Music genre may not be a huge deal to listeners these days, most will be eclectic in their tastes without much care as to what genre their favourites fall into. There was, however, a time when it wasn’t all so simple. Many times, a listener’s very identity was connected to their music tastes, even leading to disputes with those of a different musical persuasion.
Many a genre has also inspired a counter-genre that provided the total opposite to its predecessor. While some genres seem immortal, remaining relevant and timely through every decade since their inception, others come and go in the blink of an eye.
History indicates music has been around almost as long as we have and is considered an essential art form to the human experience. For many, music tastes are influenced by those close to them, leading to enjoying music from various generations other than their own. Even with this, many of us will remain completely oblivious to lesser known or less relevant genres. Even so, some of these forgotten favourites enjoyed a time of great significance in the music world.
Whether they simply faded away or stumbled under their own weight of success, here are 10 music genres that have ceased to be.
As much a subculture as it was a music subgenre, grunge conquered the world of alternative rock soon after its late 80s emergence in the Pacific Northwest. Brought to the mainstream in the early 90s by Seattle-based bands including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, grunge functioned as a dark counter to the colourful excess of 80s glam rock.
Mixing elements of punk, metal along with distorted guitars and vocals, grunge provided a grim and gritty sound for its listeners. Lyrics frequently reflected angst and unhappiness with the more frustrating aspects of life and society, resonating with many young listeners. Aesthetically, grunge musicians typically dressed down, devoid of the costuming and hairspray normally associated with rock by that point.
The grunge scene as a whole was rocked by the tragic death of Kurt Cobain in 1994 and soon dissipated. Often considered the leading grunge act, the troubled frontman’s passing left a black cloud over the genre. In the years after, still-active grunge bands modified their sounds and aesthetic considerably to fit more conventional rock styles. The genre wound up becoming a brief but memorable chapter in rock music history.