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90s Music


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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