nevermind nostalgia: the music of 1991

Between the Grooves of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’

Between the Grooves of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’

A track-by-track analysis of the most celebrated album of the 1990s: Nirvana’s Nevermind. From the hit that popularized grunge to a hidden cacophonous noise-fest.

Contemporary Urbanity and Blackness in ‘New Jack City’

Contemporary Urbanity and Blackness in ‘New Jack City’

Hood films are a jarring eviction notice for traditional Civil Rights rhetoric and, possibly, leadership -- in other words, "What has the Civil Rights movement done for me lately?"
Rock ‘n’ Roll with Chinese Characteristics: Nirvana Behind the Great Wall

Rock ‘n’ Roll with Chinese Characteristics: Nirvana Behind the Great Wall

Like pretty much everywhere else in the pop music universe, China's developing rock scene changed after Nirvana. It's just that China's rockers didn't get the memo in 1991, nor would've known what to do with it, then.
Smells Like MTV: Music Video and the Rise of Grunge

Smells Like MTV: Music Video and the Rise of Grunge

MTV's central role in delivering grunge to a national audience in the early 1990s demonstrated the network's power as a creator and definer of culture.

15 Landmark Dance Tracks of 1991

15 Landmark Dance Tracks of 1991

Here are 15 pivotal tracks from 1991 when dance music's potential to amaze seemed boundless.

Michael Jackson’s ‘Dangerous’ and the Reinvention of Pop

Michael Jackson’s ‘Dangerous’ and the Reinvention of Pop

Nirvana and company may have killed off ’80s rock. But if pop was dead, its “king” Michael Jackson successfully created alternatives.

The 10 Best Hip-Hop Tracks of 1991

The 10 Best Hip-Hop Tracks of 1991

1991's best hip-hop songs lean more towards beats production than the era's increasingly popular gangsta rap genre.

How the New Jack Swing Movement Redefined an Era

How the New Jack Swing Movement Redefined an Era

New Jack Swing was the soundtrack for young Americans of the late 1980s and early 1990s in the same way that Motown was for young Americans of the 1960s.

Pearl Jam’s ‘Ten’ Was That Other Hugely Important Grunge Album from 1991

Pearl Jam’s ‘Ten’ Was That Other Hugely Important Grunge Album from 1991

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.

The 20 Most Memorable Songs of 1991

The 20 Most Memorable Songs of 1991

So much remarkable music was released in 1991 that it's difficult to choose just 20 memorable songs without a few omissions.

Ice Cube’s ‘Death Certificate’ Soundtracked the Rodney King Era

Ice Cube’s ‘Death Certificate’ Soundtracked the Rodney King Era

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.

Exquisite Corpse: Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Use Your Illusion I and II’