Music – 1990s

Jeff Buckley

In an era when the soundtrack to angst was defined by grungey guitars and plaid shirts, Jeff Buckley's delicate melodies and aesthetic sensibilities set him a world apart. A graduate of New York's early 1990s avant-garde club scene, Buckley - whose father Tim was a folk hero of the late 1960s - recorded his first(...)


The roots of Jellyfish can be traced back to the dawn of the '80s, when guitarist/keyboardist Roger Manning and lead singer Andy Sturmer (rock 'n' roll's first great standup drummer) met in high school in the hyper-suburban community of Pleasanton, not too long a drive from Berkeley, but worlds away from that bohemian town. Their(...)

Jesus Jones

Dozens of English guitar bands converted to dance music following the success of Happy Mondays and others. Mike Edwards and company were a guitar band of no fixed style until 1988 when they took a holiday in Spain and decided to reinvent themselves. Needing a new moniker to inspire their resurrection, they paired a popular(...)

Judas Priest

Named after the Bob Dylan song The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest and led by Tim Brooke-Taylor look-alike and openly gay biker dress-alike Rob Halford, Judas Priest were never taken as seriously as other heavy metal bands, partly because Halford was a weedy (and later, balding) vocalist, and possibly because they were no Deep Purple or Led Zeppelin.(...)


Lauren Laverne is well known to radio listeners and TV viewers now, but in the mid-90s she came to prominence as the frontwoman of this spiky Sunderland four-piece whose colourful, witty and in-yer-face attitude caught the attention of John Peel and Saint Etienne (who got them signed to EMI). The band formed in 1994, taking their name from their favourite(...)

Kula Shaker

If Blur were the McCartney of the Britpop party, and Oasis were the Lennon, Kula Shaker were the George Harrison. Heavily influenced by Indian music, their debut album K was a reawakening of that moment in the 60s when groovy pop got a bit giddy on sitars and began to take itself incredibly seriously. Their(...)

Kylie Minogue

Born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1968, Kylie Minogue began an acting career at the age of 11 when she appeared in the Australian television shows Skyways and The Sullivans, but it was not until she left high school in 1986 that she landed the role she became famous for - Charlene in Neighbours. In 1987, at the age(...)

Lemonheads, The

The Lemonheads originally formed as a hardcore punk band with high school buddies Evan Dando and Ben Deily in mid-80s Massachusetts. By the time they signed their major label contract in 1990 the revolving line-up was simply a vehicle for Dando's songs. Their cover version of Simon and Garfunkel's Mrs Robinson (1992) was recorded in three hours(...)

Lenny Kravitz

Lenny Kravitz was born on 26 May 1964 in New York City. His family ties - his Jewish father was a top television producer while his Bahamian mother, Roxie Roker, was an actress - suggested a future in show business. As a teenager he attended the Beverly Hills High School where his contemporaries included Slash,(...)

Lightning Seeds

In 1989, Ian Broudie holed up in a closet-sized Belgian studio with his "band mates": a drum machine, a couple of guitars and a cheap Casio keyboard. Two weeks later he emerged with 12 bittersweet pop songs that became CloudCuckooLand , an album that superimposed newfangled recording techniques on old-fashioned melodies. A veteran of Liverpool's post-punk music(...)

Manic Street Preachers

Formed in Wales in 1988, and obsessed with The Clash and Public Enemy, the Manic Street Preachers survived early media vitriol to emerge defiant and triumphant. Richey James Edwards wrote lyrics for the first three albums - Generation Terrorists (1992), Gold Against The Soul (1993) and most of the songs on the harrowing The Holy Bible (1994) - before he went missing on the day he(...)


Neo-glam space travellers are supposed to be beamed down to Earth from some flamboyant galaxy far far away - a distant nebula far more grandiose and psychedelic than our own. They are sure as fuck not supposed to be four blokes from Chester. But lo, from Chester Mansun did come to lead a revolution against Britpop's(...)

Meat Puppets

Curt Kirkwood was born on 10 January 1959, his brother Cris less than two years later, on 22 October 1960. The brothers were born in Texas (Curt in Wichita Falls, Cris in Amarillo), where their mother was married for a brief time to their father, who was in the military. The marriage didn't last and(...)


Daydreamer (1995) was the only song this short-lived band had in their arsenal when they started. It turned out to be the only one they would ever need. Featuring the kind of riff Graham Coxon would have swapped Song 2 for, the single was as essential to Britpop as overpriced cocaine. Johnny Dean Vocals Simon White Guitar, vocals Chris Gentry Guitars Stuart(...)

Mercury Rev

Mercury Rev's debut album Yerself Is Steam (1991) flopped in the US following Rough Trade’s collapse and didn’t hint at later commercial successes like Deserter’s Songs. Rather, it was a folie de grandeur, epitomised by the sprawling Very Sleepy Rivers. David Baker Vocals Jonathan Donahue Vocals, guitar Sean 'Grasshopper' Mackiowiak Guitar David Fridmann Bass Suzanne Thorpe Woodwind(...)

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