IntroductionAlternative Rock is a sub genre of rock music. Itwas first released in the 1980’s and became a lot more popular in the 1990’s and 2000’s. Thetypical instruments for alternative music would be vocals, electric guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard. At time ‘alternative’ has been used todescribe music from underground rock artists thatreceives mainstream recognition or for any music that is seen to be descended from punk rock.
Popularity The first big alternative rock band to hit the mainstream was Nirvana. Compared to other genres alternative rock bands were limited in terms of commercial success compared to rock and pop. Most alternative rock bands were signed to independent record labels and didn’t receive funds or attention from mainstream media. In the 1990’s alternative rock hit the mainstream.
Alternative rock becoming less popular Towards the end of the 1990’s some thing happened which made it become less popular: Kurt Cobains death in 1994. Pear Jam and Ticketmasters fallout which lead to Pear Jam being unable to play any big venues.
Features of Alternative Rock Avoid the limelight and mainstream. Tend to sign to independent record labels. Talented musicians, members in the bands tend to be skilled in there field of music. Soundsoftenreliedondynamiccontrasts,oftenbetw eenquitversesandloud,heavychoruses
1980’s In the 1980s alternative rock was underground and not very well known. Bands such as The Cure, The Smiths, Duran Duran formed. At the start of the 80’s bands rarely made a commercial hit. By 1989 bands such as New Order and TheSugarcubes toured the arena circuit in the USA.
1990’s The music industry was suddenly interested in Alternative Rock. Major record labels started approaching groups like Janes Addiction, Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana. R.E.M success become a blueprint for many other alternative rock bands as in the 1990’s they had become one of the biggest bands worldwide. The breakthrough of Nirvanas single ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ from their album ‘Nevermind’ the single was selling 400,00 copies a week before Christmas 1991.
21st Century In the early 2000’s bands like Franz Ferdinand,The Strokes and Interpol drew primary inspiration from post-punk and New Wave, establishing the post-punk revival movement. Bands like Nickleback, The Killers, Radiohead and Muse all charted in the top ten between 2005-2010. In 2004 Entertainment Weekly Declared ‘Afteralmost a decade of domination from rap-rock and nu-metal bands, alt rock is finally good again.’
Britpop Sub genre of Alternative rock that originated in the UK. Emerged in the 1990’s. Characterised by bands influenced by British guitar pop music of the 60s and 70s. Groups like Blur and Suede launched the movement. Britpop groups bought alternative rock into the mainstream and formed the backbone for the large British cultural movement.
R.E.M R.E.M were a large alternative rock band from Athens, Georgia. They were formed by Micheal Stripe in 1980 who was the singer, a guitarist called Peter Buck. bassist Mike Mills and a drummer called Billy Berry. One of the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. gained early attention due to Bucks ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipes unclear vocals.
R.E.M Continued... R.E.M. released its first single, "Radio Free Europe", in 1981 on the independent record label Hib-Tone. The single was followed by the Chronic Town EP in 1982, the bands first release on I.R.S. Records. In 1983, the group released its debut album, Murmur, and built its reputation over the next few years through subsequent releases, constant touring, and the support of college radio. Following years of underground success, R.E.M. achieved amainstream hit in 1987 with the single "The One I Love". The group signed to Warner Bros.Records in 1988, and began to espouse politicaland environmental concerns while playing large arenas worldwide.
Radiohead Radiohead formed in 1985 and are from Oxfordshire. The band consists of Thorn Yorke (lead vocals, guitarist and piano), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar and keyboard), Colin Greenwood (bass), Phil Selway (drums and percussion) Ed O’Brien (guitar and backing vocals). Radiohead released their debut single ‘Creep’ in 1992. The song was initially unsuccessful, but it became a worldwide hit several months after the release of their debut album, Pablo Honey (1993). Radioheads popularity rose in the United Kingdom with the release of their second album, The Bends (1995). Radiohead then
Nirvana Nirvana is an alternative rock band formed by Singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain in 1985. Nirvana are known for going through a succession of drummers, the longest lasting being Dave Grohl, who joined in 1990. Nirvana were originally part of the Seattle grunge scene, they release there first album ‘Bleach’ for the independent record label Sub Popin 1989. However the band eventually had alternative rock mainstream success unexpectedly with the release of there album ‘Smells like teen spirit’ in1991.
Nirvana Continued... The media began to refer to Kurt Cobain as ‘the spokesman of the generation’ with Nirvana being the flagship band. There third album ‘In Utero’ also saw success, but not as greatly as nevermind. Nirvanas success was unfortunately short lived as lead singer and guitarist died in 1994.
Kurt Cobain Kurt Cobain was an American singer song writer, in 1985 he also formed the band Nirvana, and was the front man that led Nirvana to selling 25 million albums within the US and 50 million worldwide. During the last year of him life he struggled with depression, heroin addiction and illness. On the 8th of April 1994, he was found dead in his house in Seattle, he had unfortunately committed suicide.
Smashing Pumpkins Smashing Pumpkins are an alternative rock band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 1988. Formed by front man Billy Corgan(lead vocals, lead guitar) and James Iha (rhythm guitar), the band has included Jimmy Chamberlin (drums), Darcy Wretzky (bass guitar),Melissa Auf der Maur (bass guitar), and currently includes Mike Byrne (drums), Nicole Fiorentino (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Jeff Schroeder (rhythm guitar) among its membership.
Smashing Pumpkins Continued... The Smashing Pumpkins broke into the musical mainstream with their second album, 1993s Siamese Dream. The group built its audience with extensive touring and their 1995 follow-up, the double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart. With 18.75 million albums sold in the United States, The Smashing Pumpkins were one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 1990s.
Oasis Oasis are an English alternative rock band formed in Manchester in 1991. The group is formed by Liam Gallagher (vocals), Paul Arthurs (guitar) and Paul McGuigan (bass) and Tony McCarroll (drums) they were later joined by Liams older brother Noel Gallagher (lead guitar and vocals). In 2009 Noel announced his departure from the band after a lot of dispute with his brother. Noel went on a solo project and released his album Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
Oasis Continued... Oasis had 8 number one single and 8 UK number one albums. They won 15 NME Awards. 9 Q awards. 4 MTV Europe Music Awards 6 Brit Awards As of 2009 had sold an estimate of 70 million records worldwide.
Foo Fighters Foo Fighters were formed in Seattle in 1994. Founded by the former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. The band consists of Dave Grohl (vocals and lead guitar) Nate Mendel (bass) WilliamGoldsmith (drummer) and former Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear. In total they have released 7 albums. 4 of the albums have won 11 Grammy awards and Best Rock Album 4 times.
Coldplay Coldplay was formed in 1996 by vocalist Chris Martin. He was joined by Jonny Buckland and Guy Berryman. In 2000 released the single ‘Yellow’ which saw them sore to worldwide success. Soon to be followed by album Parachutes which was nominated with a Mercury Prize. There next 3 albums X&Y, Viva La Vida or Death and All His friends and MyloXloyto all received awards. MyLoXloyto being the biggest selling Rock album of 2011.