The year 1996 was a time of great transition in the music world, with many of the grunge giants who’d dominated the first half of the decade finally starting to lose steam after falling one by one to drugs, infighting, stress, and (in at least one tragic case) suicide. At the time, just prior to the emergence of nu-metal, many music fans began to look to burgeoning genres like indie, hip-hop and punk to fill the void. Many of the artists who emerged during this period went on to define much of the ensuing decade, and in some cases, are still making their mark now.

Looking back at albums from that year, there’s no shortage of classics. Many still sound incredibly relevant today, which makes their 20-year anniversaries all the more shocking. With that being said, here are 20 essential records that will have been around a full two decades in 2016 – even if it might seem like they just dropped yesterday.

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