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What bands were REALLY the best 90s bands? Unappreciated 90s bands.

Dan H.

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A lot of people seem to think the greatest bands in the 90s were shit like GNR, Greenday, and other 80s spillover bands or 90s pop rock/ grunge.

Grunge was kind of lame in the 90s, except for Nirvana. After Nirvana it started feeling really sterile and boring.

As far as I am concerned, the big bands of the 80s like GNR and Metallica were dead by 94, if not sooner.

Pop began ruling the charts, and rap finally started getting huge in the mainstream.

So which bands in the 90s will, and have, stood the test of time?

So let me debunk some popular myths, no, GNR was not huge in the 90s, except for the beginning, but even then as one journalist wrote 'The success of the Illusions tour was more like an Indie 500 race, people didn't come to see the race, they came to see the crash.'

GNR was panned by critics for their epic trilogy of videos, and for Axl's erratic behavior on stage and in magazines. Once the Stephanie incident became public, and once people like Cobain and Reznor began trashing Axl, he was pretty much dead and buried for the next two decades.

The 90s also came with Metallica's most lukewarm critical and fan reception of their career, and only dropped further into irrelevancy with their attempts at recreating post grunge.

So which bands succeeded?

Radiohead became immensely popular in the 90s. After 'The Bends' their career skyrocketed, and they quickly became one of the biggest rock acts of all time, with legendary restructuring of the music industry, record sales, and critical praise.

Modest Mouse also had a huge underground following. It took until 2001 for them to finally break into the mainstream, but they popularized indie rock in the same way Nirvana popularized grunge. 'A Long Drive with Nothing to Think About' gained extreme critical praise, and 'The Lonesome Crowded West' even more so.

Nine Inch Nails, with the release of 'The Downward Spiral' perhaps became the most critically acclaimed band of the past two decades, with the album topping many magazines 'Best Albums' lists, even to this day.

Neutral Milk Hotel, a relatively unheard of group that released a lukewarm debut album 'On Avery Island' released quite possibly the most creative, interesting, and flawless album ever created 'In The Aeroplane Over the Sea'. Their lead singer and writer, Jeff Mangum, drifted into madness very shortly afterwards. And has made fewer than 12 public appearances in the last 20 years. The album gained popularity in the last decade, and is one of the most praised music creations of all time.

The Magnetic Fields released '69 Love Songs' which was universally praised.

The Smashing Pumpkins enjoyed a quick rise and fall in the 1990s, with Mellon Collie and Infinite Sadness.

The Gorrilaz released their debut album.

U2 enjoyed a second rise of critical acclaim and stardom with a drastic remaining of their sound on Achtung Baby, Zooropa, and POP.

These are the groups that really defined the best music of the 90s in my opinion. If you want some listenable 90s albums recommendations, try these:

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

69 Love Songs

The Downward Spiral

The Bends

OK Computer

Achtung Baby

Mellon Collie and Infinite Sadness

The Lonesome Crowded West

A Long Drive with Nothing to Think About


The Fragile

Pretty Hate Machine


On Avery Island

hooray for tolerance!z4Life

2pacalypse Now


Blood Sugar Sex Magik

What's the Story Morning Glory?

Anyone have any other under appreciated 90s groups they want to honor?

Edited by LiveFromNormal
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Morphine, Belly, Catherine Wheel, Whiskeytown, Blind Melon, Concrete Blonde, Built to Spill, Afghan Whigs, Guided By Voices, Failure, Teenage Fanclub, Eleven, Screamin Cheetah Willies, Swervedriver, Love Spit Love (half of nuGuns were in the band), Jawbox, Rocket from the Crypt, Jellyfish, Lucious Jackson, Spin Doctors, King's X, Dinosaur Jr, Mad Season, Geraldine Fibbers, The Nymphs (lead singer was a bigger nightmare to Zutaut than Axl ever was), Infectious Grooves, Sonic Youth (had a great run in the 90s), Buffalo Tom, Kyuss, Slowdive, Matthew Sweet, Aimee Mann, Tea Party, Curve, Thrill Kill Kult, Dada, Gigolo Aunts, Badlands, Shudder to Think, Beasts of Bourbon, Neutral Milk Hotel.

You can also get into discussions about 80s bands that put out great albums in the 90s but because they didn't get good label backing, were lost and forgotten.

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Modest Mouse, Radiohead, Portishead, Oasis, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Mazzy Star, The Black Crowes, The La's, The National, Death Cab For Cutie, The Mountain Goats, Pulp.

Oasis were still good after the first two (apart from the trainwreck that was SOTSOG).. heathen chemistry and be here now had their moments, Dig Out Your Soul was great and Don't Believe The Truth is as much a classic as the first two in my eyes.

I fucking love Modest Mouse, look up Dramamine, Talking Shit About A Pretty Sunset from the first record.

Edited by Snake Eyes
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Pearl Jam

Alice in Chains

Smashing Pumpkins



early 90s were the years of last great music movement

Minus Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Alice and Chains, and I agree with ya.

I agree. Soundgarden sucks.

And Pearl Jam is the second worst band ever.

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