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I hate grunge.
#1
I was a metalhead as a teenager. From 1987 until 1994. My favorite bands were W.A.S.P. Cinderella, Poison,Guns N Roses, Warrant, Winger,Alice Cooper, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Slaughter, Skid Row, Motley Crue and Aerosmith. My son threatened to jump out of the car the other day if I played one more Motley Crue tune. I have brainwashed him into loving "Hair" Metal and he even knows the words to most of the songs. From time to time, he gets on my case about listening to my CD's all the time but I just ignore him. My wife makes fun of me but she listens to my "Hair" metal music. I honestly think Kurt Cobain was a pretentious, overrated asshole  with some real drug issues, and that Nirvana and the grunge scene as a whole buried a lot of talented, 90’s metal act that were keeping the genre alive at a time when it's popularity was fading. I was alive and rocking during all of this. It was grunge fans that thought it was cool to hate metal bands because hair metal bands, not nirvana were the mainstream. They called it cock rock. Fans of alternative music (which encompassed a whole lot of types of music that never gets credit) tended to become elitist snobs and turn their noses up at all metal because of this. "Hair metal" bands were despised by heavier metal fans and grunge fans. Your typical Slayer fan was not particularly fond of Poison and up and coming grunge bands weren't either. When grunge came along, music labels dumped all interest in metal bands and grunge became mainstream. If you weren't grunge, labels wouldn't look at you. If anything is worthy of being hated on, it is the mind-numbing decade of post-grunge like creed and sickening pop-punk,like Green Day and blink 182 that needs to take a dirt nap. Grunge was very pesimistic, I don't need anybody to remember me how hard life is! Grunge turned the 90s into a musical wasteland. Nirvana? Cool. Soundgarden? Old-fashioned head-banging music. Pearl Jam? Proved that you could be the most popular and the most uninteresting at the same time. Grunge fans' faith in their heroes' purity is touching - I'm sure Cobain was never concerned about "getting chicks," lol.

And you're right, Cobain's image was based on sort of anti-fashion stance, but he ended up being somewhat fashionable and glam in spite of himself. In the 90s, you didn't hire Anton Corbijn to direct your video without having some concern for putting across an image. I thought Soundgarden sounded like a million other bands, and I just never got the infatuation with Pearl Jam. They actually sounded to me like a bunch of wannabe folkies, or maybe a bunch of folkies who had jumped on the grunge bandwagon. I can't even be bothered verifying whether that is historically accurate, except that I know a couple of them came from Green River. There's an anecdote about Def Leppard doing an unplugged performance at a radio station in the post-grunge era in which they played several unplugged numbers with three-part harmonies. When the DJ commented, “That was incredible,” Joe Elliot replied, “You must be a product of the nineties. There is nothing incredible about three guys singing in tune.” I remember grunge was identified as a movement and game-changer almost as soon as it hit, whereas hair metal wasn't even a term used for that music until many years later. Most of the bands in that genre probably saw themselves in the same harmless fun, hard rocking/pop tradition started by Van Halen. When I think of 1992, I remember "Let's Get Rocked"-era Def Leppard and Slaughter alongside Nirvana on MTV. It's not like September 1991 hit and Bret Michaels suddenly had to go get a job at IHOP. What really makes this time special I think is it's the last time young people were all bonded together by a common music culture. This was pre-internet, and everyone still watched the same videos on MTV, whether it was Dr. Dre, Def Leppard or Metallica. I went to my 1st Motley Crue concert with my father when I was 12. You can call me old all you want but these kids today will never know what it's like to see your favorite band for 11bucks in a sold out stadium or the thrill of buying your favorite album. Nirvana and all the other grunge bands were nothing but a bunch of kids who barely knew how to play their instruments. They sounded like very amateurish garage bands.



On the other hand, bands like Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Poison and Def Leppard were absolute experts at their instruments. Plus they were older and had much more musical experience. They were true serious musicians, not just a bunch of garage band kids like the grunge bands.



There is just no comparison. I think the only reason Nirvana and other grunge bands became popular is because teenage kids liked the depressing whiny no-talent music. It was just a stupid fad that kids liked back then, but unfortunately that stupid fad ended up ruining rock music. Poison have nothing to apologize for; they wrote songs that are no less complicated than a lot of stuff by legendary bands that's idolized regularly. And they weren't factory created overnight sensations, they came to L.A. and starved with a goal and a dream. They made it, and it didn't last forever. Poison 1986-1991 were more talented musicians and played better together in general than The Beatles. If you want to talk about sloppy, listen to The Beatles at Shea Stadium. Nirvana were probably the worst grunge band of the 90s. Nirvana created depressing music, and they made it cool to be depressed or sad or whatever.


That is how the whole emo thing started in my opinion.. I never knew about goths before Nirvana existed, they are the first ones to create depressing music..Well them and Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam and the rest of the grunge bands.. My point was that the barrier to entry to be in a rock band went way down almost overnight. And the music that was easiest to play was grunge since it didn't feature guitar solos - it was all power chords. 3 guys in a garage could practice over a weekend and suddenly had a "band." The fact that grunge died off so quickly is testament to the fact that the low barrier to entry made it easy to quit...just like in software businesses. It is really funny now to look back at the bands that were grouped in as "grunge" and how vastly different their sound is. "Grunge" was just a marketing term. Grunge music itself what started by corporate labels as a means to attract the mainstream public. Even Kurt Cobain admits that he just prepackaged a sound that had been captured by bands like Dinosaur Jr, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, Black Flag, Big Black and a bunch of other bands from the 80s. What he did differently is he used simple pop hooks. Sonic Youth was responsible for getting Nirvana signed in the first place. There was nothing groundbreaking about Nirvana.

As '91 and '92 happened, the metal bands were losing members and generally falling apart, generally through their own excess (Motley Crue, Warrant, Cinderella, Poison). Bon Jovi put out "Keep the Faith" and while it didn't sell at the level of its predecessors, it was a hit and I wonder if other similar bands could've survived just by staying active through the era. I think grunge gets entirely too much credit for this. Most hair metal fans weren't interested in a "cool" image--in fact a lot of them were casual listeners, if I remember correctly. I knew plenty of people into Poison et al, but none of them were music freaks. There's no way hair metal could last much longer since it started around '82/'83... it's just the way it goes, musical trends change, Nirvana gets way too much credit. Nirvana kinda destroyed rock n roll swagger once and for all, and today we all suffer the consequences, living in a world without rock stars, leather, spandex and excess.In my opinion, nirvana ruined rock music . They pretty much created all of the crappy bands that most of us hate today. They influenced a bunch of kids who knew some power chords to form punk bands, which leaves us with blink-182, sum 41, new found glory, etc. they also made all of this "sad, depressed, suicidal" crap popular, which leaves us with papa roach, korn, boxcar racer, etc. Nirvana did somewhat ruin rock music because of what it would influence later on. i.e post-grunge, nu metal, rap rock, and I'll even go as far as saying that they influenced mainstream emo/screamo which along with "crunk music" would lead to the worst abomination of all, Brokencyde. Simply put, grunge influenced post-grunge which influenced nu metal and rap rock since most of those bands share the "Oh my whole life is horrible, fuck everything" attitude. Bands from all three of those genres pretty much fed off of the cash of angsty teens and stupid douchebags who don't know shit about music. Not to mention all of the scene kids who worship Kurt Cobain just because he died. Grunge did more damage to rock music then any other style after it faded away liking rock music just became uncool especially with all the rap taking center Stage in the 90s. 98-99 when nu metal started to grow and become main stream like korn and limp bizkit, the only rock that was left after Cobaine died was what Hoottie and the blowfish and other acts similar to them. All other heavy metal acts that were still around sort off when underground for the majority of the 90's. Remember back then it was all about RAP MUSIC you had entire generation of kids talking and acting BLACK and that led to people making fun of rock music & heavy metal all i heard back then was "ohh you listen to that white boy shit". The grunge bands killed the bling effect of rock and the music industry sat on their hands too long on how to deal with internet sales/protection... they screwed themselves. Old time rock n roll might not have been as arty as grunge, but it sure was a heck of a lot more fun. I could not stand a second of Nirvana...probably the most overrated band in the history of music...IMO of course. GnR were huge then...at least far more established than Nirvana at the time when both bands were a going concern. GnR even asked Nirvana to open shows on the UYI tour, but Kurt Cobain outright refused and instead fostered a beef with Axl Rose.

Since Kurt Cobain's death, Nirvana has attained a legendary sort of status that they definitely didn't have when KC was alive, and it has also eclipsed how big GnR were at their peak. Guns'n'roses were the bigger band. they had bigger concerts and the hype around Use Your Illusion albums was HUGE. At the time, GnR was treated as a superstar band. I was a teen in 1992 (the year both UYI1&2 and Nevermind had been out for a while) and in my class G'N R (as well as Def Leppard) was massive with a bunch of hits while Nirvana was a cool side-thing with one big hit that most people liked but not obsessed over. That's how I remember the moment of the releases. A couple of years later G N' Rwas no longer cool and Nirvana was the ultimate cool. GnR were playing stadiums while Nirvana played arenas and large theatres. They fronted every magazine , every time you put MTV on it was G n R. Guns' songs, musicianship, diversity and raw talent were superior to Nirvana, plus they appealed to a wider audience. They were rooted in Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith, so many older generation classic rocks fans also loved them, not just the kids. Back in 1992, GNR was the biggest band in the world, period. Nirvana was just the quintesential hipster band and after Kurt comitted suicide they obtained immortal status. After '94 GNR stopped being relevant, while Nirvana was still talked about a lot. But GNR sold more records and tickets and were more "mainstream" . Teen Spirit hit in the fall of 1991. It wasn't an overnight thing, but 1992 saw a quick rise in the grunge bands. I remember noticing how depressing music became around that time. Around 1994, I remember Korn, Wu Tang Clan, Dr Dre, Tool, and Nine Inch Nails on heavy rotation on MTV. That's when I quit listening to modern music for several years. However, I miss those Hair Metal days. I say this...It was a fun time to be a fan. Going to see a band was an event. And the girlss! Let just say they seemed to enjoy the "culture".

If you didn't see it and all you know is the current hipster revisionist history, I can understand why it seemed silly. It was silly, even then. But we didn't care. The songs sounded great.

Took my son to see Arcade Fire a year ago. A good band. The audience seemed to enjoy themselves. But they had know idea what it was like when Motley Crue or Bon Jovi hit the stage.

I feel sorry for kids today.
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#2
I hate grunge too. But obviously not as much as you. I do however agree that Nirvana is complete rubbish.
'The purpose of life is a life of purpose' - Athena Orchard.
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#3
(31-03-2018, 20:31)Jerome Wrote: I hate grunge too. But obviously not as much as you. I do however agree that Nirvana is complete rubbish.

The post-grunge landscape (late 90s) was so depressing in terms of rock. The grunge movement really started in 1992, but it wasn't a "shock" or something, and it actually COEXISTED with the successful hair/heavy metal bands. The hype was huge, but no one took the music seriously. Nevermind, elevated that scene and gave it pop credibility, but that is all. Grunge was a marketing term that lead to an early death for a bunch of music. This will sound stupid, but I honestly think Weird Al was responsible for getting more kids into Nirvana than Nirvana themselves were. Mostly I remember kids making fun of them for the lyrics being "impossible" to understand when "Teen Spirit" first came out, and those of us who were into music were still too wrapped up in our Poison and Motley Crue or Guns n Roses or whatever albums to care much for a while. But I'd wager that Weird Al's record sold way more copies to kids at that time than Nevermind did, and I actually knew kids who didn't like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at first but started liking it after "Smells Like Nirvana" broke.

For me I remember just not "getting" SLTP at all when it came out. Why the hell is MTV playing this crap and not the new Slaughter video!? But as for the other kids? I don't think you really saw the changeover take place until at least late 1992. I'd bet everything I own that more kids in this area bought Def Leppard's Adrenalize than bought Alice in Chains' Dirt that year. Plus, I don't think I ever really saw any of the huge backlash against metal/hair-metal like you read about around here - all the kids I knew who loved grunge also still liked Guns 'N' Roses and Ozzy and Metallica and whatnot. You'd probably get made fun of if you were still a huge Winger fan or something, but it seemed like most kids just went along with the "alternative revolution" because that was what was happening at the time, not because they suddenly woke up and hated metal one day. I like Winger. Yes they probably deserve to be lumped as a "hair band" but they were one of the better ones. Bands like Bulletboys, Little Caeser, Black N Blue, etc were awful. Winger actually wrote some good pop metal songs and their ballads I think were pretty damn good. Their 3rd album came out during the grunge era and MTV was actually playing the first single from it and sales were OK but then Beavis & Butthead came along and helped kill the album for them by having their nerd friend in a Winger shirt and making fun of their videos. So many 80's bands kicked guitar ass, people took it for granted back then. It's indeed useless to name 80's band with strong guitar presence because generally it was guitar dedicated decade. Million pages won't be enough to name all the great guitarplayers and the great guitar oriented bands that reigned through this epoch. Quite different than todays music. Warrant had good tracks and were intentional about letting some of their bluegrass rise to the surface in some of their songs. Seriously, how many songs can anyone id that kicks ass and has a banjo in the intro? The lead singer, Jani Lane, died at age 47 from alcohol poisoning. He had such a sad story, I saw him in an interview talking about how all of a sudden grunge was popular and anyone who had anything to do with 80's music was screwed and that his record label dropped him because he was no longer relevant. He turned to alcohol and his life just fell apart and he wound up dying because of it. So sad because he really did have a lot of talent and I thought his voice was great. The problem that Warrant faced is that they were mixed into the Hair Glam Band era along with too many bands of much lesser talent. It was difficult for the good bands to segregate from that label. Another was Winger. Nirvana is the most overrated band of all time. Basic story telling, masked as genius narrative, combined with absolutely mediocre guitar and drums, leaving only one thing I find decent, Kurt's voice. I remember many people around me then still loving the same bands they had for a while, but were just getting into these new bands that were coming along as well. No one was dropping bands they had long standing fandom with.... I still viewed Nirvana as a new band when they found Kurt dead! I remember thinking to myself when it was announced, "That's it??" Because, it had only really been three albums and a compilation up to then. In my mind at the time, they were just getting started. I didn't really notice people turning on 80's bands until closer to '94/'95. Whenever I read things regarding the way things changed in the early 90's, it seems like a lot of people either think or convince themselves that it all happened in an instant. The way I remember it was more like a snake shedding its skin. Not a snail's pace, but like a flash of lightning either. Just gradual. Hair metal was still pretty popular until late 1992, even mid-1993. Warrant's Dog Eat Dog (1992) went Gold, Leppard's Adrenalize (1992) went triple platinum, Scorpions Face the Heat (1993) went to #21 and probably close to Gold, Winger's Pull went to #41 in early 1993. Etc.



I would say, 1994-1999 was really the dead period. Cinderella's Still Climbing (1994) is good; but went mostly unnoticed. The vast majority of these bands had little real commercial success after late 1993 at the last. Anything that even remotely resembled hair metal didn't really have a chance to have a hit after 1993.


Bon Jovi was still huge but their sound moved away from pop rock to quadi-adult contemporary. They had to distance themselves from hair metal in order to survive the 90's. For me the best albums of that period 1992-1996 in the genre were Bon Jovi's Keep the Faith, Motley Crue s/t and Slang by Def Leppard. I always thought Motley Crue's s/t was really underrated and failed simply because it had the name Motley Crue attached to it, which wasn't "cool" in 1994. I bet had they changed the name for the new lead singer, the album could've gone over bigger. Hooligan's Holiday did get a bit of radio/MTV airplay but at that point in time, the name Motley Crue carried baggage of 1980s excess... a different band name could've led to a bigger album. I remember people who mostly listened to grunge and the sort who were actually shocked at how good that album was, but were hesitant to actually buy the album simply because they were teens and owning a "Motley Crue" cd to them would've been like owning Vanilla Ice or Tiffany.Bon Jovi weathered the Grunge takeover quite well. Keep The Faith was still a huge album that spawned some big hits. The Crossroads compilation was also a huge success, and Always was one of their biggest hits ever. They were still one of the biggest bands in the world in the early 90s. It didn't change overnight and both genres coexisted for quite awhile. I think the two bands that most successfully weathered grunge, artistically if not commercially, are Warrant and Motley Crue. The grunge/alternative take-over didn't happen overnight and was gradual. Several bands still had popular singles/albums through '92/93 (Skid Row, Mr. Big, Extreme, Ugly Kid Joe, Saigon Kick, Damn Yankees, Jackyl) and the more established hard rock / hair bands still had big album sales through '93 (Kiss, Def Leppard, G n R, Alice Cooper, Coverdale/Page, Scorpions, Aerosmith, AC/DC). Warrant just kept getting better as they went. I love Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich and Cherry Pie, but you can't deny the quality of such albums as Dog Eat Dog and Ultraphobic. Warrant adapted to the change of climate pretty well. In fact Warrant Live 86-96 is one of my favorite Warrant albums as it contains a good mix of "hair metal" stuff with their more grungy stuff.



Poison also put out quality stuff. Although, Native Tongue was a commercial flop it contained some pretty solid tunes. Until You Suffer (Fire and Ice) is one of my favorite Poison songs.



Def Leppard is another one who put out pretty decent stuff at the time as well. Adrenalize had some pretty cool stuff and so did Euphoria. I think the song Promises can stand on its own with anything from Pyromania or Hysteria. Winger's "Pull" is a Helluva album. The narrative, largely created and driven hard by rock critics, that grunge killed hair metal is a complete myth. Many of those bands were already on their death bed, and bands like Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi still did well after grunge exploded.



And what's great is that hair metal has aged well as a fun part of rock history, while grunge, by and large, died a quick death, and ended up having no more than a handful of bands that are still looked fondly upon. During the time period, 1991-1994, Guns N' Roses sold more records and sold more tickets than Nirvana. And that's even with GnR being dormant from 1994 on. GnR headlined stadiums on their own, Nirvana played stadiums at a few festivals with 25 other bands. GnR played 4 sold out nights at the Forum in 1991, Nirvana was playing clubs at the time. Even at Nirvana's height I don't think they sold half as many tickets as Guns N' Roses. Nirvana played clubs, 3,000-5,000 seat venues, and some arenas on their last tour. GnR were playing huge arenas and stadiums at the same time, with many multiple dates in big cities. And I'm just using GnR as an example, there were other bands at the time that were just as big. GNR were bigger back then, no doubt. GNR sold more records and I think had a more worldwide appeal than Nirvana. Going on that alone Guns N' Roses was the bigger band and much more larger than life than Nirvana. Anyway, the "Illusion" period was positively huge for Guns N Roses - much, much bigger than even the Appetite era. Nirvana are about as original as the band Green Day. If you didn't notice Punk existed before Nirvana. They were so original that the riff to their biggest hit is pretty much "more than a feeling" by Boston and the band admitted to it. Please, Nirvana weren't original at all. They wrote a few catchy songs, a multitude of mediocre bands spawned in their wake and it quickly died off. There was zero original about Nirvana. I've been going over Billboard charts for, identifying musical trends, tracking the evolution of the pop industry, that sort of thing.



here's one thing that jumped out at me: the record companies and MTV screwed up in 1991 when they switched their focus away from straight ahead melodic rock and towards alternative and grunge. The charts don't lie: grunge went over with pop audiences like anchovies on ice cream.



Here's the evidence: From 1986, when Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" became the first hard rock/metal #1 hit since "Metal Health", the "hair bands" became a constant presence on the charts. Those of us who lived through that wonderful era know this. But then 1991 and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" came, and that was the end, right? Grunge dominated, game over, end of story.


Well, it didn't work out that way. Smells Like Teen Spirit peaked at #7. After Smells Like Teen Spirit, there were still hair bands hitting the top 10 all the way until 1993, when Firehouse's "When I Look Into Your Eyes" became the last top 10 hit in the hair metal genre. Between 1991 and 1993, except for Smells Like Teen Spirit, not a single grunge song cracked the top 10, despite heavy MTV airplay. Only a few, softer alternative hits, like Soul Asylum's "Runaway Train", and Spin Doctors "Two Princes", became genuine hits. Grunge, while certainly popular among rock audiences, had no crossover appeal. The early 90s were almost totally dominated by rap and R&B. Ah, the glory days of "Baby Got Back" and "Whoomp! There it is!" So what was the music industry thinking? They managed to make it uncool to listen to hair bands, yet the alternative they put forward was never really as popular as it was supposed to be, and pretty much died out by 1995. MTV during that period was pretty much alternative around the clock, and some really weird stuff, too, much of which will probably never be shown again, even on VH1 classic. If you watch and episode of Beavis and butthead, there's some pretty weird videos there. It was a really strange era for music, most of it was garbage and quickly forgotten. Again, what were they thinking? An alternative band gets one #7 hit and that's a reason to dump your whole roster and sign anyone with a pulse from Seattle? Yet Meat Loaf had a #1 hit for five weeks at the end of 1993, and no one saw that as a reason to push more straight ahead melodic rock groups?
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#4
Grunge was, overall, IMO, terrible also....

I hated Nirvana with a passion and still do, except for their "unplugged" set which thought was brilliant...

Soundgarden...I can take or leave them, I own an album, its okay...

and the third of the "big three", Pearl Jam, own a couple of albums, there okay for the most part....
I think their vocalist Eddie Vedder is a versatile vocalist, im always impressed with his vocals...

Grunge never, as I posted, impressed me on the whole even with one of my favourite singers in Neil Young
championing the genre of Grunge,and being the supposed indirect creator of the style with Crazy Horse and their
garage rock sound....
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#5
(01-04-2018, 10:54)CRAZY-HORSE Wrote: Grunge was, overall, IMO, terrible also....

I hated Nirvana with a passion and still do, except for their "unplugged" set which  thought was brilliant...

Soundgarden...I can take or leave them, I own an album, its okay...

and the third of the "big three", Pearl Jam, own a couple of albums, there okay for the most part....
I think their vocalist Eddie Vedder is a versatile vocalist, im always impressed with his vocals...

Grunge never, as I posted, impressed me on the whole even with one of my favourite singers in Neil Young
championing the genre of Grunge,and being the supposed indirect creator of the style with Crazy Horse and their
garage rock sound....

My original point was that the music industry made a conscious decision to jettison melodic rock, and that I believe this was a mistake and unnecessary. there's no reason that Warrant, Slaughter, Winger, etc. couldn't have existed side-by-side with the Seattle scene. An equivalent , what if when rap got big, the industry had decided to no longer promote R&B? But R&B and rap exist side-by-side, and collaborate with each other, with no tension.

What happened just didn't have to happen, the industry MADE it happen. As long as the industry kept releasing melodic rock, melodic rock did well. Keep the Faith sold well, Bat Out of Hell II sold well, Firehouse's Hold Your Fire, and even 3, which came out in 1995, did well. Mr. Big did well. But then the supply just dried up even with that trickle of good releases and everyone just moved on.

The common belief is that melodic rock got tired, then grunge came out, and grunge then dominated. But that's not what happened. melodic rock was at its peak when grunge came out. 1991 and 1992 were great years for it, sales wise. And during the height of the grunge era, melodic rock releases, what few there were, STILL charted well, on both singles and album charts. And then the record companies just gave up on it for no particular reason. It never went sour for anyone who enjoyed Nirvana's melodies. Funny that Nirvana made music with abstract lyrics, but yet you believe that the lyrics should only mean something special to awkward kids. When Guns n Roses were at their peak they were the next Rolling Stones if anyone ever was. Grunge pretty much died when Guns n Roses imploded anyway. Guns and Roses is the last really good American hard rock band. I'm a massive Aerosmith fan. Even in 1993-1994, at the height of alternative's popularity, Aerosmith also remained incredibly popular during the "Get A Grip" period. Eventually it became passe to like a lot of the "hair bands", mostly once Beavis And Butt-Head came on, but it was more of a gradual shift of tastes as opposed to the way history makes it out like one day Poison were the biggest band around then Nirvana hit. 
It strikes me that if MTV hadn't suddenly changed course, that the 80s would have evolved into the 90s in much the way that the 70s evolved into the 80s. There wasn't some massive shift between the rock of the 70s and the rock of the 80s. Rock got big, it declined a little when disco became king, and then it emerged again repackaged. I think the same thing would have happened had the industry stayed the course. Instead, they did a massive 180, and while alternative kept people interested for a little while, when that mini-boom ended rock as an industry was mangled beyond recognition. There was no longer a "formula". Which a lot of people would consider to be a good thing from a creative standpoint, but makes the music less viable from a commercial standpoint. Everyone knows the formula for writing a successful pop, R&B, rap, or country hit, but there really isn't a way to predict what rock will sell and what won't, so the industry is cautious about promoting new rock artists. They just try a little big of everything and a few bands manage to stick. I think it was really the media and the record companies that killed "Hair" metal rather than the music itself, although I think that some of the bands were to blame too as they decided to jump on the bandwagon rather than stay true to their roots (although that blame could go to the record company forcing them to go in that direction). I don't recall the changeover being so immediate. Obviously MTV starting playing more grunge and less hair metal, but I think the process took two years. Nirvana ruined rock & roll. So Nirvana were pretty terrible, at least musically speaking, but so was most of the rest of grunge. For the most part, grunge was a media sensation, driven by hype. The bands from that era worth listening to, which can be named on a single hand (Alice in Chains, Mother Love Bone, Stone Temple Pilots), are the ones furthest from Nirvana’s divorce rock. When Nirvana came along, they broke everything and the pieces are never going to be put together again. People might still keep killing it on the underground circuit and that might be better, but since Nirvana, rock has slowly exited mainstream consciousness. Today’s rock audience prefers stuff like The White Stripes, The National and Arcade Fire. It’s over, kids. Today, in 2018, rock songs almost never get anywhere close to the top 10, whereas from the 70s to about 1993, hard rock regularly topped the charts. It's an incredible failure to market the music.



And it wasn't really too little, too late. In the middle of the grunge era, freakin' Meat Loaf managed to have one of the biggest albums of the year and a #1 hit. There was still demand for melodic rock. So what if the kids were only interested in alternative? SOMEONE was buying melodic rock CDs, and requesting them on MTV. The demand didn't dry up, the supply did.



So what ended up happening is that almost every melodic rock fan just went back to their old CD and tape collection and gave up on new music. I'm sure most of you have dealt with this before, a metalhead who listens to Iron Maiden and Megadeth and Metallica, but as hard as you try, you can barely convince him to try listening to something new, because he gave up on new music 20 years ago! I only focus on it because I'm wondering what MTV and the labels were thinking. There was no reason to stop playing traditional hard rock, but they did it with only a few exceptions.



It's very unusual behavior for the industry to just summarily end what worked for 20 years and then switch to something totally different. And although it isn't written about much, I think they did realize their mistake, because around 1998 we resumed what I'd consider a normal evolution of the pop music industry.



Hanson, N'Sync, Britney, and the Backstreet Boys came out, and all of a sudden the industry realized, "Hey, they still do love shallow, happy, poppy, sugary pop!"



That 1992-1996 period is just such an aberration, it's as if the whole music industry and quite a few fans went insane for no particular reason, rejecting everything that had come before and becoming totally devoted to what became a pretty short fad. Grunge didn't just lead to the death of hair metal. It led to the death of melodic hard rock and heavy metal in general, at least for a decade, and took hard rock from a widely popular and diverse fanbase to a niche market. Personally, i don't consider GNR hair metal. Even though they came out of that scene and might have looked like a hair metal band at first, musically, they took more inspiration from blues and punk as opposed to pop and glam that many hair metal bands featured in their music. lyrically, i think they were more sophisticated than any hair metal group, and Axl is a much better singer than any hair metal group. So because of these reasons, i think that GNR is hard rock, not hair metal in which they are commonly categorized as. what do you think? The narrative, largely created and driven hard by rock critics, that grunge killed hair metal is a complete myth. Many of those bands were already on their death bed, and bands like Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi still did well after grunge exploded.



And what's great is that hair metal has aged well as a fun part of rock history, while grunge, by and large, died a quick death, and ended up having no more than a handful of bands that are still looked fondly upon. Iron Maiden to me, is one of THOSE bands that fills multiple musical needs for me. Metal, melody, and prog are all filled out in one convenient British package. I have enormous respect for that band. They have held up remarkably well through the years, never becoming caricatures of themselves. Their material may have aged better than Priest. Heavy metal over it's 50 years of existence has branched out into many sub genres.



But Metal is falling. After 50 years it has become nothing but distortion and screaming about death, sex and anti-religion. This is pathetic. And so metal is decaying and falling to pop music. Unless the next generation of heavy metal musicians have something NEW! to offer the genre it's going to become a thing of the past.



The metal we hear today has no distinct qualities. It's just this band trying to be as good as all the other bands, and so they end up sounding almost the same. There's no creativity involved. This saddens me to see metal die. I want to be able to enjoy newer music. But I can't unless new bands actually offer something original. Rock music in the 80's/early 90s was awesome! There were great bands with awesome talent like Guns n Roses, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, etc. The music was fun and full of energy! Bands actually knew how to play their instruments well.



Then along one day came Nirvana and a new revolution of no-talent boring depressing whiny music started. These "grunge" bands barely even knew how to play their instruments, but somehow got popular. I remember the first time I saw one of Nirvana's videos , I thought to myself "Is this a joke?" "How did these guys with no-talent actually get a music video?" "This just sounds horrible!". But little did I know that was the beginning of the destruction of rock music.


When I was looking at the charts I didn't see what I expected to see. I got to the point in 1991 where Smells Like Teen Spirit peaked at #7, so then I was like, "Okay, here we go, this is where the grunge era begins and melodic rock ends." But then for the next three years, I see no grunge hits and still quite a few melodic rock hits, although not as many as in the late 80s.I'm sure a lot of people would be surprised that melodic rock still had commercial success long after the record companies and MTV officially declared it "dead".What I don't understand is why the labels gave such shoddy promotion to the followups to the most successful releases from 1990-1993. The Scorpions had a huge smash with Crazy World, they were practically the Rolling Stones of metal, and Face the Heat just got a "meh" promotion and no MTV airplay. Props to Arsenio Hall for having them on though. Extreme followed up Pornograffitti with the amazing III Sides to Every Story. Meh again from the industry and MTV. Mr. Big followed up the smash hit Lean Into It with Bump Ahead. Double meh even though it was a great album. Wild World got a little airplay. Firehouse did VERY well as late as 1995, and then they just were quietly disposed of anyway. Why? These were all fantastic albums, without the ridiculous image, and the industry decided not to push them. What kind of a label stops promoting a band that's still producing hits? This ONLY happened to melodic rock bands! It would never happen in a million years to a country, R&B, or rap artist. You have to fail before getting dropped or not promoted. It's almost as if the industry was angry that people still wanted to listen to this kind of music and decided to just cut out the pretense and FORCE people to accept the new sound by taking away the old sound. Let’s be honest, if Kurt Cobain hadn’t killed himself, Nirvana wouldn’t be nearly as popular as they still are today. In my opinion, most modern music sucks, so I fully admit to being stuck in the past when it comes to what I listen to. The "Hair Metal" era, roughly '83 to '92 or so, represents the last time Heavy Metal was truly relevant. It represents the last time rock was culturally 'dangerous' and also fun as a genre - when rockstars still roamed the Earth. I can see the negative thoughts people have about it - being too corporate and gimmicky. But It was a period when rock was good (for me anyway) and then by like 93 and on rock became depressing sounding with snarling growling singers who were depressed. What really separates Led Zeppelin, say, from "Hair Metal"?



Both had long hair. Both had over-the-top stage shows and self indulgent music videos. Both wore flashy costumes. Both sang about sex, drugs and rock n' roll and groupies.


Or for that matter, the 70s Stones. What separates them in any real way from Warrant? Basically "Hair Metal" became a term used by angry Gen X-ers to describe fun rock while they wallowed in self hating grunge nonsense. 
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