As the decadence of the '80s dissolved into a vague sense of embarrassment, rock music took on new shapes and sounds. Grunge signalled in the '90s with a brooding resentment for all things corporate. In America, the mid '90s saw pop-punk break into the mainstream, while in the UK, Brit-pop emerged as the reining sub-genre. And, towards the end of the decade, the snarling beast of nu metal reared its red cap sporting head.
Filling the gaps between these varying sounds, was a litany of alternative, metal and indie acts. In short, there was something for everyone. Despite all the squabbling for mainstream supremacy, 90's rock shared a unifying middle finger to the establishment.
Whether you were alive during the '90s, or if you've merely been swept up in the current revival of '90s nostalgia, these songs serve as the perfect portal to the past. From radio savvy singles to alternative rock classics, this list will rekindle your love for the final decade of the 20th Century.
10. Killing In The Name - Rage Against The Machine (1991)
Before nu metal gave rock-rap a bad name, there was Rage Against The Machine.
There wasn't a bad song on Rage's debut album, but nothing hit quite like Killing In The Name. Tom Morello's guitar gave you all the incentive needed to jump around like a flea on amphetamine. Tim Commerford's bass pumped you with the energy required to keep moving in the mosh. Brad Wilk, provided the timing to let you know when to whip your hair into a frenzy. And, then you had Zack de la Rocha, spitting politicised lyrics with a venomous ferocity.
The combination filled you with a rebellious anger and a burning resentment for any authority figure - even if you didn't have the awareness to fully grasp the meaning of his lyrics. It was enough that you could chant "F**k you, I wont do what you tell me" to some high energy rock music. There was a simplicity to Rocha's lyrics, but he managed to inject them with an incredible amount of significance. This had the rebellious energy of rock, with the hard hitting sentiment of rap.