The year 1998 began with the revelation of the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal in January, and ended with impeachment proceedings against the president in December. It was the year of Jesse Ventura’s election as governor of Minnesota, and at the time, the ascent of a flashy media personality with membership in the WWE Hall of Fame but no political experience seemed more like an aberration than a sign of things to come. More foreshadowing: The U.S. threatened military action against Iraq over the latter nation’s ongoing disarmament crisis, and a Taliban-controlled court in Afghanistan declared a religious fanatic named Osama bin Laden a “man without sin” after his bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa. Despite all the weirdness, there were some reasons to be optimistic: the economy continued its decade-long surge, and, uh, Viagra was approved to hit the market for the first time.
To go along with our list of the 88 Best Alternative Rock Songs of 1998, we’ve revisited notable artists and music from the era, and reproduced classic Spin reviews that ran in our magazine that year. Find them below.