College Countdown: 90FM’s Top 90 of 1996, 46 and 45

46. Aimee Mann, I’m with Stupid

Aimee Man is perhaps the quintessential example of the perils of the sort of pop stardom MTV delivered in the mid-eighties. Her band ‘Til Tuesday had a true smash with their first proper single, “Voices Carry,” (following a big, local hit in their hometown of Boston with a a song that proved to later be something of a dud when released nationwide) but it so completely defined them that it obscured Mann’s skill as a songwriter, something should have been evident to anyone paying attention. After ‘Til Tuesday’s final album, released in 1988, it took five years before she released her first solo album, Whatever. Mann was on Geffen Records, and it quickly became evident that the label had no real idea how to promote her music. That reportedly led to the title of her sophomore effort, I’m with Stupid, which was her last on Geffen, but also yielded her only her only solo single to cross into the Billboard Hot 100, albeit just barely with a feeble peak of #93. Regardless, her music earned at least one key fan in director Paul Thomas Anderson, who made Mann’s songs the lifeblood of his sprawling 1999 dazzler, Magnolia. Mann may have been hobbled a bit by her early cable network exposure (or arguably overexposure), but it also seemingly taught her the value of broad-based self promotion, which kept her popping up on cool television programs as she kept delivering new albums on a regular basis over the years.


XTORT still stands as the most commercially successful album from the German industrial rock band KMFDM. That hardly means it was a blockbuster–it is still German industrial, hardly an easy sell at any time. XTORT was the band’s ninth studio album overall, and their first without original drummer En Esch. That probably wasn’t the devastating of an issue, since the band was already used to a rotating line-up by that point in time. There was undoubtedly more of an emotional pall cast by the death of Jim Nash, co-founder of the band’s label Wax Trax!, which happened the year before. Not that KMFDM needed help being gloomy and angry. And they’re durable, having released their eighteenth album earlier this year. Okay, as you can undoubtedly tell, I don’t have that much to share about KMFDM. Let’s just move on.

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
–68 and 67: Everything Sucks and The Aeroplane Flies High
–66 and 65: First Band on the Moon and Razorblade Suitcase
–64 and 63: Comic Book Whore and Peachfuzz
–62 and 61: All Change and Rude Awakening
–60 and 59: 12 Golden Country Greats and Songs in the Key of X
–58 and 57: Brain Candy soundtrack and Pinkerton
–56 and 55: Sublime and Count the Days
–54 and 53: Wild Mood Swings and The Cult of Ray
–52 and 51: Bringing Down the Horse and Crash
–50 and 49: No Talking, Just Head and New Adventures in Hi-Fi
–48 and 47: Lay It Down and Pogue Mahone

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