Nirvana and company may have killed off '80s rock. But if pop was dead, its "king" Michael Jackson had successfully created alternatives.
Released alongside Nirvana’s Nevermind, the importance of Pearl Jam's Ten has been somewhat overshadowed by that record. Pearl Jam were barely together for a year, but released a cohesive debut that would help define '90s alternative rock.
It was during the period between the Rodney King beating and subsequent court verdict that Ice Cube cut Death Certificate, a chilling glimpse into the anger and frustration South Central Los Angelinos were feeling.
If there was a gravestone for MTV-style '80s metal, it would probably be Guns N' Roses' 1991 opus Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II.
My Bloody Valentine's Loveless stands as an album of (at least) equal importance to Nirvana's Nevermind. A great deal of its importance is how it offers a gender-bending sonic style that severed the entrenched connections between the electric guitar and masculine phallic power.
Musically 1991 will forever be remembered as the year alternative rock conquered the masses. We explore how alternative became the dominant form of rock music in the 1990s.
From pivotal, iconic venues in New York and California and the ubiquity of the house show, to the dramatic, intentional divorce from the highly lucrative hardcore/metal crossover scene, 1991 saw numerous DIY punk rock groups reinterpret a 14-year-old subculture with new and urgent relevance.
In the context of Primal Scream's prior and subsequent career, Screamadelica is a miracle. It's a rock record about discovering Ecstasy, rave culture, and the music that went with it.
Even now with all our understanding and acceptance of genre-mashing, Massive Attack’s opening salvo remains as bold and eclectic, as utterly assured a musical message as it was upon release.