30 albums that turn 30 in 2023

Classic rock veterans were faced with a changing of the guard in 1993 as the burgeoning grunge revolution changed the look and sound of popular music.

Elvis Costello, David Bowie and Billy Idol were among those stretching themselves creatively with varying results. Duran Duranon the other, embraced and experimented further with technology, coming out on the winning side with a major return to form that surprised some music fans.

Classic rock’s veteran class, incl Billy Joel, Paul McCartney and John Mellencamp all stepped out into new chapters—though for Piano Man, his album sparked an unexpected decision.

Married, Anthrax and Scorpions was among those who had perhaps the roughest road. How they each navigated their own individual challenges made the resulting music a particularly interesting listen.

Plug released the biggest album of his post-Police catalogue, while Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil embarked on his own solo career. In the meantime Mincemeat bread delivered perhaps the most unexpected comeback album of all time.

New bands also made their voices heard in 1993. Radiohead and Tool were just a few notable artists who released their debut albums that year. In the meantime Nirvana and Pearl Jam each has found ways to follow their monumental debut releases without suffering the dreaded sophomore slump.

Of course some veterans, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, chose to keep things as normal. The southern rock band ultimately made five albums in the ’90s, current trends be damned.

We’ve selected 30 notable albums from 1993, arranged chronologically. Read on to learn more about each one.

30 albums that turn 30 in 2023

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