Garbage (20th Anniversary Edition)
When Butch Vig cashed in his credibility chips earned for making “alternative rock” a mainstream phenomena, he did so in a surprising manner: he formed a pop band. With his studio crew, he hired Angelfish singer Shirley Manson to join It was a bold gambit, that paid off well; the self-titled debut was a platinum hit. Rightly so, as the brightly dark numbers “Supervixen,” “Vow,” and “Only Happy When It Rains” were intense rockers that performed well, while “Stupid Girl” and “Milk It” became international club hits. The rest of Garbage is just as great; “As Heaven Is Wide” and “My Lover’s Box” could equally have been hits. The radio-friendly nature of Garbage wasn’t just confined to the band’s album tracks, though. The band’s B-sides (or G-sides, as referred to here) “Kick My Ass,” “Girl Don’t Come” and “Alien Sex Fiend” are as strong as anything on its parent album. A digital deluxe edition includes all the official remixes, plus a ton of unreleased mixes as well. Those you can take or leave, but the early demo mixes are worth the price of admission, showing just how fully formed Garbage was. It was a grand slam they’ve never quite been able to live up to afterwards, but that matters not; this is a wonderful pop-rock record that still sounds great two decades on.