The 90s can be best described as a bridge for it connects two generations. It’s the old and the coming of the new millennium blending within a decade. That’s why the music scene of the 90s is a merry mix of the fading 80s dance raves and pop songs and the emerging new subgenres of rock and roll such as alternative rock and grunge rock. Soon enough, a lot of these bands dominated the airwaves and people were listening to guitar riffs and bass lines again just like the good ‘ol days of rock in the 70s but with an angst-y twist. If you’re unaware of the amazing music scene of the 90s and want to enrich your playlist with actual music instead of pop sensations and digitally altered music that we have today, here are the best 90s bands that you should definitely listen to:
You can ask any pop punk band that was formed in the early 2000s about their major influence and the answer will definitely include Blink-182. Founded by Mark Hoppus on vocals/bass, Tom DeLonge on vocals/guitars and drummer Scott Raynor (replaced by Travis Barker in 1998), the band is best known for reinventing and developing pop punk music. Since their debut in 1995, Blink-182 continued to top the charts with their hit songs such as “Dammit”, “What’s My Age Again”, “Adam’s song”, “All The Small Things” and many more. To date, the band has sold over 3.5 million albums worldwide. As of now, the band is going through some sort of a break up with DeLonge on an indefinite hiatus. Still, their big influence on today’s bands and to their fans remains undeniable.
This list would not be called best bands of the 90s without Green Day in it. Composed of Billie Joe Armstrong on vocals and guitar, Tre’ Cool on Drums and Mike Dirnt on bass, the band was formed in 1986 but achieved their commercial breakthrough in 1994 with their album, Kerplunk. Armed with their vicious take on punk rock, Green Day sold over 75 million albums worldwide and won numerous awards, including a Tony with the Broadway adaptation of their most successful studio album, American Idiot. I suggest you put the whole American Idiot album on your playlist because every single song in there are worth the listen.
Rage Against The Machine
Rage Against The Machine was not dubbed as The World’s Most Dangerous Band for nothing. Their hip/hop fused with heavy metal sound conquered the airwaves in 1992 with their self titled album that topped the charts despite their radical music. In fact, it is their radicalism that raised them to fame. Composed of Zack de La Rocha on vocals, Tom Morello on guitars, Brad Wilk on drums and Tim Commerford on bass, RATM used their songs to inspire social change amongst their audience and provide support to the minorities, especially those who are often victimized by racism in the United States and the rest of the world. Though they disbanded in 2000, their songs of freedom and equality still rings true, especially now more than ever. If you want to hear how badass this band is, listen to ‘Killing In the Name”, “Bulls on Parade” and my personal favorite “Freedom”.
Nirvana is considered to be the voice of the 90s. Why wouldn’t they be when they started the whole grunge era of rock and roll? The Nirvana trio composed of Kurt Cobain on vocals and guitar, Kris Novoselic on bass and Dave Grohl on drums, became the flagship of Generation X because of their songs about individuality. They also invented the “quiet verses and heavy chorus” song formula which is widely used today by a lot of bands. Even after the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994 and their breakup, Nirvana continued to be one of the best selling bands of all time garnering over 75 million albums ales worldwide. In case you don’t have their songs yet on your playlist, you should definitely check out their classic songs “Smells Like Teen Spirit, “Come as You Are” and “No Apologies”.