Ever wondered what makes music ‘alternative’? This genre of music has been around for more than three decades. The question becomes really tricky since there are many opinions on it. Some believe it all started with the advent of alternative rock. Others say that alternative music began after the alternative rock had already gained popularity.
Alternative music can be considered an umbrella term. It is something that involves many styles, such as indie rock, grunge, emo, and a few others. With the success of alternative rock, many record labels and music producers began chasing this genre. They were all eager to get a new Alanis Morissette or Nirvana. All they wanted was someone who could create an anthem that could define an entire generation.
Alternative music rests on no one particular sound. Here we’ve delved into the portfolios of many bands that came up with some brilliant works in the 1980s. This did all the groundwork for the breakout of the 1990s. Now, let’s go through some of the top songs of the 1990s from the underground artists:
1. Concrete Blonde – Joey (1990)
Joey sounds more like a song from the 1980s. The sounds of gothic guitar and booming drums are apparent in this hit solo. Johnette Napolitano, the frontwoman of Concrete Blonde wrote the lyrics. The lines tell the story of a romantic partner and the battle with alcoholism. Although Joey is a catchy song, its core has these dark elements to it.
2. Blind Melon – No Rain (1992)
It would be quite difficult to separate No Rain from its music video. The visuals depict a young girl who appears in a homemade bee costume and is shown tap-dancing. You’ll be reminded of the time before alternative radio while listening to this song. It is mostly due to its sun-dappled and psychedelic production.
The rest is due to the cracked and strained vocals of the singer, Shannon Hoon. Moreover, the voice of Hoon makes No Rain seem like an impacting song of depression.
3. Beastie Boys – Sabotage (1994)
With Sabotage, Beastie Boys seem to return to their punk roots. On the rock and rap radio, the blast of rage and noise would be truly exciting. The song offered solid proof of the band’s restless musical curiosity. It also conveyed the willingness of Beastie Boys to shake up their sound.
4. The Cardigans – Lovefool (1996)
This song had the honor of being featured in Baz Luhrmann’s film ‘Romeo + Juliet. Released in mid-1996, it was the album’s lead single. It was first released in Sweden and had a re-release in 1997. After the re-release, it became a big success globally. The song found its spot at number two on the UK Singles Chart. It also achieved moderate success on other charts across Europe.
5. Air – La femme d’argent (1998)
This track is truly a pleasure trip through the cosmos in seven minutes. It feels so soothing on the ears that you’ll certainly feel refreshed. La femme d’argent seems Glassy and downtempo. Air is a music duo from France and they created electronic music that was designed for lounging. This was in sharp contrast with Daft Punk, yet another electronic music duo from France.