and fans praised, and a sound that won them the 2001 Grammy award for Best Alternative Album.
Queens Of The Stone Age – Rated R
Rated R or Rated “X” on vinyl, was a breakthrough album from Queens of the Stone Age and was released on June 6th, 2000. The record was both a critical and commercial success reaching high positions on charts worldwide. The guys began working on this record while touring in support of their self-titled debut LP. The central theme throughout the album tends to be alcohol and drugs, which are heavily referenced in the opening track “Feel Good Hit of the Summer”. The two other singles spawned from the album were “The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret” and “Monsters in the Parasol”. The record was featured on both Rhapsody and Rolling Stone’s Best Rock Albums of the Decade lists.
Modest Mouse – The Moon And Antartica
This was the third studio album to come from Modest Mouse and was released on June 13th, 2000. It was the first album the group released on a major record label and also the first to be on both CD and vinyl. The guys won over fans and critics in part to the record’s dense subject matter and Isaac Brock’s interesting lyrics. The title of the LP came from the opening scene of the movie Bladerunner; the headline on a newspaper in the film read “Farming the Oceans, the Moon and Antarctica.” Reviews of the album were great, making multiple year end lists including the #3 spot on Pitchfork’s Best Albums of 2000 list.
Godspeed You Black Emperor – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
This double album was recorded at Chemical Sound Studios here in Toronto in February of 2000 and was released on October 9th later that year. The double disc is divided into 4 songs, which are made up of internal “movements”. The entire album is instrumental aside from sampled voice inserts. This record gained attention from many different music magazines and Pitchfork named it the 65th best album of the decade.
Coldplay – Parachutes
This is the debut record to come from British alt-pop band Coldplay and was released on July 10th, 2000. The band initially wanted to get all the recording done in 2 weeks time, but touring and live shows made it a much more lengthy process. Parachutes was a huge commercial success, met positive reviews, quickly becoming number 1 in the UK. Since its release, the LP has went 8x platinum in the UK and 2x platinum in the US, selling over 8.5 million copies to date. There were 4 singles that came from the album including the massively successful “Yellow”. The album introduced Coldplay to the world and won them the 2002 Grammy for Best Alternative Album.
The White Stripes – De Stijl
De Stijl is the second studio album to come from the garage rock duo and started to gain the two more notice. The album was more commercially successful then their previous self titled release and landed at #38 on Billboard’s Independent Albums chart in 2002. The only song to be released as a single was “Hello Operator”, but the simplicity of the band’s blues/thrashy punk fusion made the record somewhat of a cult favourite among White Stripe fans.
The Hives – Veni Vidi Vicious
The second studio album to come from our Swedish friends the Hives was distributed by Warner Music Group on April 10th, 2000. The title is play on words – “Veni, Vidi, Vici” translates to “I came, I saw, I conquered” in english. The release of the LP was met with good reviews, earning a score of 84 on Metacritic. This record included the well known Hives singles “Hate to Say I Told You So”, “Main Offender”, “Supply and Demand” and “Die, Alright!”. The album took the #91 spot on Rolling Stone’s list of the top 100 albums of the decade.
The Cure – Blood Flowers
Bloodflowersis said to be the final part of Robert Smith’s “trilogy”; the three records he feels most express The Cure. The first part being the 1982 album Pornography, and part 2 is Disintegration. In 2002, the band performed the trilogy in its entirety for a live DVD to be released the following year. The album did moderately well on the commercial side of things, debuting at #16 on the Billboard charts and selling 300,000 copies in the US. The album was nominated for Best Alternative Album at the 2001 Grammys.
Oasis – Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants
This is the 16th fastest selling album in UK chart history, over 310,000 copies sold in the first week, yet it was still the band’s lowest selling album to date. The album title comes from words made famous by Sir Isaac Newton “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. Noel found it on a £2 coin and like it so much he decided it would be the name of the next Oasis record. In the year leading up to this LP’s release, the group lost two founding members, both Paul Arthurs and Paul McGuigan. They also hired a new producer, Owen Morris, who co-produced the album with Noel. The record still managed to be the 9th biggest selling album in 2000.