College Countdown: 90FM’s Top 90 of 1996, 68 and 67

68. Descendents, Everything Sucks

Released in the fall of 1996, Everything Sucks was the first new studio album from punk rock semi-legends the Descendents in almost a decade. The group stopped recording under that name in the mid-nineteen-eighties, after lead singer Milo Aukerman left to pursue a career in biochemistry, which still accounts for his primary paycheck today. While Aukerman was plying his science, the other three members of the band formed All, employing a few different singers over the year. When Aukerman expressed interested in playing again, the band went back to work, even drawing in original members for guest appearances. They signed on with Epitaph Records (where All also signed after a unsatisfactory experience with Interscope) and unleashed exactly the sort of punky goodness that the fans expected. After touring, Aukerman went back to biochemistry, reuniting with the Descendents for occasional live outings and, a few years later, one more studio album.

67. Smashing Pumpkins, The Aeroplane Flies High

This is how big Smashing Pumpkins were in the mid-nineties: following the enormously successful double disc set Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, the band was able to issue a five disc box set collecting the various EPs released to promote their singles, and the pricey package manages to itself go platinum, albeit with the somewhat questionable RIAA practice of counting each of the five discs as a separate package. Regardless, the set sold well above what Virgin Records expected, producing shortages that only helped to stir further demand. The Aeroplane Flies High was filled with satisfying rarities and obligatory covers, all assembled in a package designed to look like an old 45s carrying case. In some respects, the unlikely success of this collection can be seen as something of a peak for the band, as their following studio releases started a rapid, steady descent into insignificance, which has only been compounded by creative loon Billy Corgan’s increasingly strained artistically aspirational nonsense.

An Introduction
–90 and 89: Antichrist Superstar and Three Snakes and One Charm
–88 and 87: No Code and Unplugged
–86 and 85: Greatest Hits Live and Gilded Stars and Zealous Hearts
–84 and 83: To the Faithful Departed and God’s Good Urges
–82 and 81: Billy Breathes and Sweet F.A.
–80 and 79: The Process and Test for Echo
–78 and 77: Supersexy Swingin’ Sounds and Breathe
–76 and 75: Bob Mould and Walking Wounded
–74 and 73: It’s Martini Time and Trainspotting soundtrack
–72 and 71: Aloha Via Satellite and Fever In Fever Out
–70 and 69: Hi My Name is Jonny and One Mississippi

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