By 1997, the lines of what defined a "guitar album" were blurry.
The raw, minimalist approach taken up by the grunge bands of the Northwest in the early Nineties was still anchored by heavy guitars and high-gain amplification. But then pop-punk, ska, dub, seven-string instruments and super-low tunings sneaked into the mix. Finally embodying the literal sense of its name, "alternative rock" really was alternative to everything else, and increasingly undefinable.
For many, the birth of the new alternative was a cartoonish landscape that embraced an exorbitant number of styles and influences yet avoided artistic merit. For others, it was a time when the song got to stand front and center, beyond the bulking gloat of the singular rock star -- be it frontman or guitar hero.
None of this, however, makes it easy to qualify the late Nineties guitar album. And that's where you come in.
Take a look at the list of albums below and vote for your favorite guitar record from 1997.