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  • The Bands That Survived The Nineties - Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, RHCP, Korn and more

    Thu, 16 Aug 2012 17:56:19

    The Bands That Survived The Nineties - Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, RHCP, Korn and more - They were the best of times...

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    • Radiohead - INDIO, CA - APRIL 14:  (L-R) Musicians Ed O'Brien, Jonny Greenwood and singer Thom Yorke of Radiohead perform during Day 2 of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival held at the Empire Polo Club on April 14, 2012 in Indio, California.
    • Radiohead - INDIO, CA - APRIL 14:  Guests attend Radiohead performance during Day 2 of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival held at the Empire Polo Club on April 14, 2012 in Indio, California.

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    Remember the nineties? It’s that decade where all these current college kids were born! But more than that, it was a time of great change and creativity in rock. Anyone who was cool had long, grungy hair and wore a torn flannel shirt- so basically they looked like someone you’d see today living under a freeway on-ramp.

    But who are those bands that have survived the decade? Chumbawamba? They got knocked down, but didn’t get back up again. Deep Blue Something? More like Deep Blue Nothing. Let’s take a look at the great bands that are still partying like it’s 1999!


    These guys certainly have had many phases to their career, excelling at all of them. It all started with “Creep,” which became a huge hit off their first album, Pablo Honey. After that, The Bends was released- one of the best rock records of all time. And then? OK Computer- the band reinvented rock music and released an album that was simultaneously accessible and instant, yet completely ahead of its time. Since then, Radiohead have gone on to reinvent everything about music, and are clearly the band of a generation. Sure makes me feel like a loafer!


    Tool is just as enigmatic and entrancing as they were when they first burst onto the scene in the early '90s. In fact, their mystique has only deepened with each subsequent album and an immersive show that can't be beat. Who else is this heavy and thoughtful? No one...

    Foo Fighters

    Is there any band more dependable and consistent than the Foo Fighters? Dave Grohl has formed a completely signature sound, and with absolutely impeccable songwriting, loud guitars, crashing drums, and hooks coming out of hooks, these guys have solidified themselves as one of the best rock bands of the last thirty years. It’s incredible to think that Dave Grohl started as “the drummer from Nirvana.” He was the Steve Young of rock music! *Steve Young was the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who took over for the legendary Joe Montana, only to become a legend in his own right. That’s a nineties Football reference for you all!

    Smashing Pumpkins

    On June 19th, Smashing Pumpkins released their first studio album in five years, Oceania. Fans new and old are quite abuzz, and understandably so. The first single, “The Celestials,” builds and crescendos in a way that makes you remember why you loved the Pumpkins from the start. The album is a concept record, melding classic SP riffs with a Pink Floyd sensibility. It’s definitely one of the albums not to be missed this summer.

    Jane's Addiction

    Considering that this band has had four albums in the last twenty five years, it’s hard to really say they “survived” the nineties. However, their latest album, The Great Escape Artist, has been a huge critical success, possessing the danger and innovation usually reserved for brand new artists. They are alive and kicking all year on tour, so be sure to catch them if you can.

    Pearl Jam

    Eddie Vedder and crew have managed quite the illustrious career following the massive success of such classic nineties albums as Ten and Vitalogy. While Pearl Jam itself has pressed on by self-releasing their last album, Backspacer in 2009, Mr. Vedder himself has simultaneously branched out. Within the last few years, Vedder has released several solo records, as well as scoring the Sean Penn-directed film, Into The Wild, starring Emile Hirsch and based on the 1996 non-fiction work by Jon Krakauer. Next up- a cook book! Not really.


    This band actually didn’t survive the nineties- they died before the decade had even finished, only to rise from the ashes within the last several years, like a sexy vampire. Or zombie? Whichever one is hotter these days. Expect new music from them later this year. We can’t wait to hear their Led Zeppelin-esque riffs and Chris Cornell parting the clouds with his haunting and visceral screams.


    Eighteen years into their career, this seminal hard rock/ metal band is still reinventing themselves. Originally, Korn melded metal, funk, hip hop, and several other seemingly disparate genres together in an all-together unique blend of music. Over the years, they have gained fans of all ages- and almost nine million Facebook fans to prove it. Their latest masterpiece, The Path of Totality, features plenty of EDM producers such as Skrillex, 12th Planet, Flinch, Excision, Datsik and more- proving that even today, Korn remain on the cutting edge of music.


    Releasing their legendary debut in 1999, Slipknot capped off the century with an album that revolutionized heavy metal forever. They were the first to merge death metal technicality and instrumentation with a hypnotic melodic sensibility. They were the most intense band to emerge from the '90s, and they're more intense than ever.

    Green Day

    Dookie was an absolute sensation in the mid-nineties. You couldn’t graduate middle school without knowing the entire album by heart when I was a kid. Then again, I went to that experimental school, The Academy of Nineties Suburban Teen Angst. It’s incredible to think that Green Day’s biggest and most creative work would come ten years after that release- with American Idiot, a timely, poignant, scathing and brilliant rock-opera pointed at President George W. Bush and his sycophants.

    Red Hot Chili Peppers

    RHCP have evolved. When they arrived, few probably thought they would stick around for the long haul. Their best album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, was a turning point for the band in terms of melody. Then, at the turn of the millennium, these formerly funk-adelic souls released Californication- which showed a level of mature song-writing that solidified them as a band who would make their presence felt for years to come.

    Alice in Chains

    Isn’t this the title of Quentin Tarantino’s latest film project? Ahh, that’s Django Unchained- my bad! If these other bands “survived” the nineties and Soundgarden “rose from the dead,” then Alice in Chains was “reincarnated.” After tragically losing their original singer Layne Staley to drugs, they bounced back with their current vocalist William DuVall, whose vocal chords bear an uncanny resemblance to Staley. It’s not easy to replace a legend- especially with such a signature voice- but these fine men have done it.

    Limp Bizkit

    After ruling the end of the '90s with Three Dollar Bill Y'All and Significant Other, Limp Bizkit are about to return with their first music under their new partnership with Cash Money Records. In essence by the premier rap metal outfit partnering with the ultimate hip hop label, Limp Bizkit stand ready for another revolution.

    Of course, there are many other fantastic bands that have survived the nineties and gone on to have amazing careers. Who are we missing? Oh, whatever... Let us know, below!

    —Mark Phillips

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    Tags: Radiohead, Tool, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Jane's Addiction, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Korn, Slipknot, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice in Chains, Limp Bizkit, Chumbawamba, Deep Blue Something, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Chris Cornell, Skrillex, 12th Planet, Excision, Datsik, Eddie Vedder, Nirvana, Layne Staley, William DuVall, Emile Hirsch, Jon Krakauer, Quentin Tarantino

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