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Subject: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: 90s Guy on 07/27/15 at 6:30 am

What years would you say the Grunge and Alt. Rock movement(s) began, both as a mainstream forum of music and as a fashion/cultural trend, and what around what year would you say it fully faded away as a mainstream fad?

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: Philip Eno on 07/27/15 at 6:40 am

Check the replies here

When did the grunge era end?

http://www.inthe00s.com/index.php?topic=50525.0

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: yelimsexa on 07/27/15 at 8:17 am

Underground, grunge began around 1987 with Malfunkshun and The Melvins, with 1991 the year it transitioned into the mainstream (i.e. MTV airplay and modern rock radio outside of college stations). But like many genres, there is usually a proto-influence that gives rise to it, and in grunge's case, Black Flag's slower songs on its 1984 album is an important influence. However, if you lived in a market that didn't have much coverage such as Flyover Country and Opp North, pretty much confined to 1993 and 1994 as just a "Brief fad", which also coincided with the peak of its popularity in the mainstream. Despite the "Kurt Cobain" theory as when grunge died (though it was the start of its terminal decline), it gradually faded out over the course of the mid-90s and increasingly became more "post-grunge" until 1997. However, 1995 was the first year that Post-Grunge was more prevalent than Grunge.

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: #Infinity on 07/27/15 at 9:24 am

The first grunge song to garner mainstream attention was actually Alice in Chains' Man in the Box, which was a mild radio hit in the summer of 1991 and helped its original album, Facelift, to earn a gold certification by the end of the year.  Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit, of course, popularized the Seattle sound to the same level as the hair metal and radio rock bands of the time.  The genre did not truly peak, however, until late 1992, when other grunge bands like Pearl Jam began to achieve the same level of international superstardom as Nirvana.

Kurt Cobain's death in April 1994 put a serious damper on the grunge movement, not to mention Collective Soul's Shine, the first gigantic post-grunge hit, spiked up the charts immediately afterwards.  Despite this, grunge still remained quite popular, even without Nirvana, thanks to strong releases that year like Alice in Chain's Jar of Flies and Soundgarden's Superunknown.  While the genre was more experimental in the mid-90s than it had been during its initial breakthrough, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden were generally still just as respected as their post-grunge contemporaries like Bush and Silverchair.  Apparently, Everclear and The Presidents of the United States, both from the Pacific Northwest, were also classified as grunge, even though their music was much less dark and more melodic.

The real death of grunge was in early 1997, when Soungarden disbanded and by which point Layne Staley's heroin addiction forced Alice in Chains to stop touring.  The only surviving representatives of the original movement by that point were Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam, both of which had become so experimental by then that they were no longer really classified as grunge, anyway.  The final grunge song to achieve widespread commercial success was Soundgarden's Blow Up the Outside World, which topped the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in January 1997.

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: Baltimoreian on 08/07/15 at 10:44 am

Around 1991 to 1998. When the millennium era took off, that was when grunge music started to die from the mainstream audience.

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: #Infinity on 08/07/15 at 12:23 pm


Around 1991 to 1998. When the millennium era took off, that was when grunge music started to die from the mainstream audience.


What grunge acts were still popular in 1997 and 1998?  Pearl Jam wasn't classified as grunge by that point.

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: Baltimoreian on 08/07/15 at 12:26 pm


What grunge acts were still popular in 1997 and 1998?  Pearl Jam wasn't classified as grunge by that point.


Well, the grunge era was associated with dirty looks and 90s rock music. The millennium era was the transistion from the 90s to the 2000s.

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: #Infinity on 08/07/15 at 12:36 pm


Well, the grunge era was associated with dirty looks and 90s rock music. The millennium era was the transistion from the 90s to the 2000s.


Even if you don't consider 1997 a millennial year like I do, there was no grunge on the charts after Blow Up the Outside World, popular in January of that year.  What you had instead was post-grunge, which had been around since 1994 and emulated regular grunge, but with a lighter, more radio-friendly sound.  Post-grunge remained popular until 2010, so there wasn't really any significant shift once 1999 arrived, though that was around the time nu-metal also became popular.

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: Baltimoreian on 08/07/15 at 12:44 pm


Even if you don't consider 1997 a millennial year like I do, there was no grunge on the charts after Blow Up the Outside World, popular in January of that year.  What you had instead was post-grunge, which had been around since 1994 and emulated regular grunge, but with a lighter, more radio-friendly sound.  Post-grunge remained popular until 2010, so there wasn't really any significant shift once 1999 arrived, though that was around the time nu-metal also became popular.


Okay, maybe grunge music was just significant in the mid 90s, I think.

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: mqg96 on 08/07/15 at 12:44 pm


Even if you don't consider 1997 a millennial year like I do, there was no grunge on the charts after Blow Up the Outside World, popular in January of that year.  What you had instead was post-grunge, which had been around since 1994 and emulated regular grunge, but with a lighter, more radio-friendly sound.  Post-grunge remained popular until 2010, so there wasn't really any significant shift once 1999 arrived, though that was around the time nu-metal also became popular.


I know we've gone over this many times before, but I honestly think that 1997 as a full year was the transition from core 90's to the millennial late 90's/early 2000's era. If you go by school year, then I'd say that the transition was 1996-1997.

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: Baltimoreian on 08/07/15 at 12:49 pm


I know we've gone over this many times before, but I honestly think that 1997 as a full year was the transition from core 90's to the millennial late 90's/early 2000's era. If you go by school year, then I'd say that the transition was 1996-1997.


I agree. 1997 was kinda like the last year in the 90s before the millennium era happened. Even though shows like Oz (from HBO) premiered at the time, and later became more popular in the millennium era.

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: ArcticFox on 08/07/15 at 1:22 pm

Haven't you already started another thread similar to this? You did the same thing with the '90s nostalgia one!

Anyways, I'm with #Infinity on this one. Real grunge died in early 1997. However, post-grunge's history is kind of complex. It started in 1994, but it seemed to take a break in the late '90s. The post grunge of the mid '90s was closer in style to Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots than it is to Nickelback and Lifehouse. For instance "Cumbersome" by Seven Mary Three is more like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" than it is like Nickelback's "How You Remind Me". Other songs such as "Possum Kingdom", "Interstate Love Song", "Bitch", "I Alone", "You Oughta Know", "Everything Zen", and "Swallowed" sound more like real grunge than aughts post grunge.

From 1997-1999, radio rock consisted of pop rock, lilith fair rock, rap rock, punk rock, acoustic rock, dance rock, and orchestra rock (Goo Goo Dolls's second album). No post grunge was around in the late 1990's, but there were a lot of other subgenres that took it's place and made the rock scene very diverse IMO.

I don't think aughts style post-grunge really kicked off u til 2001. Songs from 2000 such as "Everything You Want" and "Never Let You Go" still have a '90s vibe.

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: #Infinity on 08/07/15 at 1:46 pm


I know we've gone over this many times before, but I honestly think that 1997 as a full year was the transition from core 90's to the millennial late 90's/early 2000's era. If you go by school year, then I'd say that the transition was 1996-1997.


I can agree with that.  I actually don't think millennial culture was fully established until 1999, but I think most of the significant mid-90s culture died out during the period from September 1996 to January 1997, hence why I consider 1997 as a whole the early stage of the late 90s/millennial era.

From 1997-1999, radio rock consisted of pop rock, lilith fair rock, rap rock, punk rock, acoustic rock, dance rock, and orchestra rock (Goo Goo Dolls's second album). No post grunge was around in the late 1990's, but there were a lot of other subgenres that took it's place and made the rock scene very diverse IMO.

Actually, there were a few post-grunge hits in the late 90s, prior to Creed's Higher and 3 Doors Down's Kryptonite (which really started the "2000s"-style post-grunge that you speak of), among them:

+ Everlong / Foo Fighters
+ My Hero / Foo Fighters
+ Superman's Dead / Our Lady Peace
+ Clumsy / Our Lady Peace
+ What's This Life For / Creed
+ One / Creed
+ Shimmer / Fuel

As a whole, 1997-1999 was definitely a recessionary period for post-grunge's popularity, but the genre never completely faded away until 2010.  The songs above bridged the harder, grungier wave of post-grunge of the mid-90s with the poppy, backlash-attracting style of the 2000s.

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: ArcticFox on 08/08/15 at 1:24 am


+ Everlong / Foo Fighters
+ My Hero / Foo Fighters
+ Superman's Dead / Our Lady Peace
+ Clumsy / Our Lady Peace
+ What's This Life For / Creed
+ One / Creed
+ Shimmer / Fuel


Well, I was talking strictly within the realm of Top 40 hits of the Billboard Hot 100, but I see where you're coming from.

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: #Infinity on 08/08/15 at 3:01 am


Well, I was talking strictly within the realm of Top 40 hits of the Billboard Hot 100, but I see where you're coming from.


They did excellently on the rock charts, even if their performance on the Billboard Hot 100 was less than stellar or nonexistent.  It's a common trend for rock songs to excel strictly by airplay rather than single sales.  I'm pretty sure most people have at least heard of Everlong and My Hero, even though neither of those songs charted on the Hot 100 at all.  The former even received a gold certification from the RIAA.

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: tv on 08/09/15 at 7:30 pm


The first grunge song to garner mainstream attention was actually Alice in Chains' Man in the Box, which was a mild radio hit in the summer of 1991 and helped its original album, Facelift, to earn a gold certification by the end of the year.  Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit, of course, popularized the Seattle sound to the same level as the hair metal and radio rock bands of the time.  The genre did not truly peak, however, until late 1992, when other grunge bands like Pearl Jam began to achieve the same level of international superstardom as Nirvana.

Kurt Cobain's death in April 1994 put a serious damper on the grunge movement, not to mention Collective Soul's Shine, the first gigantic post-grunge hit, spiked up the charts immediately afterwards.  Despite this, grunge still remained quite popular, even without Nirvana, thanks to strong releases that year like Alice in Chain's Jar of Flies and Soundgarden's Superunknown.  While the genre was more experimental in the mid-90s than it had been during its initial breakthrough, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden were generally still just as respected as their post-grunge contemporaries like Bush and Silverchair.  Apparently, Everclear and The Presidents of the United States, both from the Pacific Northwest, were also classified as grunge, even though their music was much less dark and more melodic.

The real death of grunge was in early 1997, when Soungarden disbanded and by which point Layne Staley's heroin addiction forced Alice in Chains to stop touring.  The only surviving representatives of the original movement by that point were Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam, both of which had become so experimental by then that they were no longer really classified as grunge, anyway.  The final grunge song to achieve widespread commercial success was Soundgarden's Blow Up the Outside World, which topped the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in January 1997.
Yeah Stone Temple Pilots 1996 album "Tiny Music from the Vatican Gift Shop" sounded more like Led Zepplin than it did any 90's Grunge Music Act. The radio songs off that album were "Lady Picture Show", "Big Bang Baby" and "Tumble In the Rough". I think STP's 1999 album "No. 4" was sort of Hard Rock with a little Grunge Tinge Sound to it except for the ballad "Sour Girl" which is one of their biggest known hits. Pearl Jam on the other hand left the "Grunge era" with their 1998 album "Yield" I think.

Subject: Re: What year did "Grunge" begin/what year did it die out?

Written By: #Infinity on 08/09/15 at 8:23 pm


Yeah Stone Temple Pilots 1996 album "Tiny Music from the Vatican Gift Shop" sounded more like Led Zepplin than it did any 90's Grunge Music Act. The radio songs off that album were "Lady Picture Show", "Big Bang Baby" and "Tumble In the Rough". I think STP's 1999 album "No. 4" was sort of Hard Rock with a little Grunge Tinge Sound to it except for the ballad "Sour Girl" which is one of their biggest known hits.


Yeah, it's amazing the difference in sound between the Tiny Music singles and those from Core.  I feel like I'm listening to two different bands entirely.

Pearl Jam on the other hand left the "Grunge era" with their 1998 album "Yield" I think.

They were evolving into an art rock band as far back as 1994's Vitalogy, although No Code was their first album not to be classified as grunge whatsoever.

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