September 11, 2001 was a lot of things, but it was also a Tuesday, meaning that it was the day new CDs were out in stores (the iTunes Store was still a year and a half away from existence--how did we survive back then?). And not just any records, but quite a few fairly significant ones. Here are six.
Bob Dylan, "Love and Theft"
Dylan's 31st studio album, but the second of three late-career masterpieces released in the late '90s and early '00s (sandwiched between 1997's Time Out of Mind and 2006's Modern Times). Featuring "Mississippi," "Summer Days" and other "this guy's how old and he's writing songs this good?" tracks.
Prophetic Lyric: "'I'm gonna spare the defeated, boys, I'm going to speak to the crowd; I am goin' to teach peace to the conquered; I'm gonna tame the proud," "Lonesome Day Blues."
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Sure, one could make the easy "the terrorist attacks weren't the worst thing to happen on that day" jokes, but it's perhaps more profound to ruminate on how much more career humiliation Mariah Carey would have suffered for her ill-fated film Glitter had 9/11 not happened. And now she's acting in a movie called Precious, which looks legitimately good. Full circle and all that.
Prophetic Lyric: Pass.
Slayer, God Hates Us All
The fact that such a gloomy and creepy album was released on such a gloomy and creepy day is legitimately eerie, especially with song titles like "God Send Death" and "Here Comes the Pain." It was all a coincidence, though, since the album was originally supposed to come out in July, and was delayed due to various snags. So take that, Charlie Sheen!
Prophetic Lyric: "Step aside for the nightmare; pure destruction stands before you," "Here Comes the Pain."
Jay-Z, The Blueprint
From the "there's always a silver lining" department: Jay-Z released his sixth studio album The Blueprint on September 11, 2001, and it's still considered one of his best, with signature numbers like "Girls, Girls, Girls" and "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)." He's gone back to the Blueprint well twice now, having released The Blueprint 3 just this week.
Prophetic Lyric: "Do not bark up that tree, that tree will fall on you; I don't know why your advisors ain't forewarn you," "The Takeover." (OK, that was a stretch. Pretty much all of Jay-Z's lyrics are only about himself.)
Ben Folds, Rockin' the Suburbs
The first Ben Folds solo album since departing from the Five came on an auspicious occasion. Despite the unfortunate release date, it was still a very successful record, producing the goofy-but-still-kinda-funny title track and wedding reception slow dance staple "The Luckiest." His latest, Way to Normal, came out in September of last year (on a much more boring day).
Prophetic Lyric: "You see 'em drop like flies from the bright sunny skies," "Not the Same."
Nickelback, Silver Side Up
9/11 changed the world in a number of ways--any trip through airport security makes that obvious. But it's less known that it's also responsible for another unpleasant time in our culture, that being the reign of Canadian rockers Nickelback. Their multi-platinum mainstream breakthrough, SIlver Side Up, debuted in America that day.
Prophetic Lyric: "I paid my last respects this morning on an early grave; already said goodbye... nothin' left to say," "Woke Up This Morning."