Music – 1990s

4 Non Blondes

808 State

With their sample-driven dance music, the pioneering Manchester-based 808 State was one of the first house groups to release trance/ambient dance records. Formed in 1988 during the biggest youth movement since punk, they released two albums before signing with ZTT. Instead of being an incessant pounding, the beat in 808 State's music was hypnotic and(...)

Adventures, The

Formed in 1984, The Adventures were a melodic six-piece group from Belfast. Founder member Terry Sharpe had previously been the lead vocalist and guitarist in the excellent punk/power pop band Starjets. They released their debut single, Another Silent Day (1984), on Chrysalis, and their self-titled debut album in 1985 (the album would be re-titled Theodore and Friends for the US(...)

Agent Orange

This trio from Fullerton in Orange County, California, specialised in the unlikely combination of punk and surf music. Led by vocalist/guitarist Mike Palm, the band lost its original bass player Steve Soto (he left to form The Adolescents), picked up James Levesque and released its debut album (Living In Darkness) in 1981 amid the California(...)

Alanis Morissette

A former child actress (You Can't Do That On Television), Canadian Alanis Morissette transformed herself into a confessional alternative singer/songwriter Flea and Dave Navarro from Red Hot Chili Peppers added a bit of musical clout (and instant credibility) to Alanis Morissette's breakthrough single, You Oughta Know, with some raucous bass and guitars. The track's explicit nature also(...)

Alice In Chains

Originally a heavy metal band, Alice In Chains was one of the first Seattle bands to sign with a major label in 1990. They tempered their sound with a dark, brooding quality emblematic of the developing grunge scene which instantly broadened their appeal and earned them a Grammy nomination for Man In The Box (from the 1990 album Face Lift).(...)

Anthrax

Although die-hard fans stuck by Anthrax no matter who their singer was, it is widely agreed among metalheads that the band was at their peak - both artistically and commercially - when Joey Belladonna was fronting the line-up. What set them apart from the pack in those days was, while other thrash metallists had front-men(...)

Apartments , The

Like a number of Australian musicians who got their start during the late 1970s New Wave movement, The Apartments' Peter Milton Walsh received more acclaim in Europe than at home. Walsh's songs were full of bittersweet lyrical imagery, and his admirers included Ed Kuepper, Dave Graney and UK band, This Mortal Coil. Walsh formed The Apartments in Brisbane(...)

Arrested Development

When Arrested Development's debut appeared in 1992, the Atlanta band seemed to herald a new dawn in hip-hop. It seemed they had created a distinctly rural, Southern brand of the genre to blow apart the East Coast/West Coast factionalism. The album, 3 Years, 5 Months And 2 Days In The Life Of Arrested Development, was titled(...)

Ash

By 1995 the joyous tendrils of Britpop pervaded every corner of the British Isles, even making young cider monsters in Downpatrick Northern Ireland want to jump off their rooftops and run away to join the Blurcus. Hence the insanely catchy rampage of Girl From Mars (1995) - as good an argument for interplanetary romance as Britpop produced. Tim Wheeler(...)

Auteurs, The

Formed in 1992 by arch cynic Luke Haines and girlfriend Alice Readman alongside drummer Glenn Collins and cellist James Banbury, The Auteurs (named for the French movie term denoting both author and director) signed to Virgin offshoot Hut, debuting with the deceptively bright single Showgirl that December. The single brought a wry arch-Britishness to its story(...)

Babes In Toyland

All-girl trio Babes in Toyland formed in Minneapolis in 1988 and topped the indie charts with their Spanking Machine LP in 1990. Their music was the sound of a fucked up childhood, a childhood of whippings and groundings, a childhood of boredom, wildness and asshole boyfriends. Kat Bjelland Guitar, vocals Michelle Leon Bass Lori Barbero Drums

Baby Animals

Husky-voiced singer Suze DeMarchi recorded three soft-metal singles in the UK for EMI during the late 1980s, co-writing one of them with Simon Climie of pop duo Climie Fisher. Upon returning to Australia in July 1989, DeMarchi linked up with drummer Frank Celenza, guitarist Dave Leslie and bassist Eddie Parise to form Baby Animals. The(...)

Bachelors From Prague

Melbourne-based Bachelors From Prague formed in 1985 and played an infectious blend of 1940s jazz, 1950s R&B, 1970s funk and salsa. The group became the band to see while cruising the cafes and clubs of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, in inner-city Melbourne (where vocalist Henry Maas was also the proprietor of the Black Cat Cafe). The(...)

Bad Religion

Blending old-school power chords with hardcore thrash, the debut album from these SoCal brats scarcely resembled the harmony-drenched pop-punk Bad Religion had successfully purveyed for over two decades. Funded by a $1,000 loan from his dad, the album kick-started guitarist Brett Gurewitz's Epitaph label (now home - via its Anti-imprint - to Tom Waits). The album's(...)

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