Music – 1990s

Cranberries, The

On their first (and best) album, the earnest, Celtic-tinged shimmer of The Cranberries struck the ear as almost trance music, powered by Dolores O'Riordan's Enya-gone-pop vocals. You could get lost in the strum of Linger, the gently pulsing highlight of Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? The entire album flowed like a musical alpha wave,(...)

Crowded House

Neil Finn - a native of Te Awamutu, a small town in the volcanic region of New Zealand - decided to form what would become Crowded House during his final days with Split Enz, who are best remembered for their semi-smash hit single I Got You. Finn took drummer Paul Hester from Split Enz and completed(...)


A Leeds band who specialised in absurdist takes on pop classics and po-faced indie styles with a groovy funk backbeat. They released a Peel Session in 1988 and the singles Lola and Only A Prawn In Whitby in 1989. They also had an album release, When In Rome, Kill Me (1989) on Imaginary Records - the label behind the tribute album fad. The(...)

Dandy Warhols, The

The Dandy Warhols formed in 1994 in Portland, Oregon. Gigs involving heavy drinking, fighting, and striptease by various band members (with Ms McCabe's most eagerly awaited) created a big buzz around their hometown. Local label Tim Kerr Records snapped them up for their debut single, Little Drummer Boy in 1994, followed by a debut album, Dandys Rule(...)

Darling Buds, The

Although they generated reams of coverage in the late-80s weekly music press, Newport's Darling Buds never became the mainstream sensation that their jaunty guitar pop might have suggested. Even their biggest chart success, Hit The Ground, stalled outside the Top 20, the masses seemingly resistant to the media's notion of a British Blondie (the similar, female-fronted Primitives fared(...)

Deacon Blue

Scottish band Deacon Blue were named after the track Deacon Blues from Steely Dan's 1977 album, Aja. Frontman Ricky Ross (a youth worker by profession) had been submitting demo tapes to record companies since 1983. When the group were finally signed to CBS their first few singles failed to chart, despite critical acclaim for the album Raintown (1987). Success only came(...)

Dead Can Dance

Both of Anglo-Irish descent, Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry met in Melbourne, Australia in 1980 (the duo worked in a Lebanese restaurant together in East Prahran, washing dishes to save money to go to London). Spiritchaser (1996) was Dead Can Dance's unforgettable swan song. The album presented the sound of a lost culture, where ethereal singing, overlapping harmonies,(...)

Def Leppard

Def Leppard formed in Sheffield, England in 1977 as Atomic Mass with original members Rick Savage, Pete Willis and Tony Kenning. Frontman Joe Elliot came into the picture not long after and the band adopted the name Deaf Leopard, soon altering the spelling to be "more rock 'n' roll". Additional guitarist Steve Clark (the 17-year-old(...)

Del Amitri

Justin Currie formed Del Amitri in Glasgow at the dawn of the 1980s. The band meandered directionless until the autumn of 1982 when 17-year old Justin bumped into Iain Harvie, an 18-year old guitarist who had just returned to Glasgow from working on an East Coast farm. It was, coincidentally, a time for hard choices(...)


Elfin-faced and built like a sparrow (although she used to be a kickboxer) Sonya Aurora Madan had a divine voice and sang in an unusually precise style, with a decided Morrissey influence. Sonya Aurora Madan Vocals Glenn Johansson Guitar Debbie Smith Guitar Alex Keyser Bass Andy Henderson Drums


Elastica were the most crush-inspiring gang of the 90s Britpop set. Their DM's, eyeliner, jeans and leather jackets non-look set a new standard in what-the-fuck-you-staring-at attitude while singer Justine Frischmann's legendary fringe became a haircut almost as copied as Jennifer Aniston's. Frischmann had impeccable credentials. She had been in Suede, lived with Blur's Damon Albarn and was the(...)


Electronic were a perennially-resurgent joint project between Bernard Sumner of New Order and ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. Their first single, Getting Away With It (1989), featured the Pet Shop Boys on a breezy, shiny, clever piece of pop. A patchy but interesting album followed in 1991, and the duo recorded on and off throughout the 90s. Neither Sumner(...)


The major label debut by neo-Nirvana trio Everclear, Sparkle and Fade, caught the authentic note of vacant ennui that haunts adolescent America. But the songs on So Much For The Afterglow (1997) managed to only present a series of victims, objects of leadman Art Alexakis' confused contempt or peculiarly mopey brand of compassion. 2003 was a bad year(...)

Faith No More

Formed as a post-punk outfit in 1982, Faith No More fired hard-drinking vocalist Chuck Mosley. His replacement was Mike Patton, a handsome 20-year-old from Eureka in Northern California, who possessed a multi-octave range and a twisted way with words. The new frontman proved inspirational as evidenced on Faith No More's third album, The Real Thing (1989). There(...)

Farm, The

Drummer Andy McVann died in a crash in December 1986. In October 1991, Keith Mullen was attacked and stabbed needing over 80 stitches. In the same year, the single All Together Now was used by the British Labour party in their General election campaign. Pete Hooten Vocals Steve Grimes Guitar John Melvin Guitar Philip Strongman Bass Andy(...)

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