Through the years, music has evolved many times. Sometimes at a very rapid rate, like a nitroglycerin fueled explosion and others at a very slow rate like a race between confused snails.
Every era of music can be debated by everyone as to which is the greatest, and which is the worst, which era actually had the most meaning, which had the least?
I believe it mainly depends on how you grew up and what just feels right to you. Whether it's the 80's hair bands who originally started looks over sound, but at least it had rock riffs, or my personal favorite the "Grunge," "Seattle Scene," or even if you're a fan of the untalented brain dead bubble-gum POP artists, everyone has their own opinions. Or maybe it was from a time before this like the 20's or 30's jazz, or the 60' and 70's classic rock. And because I am writing here, I can voice mine a little more loudly.
To me the 80's rock with the exception of a few like Ozzy, Metallica, and other ?real' hard rockers, was just a runway show. Though occasionally the "hair bands" were able to show that at least some do have musical talent, but were just to showy in putting multiple guitar solos in every song, it still was a time when it was "look at me, I'm a rock star."
As the 80's progressed it started to become clear in underground music scenes that what was mainstream, was not the way of life for many. "Punk" music became very popular with bands like the Sex Pistols and the Clash leading the way, but even this smaller movement paled to the 80's hair metal. Between the mid 80's and late 80's bands were forming like wildfire in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington. Bands forming around Olympia, Tacoma, Aberdeen, and of course Seattle itself were soon to become some of the biggest bands ever.
1991 saw the emergence of "Nevermind" by Nirvana that released the song and video "Smells Like Teen Spirit." The song and video set off a popular culture explosion that threatened to trap everyone who could hear the song or see the video to feel exactly the way Kurt Cobain did. With Kurt's mesmerizing guitar work and vague and sometimes not understandable lyrics, alongside Dave Grohls aggressive drum work the song was an instant success, making all eyes turn towards Seattle. Other groups that were popular in Seattle soon became famous all over. Groups like Nirvana, Pearl jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains were the ones who the light fell on most, while acts like Screaming Trees, Mudhoney, Green River, and others enjoyed a much more broad respect than previously received.
After the initial explosion that threatened to engulf the world, it began to dwindle only a few years later. With Alice in Chains beginning to tour less in the mid 90's, and Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994, the explosion seemed to become a tamable fire. Some say that the era died with Kurt, others say it finally died when Soundgarden disbanded in 1997. What I say is that with all good music, it can never truly die, once a record is made, it is there forever and the art of these artist can never be taken away. During the mid 90's bubble-gum music began to comeback again with artists like Mariah Carey giving way for a few years later for artist like Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, and the list goes on for about hundred other names (maybe that's an exaggeration). But rock during the mean while was still around with early 90's rock bands like Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam (who survived the grunge beheading), all released records with strong support and toured as well, along with others.
But soon in the late 90's along with the ivy like overgrowth of bubble-gum acts emerged rock rap hybrids that was visited slightly in the 80's. Acts like Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock who were never interested in the music but the money and fame part of the business were celebrating platinum selling records as people bought in to the no talent zeros. When you rip off an entire Metallica song and change the solo, and add your own lyrics it's hard for me to give you the least respect, and besides, the people just can't write lyrics.
The past few years have shown that rock music seems to be coming back stronger than in the previous years after the too soon castration of grunge. Acts that have been emerging the last three or four years like, Seether, Godsmack, P.O.D., Puddle of Mudd, Jerry Cantrell's solo career (formerly of Alice in Chains), Trapt, Audioslave (whom contains Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and the remnants of Rage Against the Machine), and many others have proven rock music is still alive. All of these bands have admitted to the likeness of early 90's music, or being involved themselves, as a big influence.
So here's the theory, all the people who were teenagers when grunge was in power are now in their early to mid 20's and are ready to showcase their talents that they based upon the grunge era. So just about every 10 years or so a new movement will happen, it may not be all located in the same place like in Seattle, it might be spread around like it is now. Either way if you have love of music then you can trust it to restore itself within time. You have to make different people happy at different times.
Ryan Whelchel, of Jonesboro, is a student at Georgia State University and a summer intern for the News Daily.