Come as you are because it smells like the 90s in here!
Taking advantage of the #ThrowbackThursday hashtag, we’re going to take you back to the 90s today. An incredible eclectic decade for music, the 90s saw the rise in popularity of new genres and sounds never heard before, and honestly, rarely heard better, if you asked us. From boy bands to rock bands to rappers and pop acts, the 90s featured a list of artistes that covered all musical categories.
Today however, we are focusing on alternative rock bands that pretty much ruled the 90s. If you are a 90s baby, then some of these bands may bring back some very fond memories of the golden days and if you’ve never heard of these bands, then it’s about time we educate you.
Below is a list of our favourite rock bands of the 90s in a non-chronological order:
Nirvana was an American rock band that was formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in 1987. The duo went through a succession of drummers, the longest-lasting being Dave Grohl, who is currently the frontman of the band Foo Fighters. Grohl joined the band in 1990 and despite only releasing 3 full-length studio albums in their 7-year career, Nirvana is still regarded as one of the most influential and important rock bands of the modern era.
The band’s run ended following the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994. Since its debut, Nirvana has sold over 25 million records in the United States alone, and over 75 million records worldwide, making them one of the best selling bands of all time. Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame in 2014 as the world reflected on the 20th anniversary of Cobain’s tragic death.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers are known for some of their most famous hits including “Under The Bridge”, “Californication”, “Scar Tissue”, and “By The Way”. Formed in 1983, the band’s musical style primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other genres such as punk rock and psychedelic rock.
When played live, they incorporate many aspects of jam band due to the improvised nature of much of their performances. The band currently consists of founding members, Anthony Kiedis and Michael “Flea’ Balzary, Chad Smith, and Josh Klinghoffer. Still active in the music scene, Red Hot Chili Peppers are in the works of releasing a new album in 2016.
Hip hip! American rock band Weezer formed in Los Angeles in 1992. Consisting of members Rivers Cuomo, Patrick Will, Brian Bell, and Scott Shriner, the band’s line-up has changed 4 times since its formation in 1992. To date, Weezer has sold 9,200,000 albums in the US and 17,525,000 worldwide. In 1993, the band signed to Geffen Records before they released their debut self-titled album, also known as “The Blue Album” in 1994.
Backed by successful music videos for the singles “Buddy Holly”, “Undone − The Sweater Song” and “Say It Ain’t So”, “The Blue Album” became a triple-platinum success. Both the band’s debut album”The Blue Album” and second album “Pinkerton” are now frequently cited among the best albums of the 90s. Still going strong today, Weezer released their ninth album, “Everything Will Be Alright in the End” on October 7th, 2014 which has received positive reviews.
Formed in Seattle in 1994, Foo Fighters was founded by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl as a one-man project following the death of Kurt Cobain which led to the dissolution of his previous band. Prior to the release of Foo Fighters’ 1995 debut album “Foo Fighters”, which featured Grohl as the only official member, he recruited bassist Nate Mendel and Drummer William Goldsmith as well as fellow Nirvana touring bandmate Pat Smear as the guitarist to complete the line-up.
Smear left the band after the release of the second album, “The Colour and the Shape” in 1997. Goldsmith quit the band during the recording of “The Colour and the Shape” in 1997 before Smear’s departure. The duo were replaced by Taylor Hawkins and Franz Stahl respectively but Stahl was fired before the recording of the band’s third album, “There Is Nothing Left to Lose” (1999).
After the release of 3 more albums “One by One” (2002), “In Your Honor” (2005), and “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace” (2007), Smear officially rejoined the band in 2010. Throughout the band’s career, 4 of its albums won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album. The band released their seventh album, “Wasting Light” in 2011 and their eighth album, “Sonic Highways”, is set for release in November 2014.
Hailing from America, Green Day was formed in 1987 by lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong as well as bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt. For much of their career, the band has been a trio with drummer Tré Cool but in 2012, guitarist and backing vocalist Jason White became a full member after playing in the band as a session and touring guitarist for 13 years. Cool replaced drummer John Kiffmeyer in 1990 before the recording of the band’s second album, “Kerplunk” (1992).
With 8 studio albums, 6 live albums, 3 compilation albums and 3 EPs, Green Day is one of the world’s best selling bands of all time, selling more than 75 million records worldwide. Having won 5 Grammy Awards, Green Day was nominated for the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2014. Some of the band’s most popular hits include “21 Guns”, “Wake Me Up When September Ends”, “American Idiot”, and “Know Your Enemy”.
“What’s the story morning glory?”
Now, you honestly cannot be surprised that Oasis is listed here. Oasis were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1991. Formed from an earlier group, the Rain, the band consisted of Liam Gallagher, Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs, Paul “Guigsy” McGuigan, and Tony McCarroll. Oasis was later joined by Liam’s older brother Noel Gallagher as a fifth member, becoming the band’s settled line-up until April 1995.
Signed to Creation Records in 1993, the band released their record-setting debut album “Definitely Maybe” in 1994. The following year, Oasis recorded “(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?” with new drummer Alan White. The Gallagher brothers were often featured in tabloids for their sibling dispute and wild lifestyles.
In 1997, the band released their third album “Be Here Now” before McGuigan’s and Arthurs’ exit in 1999. The band then went on to record and release “Standing on the Should of Giants” in 2002. The 2 were replaced by Gem Archer and Andy Bell respectively. Oasis’ fifth studio album, “Heathen Chemistry” (2002) saw Noel Gallagher’s strict creative control in the band’s output with all members contributing songs, which led to more relaxed recording sessions.
2004 saw Zak Starkey join the band in replacement for Alan White, and renewed success with “Don’t Believe the Truth” (2005). Following the recording of the band’s seventh album “Dig Out Your Soul” (2008), Starkey left and was replaced by Chris Sharrock on Oasis’ last tour as a collective band. The tour saw the increasingly deteriorating relationship between the Gallagher brothers which led to Noel leaving the band in 2009.
Oasis have had 8 UK number #1 singles and 8 UK number #1 albums, won 15 NME Awards, 9 Q Awards, 4 MTV Europe Music Awards, and 6 Brit Awards. Some of Oasis’ most popular songs include “Wonderwall”, “Don’t Look Back In Anger”, “Supersonic”, “Don’t Go Away”, and “Champagne Supernova”.
There you have it, 6 of our most loved rock bands from the 90s.
If your favourite rock band didn’t make our list, please share it with us by sounding off in the comments.
*Editor’s Note: This feature is purely the opinion of the author. It does not reflect the views of the 90s rock music scene.