Metal, 90s Mainstream, and Grunge

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MUSC 1600: Music Theory I

MUSC 1800: Popular MusicMetal, 90s Mainstream

Dr. Matthew C. Saunders

Lakeland Community College

C-1078

Stuck in the 90s

Economy

Politics

Foreign affairs

Economy: recession in the early 90s followed by enormous growth

Low inflation and unemployment

Boom in the tech sector and stock market

Politics:

Bill Clinton, president 1993-2001

Continuation of the culture wars

Prosperity allows cleaning up in many cities

Foreign affairs

New World Order in post-Cold War world

US as the worlds police officer

2

Important Trends in 1990s Popular Music

New Technology

Strong local music scenes on the rise

Greater diversity within and among styles

New Technology

Internet and World Wide Web (1993)

DVD (Digital Video Disc) (1998)

Strong local music scenes on the rise

Austin, Texas

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Seattle, Washington

Atlanta, Georgia

Greater diversity within and among styles

FM radio avoids Top 40 formats

Seattle grunge musician, ca. 1995

Georgia Theatre, Athens, GA

DVD logo

3

Looking like a rock star

Movement away from glitz and glam styles of presentation

Conscious avoidance of anything that might appear less than casual.

Echo of the larger culture

Movement away from glitz and glam styles of presentation

Conscious avoidance of anything that might appear less than casual.

Echo of the larger culture

Kurt Cobain, ca. 1993

Alanis Morisette, ca. 1995

4

Big Idea:

In 1985, rock had dominated the pop charts for 30 years, and began to wane in importance as hip-hop rose and country regained some of its earlier status.

Heavy Metal (ca. 1970-1995)

Origins

Appeal

Commercial success

Black Sabbath, 1970

Aerosmith, 1975

6

Heavy Metal Examples

Black Sabbath

Iron Man, 1970

Motley Crue

Shout at the Devil, 1983

Metallica

Master of Puppets, 1986

AC/DC

Thunderstruck, 1990

Spinal Tap in This is Spinal Tap, 1984

Motley Crue ca. 1985

7

Through the 90s with Dr. Saunders

The Red Hot Chili Peppers:

Give it Away, 1991

GunsnRoses:

November Rain, (Use Your Illusion, 1992)

Weezer:

Buddy Holly, 1994

Alanis Morisette,

You Oughta Know, 1995

Los Del Rio:

Macarena, 1996

Fastball:

The Way, 1997

Barenaked Ladies:

One Week, 1998

The Red Hot Chili Peppers: Give it Away, 1991

GunsnRoses: November Rain, (Use Your Illusion, 1992

Weezer: Buddy Holly, 1994

Alanis Morisette, You Oughta Know, 1995

Los Del Rio: Macarena, 1996

Fastball: The Way, 1997

Barenaked Ladies: One Week, 1998

Shania Twain: Honey Im Home, 1999

8

Alternative Rock in the Mainstream

Janes Addiction

Mountain Song, 1989

R.E.M.

Shiny Happy People, 1990

Sonic Youth

Kool Thing, 1990 (live 1993)

Beck

Loser, 1993

No Doubt

Just a Girl, 1995

R.E.M., ca. 1988

No Doubt, ca. 1995

9

Grunge

Another back to basics rock movement

Seattle-based, mid-to-late 1980s

National success after 1991

Another back to basics rock movement

Seattle-based sound, originating mid-to-late 1980s

Guitar sound with distortion and feedback (from punk)

Dissonance and timbral complexity (from heavy metal)

Stop-start song format

Reaction to cheesy heavy metal sounds and corporate rock

Crucial label was SubPop Records

10

Grunge

Important grunge artists:

Nirvana (lead singer Kurt Cobain): Smells Like Teen Spirit, 1991

Live, Reading, 1992: Territorial Pissings

Pearl Jam (lead singer Eddie Vedder): Black, 1991 (live, 1992)

Soundgarden: Black Hole Sun, 1994