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Rock Genres In The 90′S Essay, Research Paper
Rock music was decaying in the late 80 s. The rock scene was suffering from a repetetive
pattern of big hair, flashy clothes, long guitar solos, and lyrics that weren t relating to the
listeners. The music industry was begging for something new. This is the beat up state that rock
was left in during the early nineties. But little did anyone know what was in store for rock in the
90 s. What was about to come would redefine the meaning of rock forever.
In the early 90 s a band called Nirvana had made it s debut into the mainstream. This band
had bred the first genre of the 90 s, Grunge . After the fall of Grunge a new genre had to take
place. So once again the music industry was in need of something new. And so dawned the era of
Alternative Punk, the second genre. Leading the scene were Green Day and Offspring. The punk
scene brought on a whole new vibe of raw energy and anarchy. When the punk scene started to
die down, a new breed of rock was surfacing to the mainstream. The Metal/Hardcore was the
final genre of rock in the 90 s. It consisted of bands such as KoRn, Limp Bizkit, and Rob Zombie.
This genre was the hardest of the genres and could definantly cause the hugest mosh pit.
The first genre of rock was called Grunge. It was named this simpley because of it s lack
of interest in fashion and the growling barked out vocals. It couldn t have came at a better time
then it did. The later 80 s were emerging and there was no sign of something new. That is untill a
three piece band called Nirvana (spiritual place of peace) from Seattle led by guitarrist/vocalist
Kurt Cobain landed their first album tittled Bleach in 1989. This album errupted into the
underground music scene like fire, which had top notch record labels knocking on their door. It
wasn t untill their sophmore album (Nevermind) that they achieved extreme mainstream success,
bringing Grunge to its climax. It came out in 1992 and so did their first video Smells Like Teen
Spirit . This video marked the beginning point of Nirvana s success. The moment this video hit
MTV it became an instant commercial success. The common reaction to this song was either to
crush a can over your head or punch a hole threw your wall. Nirvana s strength wasn t in their
appearance, but in their music. Their lyrics were extremely powerful, they reflected on topics such
as isolation, angst, school, womans rights, and various other social topics. Nirvana had reached its
peak with this album, selling over ten million albums in the United States. Other bands such as
Peal Jam and Silverchair were also involved in the Grunge era, but none of them had the same
impact as Nirvana. Another album was produced by Nirvana, it was called In Utero , which had
reached four million in sales. By this time the original effect of Grunge was starting to wear thin
and so was the life of Kurt Cobain, as he indulged in heroin. In 1994 Kurt Cobain ended his life
and the first era of the 90 s, Grunge.
After the depressing wrath of Grunge had swarmed the music scene, people were tired of
self loathing, depressive music. The trio known as Green Day answered the peoples call, bringing
about the second genre of the 90 s, Alternative Punk. Green Day helped bring about Alternative
Punk with the help of another band named Offpsring. In 1994 Green Day came out with their
third album Dookie . They landed their first song on MTV, it was called Longview . It was an
instant hit, the lyrics revolved around suburban boredom, which many kids could relate to. Later
they released the classic radio hits Basket Case and When I Come Around . They gave off a
silly, crazy, and fun vibe that everyone could get into. The guitarrist/vocalist Billie Joe couldn t
read music and only knew three chords, but still managed to make awesome music. During this
same year Green Day appears on Late Night With Conan O Brien , The Jon Stewart Show ,
and 120 Minutes on MTV. Later that year they played Woodstock. They became known as the
Mud Throwing Nudists because they got in a mud fight with the crowd and they ran around
naked. During this time the masses of fans were taking on this punk attitude. Millions of kids
started dressing in punk attire and aquirring a punk attitude of not caring, which for a brief
amount of years made it the trend for loser-cool . It was almost impossible at the time not to see
some one skating, spray painting on walls, or wearing a Green Day shirt. In late 1995 Green
Day s album started to lose its world wide rush. However by this time Dookie had already
pulled in twelve million album sales word wide. Green Day decided it was time for another album,
it was made in 1996 and it was called Insomniac . Insomniac wasn t a Dookie 2 , it wasn t full
of poppy power punk melodies. Insomniac had a more self destructive vibe to it, but still
maintained that raw energy that attracted so many fans. With MTV hit songs such as Geek Stink
Breathe , Brain Stew , and Walking Contradiction , they proved not to be one hit wonders.
Insomniac pulled off an astonishing eight million album sales world wide. Offspring during the
same time didn t make as much of an impact, but definantly left their mark. They had hit songs
such as Self Esteem , which was filled with meaningful lyrics and mosh pit driving music and
Come Out And Play . Over the course of 1995 through 1996 they managed to sell nine million
albums in the United States.
In late 1997 Green Day had come out with a new album called Nimrod . Nimrod lacked
the energy of their previous albums, but was still a punk classic to loyal fans. Nimrod sold over
two million copies in the United States. Also in 1997, Offspring came out with an album tittled
Americano , which had lost almost all signs of punk appeal, but it did reach out to a wider
audience and managed to sell four million copies nationwide. No other albums by either of the
bands have came out since their last ones, but ackleast they left their legacy. As Rolling Stones
said in an interview with Green Day s Billie Joe, Many polls have called you the voice of the 90 s
generation, what do you think about that? and Billie Joe replies I don t know about the voice of
a generation, more like the butt of the generation . So due to a lack of new material the punk
scene dwindled away and a new genre came forth.
In 1996 a band called KoRn broke into the mainstream with their album Life Is Peachy .
This album was the beginning of the Metal/Hardcore genre. Although having a great previous
album, this was the one that got them really big. They shot a video for their song A.D.I.D.A.S. .
This album had an amazing impact and eventually ended up selling two million albums nationwide.
KoRn still didn t reach their peak, a matter of fact it was just the beginning. In 1998 they kicked
off their third album Follow The Leader . Follow The Leader was filled with tons of mosh pit
riffs and brutal ear ripping screams. They made two videos Freak On A Leash and Got The
Life . Both videos rocked TRL and kicked pansy bands like N Sync out of the lead position.
Follow The Leader touched on topics such as abuse, sex, and violence. The final product of this
album was three million album sales. Their newest album Issues kicked off its first single
Falling Away From Me and once again rocked TRL and kicked teenie bop bands off the lead
spot. This album is still selling very high, but at the end of the nineties it reached two million
Limp Bizkit has a different style then KoRn. They blend hardcore music with a DJ and
rapping vocals. Lead man Fred Durst has led this band to many achievements such as Woodstock,
which was perhaps the biggest promotion for the band and the genre of Metal/Hardcore. Selling a
total of six million on both of their albums together, they definantly helped carry the torch of
Rob Zombie is probably the most unique rock artist of this genre. His music is by far the
heaviest, his lyrics are by far the most crazy, and his appearance is a mix between the Undertaker
and a bum. With songs such as Super Beast , Dragula , and Livin Dead Girl Rob Zombie off
of his album Hellbilly Deluxe , he has managed to break himself into the mainstream and freak
millions of parents out. Thus proving that he is an extremely talented artist and has left a long
lasting legacy in the 90 s.
The 90 s shared more diverse styles of rock music then any other generation. Traveling
through the depressive but awesome genre of Grunge, the power packed anarchy genre of
Alternative Punk, and the heavy riffs of Metal/Hardcore. With such great artist s to mentor from,
it should be pretty amazing to see what new genre arises in the 2000 s. Or perhaps a blend of
different styles together. But whatever is in store for the future, Grunge, Alternative Punk, and
Metal/Hardcore definantly saved the 90 s from the cheesy big hair 80 s scene.
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