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In Hindsight, were the 90's a golden age.


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Showing 1-24 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Sep 2008 19:57:48 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Sep 2008 19:58:13 BDT
I remember growing up in a Britpop obssesed England in the 1990's. In 1993 it felt like we were about to enter a utopian age for British music, with the arrival of Oasis and the prominence gained by Pulp with the album 'His 'n' Hers'. Nirvana will still going strong in the U.S and in my own 15 year old world it seemed like an age to tell the grandkids about.

As the decade progressed however, we seemed only to be getting a bunch of imitators like Menswear and Bush clogging the once fine airwaves. At this point I lost interest and just carried on listening to the old records I always loved. As the 90's entered the 00's, I always dismissed the decade as a lost cause, and I looked back in embaressment that I ever felt any differently.

However, this decade seems to have maybe followed a similar pattern, so in my desperate haste to find something new, I looked back on the old. I was glad to find numerous bands who I had been blissfully unaware of in my youth including Pavement, Neutral Milk Hotel and DJ Shadow. This got me thinking of how many great bands pass us by simply because we are too young to appreciate them at the time. So my question is : What do you think of the 90's in hindsight ?, were they a decade of dull bands long forgotten or was it (as I now beleive) a decade of great adventure which we never may see the type of again?

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Sep 2008 10:22:59 BDT
Nugent Dirt says:
A lot of great stuff always goes under the radar because of broadcasters who always play it safe. I'm not just talking about FM radio but also DAB stations. There are and have always been loads of good bands/solo acts who you'll never hear on the radio, see on TV or read about in the mainstream press and music mags. It's got less to do with age than with exposure. The 90s was a great decade for innovative bands at the margins of the music industry and who only ever play to cult audiences. It was the decade that produced trip hop, global fusion, grunge, IDM (hate that phrase but it's convenient), Big Beat, Baggy/Madchester, Chill Out, trance etc. Most of these have faded away with just a handful of groups still struggling on but there's been little new to get excited about in the Noughties

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2008 02:51:14 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Oct 2008 02:54:49 BDT
spiderboris says:
You know what, I think they were. Every decade has its good and bad side. I grew up in the 80's and fondly remember the Kylie and Jason, Duran Duran and Culture Club-type bobbins we were constantly fed by Top Of The Pops and radio stations (and the Chart Show on Saturday mornings - thems were the days, only time in the week you got to see music videos, albeit usually truncated) yet years later I went delving into post-punk and all the stuff that mainstream broadcasting either ignored or simply glossed over. The nineties was a similar sort of situation especially during 'the Britpop years' when the tables were turned for a while and supposed 'proper' indie music dominated the mainstream but as Mr. Chinaski says, a lot of this was arguably as unremarkable as much of the manufactured girl-and-boyband-type pop music of the age. Looking at the Britpop thing again, which in itself really wasn't even a genre, just an easy tag, I think really that just came down to Blur, Pulp, and Oasis. I always saw it as a rather pointless fight between the posho Essex Boy Art Schoolers vs the toughnut working class Mancunians, with Jarvis in the middle refereeing. Nobody won in the end, but thankfully the major creative forces of those three outfits are all still around today doing various things. Again, there were many great bands and artists who emerged in the nineties and are still around today and have become influential, along with particular movements and emergent genres, and plenty of great acts who disappeared or burned out before their time (I could do a very long list here, but I'll spare you). I don't think it's really serving music's importance to always need to boil it down to a particularly stratified decade window either, or else we'll all be turning into those z-list TV presenters or comedians you vageley remember from something-or-other who show up on those four-hour list programmes, childishly and cynically trying to be funny and dismiss an entire decade's worth of music simply because they can't remember anything they liked off of the top of their head. The nineties were as good as we remember them, which is as good as the noughties; full of music, good and bad, and our lives are all the better for it.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Oct 2008 20:02:22 GMT
N. petrovic says:
I am biased on this in that the 90's was when I started to get seriously into music. However it has to be said that despite the fact that a lot of the stuff I loved at the time has dated horribly each year produced a handful of classic records and as many unsung gems.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2008 07:46:10 GMT
no no no absolutely not.
it was the era of manufactured pop.....and oasis

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2008 10:57:35 GMT
jonthemorsk says:
no way. golden age? nah. was good in the early 90s. took waaaaaaay too many substances, so not all a total loss. people will look back at the 90s and say grunge/britpop/girl power/boy bands. thats brass plated, not golden.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2008 12:00:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Nov 2008 12:02:04 GMT
MC Zaptone says:
The best of the 90's came from trip-hop, chillout and Proper Indie a couple of dance and hip-hop acts were original but believe me when I tell you having experienced a few decades of
music very little of what you've grown up with will reach classic status, pop musically very bland
period the 90's. The outstanding musicians of the period who will make the grade and be remembered were mostly from the genres of the blues, jazz and psychedelic-folk, not the mediocrity that was Brit-pop. Sorry.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2008 12:27:21 GMT
bang on the nail,mc.i cant think of one band that will deserve to be remembered.unfortunately i can see that oasis will go down as "classic rock " in years to come.
and that my friend just about sums it up really.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2008 13:41:12 GMT
J. Morris says:
The 90s was a period when I lost almost all interest in modern music. Each to their own, and all, but to my ears Oasis, Brit-pop, dreary indie, "Madchester" dance, nu metal, et al were the nadir of pop music.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2008 22:12:17 GMT
you are giving us old rockers a bad name with your closed mind attitude.

opinions are like a55holes, everybody has one.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2008 23:53:19 GMT
pikeyboy says:
The sixties proper began in 1963, probably after the release of 'She Loves You' by The Beatles. or when Ringo smoked one of Dylan's ready-rolled's all to himself, and they didn't end until Bowie came up with the concept of Ziggy Stardust, circa '72. The seventies, in turn, didn't really end until the demise of Stiff Records. Decades are useless frames with which to fill up with heaps of other nostalgia like hula-hoops, Aztec bars, sherbet dips and vimto, hair long, short or mullet, and do you remember tartan and Birmingham bags? The nineties were no better or worse than any other era: 'Nevermind', 'Grace', 'The Future', 'Harvest Moon', 'Time Out Of Mind' - all bonafide classics to my mind - all released in the nineties. 'No Guru, No Method, No Teacher', 'Graceland', 'If I Should Fall From Grace With God', 'I'm Your Man', 'Oh! Mercy' - all eighties, all just as great........

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Nov 2008 00:06:20 GMT
We are still in the middle of an inevitable backlash against the nineties, manifested in the continued love of all things eighties and the attempt to write trip hop out of history (because it was too ubiquituous -think of Portishead constantly soundtracking This Life), remember Channel 4's UK music hall of fame a few years ago, did Massive Attack even get a mention as an important band of the nineties?

And the thing is, to my current ears, trip hop does sound terribly dated, I have no desire to listen to even a great band like Massive Attack at the moment, though this isn't helped by the wave of mediocrity they and Portishead inspired e. g. Sneaker Pimps, Morcheeba.

However, in common with other comments in this forum, I also found the whole world of Britpop to the be the nadir of music, and still to this day regard Oasis to be the worst band in the world. And on this issue, the nineties love of the sixties killed the sixties for me...

So what does this leave us with? A handful of great albums/bands I think, most of whom either outlived the nineties or had their roots in the eighties. OK Computer, Loveless, Dirty, Slanted and Enchanted, and the lesser known works of Uncle Tupelo, Built to Spill, and in Britain, long forgotten because they had a silly name, New Fast Automatic Daffodills. Early Ride were also rather good, and as I type I am quite enjoying the newly remastered early Swervedriver albums. Guess I've probably lost all credibility with you there...

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Nov 2008 00:27:42 GMT
pikeyboy says:
You like what you like. Of those you mention, I have great regard for Pavement, but Radiohead bore me to tears. In my opinion, only Scott Walker should attempt to sound like contemporary Scott Walker. All I remember friends listening to in the nineties was The (blasted) Orb: who listens to them now?

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Nov 2008 10:25:04 GMT
J. Morris says:
"I'll get you Butler!" says:
you are giving us old rockers a bad name with your closed mind attitude.

opinions are like a55holes, everybody has one.

I know that's only my opinion, it's just much of the 90s were dreadful for me - being clinically depressed for most of it didn't help in appreciation of the music. I liked grunge then it all went a bit... ...wrong, IMO. Still hate Oasis with a vengeance, though. Awful, awful, awful music that gives us old rockers a bad name with its dreariness.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Nov 2008 20:49:16 GMT
Aye, the 90's were a golden age.

Tool - Undertow and Aenima, Cynic - Focus, Death - Symbolic and The Sound of Perseverance, Meshuggah - Destroy Erase Improve, many a Nile record, In Flames - The Jester Race and Whoracle. The 90's were fantastic for metal. If I'm bored of what I'm currently listening to, it's a fantastic feeling to know that there's an absolute cornucopia of fantastic 90's metal and fusion.
Then the kids tv.. Oh lawd. Biker Mice From Mars, Johnny Bravo, COW N CHICKEN, Dexter's Lab, the ORIGINAL power rangers (the green ranger and the pink ranger were meant to be!)
Such good times to be a 7 year old.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Nov 2008 09:51:56 GMT
J. Morris says:
Ahh, Cynic & Death, a glowing oasis (pun intended) in the sea of cr*p that was 90s music. I'm rather fond of Soilwork, too.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Nov 2008 22:03:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Nov 2008 22:06:16 GMT
R. Pievaitis says:
the 90,s music wise were a complete wash out ,you had the britpop boys who all worshipped at the doors of;
beatles,
kinks,
xtc,
as for grunge that came before,basically as i see it you had the 80,s where "rock " was so uncool(apart from ridiculous hair metal bands can you name more than 5 proper rock bands in the 80,s)grunge was a reaction to that suffocating regime.they cranked up the amps rediscovered fuzz boxes and played old riffs from the 1st 4 sabbath albums.(smells like teen spirit god song but it really is more than a feeling with a d minor thrown in) .
the only good music coming out was from the likes of porcupine tree and the likes of biosphere,vidna obmana,tori amos,nine inch nails.
the rest was mainstream commercialised pap.
as for house music ,electro,garage etc etc it left me cold especially the lyrics which were so derogatory to females i am amazed that people let this stuff continue by actually buying it.it also seemed that most songs were either retreads,cover versions or had so many samples that music had come to a fullstop.
good riddance to the 90,s
bring back the 70,s - now that WAS a time for music ep. 1972/3/4.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Nov 2008 15:24:02 GMT
Well, Richard, I agree entirely that the 72/74 period reigns supreme, but let`s not forget the new prog acts that came on the scene in the 90`s that drew their inspiration from the golden age. Spocks Beard and Arena to name but two and, though IQ started in the 80`s, two of their best albums ( Ever and Subterranea) were released in the 90`s. So it wasn`t all dross, though sadly no airtime exists on mainstream radio/TV for quality bands. Didn`t in the 90`s and sure as hell doesn`t now.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2008 22:25:39 GMT
R. Pievaitis says:
hi graham,glad you agree with some of my comments,personally i absolutely love Spocks Beard but didn,t mention them as i thought nobody would know who they were ?so i,m glad you have mentioned them.
as regards some more Prog. bands from the 90,s you might like Glass Hammer(weak on the vocal front but fantastic musicians if you like the neo prog of S.B ).not so keen on Arena,again i feel they have no good strong vocalist the cd,s i have ,have different vocalists on each one.quite like I.Q. though.love Neal Morse,s music and Marillion are still progressing as regards good new music.
you are dead right re the lack of exposure for good music over the last 15 odd years.i seem to remember in the 70,s when i was in my teens,there were always music shows on each channel.from the teenybop stuff on itv to the OGWT on beeb 2.
now the only show not showing PAP is "later with jools h" and even there i hardly know more than 1/2 acts per show.
what is the answer ?not sure if there is any "mass " market on mainstream media for specialist music - was there ever ?
maybe the internet can be utilised in someway.
i do know that i use the web to stay in very close touch with some of my favourite bands e.g.porcupine tree.
you can buy exclusive music there and by purchasing directly you know that 100% of the money is going to help future music.
but anyway to keep to the subject the 90,s were one of the THE worst decades for "real music".

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2008 18:57:34 GMT
Red Mosquito says:
My interest in music started in 1970 as a 13 yr old. It was a golden decade for the progression of rock music however the 90's did give us some of the best albums known to mankind. Pearl Jam's 'Ten' and 'Vs' aswell as Nirvana's ' In Utero'. From my experience each decade only produces about a dozen classic albums where every track is an absolute gem. All mine come from the 70's and 90's. Can anyone recommend any from the 80's and 00's? Every track has to be a classic. No fillers allowed.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2008 20:02:01 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Nov 2008 20:05:48 GMT
Quite a challenge,

But for '80's ...... The Smiths- The Queen is Dead
Guns' n Roses- Appetite For Destruction.
Rush-Moving Pictures

and probably a bit tenuous, but this album was released in the USA in January 1980, so does it count?
London Calling-The Clash

for the '00's
Muse-Black Holes and Revelations
and both Editors albums are absolutely superb

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Nov 2008 09:28:36 GMT
Last edited by the author on 17 Nov 2008 23:48:35 GMT
Red Mosquito says:
Thanks for this I'll try 'The Queen is Dead' again. Always thought 'Cemetry Gates' was one of their best but not sure about 'Frankly Mr Shankly'. The first Editors album is a gem with absolutely no fillers but is it an all time classic? Maybe time will tell. I've not heard the 2nd album or 'Black Holes' but I'll give them both a try.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Nov 2008 15:36:21 GMT
Neil says:
".(smells like teen spirit god song but it really is more than a feeling with a d minor thrown in) ."

I'm assuming your speaking in generalisations here, cos I'm pretty sure there's no Dm in Smells Like Teen Spirit. You maybe mean a Db5.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Nov 2008 17:33:24 GMT
MC Zaptone says:
Is that an Aston Martin Db5? 'cos at least that still sounds good.
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Discussion in:  rock discussion forum
Participants:  16
Total posts:  24
Initial post:  28 Sep 2008
Latest post:  20 Nov 2008

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