10 Perfect Music Albums That Defined The 90s

Enter the '90s.

Wu-Tang Clan
Firehouse Records

Every decade has its musical trends and cultural fads. The '60s had rock 'n' roll, psychedelia and free love; the '70s had hard rock, disco and flared pants. The '80s saw the rise of new wave, hair metal, and that most unfortunate of hair styles, the mullet - how have we not learned from our mistakes?

In the wake of '80s hedonism (and questionable fashion choices), music attempted to expand on already established genres - whilst reining in on some of the more embarrassing eccentricities that had developed. Teased hair, spandex and leather pants were steadily phased out of rock music. Gangsta rap began transitioning into the emerging trends, of jazz-inspired, alternative hip hop, and hardcore rap. And, pop music became even more commercial, with clich├ęd, cheesy expressions of love, that nevertheless were engaging and enjoyable. Yeah, the '90s was a fun time.

On a darker note, Canada gave us Nickleback... , but there was enough to keep us distracted from that sorry excuse for a rock band, until at least the 2000s...

10. Green Day: Dookie (1994)

After punk rock's short lived moment in the limelight, it retreated into the underground, where it festered and mutated throughout the majority of the '80s. The genre largely survived off the backs of small and independent labels, set up either by bands themselves, or run by punk rock enthusiasts.

Groups like the Offspring, NOFX and Green Day all found initial success through the support of indie labels. But, after the buzz generated by Green Day's second record, Kerplunk, major labels started sniffing around. A plethora of groups were signed, Green Day among them. In the eyes of the underground, the signing to major label, went against the DIY ethos of punk. It was seen as a betrayal to the indie labels that had given many pop-punk groups their start.

Despite this, Green Day weathered the scorn. Dookie went on to be one of the group's biggest selling albums. It was a more pop-centric form of punk, but it suited the era. When the genre first popped up in the '70s, it railed against economic disparity, corrupt governments, and racial injustice. But, in the '90s, the youth were less engaged with matters of social injustice, rather they felt bored and disillusioned by a consumerist culture. Tracks, like Welcome to Paradise, Basket Case, and When I Come Around, spoke to this sense of disillusionment, becoming the new expression of rebellion for America's youth.

 
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Before engrossing myself in the written word, I spent several years in the TV and film industry. During this time I became proficient at picking things up, moving things and putting things down again.