Let’s take a look back at the best rock albums from 1999, as it’s now 2024 and they’re all celebrating their 25th anniversaries.

 

Somehow, these numbers seem easier to swallow than this list of 1994 rock albums that turn 30 this year. Sure, 30 years ago is older than 25 years ago. But so many of those Class of ’94 releases are timeless classics that are still beloved, so their age seems ambiguous, in a way. Not so much the case for the Class of ’99. That was a year that felt like the year it was, and the music reflected that.

 

1999 was a year of transition. The specter of Y2K loomed large over everything. Remember the “millennium bug” panic? Today, we look back and chuckle warmly. But that sense of pending doom was percolating throughout 1999 and spilling over into popular culture. You heard it in the music of the day, especially in alternative rock, which had continued to fracture as the decade wound down.

 

The Best Rock Albums From 1999: What’s Your Favorite?

1999 was a year of transition for me, personally. I graduated from Northeastern University that spring. I had been working part-time at legendary Boston alternative radio station WFNX, and continued to do so. So I was able to maintain my alt rock front row seat, playing the songs and artists of the day as the year played out. The music that year was both eclectic and disjointed, if that makes sense.

 

I think it will make more sense as you make your way through the list I complied. It’s a shorter list, because I wanted to focus on quality not quantity, which is a big ask for 1999. What was considered “alternative rock” included subgenres like post-grunge, nu metal, and what we called techno back then but is referred to as EDM now. I tried to capture a bit of it all, even including a few albums that I can’t stand but were vital that year. Take a look and vote for your favorite. And if I’m missing one, it’s probably on this list.

  • Blink-182 ‘Enema Of The State’

    Released on June 1, 1999. Blink’s breakthrough album. This was the year they officially took the adolescent-pop-punk baton from Green Day and ran with it into the 2000’s.

  • Creed ‘Human Clay’

    Released on September 28, 1999. The follow up to their breakthrough debut album My Own Prison. Its it post-grunge? Post-post-grunge? Butt rock? Ask one of the 20 million people who own it.

  • Foo Fighters 'There Is Nothing Left To Lose'

    Released on November 2, 1999. A shining beacon of rock released in a year when straightforward rock music was hard to come by.

  • Incubus ‘Make Yourself'

    Released on October 26, 1999. Incubus–and this album–might be the best example of that almost-undefinable genre-bending that characterized the music scene in 1999.

  • Korn - ‘Issues’

    Released on November 16, 1999. Nu metal and rap rock were a big deal in the late ’90s. And fans who loved those genres loved Korn. Still blows my mind that we played them on FNX.

  • Limp Bizkit ‘Significant Other’

    Released on June 22, 1999. It’s almost impossible, 25 years on, to explain how big this band and this album was in ’99. Looking back and listening back now, it feels like a big practical joke.

  • Rage Against The Machine ‘The Battle Of Los Angeles’

    Released on November 2, 1999. Rage is the band that somehow defined the rap-rock genre, existed within it, yet also transcended it. This album is both a beast and a masterpiece.

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers ‘Californication’

    Released on June 8, 1999. The unofficial soundtrack to the Summer of ’99. And for many fans, the soundtrack to the entire year. This album was absolutely massive.

  • Santana ‘Supernatural’

    Released on June 15, 1999. Yes, it’s the album with “Smooth,” which was omnipresent in ’99. But folks forget: the whole album was. 30 million copies sold, 9 Grammys (including Album of the Year). Maybe the album of 1999.

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