Alternative music, also known as alternative rock music, are styles of punk rock that originated in the 70’s into the 80’s as a style of underground rock music that has become more popular through the years, especially with the younger generation.
Many of the popular alternative music bands originated in Britain, and became famous worldwide.
By the 90’s, alternative music or alternative rock music became known as a group of music that encompassed punk rock, New Wave and “College/Indie” music.
Throughout the years, the term, “alternative music” meant any kind of music that did not fit into the mainstream. Since the 90’s, the alternative rock music has become a part of the mainstream, especially since the birth of the MTV.
Much of the music has sounds of grunge music guitars and gothic gloominess, and tends to address social problems, like depression, drug use, and other social and environmental problems of the times.
Pearl Jam’s Album Ten
Alternative rock music became a recognised class of music in the 90’s with Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam, among other underground British bands.
Grunge guitar music that sounded like the heavy metal punk rock sounds characterised much of the alternative music in the 90’s and made a name for the bands that performed it.
MTV and Lollapalooza brought bands like Nine Inch Nails and The Smashing Pumpkins instant fame, and expanded the alternative rock music scene. By 1998, Lollapalooza found a hard time finding a headliner and by the early 2000’s, most of the popular alternative rock bands had broken up.
Alternative music made a soft comeback in 2004, with some of the “indie” bands, and some of the underground bands on the International front, like Bare Naked Ladies from Canada, for example, continued to try to keep a more happy alternative rock music alive, while some of the British and American alternative music bands dwindled in popularity.
As with any music fad, alternative rock music has gone through the stages of ups and downs, just like the bands and the popularity of the music it is characterised by.
There are still many alternative music bands around that play varying styles of the underground music sounds of alternative music.
Some of the alternative rock music has been replaced by other underground styles such as hip-hop, rap and remakes of classics in these styles of alternative music. Even rap and hip-hop is not just for the people out of the mainstream. Many of the bars and dance clubs are filled with people from all walks of life that listen to the diverse music styles that can be classified as alternative music.
If alternative music is classified as something out of the mainstream of society, then there could be some contradiction as alternative music of all kinds, from orchestra rock to rap, is classified as alternative music, and has large followings of fans.
Today, alternative music encompasses just about anything that is not classic rock or country, since there are many different types of music that are popular about social woes, and could be considered underground punk rock, hip-hop street music and rap.
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