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Essay/Term paper: 90s music

Essay, term paper, research paper:  College Papers

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Music in the nineties can be simply described as diverse. Diverse
meaning that music has been segregated into hundreds of groups. This
report will refer in detail to three genres of music: Alternative
Country, Rap, Alternative Rock. It will also cover certain aspects
indicative of the 90's. Alternative Country Music In 1990, a band
called Uncle Tupelo from Belleville, Illinois, released their debut
album. Titled No Depression, it featured a rough mixture of punk-rock
songs, but it also added something different: several toned-down,
acoustic ballads that had a distinct country flavor. A few years later,
that simple little song and album title became the name of an internet
fan club and chat group. It didn't stop there, in 1995, a magazine of
the same name went into publication, and "No Depression" soon became
the leading title for a progressive alternative country movement. Other
names include "insurgent country" "Americana," or simply "alt.country,"
the latter is a reminder of the role the internet has played in the
growth and publicity of this movement. For the most part, No
Depression or alt.country bands aren't much of a threat to the sales
figures of mainstream Nashville country artists. But the speed with
which this music has caught on has shown that a substantial number of
people have grown weary of the overproduced pop trends of 1990's
mainstream country music, and the limited range of styles and sounds
that are typically played on country radio stations. Rap Music Rap of
the late 70's and 80's, commonly called "old school", was made by DJs
scratching records and playing drum loops, with MCs rapping over the
resulting rhythms. As the genre progressed, hard-rock guitars and
hard-hitting beats were introduced by Run-D.M.C., the first hardcore
rap group, and the scratching techniques were replaced by sampling.
With their dense collages of samples, beats and white noise, Public
Enemy took sampling to the extreme, and they helped introduce a social
and political conscience to rap. This faded in the '90s, as gangsta
rap, originally introduced by NWA, who used Public Enemy's sound as a
template, became the dominant form. By the '90s, gangsta rap, which
originally was in direct opposition to such pop-oriented rappers as MC
Hammer, had become smoothed over and stylish, and consequently was more
popular than ever, as evidenced by the success of pop-gangsta Puff
Daddy in the late 90's. Alternative Rock Music
Alternative pop/rock is essentially a catch-all term for

post-punk bands from the mid-'80s to the mid-'90s. Though there
is a variety of musical styles within alternative rock, they
are all tied together since they originally existed outside of
the mainstream. In some ways, there are two waves of
alternative bands, with Nirvana's success in 1991 acting as a
dividing point. In the '80s, most alternative bands were on
independent labels; if they were on majors, they didn't receive
as much support as most of the label's mainstream acts. In the
'80s, alternative included everything from jangle-pop,
post-hardcore punk, funk-metal, punk-pop, and experimental
rock. After Nirvana's success in the '90s, alternative
included all of these sub-genres, but many of the edges were
sanded off because the music was know being marketed as part
of the mainstream. Hard rock and punk-derived music were more
commercially successful than the left-of-center pop that
dominated late '80s alternative pop/rock, so alternative
Remakes and Retro The '90's was definitely the decade for the remake.
Many Rap and Hip Hop bands have made a living out of remaking other
peoples works. Sean "Puffy" Combs remade Sting's classic "I'll be
watching You" As a tribute to his friend Notorious B.I.G. The Fugees
remade Roberta Flack's Hit song "Killing Me Softly" and once again
turned it into a hit. A music commentator for Spin Magazin once said,
"What was once contemptible comes back collectible."(Smith, R.J.) Those
people who despised Kiss in the 70's will be fighting their way to the
front of the line in order to catch a glimpse of the band on this
year's tour. With the return of these retro bands a lot of today's
bands want in on the action. Trent Reznor sings Kiss's praises, Pearl
Jam's Mike McCready carried a Kiss lunch box to school, and Courtney
Love was caught sporting a Kiss T-shirt. The Rolling Stones returned
with their comeback album "Voodoo Lounge" featuring all of their
greatest hits. The original punk influences of the 70's, like the
Ramones who are back with new material, and the Sex Pistols who have
experienced a resurgence, have had great influence on 90's retro punk
bands like Greenday and Offspring.

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