Music – 1990s

Indigo Girls

The rise of the Indigo Girls in 1989 was a happy reaffirmation of the enduring appeal – and commercial viability – of intelligent acoustic-based music. It didn’t hurt the Indigo Girls – Atlanta natives Amy Ray and Emily Saliers – to have talented friends in high places, such as the members of fellow Peach Staters R.E.M. who(…)

Inspiral Carpets

Formed initially as The Furs in Manchester, England, by schoolboy Graham Lambert. He was joined in the mid-80s by Stephen Holt, Tony Welsh and Chris Goodwin. In 1986, now called The Inspiral Carpets, they replaced Goodwin and Welsh with Craig Gill, Dave Swift and Clint Boon. Early in 1987 they recorded a version of Garage for a(…)

Iron Maiden

In the East End of London, Steve “Arry” Harris and Dave Murray joined forces in 1976 with Paul Di’anno (real name, Paul Andrews) and Doug Sampson to form Iron Maiden, a band determined to keep hard rock going in the face of advancing punk and New Wave. Ironically, in years to come Iron Maiden would be hailed as(…)


Through an early interest by Morrissey, James managed to get a recording contract with Factory Records based in their hometown, Manchester. In 1990 they signed to the Fontana label and had three minor hits before reissuing an earlier recording, Sit Down, in 1991. It became their biggest hit to date. 1993’s album Laid, produced by Brian Eno, had(…)


Best known for a video where a room tries to escape from him, Jay Kay is more familiar to the 30 million people who bought his albums as Jamiroquai, and to the bitter minority of haters who found him annoying as The Twat In The Hat. In the mid-90s, the UK charts were full either(…)

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,(…)

Levellers, The

This five-piece outfit from Brighton in England included fiddle and mandolin, and its brand of populist-based punk anthems was tinged with the stirring sound of Irish folk music. The band’s popularity was so strong that it even had its own 24-hour hotline and a quarterly magazine, On The Fiddle. Mark Chadwick Vocals, guitar Simon Friend Guitar,(…)

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