Ongoing History of New Music

Published on March 30th, 2018 | by Alan Cross

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The Ongoing History of New Music, Episode 818: The 90s, Part 7: The genres beyond grunge and punk

One of the great things about the alt-rock revolution of the 1990s was its seemingly endless diversity.

The sounds from this part of the rock universe had always been varied because the idea of “alternative music” was so amorphous. If it was (a) non-mainstream and ignored by most radio stations; (b) a little left of centre in terms of aesthetics; and (c) considered weird by the majority, then it qualified as “alternative” by default, simply because there was no other way to categorize it. And we humans love to put things into neat little piles, right?

Multiple genres thrived in the alt-rock universe. Plus there were all the sub-genres, sub-sub-genres and even sub-sub-sub-sub-genres. If you were into alternative music before the 1990s, you were spoiled for choice. There was something for everyone.

Then along came grunge, the biggest sound of the decade. It ripped a hole in the music space-time continuum, opening a hole into this parallel universe, allowing all these songs to invade the mainstream. And because these sounds and scenes had been evolving almost unseen for years, the people making this music knew what they were doing. The mainstream was flooded with material that was already extremely mature and well-developed. Or close to it.

Never before had so much solid music from so many seasoned performers been waiting in the wings ready to show their stuff. And when they got their chance–wow.

Ride, Leave Them All Behind

Cure, Friday I’m in Love

Pavement, Cut Your Hair

Weezer, My Name is Jonas

Live, All Over You

Nine Inch Nails, Wish

Fatboy Slim, Right Here Right Now

Prodigy, Firestarter

As usual, Eric Wilhite has produced this playlist for us.

Don’t forget that you can get the podcast version of this podcast through iTunes or wherever you get your on-demand audio.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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