The 1990s were a beautiful decade of dim lighting, plaid, and unbathed music. Let's look back on those memories that just seem to fade away:
The 1990s were, simply put, the greatest decade that ever lived. The turn of this decade saw the rise of a more underground type of music, grunge. This musical revolution is attributed to the minds of Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl, whom is My Hero. There was still the continuation of synthesizers and glammy pop music, but the underground alternative rock scene came to the light. Then, on April 8, 1994, a tragedy occured. Some called this "the second day the music died" (the first referencing the death of Buddy Holly). Kurt Cobain was found dead in his garage, with a suicide note left:
Also, with enough flowing heroin to make consuming his corpse more than just cannibalism.
However, the metaphorical sperm of altgrunge had swam into the egg of radio, as the early 90s saw more hard rock undertones, with the 1991 albums Gish by Smashing Pumpkins, and Ten by Pearl Jam. This continued into the mid and late 90s, with popular alternative bands arising such as Third Eye Blind, the Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox Twenty, Bush, Radiohead, etc. Alongside these rock artists was emerging a second teenpop revolution. Artists such as Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC, and O-town showed people how synthetic music could really get.
"Damn, their music's synthetic."
The 90s also saw a rise in hip-hop and contemporary country. (Also refered to as "hicktown" and "holy shit, cover my ears, I think they're bleeding".) Indie music was also started here, more on that below.
Pictured: 90s rock.
Ah, 90s rock. The stuff that filled countless Kidz Bop albums, that made us all want to skip showering for days on end. It began with a little distorted guitar, then began a revolution. No longer would we, the infadels, sit back and let our parents tell us how to structure music, we would be different! Actually no, in all reality, musical revolutions occur just about every decade. This particular one was with underground music going mainstream. After grunge, the creatively named "post-grunge" genre spun off. This sported the likes of Foo Fighters, Creed, Puddle of Mudd, and Nickel-I'm-deaf-back. The alternative scene also sported bands such as Dinosaur Jr. and Radiohead, whose lead singer spells "Tom" with an "H". Fucking genius.
We all love that picture of Britney Spears on stage wearing pink Saran Wrap as clothing, but what we love more is her music. Classics from the late 90s such as "...Baby One More Time", "Oops!...I Did It Again", and "I Had Sex With K-Fed" all send us spiraling into flashback.
Flashing back yet?
Pop was very varied at the time. There was Pop-Punk band Green Day, Europop group Spice Girls, and (Deathpop?) group Nine Inch Nails, using the term "pop" very loosely. Many of the other aforementioned groups such as Backstreet Boys gave us the music we will still sing to, although none of us are likely to admit that. Lastly, without pop to hate, there would be no other music to like. The reason people love Bush is because they have Mariah Carey to hate. (Well, and Gavin Rossdale totally nailed the shit out of Gwen Stefani.)
While both of these genres are very different, they represent a mainstream touch to otherwise underground music.
The first commercially viable hip-hop album is considered to be Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em, released by MC Hammer on January 1, 1990. This is also considered to be the most badass date ever to release an album on, well, except for Juneptember 69, 6969. Following up Hammer's stardom began Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dog, who once called himself Snoop-Doggity-Dig-Dan-Dog-Daggity-Doon-Shizzle, every syllable completely necessary. Other rap artists included the Wu Tang Clan and Beastie Boys, whom each influenced rap in a special way.
Some honorable mentions include Twista, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Notoious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas, and 2Pac, who unfortunately died. Or did he?
The term "Indie" refers to a subgenre of rock that stays underground, and is not exposed to the mainstream "corporate bullshit". This genre was started in the 90s, and pioneered by artists such as Sonic Youth, The Pixies, and Guided By Voices. Indie music can also refer, occassionally, to music that is simply unknown. And sometimes, even less frequently, it can mean the merger of two great standalone artists.
Jaydiohead = Jay-Z x Radiohead
Many other bands have pushed forward in Indie, keeping the genre continuing to today, and quite possibly til the end of time, or at least the end of radio, or maybe the end of urban clothing. Whatever comes first.
This will be as short as possible. Garth Brooks made people throw their hats up in the air. Kenny Rogers taught people how to play poker. And, as horrible as this may seem, guess what the best selling album of the 1990s was?
"Buy 22 million copies or I will EAT YOUR BRAINS!"
The 90s country scene consisted of a whole lot of square dancing, and unnecessary yee-hawing. Good thing that's over. But now people must be wondering:
After the loss of everything good in music, today's music is dominated by prefabricated beats that can be bought for 99 cents on the internet. Then, the "artist" takes the beat to the studio, and plays a little can-do karaoke, without the beer and crowd jeers.
Whatever made music fall to such a low point is beyond even the musical experts, whoever they are. What made music so untalented, shit-brained, and transsexual? It now up to the next generation of musicians. Perhaps we can save the world.
Article by: Tim McGrath