Record Label: Matador
Originally issued in 2010, Quarantine The Past: The Best Of Pavement is an excellent 23-track compilation that spans the entirety of Pavement's career from 1989 to 1999, from the scratchy and mysterious sounds of their early vinyl-only releases to the rich, multi-layered warmth of their final recordings. Although the compilation does not include any unreleased material, it definitely goes deeper than the "hits."
Pavement mark the point when post-punk turned into alternative rock. When their first EP was released in 1989, it sparked a back-to-the-garage movement in the American underground. While there were a number of hardcore and punk bands in the U.S. during the late '80s, Pavement brought guitar pop back into the underground lexicon. Combining ringing guitar hooks with mumbled, cryptic lyrics and a D.I.Y. aesthetic borrowed from post-punk, the band simultaneously sounded traditional and modern.
Though there were no overt innovations in their music, Pavement had an identity and sense of purpose that transformed the American underground. Throughout the '90s, they worked relentlessly, releasing records every year and touring constantly, playing both theaters and backwoods dives. Along the way, they inspired countless bands, from the legions of jangle pop groups in the mid-'90s to scores of alternative pop groups in the '00s, who admired their slow climb to stardom.