Significant Recordings of 1996–1997

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff


The Artist Formerly Known as Prince

Bach — Angela Hewitt

Erykah Badu

Beethoven — Emerson String Quartet

Ben Folds Five


Dale Ann Bradley

Brahms — Houston Symphony Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach conducting

Walter Braunfels — Berlin Radio Choir, German Symphony Orchestra, Berlin
Lothar Zagrosek conducting

Marty Brown

R. L. Burnside


Mary Chapin Carpenter

James Carter

Johnny Cash

Cyrus Chestnut

The Chemical Brothers

Guy Clark

Paula Cole

Deborah Coleman

Robert Cray

Sara Dale

Richard Danielpour — Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra David Zinman conducting

Del Amitri

Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters

Cesaria Evora

Bill Frisell

Benny Green

Charlie Haden and Pat Metheny


The Jayhawks

Freedy Johnston

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Junior Kimbrough

Alison Krauss and Union Station

Jonny Lang

Arto Lindsay


Wynton Marsalis (with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Cassandra Wilson and Jon Hendricks)

Van Morrison, Georgie Fame, Mose Allison & Ben Sidran

Tracy Nelson

Johannes Ockeghem — The Clerks' Group
Edward Wickham conducting

K.T. Oslin

Danilo Perez

Lee “Scratch” Perry


Joshua Redman

Steve Reich — Various Artists


Kim Richey

LeAnn Rimes

Alfredo Rodriguez

Oumou Sangare

Márta Sebestyén

Jimmy Smith

Beth and April Stevens


Yomo Toro


Chess Blues Classics, 1947–1956 — Various Artists

Chess Blues Classics, 1957–1967 — Various Artists

Kwanzaa Party! — Various Artists

Southern Journey: 61 Highway, Mississippi — Various Artists

20th Anniversary Collection — Various Artists

Verdi — Kirov Opera
Valery Gergiev conducting

Mark Whitfield

Trisha Yearwood

Alexander Zemlinksy — Gurzenich Orchestra
James Conlon conducting

We asked several highly opinionated music experts and writers to select the recordings (released in the United States between September 1996 and August 1997) that caught their ears. Here are their picks.

John Hassan is a freelance writer who has written for Esquire, People and The Boston Globe. He is also the editor of the ESPN Information Please Sports Almanac. Milo Miles is a writer who contributes articles on music to the Village Voice and many other publications. He also comments on world music and reissues for Fresh Air with Terry Gross on NPR and is music-features editor for the music-service Web site Kevin O'Hare is an album and concert reviewer whose work is distributed nationally by the Newhouse News Service. Tim Riley is the author of Tell Me Why: A Beatles Commentary (Knopf/Vintage, 1988) and Hard Rain: A Dylan Commentary (Knopf/Vintage, 1992). He works as senior editor at and maintains the pop culture journal millennium pop. Robert Santelli is the director of education at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. He's the author of The Big Book of Blues (Penguin, 1994) and The Best of the Blues (Penguin, 1997). David Patrick Stearns is the theater and classical music critic for USA Today. J. Drew Todd is a freelance writer who specializes in American culture. He has taught film analysis and jazz history at Suffolk University in Boston.