90s Music Essay Research Paper Music in

90s Music Essay, Research Paper

Music in the nineties can be simply described as diverse. Diverse

meaning that music has been segregated into hundreds of groups. This

report will refer in detail to three genres of music: Alternative

Country, Rap, Alternative Rock. It will also cover certain aspects

indicative of the 90’s. Alternative Country Music In 1990, a band

called Uncle Tupelo from Belleville, Illinois, released their debut

album. Titled No Depression, it featured a rough mixture of punk-rock

songs, but it also added something different: several toned-down,

acoustic ballads that had a distinct country flavor. A few years later,

that simple little song and album title became the name of an internet

fan club and chat group. It didn’t stop there, in 1995, a magazine of

the same name went into publication, and “No Depression” soon became

the leading title for a progressive alternative country movement. Other

names include “insurgent country” “Americana,” or simply “alt.country,”

the latter is a reminder of the role the internet has played in the

growth and publicity of this movement. For the most part, No

Depression or alt.country bands aren’t much of a threat to the sales

figures of mainstream Nashville country artists. But the speed with

which this music has caught on has shown that a substantial number of

people have grown weary of the overproduced pop trends of 1990’s

mainstream country music, and the limited range of styles and sounds

that are typically played on country radio stations. Rap Music Rap of

the late 70’s and 80’s, commonly called “old school”, was made by DJs

scratching records and playing drum loops, with MCs rapping over the

resulting rhythms. As the genre progressed, hard-rock guitars and

hard-hitting beats were introduced by Run-D.M.C., the first hardcore

rap group, and the scratching techniques were replaced by sampling.

With their dense collages of samples, beats and white noise, Public

Enemy took sampling to the extreme, and they helped introduce a social

and political conscience to rap. This faded in the ’90s, as gangsta

rap, originally introduced by NWA, who used Public Enemy’s sound as a

template, became the dominant form. By the ’90s, gangsta rap, which

originally was in direct opposition to such pop-oriented rappers as MC

Hammer, had become smoothed over and stylish, and consequently was more

popular than ever, as evidenced by the success of pop-gangsta Puff

Daddy in the late 90’s. Alternative Rock Music

Alternative pop/rock is essentially a catch-all term for

post-punk bands from the mid-’80s to the mid-’90s. Though there

is a variety of musical styles within alternative rock, they

are all tied together since they originally existed outside of

the mainstream. In some ways, there are two waves of

alternative bands, with Nirvana’s success in 1991 acting as a

dividing point. In the ’80s, most alternative bands were on

independent labels; if they were on majors, they didn’t receive

as much support as most of the label’s mainstream acts. In the

’80s, alternative included everything from jangle-pop,

post-hardcore punk, funk-metal, punk-pop, and experimental

rock. After Nirvana’s success in the ’90s, alternative

included all of these sub-genres, but many of the edges were

sanded off because the music was know being marketed as part

of the mainstream. Hard rock and punk-derived music were more

commercially successful than the left-of-center pop that

dominated late ’80s alternative pop/rock, so alternative

Remakes and Retro The ’90’s was definitely the decade for the remake.

Many Rap and Hip Hop bands have made a living out of remaking other

peoples works. Sean “Puffy” Combs remade Sting’s classic “I’ll be

watching You” As a tribute to his friend Notorious B.I.G. The Fugees

remade Roberta Flack’s Hit song “Killing Me Softly” and once again

turned it into a hit. A music commentator for Spin Magazin once said,

“What was once contemptible comes back collectible.”(Smith, R.J.) Those

people who despised Kiss in the 70’s will be fighting their way to the

front of the line in order to catch a glimpse of the band on this

year’s tour. With the return of these retro bands a lot of today’s

bands want in on the action. Trent Reznor sings Kiss’s praises, Pearl

Jam’s Mike McCready carried a Kiss lunch box to school, and Courtney

Love was caught sporting a Kiss T-shirt. The Rolling Stones returned

with their comeback album “Voodoo Lounge” featuring all of their

greatest hits. The original punk influences of the 70’s, like the

Ramones who are back with new material, and the Sex Pistols who have

experienced a resurgence, have had great influence on 90’s retro punk

bands like Greenday and Offspring.

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