Alternative rock

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"Alternative music" redirects here. Alternative rock_sentence_0

For other genres, see Alternative (disambiguation). Alternative rock_sentence_1

For the radio format associated with this genre, see Modern rock. Alternative rock_sentence_2

Alternative rock_table_infobox_0

Alternative rockAlternative rock_header_cell_0_0_0
Other namesAlternative rock_header_cell_0_1_0 Alternative rock_cell_0_1_1
Stylistic originsAlternative rock_header_cell_0_2_0 Alternative rock_cell_0_2_1
Cultural originsAlternative rock_header_cell_0_3_0 The United Kingdom and United States in the late 1970s and the early 1980sAlternative rock_cell_0_3_1
Derivative formsAlternative rock_header_cell_0_4_0 Alternative rock_cell_0_4_1
SubgenresAlternative rock_header_cell_0_5_0
Fusion genresAlternative rock_header_cell_0_6_0
Local scenesAlternative rock_header_cell_0_7_0
Other topicsAlternative rock_header_cell_0_8_0

Alternative rock (also called alternative music, alt-rock, or simply alternative) is a category of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1970s and became widely popular in the 1990s. Alternative rock_sentence_3

"Alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream or commercial rock or pop music. Alternative rock_sentence_4

The term's original meaning was broader, referring to a generation of musicians unified by their collective debt to either the musical style or simply the independent, DIY ethos of punk rock, which in the late 1970s laid the groundwork for alternative music. Alternative rock_sentence_5

In September 1988, Billboard introduced "alternative" into their charting system to reflect the rise of the format across radio stations in the United States by stations like KROQ-FM in Los Angeles and WDRE-FM in New York, which were playing music from more underground, independent, and non-commercial rock artists. Alternative rock_sentence_6

The genre can be found as early as the 1960s, with bands such as the Velvet Underground and other artists, continued to evolve alternative rock throughout the 1980s. Alternative rock_sentence_7

Traditionally, alternative rock broadly consisted of music that differed greatly in terms of its sound, social context and regional roots. Alternative rock_sentence_8

Throughout the 1980s, magazines and zines, college radio airplay, and word of mouth had increased the prominence and highlighted the diversity of alternative rock, helping to define a number of distinct styles (and music scenes) such as noise pop, indie rock, grunge, and shoegazing. Alternative rock_sentence_9

Most of these subgenres had achieved minor mainstream notice and a few bands, such as Hüsker Dü and R.E.M. Alternative rock_sentence_10 , were signed to major labels. Alternative rock_sentence_11

But most alternative bands' commercial success was limited in comparison to other genres of rock and pop music at the time, and most acts remained signed to independent labels and received relatively little attention from mainstream radio, television, or newspapers. Alternative rock_sentence_12

With the breakthrough of Nirvana and the popularity of the grunge and Britpop movements in the 1990s, alternative rock entered the musical mainstream and many alternative bands became successful. Alternative rock_sentence_13

Origin of term Alternative rock_section_0

In the past, popular music tastes were dictated by music executives within large entertainment corporations. Alternative rock_sentence_14

Record companies signed contracts with those entertainers who were thought to become the most popular, and therefore who could generate the most sales. Alternative rock_sentence_15

These bands were able to record their songs in expensive studios, and their works then offered for sale through record store chains that were owned by the entertainment corporations, along with eventually selling the merchandise into big box retailers. Alternative rock_sentence_16

Record companies worked with radio and television companies to get the most exposure for their artists. Alternative rock_sentence_17

The people making the decisions were business people dealing with music as a product, and those bands who were not making the expected sales figures were then excluded from this system. Alternative rock_sentence_18

Before the term alternative rock came into common usage around 1990, the sorts of music to which it refers were known by a variety of terms. Alternative rock_sentence_19

In 1979, Terry Tolkin used the term Alternative Music to describe the groups he was writing about. Alternative rock_sentence_20

In 1979 Dallas radio station KZEW had a late night new wave show entitled "Rock and Roll Alternative". Alternative rock_sentence_21

"College rock" was used in the United States to describe the music during the 1980s due to its links to the college radio circuit and the tastes of college students. Alternative rock_sentence_22

In the United Kingdom, dozens of small do it yourself record labels emerged as a result of the punk subculture. Alternative rock_sentence_23

According to the founder of one of these labels, Cherry Red, NME and Sounds magazines published charts based on small record stores called "Alternative Charts". Alternative rock_sentence_24

The first national chart based on distribution called the Indie Chart was published in January 1980; it immediately succeeded in its aim to help these labels. Alternative rock_sentence_25

At the time, the term indie was used literally to describe independently distributed records. Alternative rock_sentence_26

By 1985, indie had come to mean a particular genre, or group of subgenres, rather than simply distribution status. Alternative rock_sentence_27

The use of the term alternative to describe rock music originated around the mid-1980s; at the time, the common music industry terms for cutting-edge music were new music and post modern, respectively indicating freshness and a tendency to re contextualize sounds of the past. Alternative rock_sentence_28

In 1987, Spin magazine categorized college rock band Camper Van Beethoven as "alternative/indie", noting that their 1985 song "Where the Hell Is Bill" (from Telephone Free Landslide Victory) "called out the alternative/independent scene and dryly tore it apart." Alternative rock_sentence_29

David Lowery, then frontman of Camper Van Beethoven, later recalled: "I remember first seeing that word applied to us... Alternative rock_sentence_30

The nearest I could figure is that we seemed like a punk band, but we were playing pop music, so they made up this word alternative for those of us who do that". Alternative rock_sentence_31

DJs and promoters during the 1980s claim the term originates from American FM radio of the 1970s, which served as a progressive alternative to top 40 radio formats by featuring longer songs and giving DJs more freedom in song selection. Alternative rock_sentence_32

According to one former DJ and promoter, "Somehow this term 'alternative' got rediscovered and heisted by college radio people during the 80s who applied it to new post-punk, indie, or underground-whatever music". Alternative rock_sentence_33

At first the term referred to intentionally non–mainstream rock acts that were not influenced by "heavy metal ballads, rarefied new wave" and "high-energy dance anthems". Alternative rock_sentence_34

Usage of the term would broaden to include new wave, pop, punk rock, post-punk, and occasionally "college"/"indie" rock, all found on the American "commercial alternative" radio stations of the time such as Los Angeles' KROQ-FM. Alternative rock_sentence_35

Journalist Jim Gerr wrote that Alternative also encompassed variants such as "rap, trash, metal and industrial". Alternative rock_sentence_36

The bill of the first Lollapalooza, an itinerant festival in North America conceived by Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, reunited "disparate elements of the alternative rock community" including Henry Rollins, Butthole Surfers, Ice-T, Nine Inch Nails, Siouxsie and the Banshees (as second headliners) and Jane's Addiction (as the headlining act). Alternative rock_sentence_37

Covering for MTV the opening date of Lollapalooza in Phoenix in July 1991, Dave Kendall introduced the report saying the festival presented the "most diverse lineups of alternative rock". Alternative rock_sentence_38

That summer, Farrell had coined the term Alternative Nation. Alternative rock_sentence_39

In December 1991, Spin magazine noted: "this year, for the first time, it became resoundingly clear that what has formerly been considered alternative rock – a college-centered marketing group with fairly lucrative, if limited, potential- has in fact moved into the mainstream". Alternative rock_sentence_40

In the late 1990s, the definition again became more specific. Alternative rock_sentence_41

In 1997, Neil Strauss of The New York Times defined alternative rock as "hard-edged rock distinguished by brittle, '70s-inspired guitar riffing and singers agonizing over their problems until they take on epic proportions". Alternative rock_sentence_42

Defining music as alternative is often difficult because of two conflicting applications of the word. Alternative rock_sentence_43

Alternative can describe music that challenges the status quo and that is "fiercely iconoclastic, anticommercial, and antimainstream", but the term is also used in the music industry to denote "the choices available to consumers via record stores, radio, cable television, and the Internet." Alternative rock_sentence_44

However alternative music has paradoxically become just as commercial and marketable as the mainstream rock, with record companies using the term "alternative" to market music to an audience that mainstream rock does not reach. Alternative rock_sentence_45

Using a broad definition of the genre, Dave Thompson in his book Alternative Rock cites the formation of the Sex Pistols as well as the release of the albums Horses by Patti Smith and Metal Machine Music by Lou Reed as three key events that gave birth to alternative rock. Alternative rock_sentence_46

Until recent years (early 2000s) when indie rock became the most common term in the US to describe modern pop and rock, the terms "indie rock" and "alternative rock" were often used interchangeably; whilst there are aspects which both genres have in common, indie rock was regarded as a British-based term, unlike the more American alternative rock. Alternative rock_sentence_47

Characteristics Alternative rock_section_1

The name "alternative rock" essentially serves as an umbrella term for underground music that has emerged in the wake of punk rock since the mid-1980s. Alternative rock_sentence_48

Throughout much of its history, alternative rock has been largely defined by its rejection of the commercialism of mainstream culture, although this could be contested ever since some of the major alternative artists have achieved mainstream success or co-opted with the major labels from the 1990s onwards (especially since the new millennium and beyond). Alternative rock_sentence_49

Alternative bands during the 1980s generally played in small clubs, recorded for indie labels, and spread their popularity through word of mouth. Alternative rock_sentence_50

As such, there is no set musical style for alternative rock as a whole, although The New York Times in 1989 asserted that the genre is "guitar music first of all, with guitars that blast out power chords, pick out chiming riffs, buzz with fuzztone and squeal in feedback." Alternative rock_sentence_51

More often than in other rock-styles since the mainstreaming of rock music during the 1970s, alternative rock lyrics tend to address topics of social concern, such as drug use, depression, suicide, and environmentalism. Alternative rock_sentence_52

This approach to lyrics developed as a reflection of the social and economic strains in the United States and United Kingdom of the 1980s and early 1990s. Alternative rock_sentence_53

History Alternative rock_section_2

Precursors (1960s and 1970s) Alternative rock_section_3

A precursor to alternative rock existed in the 1960s with the proto-punk scene. Alternative rock_sentence_54

The origins of alternative rock can be traced back to The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) by the Velvet Underground, which influenced many alternative rock bands that would come after it. Alternative rock_sentence_55

60's eccentric and quirky figures, such as Syd Barrett have influence on alternative rock in general. Alternative rock_sentence_56

1980s Alternative rock_section_4

The Dead Kennedys formed the independent record label Alternative Tentacles in 1979, releasing influential underground music such as the 1983 self-titled EP from the Butthole Surfers. Alternative rock_sentence_57

By 1984, a majority of groups signed to indie labels mined from a variety of rock and particularly 1960s rock influences. Alternative rock_sentence_58

This represented a sharp break from the futuristic, hyper-rational post-punk years. Alternative rock_sentence_59

Throughout the 1980s, alternative rock remained mainly an underground phenomenon. Alternative rock_sentence_60

While on occasion a song would become a commercial hit or albums would receive critical praise in mainstream publications like Rolling Stone, alternative rock in the 1980s was primarily featured on independent record labels, fanzines, and college radio stations. Alternative rock_sentence_61

Alternative bands built underground followings by touring constantly and by regularly releasing low-budget albums. Alternative rock_sentence_62

In the case of the United States, new bands would form in the wake of previous bands, which created an extensive underground circuit in America, filled with different scenes in various parts of the country. Alternative rock_sentence_63

College radio formed an essential part of breaking new alternative music. Alternative rock_sentence_64

In the mid-1980s, college station KCPR in San Luis Obispo, California, described in a DJ handbook the tension between popular and "cutting edge" songs as played on "alternative radio." Alternative rock_sentence_65

Although American alternative artists of the 1980s never generated spectacular album sales, they exerted a considerable influence on later alternative musicians and laid the groundwork for their success. Alternative rock_sentence_66

On September 10, 1988, an Alternative Songs chart was created by Billboard, listing the 40 most-played songs on alternative and modern rock radio stations in the US: the first number one was Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Peek-a-Boo". Alternative rock_sentence_67

By 1989 the genre had become popular enough that a package tour featuring New Order, Public Image Limited and the Sugarcubes toured the United States arena circuit. Alternative rock_sentence_68

In contrast, British alternative rock was distinguished from that of the United States early on by a more pop-oriented focus (marked by an equal emphasis on albums and singles, as well as greater openness to incorporating elements of dance and club culture) and a lyrical emphasis on specifically British concerns. Alternative rock_sentence_69

As a result, few British alternative bands have achieved commercial success in the US. Alternative rock_sentence_70

Since the 1980s alternative rock has been played extensively on the radio in the UK, particularly by disc jockeys such as John Peel (who championed alternative music on BBC Radio 1), Richard Skinner, and Annie Nightingale. Alternative rock_sentence_71

Artists that had cult followings in the United States received greater exposure through British national radio and the weekly music press, and many alternative bands had chart success there. Alternative rock_sentence_72

American underground in the 1980s Alternative rock_section_5

Early American alternative bands such as the Dream Syndicate, the Bongos, 10,000 Maniacs, R.E.M. Alternative rock_sentence_73 , the Feelies and Violent Femmes combined punk influences with folk music and mainstream music influences. Alternative rock_sentence_74

R.E.M. Alternative rock_sentence_75

was the most immediately successful; its debut album, Murmur (1983), entered the Top 40 and spawned a number of jangle pop followers. Alternative rock_sentence_76

One of the many jangle pop scenes of the early 1980s, Los Angeles' Paisley Underground revived the sounds of the 1960s, incorporating psychedelia, rich vocal harmonies and the guitar interplay of folk rock as well as punk and underground influences such as the Velvet Underground. Alternative rock_sentence_77

American indie record labels SST Records, Twin/Tone Records, Touch and Go Records, and Dischord Records presided over the shift from the hardcore punk that then dominated the American underground scene to the more diverse styles of alternative rock that were emerging. Alternative rock_sentence_78

Minneapolis bands Hüsker Dü and the Replacements were indicative of this shift. Alternative rock_sentence_79

Both started out as punk rock bands, but soon diversified their sounds and became more melodic. Alternative rock_sentence_80

Michael Azerrad asserted that Hüsker Dü was the key link between hardcore punk and the more melodic, diverse music of college rock that emerged. Alternative rock_sentence_81

Azerrad wrote, "Hüsker Dü played a huge role in convincing the underground that melody and punk rock weren't antithetical." Alternative rock_sentence_82

The band also set an example by being the first group from the American indie scene to sign to a major record label, which helped establish college rock as "a viable commercial enterprise." Alternative rock_sentence_83

By focusing on heartfelt songwriting and wordplay instead of political concerns, the Replacements upended a number of underground scene conventions; Azerrad noted that "along with R.E.M., they were one of the few underground bands that mainstream people liked." Alternative rock_sentence_84

By the late 1980s, the American alternative scene was dominated by styles ranging from quirky alternative pop (They Might Be Giants and Camper Van Beethoven), to noise rock (Sonic Youth, Big Black, the Jesus Lizard) and industrial rock (Ministry, Nine Inch Nails). Alternative rock_sentence_85

These sounds were in turn followed by the advent of Boston's Pixies and Los Angeles' Jane's Addiction. Alternative rock_sentence_86

Around the same time, the grunge subgenre emerged in Seattle, Washington, initially referred to as "The Seattle Sound" until its rise to popularity in the early 1990s. Alternative rock_sentence_87

Grunge featured a sludgy, murky guitar sound that syncretized heavy metal and punk rock. Alternative rock_sentence_88

Promoted largely by Seattle indie label Sub Pop, grunge bands were noted for their thrift store fashion which favored flannel shirts and combat boots suited to the local weather. Alternative rock_sentence_89

Early grunge bands Soundgarden and Mudhoney found critical acclaim in the U.S. and UK, respectively. Alternative rock_sentence_90

By the end of the decade, a number of alternative bands began to sign to major labels. Alternative rock_sentence_91

While early major label signings Hüsker Dü and the Replacements had little success, acts who signed with majors in their wake such as R.E.M. Alternative rock_sentence_92

and Jane's Addiction achieved gold and platinum records, setting the stage for alternative's later breakthrough. Alternative rock_sentence_93

Some bands such as Pixies had massive success overseas while they were ignored domestically. Alternative rock_sentence_94

In the middle of the decade, Hüsker Dü's album Zen Arcade influenced other hardcore acts by tackling personal issues. Alternative rock_sentence_95

Out of Washington, D.C.'s hardcore scene what was called "emocore" or "emo" emerged and was noted for its lyrics which delved into emotional very personal subject matter (vocalists sometimes cried) and added free association poetry and a confessional tone. Alternative rock_sentence_96

Rites of Spring has been described as the first "emo" band. Alternative rock_sentence_97

Former Minor Threat singer Ian MacKaye founded Dischord Records which became the center for the city's emo scene. Alternative rock_sentence_98

British subgenres and trends of the 1980s Alternative rock_section_6

Gothic rock developed out of late-1970s British post-punk. Alternative rock_sentence_99

With a reputation as the "darkest and gloomiest form of underground rock", gothic rock utilizes a synthesizer-and-guitar based sound drawn from post-punk to construct "foreboding, sorrowful, often epic soundscapes", and the subgenre's lyrics often address literary romanticism, morbidity, religious symbolism, and supernatural mysticism. Alternative rock_sentence_100

Bands of this subgenre took inspiration from two British post-punk groups, Joy Division and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Alternative rock_sentence_101

Bauhaus' debut single "Bela Lugosi's Dead", released in 1979, is considered to be the proper beginning of the gothic rock subgenre. Alternative rock_sentence_102

The Cure's "oppressively dispirited" albums including Pornography (1982) cemented that group's stature in that style and laid the foundation for its large cult following. Alternative rock_sentence_103

The key British alternative rock band to emerge during the 1980s was Manchester's the Smiths. Alternative rock_sentence_104

Music journalist Simon Reynolds singled out the Smiths and their American contemporaries R.E.M. Alternative rock_sentence_105

as "the two most important alt-rock bands of the day", commenting that they "were eighties bands only in the sense of being against the eighties". Alternative rock_sentence_106

Reynolds noted that the Smiths' "whole stance was predicated on their British audience being a lost generation, exiles in their own land". Alternative rock_sentence_107

The Smiths' embrace of the guitar in an era of synthesizer-dominated music is viewed as signaling the end of the new wave era and the advent of alternative rock in the United Kingdom. Alternative rock_sentence_108

Despite the band's limited chart success and short career, the Smiths exerted an influence over the British indie scene through the end of the decade, as various bands drew from singer Morrissey's English-centered lyrical topics and guitarist Johnny Marr's jangly guitar-playing style. Alternative rock_sentence_109

The C86 cassette, a 1986 NME premium featuring Primal Scream, the Wedding Present and others, was a major influence on the development of indie pop and the British indie scene as a whole. Alternative rock_sentence_110

Other forms of alternative rock developed in the UK during the 1980s. Alternative rock_sentence_111

the Jesus and Mary Chain's sound combined the Velvet Underground's "melancholy noise" with Beach Boys pop melodies and Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" production, while New Order emerged from the demise of post-punk band Joy Division and experimented with techno and house music. Alternative rock_sentence_112

The Mary Chain, along with Dinosaur Jr., C86 and the dream pop of Cocteau Twins, were the formative influences for the shoegazing movement of the late 1980s. Alternative rock_sentence_113

Named for the band members' tendency to stare at their feet and guitar effects pedals onstage rather than interact with the audience, shoegazing acts like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive created an overwhelmingly loud "wash of sound" that obscured vocals and melodies with long, droning riffs, distortion, and feedback. Alternative rock_sentence_114

Shoegazing bands dominated the British music press at the end of the decade along with the Madchester scene. Alternative rock_sentence_115

Performing for the most part in the Haçienda, a nightclub in Manchester owned by New Order and Factory Records, Madchester bands such as Happy Mondays and the Stone Roses mixed acid house dance rhythms with melodic guitar pop. Alternative rock_sentence_116

Popularization in the 1990s Alternative rock_section_7

By the start of the 1990s, the music industry was enticed by alternative rock's commercial possibilities and major labels had already signed Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dinosaur Jr. In early 1991, R.E.M. Alternative rock_sentence_117

went mainstream worldwide with Out of Time while becoming a blueprint for many alternative bands. Alternative rock_sentence_118

The first edition of the Lollapalooza festival became the most successful tour in North America in July and August 1991. Alternative rock_sentence_119

For Dave Grohl of Nirvana who caught it near Los Angeles in an open-air amphitheater, "it felt like something was happening, that was the beginning of it all". Alternative rock_sentence_120

The tour helped change the mentalities in the music industry: "by that fall, radio and MTV and music had changed. Alternative rock_sentence_121

I really think that if it weren’t for Perry [Farrell], if it weren’t for Lollapalooza, you and I wouldn’t be having this conversation right now". Alternative rock_sentence_122

The release of the Nirvana's single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in September 1991 "marked the instigation of the grunge music phenomenon". Alternative rock_sentence_123

Helped by constant airplay of the song's music video on MTV, their album Nevermind was selling 400,000 copies a week by Christmas 1991. Alternative rock_sentence_124

Its success surprised the music industry. Alternative rock_sentence_125

Nevermind not only popularized grunge, but also established "the cultural and commercial viability of alternative rock in general." Alternative rock_sentence_126

Michael Azerrad asserted that Nevermind symbolized "a sea-change in rock music" in which the hair metal that had dominated rock music at that time fell out of favor in the face of music that was authentic and culturally relevant. Alternative rock_sentence_127

The breakthrough success of Nirvana led to the widespread popularization of alternative rock in the 1990s. Alternative rock_sentence_128

It heralded a "new openness to alternative rock" among commercial radio stations, opening doors for heavier alternative bands in particular. Alternative rock_sentence_129

In the wake of Nevermind, alternative rock "found itself dragged-kicking and screaming ... into the mainstream" and record companies, confused by the genre's success yet eager to capitalize on it, scrambled to sign bands. Alternative rock_sentence_130

The New York Times declared in 1993, "Alternative rock doesn't seem so alternative anymore. Alternative rock_sentence_131

Every major label has a handful of guitar-driven bands in shapeless shirts and threadbare jeans, bands with bad posture and good riffs who cultivate the oblique and the evasive, who conceal catchy tunes with noise and hide craftsmanship behind nonchalance." Alternative rock_sentence_132

However, many alternative rock artists rejected success, for it conflicted with the rebellious, DIY ethic the genre had espoused before mainstream exposure and their ideas of artistic authenticity. Alternative rock_sentence_133

Grunge Alternative rock_section_8

Main article: Grunge Alternative rock_sentence_134

Other grunge bands subsequently replicated Nirvana's success. Alternative rock_sentence_135

Pearl Jam had released its debut album Ten a month before Nevermind in 1991, but album sales only picked up a year later. Alternative rock_sentence_136

By the second half of 1992 Ten became a breakthrough success, being certified gold and reaching number two on the Billboard 200 album chart. Alternative rock_sentence_137

Soundgarden's album Badmotorfinger, Alice in Chains' Dirt and Stone Temple Pilots' Core along with the Temple of the Dog album collaboration featuring members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, were also among the 100 top-selling albums of 1992. Alternative rock_sentence_138

The popular breakthrough of these grunge bands prompted Rolling Stone to nickname Seattle "the new Liverpool." Alternative rock_sentence_139

Major record labels signed most of the prominent grunge bands in Seattle, while a second influx of bands moved to the city in hopes of success. Alternative rock_sentence_140

At the same time, critics asserted that advertising was co-opting elements of grunge and turning it into a fad. Alternative rock_sentence_141

Entertainment Weekly commented in a 1993 article, "There hasn't been this kind of exploitation of a subculture since the media discovered hippies in the '60s." Alternative rock_sentence_142

The New York Times compared the "grunging of America" to the mass-marketing of punk rock, disco, and hip hop in previous years. Alternative rock_sentence_143

As a result of the genre's popularity, a backlash against grunge developed in Seattle. Alternative rock_sentence_144

Nirvana's follow-up album In Utero (1993) was an intentionally abrasive album that Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic described as a "wild aggressive sound, a true alternative record." Alternative rock_sentence_145

Nevertheless, upon its release in September 1993 In Utero topped the Billboard charts. Alternative rock_sentence_146

Pearl Jam also continued to perform well commercially with its second album, Vs. Alternative rock_sentence_147

(1993), which topped the Billboard charts by selling a record 950,378 copies in its first week of release. Alternative rock_sentence_148

Britpop Alternative rock_section_9

Main article: Britpop Alternative rock_sentence_149

With the decline of the Madchester scene and the unglamorousness of shoegazing, the tide of grunge from America dominated the British alternative scene and music press in the early 1990s. Alternative rock_sentence_150

As a reaction, a flurry of British bands emerged that wished to "get rid of grunge" and "declare war on America", taking the public and native music press by storm. Alternative rock_sentence_151

Dubbed "Britpop" by the media, this movement represented by Pulp, Blur, Suede, and Oasis was the British equivalent of the grunge explosion, in that the artists propelled alternative rock to the top of the charts in their home country. Alternative rock_sentence_152

Britpop bands were influenced by and displayed reverence for British guitar music of the past, particularly movements and genres such as the British Invasion, glam rock, and punk rock. Alternative rock_sentence_153

In 1995 the Britpop phenomenon culminated in a rivalry between its two chief groups, Oasis and Blur, symbolized by their release of competing singles on the same day. Alternative rock_sentence_154

Blur won "The Battle of Britpop", but Oasis soon eclipsed the other band in popularity with their second album, (What's the Story) Morning Glory? Alternative rock_sentence_155

(1995), which went on to become the third best-selling album in the UK's history. Alternative rock_sentence_156

Indie rock Alternative rock_section_10

Main article: Indie rock Alternative rock_sentence_157

Long synonymous with alternative rock as a whole in the US, indie rock became a distinct form following the popular breakthrough of Nirvana. Alternative rock_sentence_158

Indie rock was formulated as a rejection of alternative rock's absorption into the mainstream by artists who could not or refused to cross over, and a wariness of its "macho" aesthetic. Alternative rock_sentence_159

While indie rock artists share the punk rock distrust of commercialism, the genre does not entirely define itself against that, as "the general assumption is that it's virtually impossible to make indie rock's varying musical approaches compatible with mainstream tastes in the first place". Alternative rock_sentence_160

Labels such as Matador Records, Merge Records, and Dischord, and indie rockers like Pavement, Superchunk, Fugazi, and Sleater-Kinney dominated the American indie scene for most of the 1990s. Alternative rock_sentence_161

One of the main indie rock movements of the 1990s was lo-fi. Alternative rock_sentence_162

The movement, which focused on the recording and distribution of music on low-quality cassette tapes, initially emerged in the 1980s. Alternative rock_sentence_163

By 1992, Pavement, Guided by Voices and Sebadoh became popular lo-fi cult acts in the United States, while subsequently artists like Beck and Liz Phair brought the aesthetic to mainstream audiences. Alternative rock_sentence_164

The period also saw alternative confessional female singer-songwriters. Alternative rock_sentence_165

Besides the aforementioned Liz Phair, PJ Harvey fit into this sub group. Alternative rock_sentence_166

Post-grunge Alternative rock_section_11

Main article: Post-grunge Alternative rock_sentence_167

During the latter half of the 1990s, grunge was supplanted by post-grunge. Alternative rock_sentence_168

Many post-grunge bands lacked the underground roots of grunge and were largely influenced by what grunge had become, namely "a wildly popular form of inward-looking, serious-minded hard rock. Alternative rock_sentence_169

"; many post-grunge bands emulated the sound and style of grunge, "but not necessarily the individual idiosyncracies of its original artists." Alternative rock_sentence_170

Post-grunge was a more commercially viable genre that tempered the distorted guitars of grunge with polished, radio-ready production. Alternative rock_sentence_171

Originally, post-grunge was a label used almost pejoratively on bands that emerged when grunge was mainstream and emulated the grunge sound. Alternative rock_sentence_172

The label suggested that bands labelled as post-grunge were simply musically derivative, or a cynical response to an "authentic" rock movement. Alternative rock_sentence_173

Bush, Candlebox and Collective Soul were labelled almost pejoratively as post-grunge which, according to Tim Grierson of About.com, is "suggesting that rather than being a musical movement in their own right, they were just a calculated, cynical response to a legitimate stylistic shift in rock music." Alternative rock_sentence_174

Post-grunge morphed during the late 1990s as post-grunge bands such as Foo Fighters, Creed and Nickelback emerged. Alternative rock_sentence_175

Post-rock Alternative rock_section_12

Main article: Post-rock Alternative rock_sentence_176

Post-rock was established by Talk Talk's Laughing Stock and Slint's Spiderland albums, both released in 1991. Alternative rock_sentence_177

Post-rock draws influence from a number of genres, including Krautrock, progressive rock, and jazz. Alternative rock_sentence_178

The genre subverts or rejects rock conventions, and often incorporates electronic music. Alternative rock_sentence_179

While the name of the genre was coined by music journalist Simon Reynolds in 1994 referring to Hex by the London group Bark Psychosis, the style of the genre was solidified by the release of Millions Now Living Will Never Die (1996) by the Chicago group Tortoise. Alternative rock_sentence_180

Post-rock became the dominant form of experimental rock music in the 1990s and bands from the genre signed to such labels as Thrill Jockey, Kranky, Drag City, and Too Pure. Alternative rock_sentence_181

A related genre, math rock, peaked in the mid-1990s. Alternative rock_sentence_182

In comparison to post-rock, math rock relies on more complex time signatures and intertwining phrases. Alternative rock_sentence_183

By the end of the decade a backlash had emerged against post-rock due to its "dispassionate intellectuality" and its perceived increasing predictability, but a new wave of post-rock bands such as Godspeed You! Alternative rock_sentence_184 Black Emperor and Sigur Rós emerged who further expanded the genre. Alternative rock_sentence_185

Other trends Alternative rock_section_13

In 1993, Smashing Pumpkins album Siamese Dream was a major commercial success. Alternative rock_sentence_186

The strong influence of heavy metal and progressive rock on the album helped to legitimize alternative rock to mainstream radio programmers and close the gap between alternative rock and the type of rock played on American 1970s Album Oriented Rock radio. Alternative rock_sentence_187

In 1995, Smashing Pumpkins also released their double album Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness which went on to sell 10 million copies in the US alone, certifying it as a Diamond record. Alternative rock_sentence_188

After almost a decade in the underground, ska punk, a mixture of earlier British ska and punk acts, became popular in the United States. Alternative rock_sentence_189

Rancid was the first of the "Third Wave Ska Revival" acts to break. Alternative rock_sentence_190

In 1996, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, No Doubt, Sublime, Goldfinger, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake and Save Ferris charted or received radio exposure. Alternative rock_sentence_191

Change in sound Alternative rock_section_14

By the end of the decade, alternative rock's style changed due to a number of events, notably the death of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain in 1994 and Pearl Jam's lawsuit against concert venue promoter Ticketmaster, which in effect barred the group from playing many major venues around the United States. Alternative rock_sentence_192

In addition to the decline of grunge bands, Britpop faded as Oasis's third album, Be Here Now (1997), received lackluster reviews and Blur began to incorporate influences from American alternative rock. Alternative rock_sentence_193

A signifier of alternative rock's changes was the hiatus of the Lollapalooza festival after an unsuccessful attempt to find a headliner in 1998. Alternative rock_sentence_194

In light of the festival's troubles that year, Spin said, "Lollapalooza is as comatose as alternative rock right now". Alternative rock_sentence_195

Despite a change in style, alternative rock still managed to be mainstream. Alternative rock_sentence_196

Post-grunge remained commercially viable into the start of the 21st century, when bands like Creed and Matchbox Twenty became among the most popular rock bands in the United States. Alternative rock_sentence_197

At the same time Britpop began to decline, Radiohead achieved critical acclaim with its third album OK Computer (1997), and its follow-ups Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001), which were in marked contrast with the traditionalism of Britpop. Alternative rock_sentence_198

Radiohead, along with post-Britpop groups like Travis and Coldplay, were major forces in British rock in subsequent years. Alternative rock_sentence_199

In the mid-1990s, Sunny Day Real Estate defined the emo genre. Alternative rock_sentence_200

Weezer's album Pinkerton (1996) was also influential. Alternative rock_sentence_201

By 2000 and on into the new decade, emo was one of the most popular rock music genres. Alternative rock_sentence_202

Popular acts included the sales success of Bleed American by Jimmy Eat World (2001) and Dashboard Confessional's The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most (2003). Alternative rock_sentence_203

The new emo had a much more mainstream sound than in the 1990s and a far greater appeal amongst adolescents than its earlier incarnations. Alternative rock_sentence_204

At the same time, use of the term "emo" expanded beyond the musical genre, becoming associated with fashion, a hairstyle and any music that expressed emotion. Alternative rock_sentence_205

Emo's mainstream success continued with bands emerging in the 2000s, including multi-platinum acts such as Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance and mainstream groups such as Paramore and Panic! Alternative rock_sentence_206 at the Disco. Alternative rock_sentence_207

21st century Alternative rock_section_15

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, several alternative rock bands emerged, including the Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, Interpol and the Rapture that drew primary inspiration from post-punk and new wave, establishing the post-punk revival movement. Alternative rock_sentence_208

Preceded by the success of bands such as the Strokes and the White Stripes earlier in the decade, an influx of new alternative rock bands, including several post-punk revival artists and others such as the Killers, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, found commercial success in the early and mid 2000s. Alternative rock_sentence_209

Owing to the success of these bands, Entertainment Weekly declared in 2004, "After almost a decade of domination by rap-rock and nu-metal bands, mainstream alt-rock is finally good again." Alternative rock_sentence_210

Thirty Seconds to Mars experienced a notable rise in popularity during the latter half of the 2000s. Alternative rock_sentence_211

American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers entered a new-found popularity in 1999 after the release of their album Californication (1999), with continued success throughout the 2000s. Alternative rock_sentence_212

Arctic Monkeys were a prominent act to owe their initial commercial success to the use of Internet social networking, with two UK No. Alternative rock_sentence_213

1 singles and Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2006), which became the fastest-selling debut album in British chart history. Alternative rock_sentence_214

Most references to alternative rock music in the United States past 2010 are to the indie rock genre, a term that previously had limited usage on alternative rock channels and media. Alternative rock_sentence_215

Radio Stations in the 2010s have been changing formats away from alternative rock, but this is mostly motivated by conglomeration efforts coupled with advertisers seeking more Top 40/Top 100 stations for sales. Alternative rock_sentence_216

While there have been conflicting opinions on the relevance of alternative rock to mainstream audiences beyond 2010, Dave Grohl commented on an article from the December 29, 2013 issue of the New York Daily News stating that rock is dead: "speak for yourself... rock seems pretty alive to me." Alternative rock_sentence_217

Contemporary mainstream alternative rock bands tend to fuse musical elements of hard rock, electronica, hip-hop, indie and punk while placing emphasis on keyboards and guitar. Alternative rock_sentence_218

In 2010s, British rock band Muse gained a worldwide recognition with their album The Resistance and Drones which won Grammy Awards. Alternative rock_sentence_219

American alternative duo Twenty One Pilots blurs the lines between genres including hip hop, emo, rock, indie pop and reggae and has managed to break numerous records. Alternative rock_sentence_220

They became the first alternative act to have two concurrent top five singles in the United States while their fourth studio album Blurryface (2015) was the first album in history to have every song receive at least a Gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. Alternative rock_sentence_221

Twenty One Pilots also became the first rock act to have a song reach a billion streams on Spotify. Alternative rock_sentence_222

Their breakout hit single "Stressed Out" was the twenty-fifth song to achieve the rare feat of at least one billion plays on the streaming platform. Alternative rock_sentence_223

The milestone comes at a time when music genres represented on streaming platforms like Spotify are fairly homogeneous, being dominated by genres such as hip hop, EDM, and adult contemporary-styled pop. Alternative rock_sentence_224

See also Alternative rock_section_16

Alternative rock_unordered_list_0

Radio formats Alternative rock_section_17

Alternative rock_unordered_list_1


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative rock.