Grunge helped to put Rock and Roll back on the map in the 90’s and there were so many bands back then that it could be hard to keep track of them all. With Rage Against The Machine recently announcing a reunion it seems like a good time to remember some of the great bands from the 90’s. This list will contain mostly Grunge bands but will also contain Ska, Punk or any other good rock band that comes to mind. There will be bands everyone knows and a few hardly any of you have heard of but trust me when I say they are all worth checking out.
Rage Against The Machine
Since I already mentioned them above I’ll start with Rage Against The Machine. Formed in 1991 the band would become known for their anti-establishment themed lyrics and were the perfect soundtrack to the teen angst 90s teens were famous for. Fronted by vocalist Zack de la Rocha, Tom Morello on guitar, Brad Wilks on drums and back up vocals by Tim Commerford the band was one of the biggest around in the 90s and they’ve been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice so far and I’m certain at some point they’ll actually be inducted.
But the self titled album here https://amzn.to/2C8daoi
I personally feel that Nirvana is responsible for changing the music industry back in the 90’s, before they hit it big with the song Smells Like Teen Spirit the Billboard charts were filled with artists like Celine Dion,Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey but Nirvana helped to bring rock back into the mainstream and breathed new life into the genre. Fronted by the late, great Kurt Cobain with Dave Grohl on drums and Krist Novoselic on bass the band has garnered legendary status and will always be a huge part of music history. Nirvana broke up in 1994 after the suicide of Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl would go on to form the band Foo Fighters who would obtain legend status themselves.
Formed in 1990 and fronted by vocalist Eddie Vedder Pearl Jam was one of the many great bands that came out of Seattle in the 90’s and they are right up there with Nirvana as far as bands that helped to change the music industry. Vedder’s vocals were key to the bands success but there was so much talent in this band with Mike McCready on guitar, Stone Gossard on rhythm guitar, Jeff Ament on bass and drummer Matt Cameron. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 and have sold more than 85 million albums worldwide.
Buy the album Ten here https://amzn.to/34uDK7f
Another band out of Seattle Soundgarden was fronted by perhaps the greatest rock vocalist of all time Chris Cornell who was joined by Kim Thayil on guitar, Ben Shepherd on bass and Matt Cameron on drums. The band would break up in 1997 only to reunite in 2010 and remain a band until Cornell’s suicide in 2017 when they would decide not to continue on as Soundgarden without him. They have sold over 25 million albums worldwide. If you’ve never heard Cornell’s cover of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean you are sorely missing out on an amazing song.
Buy the album Superunknown here https://amzn.to/33c3tkr
Stone Temple Pilots
Formed in 1989 and fronted by vocalist Scott Weiland Stone Temple Pilots was one of the more popular grunge bands in the 90’s and had their own style I would describe as grunge with a mood disorder. The band would have the same lineup pretty much their whole career with Dean DeLeo on guitar, Robert DeLeo on bass and Eric Kretz on drums. Sadly after a lifelong struggle with drug addiction Scott Weiland was found dead on his tour bus in 2015 and although the band still performs to this day with a new lead singer Jeff Gutt it just isn’t the same to me, Weiland was the heart and soul of the band.
Buy their album Core here https://amzn.to/2C4o4v1
Formed in 1988 the ska punk band Sublime brought its own style and songs impossible not to sing along to. Fronted by vocalist Bradley Nowell the band would have the same lineup for 18 years including Eric Wilson on bass and Bud Gaugh on drums. Sadly in 1996 Nowell died of a heroin overdose and the band probably found more success after his death than they did beforehand. There is the band Sublime With Rome still performing to this day but without Nowell’s great voice and with Gaugh leaving the band it really isn’t even close to the same band and in my opinion shouldn’t be using the name Sublime.
Buy their self titled album here https://amzn.to/2C9uuJe
Formed in 1992 Bush is a British rock band fronted by vocalist Gavin Rossdale, with Robin Goodridge on drums, Chris Traynor on guitar and Corey Britz on bass. Pretty much everyone remembers them for the song Glycerine but they have so many good songs , many of which are much heavier than the songs they chose to release to radio. Although most of their success was found early on in their career they are still together making albums to this day with the most recent being released in 2017 titled Black and White Rainbows. Rossdale was also married to Gwen Stefani for years and years.
Buy their album Sixteen Stone here https://amzn.to/339MfEt
Formed in 1991 in Detroit, Michigan Sponge is an alternative rock band that was a large part of the huge alternative rock emergence in the 90’s. although they aren’t as well known as the other bands so far on this list they were just about as popular as the others back when they first came out and although they are still active to this day it seems they will never find the success they did with their first album Rotting Pinata and even that album has pretty much been forgotten about at this point.
Buy their album Rotting Pinata here https://amzn.to/2NcOQIh
Formed in 1993 Korn is credited with bringing the nu metal genre to the forefront and into the mainstream. Fronted by vocalist Jonathan Davis who also plays bagpipes, drummer Ray Luzier, guitarist Brian Welch, rhythm guitarist James Shaffer and Reginald Arvizu on bass the band has no lack of musical talent. The band has sold over 35 million albums worldwide and won 2 Grammy Awards and are still presently active.
Buy their album Greatest Hits Volume 1 here https://amzn.to/2PBOFaW
Nine Inch Nails
Probably the best known industrial rock band to come out of the 90’s Nine Inch Nails is fronted by vocalist Trent Reznor who was the one and only permanent band member up until 2016 when he added Atticus Ross as a permanent fixture. Formed in 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio Nine Inch Nails has sold over 20 million albums and been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning two of them. The band has also been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.
Buy the album Pretty Hate Machine here https://amzn.to/2JJRseg
Formed in 1995 the band Snot would bring a new heavier style to alternative rock and although they only released the one album Get Some every single song on that album is great and if not for the tragic death of lead singer Lynn Strait in 1998 I believe they’d be a powerhouse in the music industry to this day. One of my favorite bands from the 90’s and they’re responsible for pulling me over to the heavier side of music, if you haven’t heard them you’re missing out.
Buy their album Get Some here https://amzn.to/2Na2dcc
Less of a band and more a one man show Beck defies labels and spans multiple genres of music and was the soundtrack of many of our lives in the 90’s. He has released 13 studio albums to date and has won Grammys for Best Alternative Album and Best Engineered Album and his newest album Hyperspace is set to be released later this month.
Buy his album Hyperspace here https://amzn.to/2NAy5W5
Formed in 1991 while they were all in high school Incubus is fronted by vocalist Brandon Boyd, guitarist Mike Einziger and drummer Jose Pasillas. The band has added member since being formed and still finds success to this day selling over 19 million albums worldwide thus far.
Buy the album Make Yourself here https://amzn.to/34nHCXu
Our Lady Peace
Formed in 1992 the Canadian rock band Our Lady Peace is fronted by vocalist Raine Maida with Duncan Coutts on bass, Steve Mazur on guitar and Jason Pierce on drums. The band has won 4 Juno Awards and is considered one of Canada’s most popular bands to this day. They have released 9 studio albums with the latest being released in 2018 titled Somethingness.
But the album Somethingness here https://amzn.to/2NA6Ef9
The Smashing Pumpkins
Formed in 1988 by vocalist Billy Corgan, guitarist James Iha, bassist D’arcy Wretzky and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin The Smashing Pumpkins is one of those bands that makes me feel nostalgic everytime I hear them. they are still active to this day although they have changed the lineup quite a lot over the years. I can’t listen to the song Mayonnaise with it getting me right in the feels, an absolutely amazing band!
Buy the album Siamese Dream here https://amzn.to/36w95Iy
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Actually formed in 1983 the Red Hot Chili Peppers would find most of their success in the 90’s and is considered one of the greatest rock bands of all time by many to this day. Fronted by vocalist Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, drummer chad smith and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer the band has sold over 80 million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
Buy their Greatest Hits album here https://amzn.to/2r73E2q
I’m sure there are lots of bands that I missed as there were so many good ones back in the 90’s when music was still great but these are the bands that predominantly helped shape my youth and teen years.
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