1990s and Beyond Chapter 13


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Slide 1

Though some say that popular music in the 1990s and beyond was dominated by overly commercial boy bands and teen idols, record sales indicate otherwise. Alanis Morissette’s album Jagged Little Pill (1995) was the number three best-selling album of the 1990s (Shania Twain and Whitney Houston held the top two spots). Decidedly not writing commercial pop, Morissette drew on the personal, intimate musical legacy of female singer-songwriters like Carole King and Joni Mitchell, placing the music in a 1990s context (as did Ani DiFranco, Tori Amos, Liz Phair, and others). Morissette’s music is rough and in-your-face, and proved to the world (again, like Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, and many others) that a strong woman could be successful commercially. Photo Credit: Maverick/ Warner Brothers

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The 1990s showed the incredible musical and commercial staying power of rock’s classic groups. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, though established in 1986, opened a stunning new museum in Cleveland in 1995 (pictured here). The success and popularity of the Rock Hall—in addition to sold-out concerts by the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, and the Who among many others—shows that the music continues to find new listeners. Photo Credit: Lesley Ann Miller/ WireImage/Getty Images

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Eric Clapton proved that artists from rock’s past could forge successful careers decades later. His album Unplugged (1992), with the somber hit “Tears in Heaven,” was one of the 1990s’ biggest. Clapton’s success in the decade was matched by other rock classics, like Santana and Paul McCartney. Photo Credit: Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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Sheryl Crow’s Tuesday Night Music Club (1993) was one of the best-selling albums of the decade. Her style often combines the rootsy jingle-jangle guitars and vocal approach of the Byrds and Tom Petty with strong hooks and clever lyrics. Photo Credit: Getty Images

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John Popper (left), lead singer, guitarist, and harmonica player for Blues Traveler. Blues Traveler, like Widespread Panic and Phish, was labeled a “jam band.” Like the Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead before them, these bands feature long, improvised solos, often making their live performances the best of these groups’ productions. Photo Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Corbis

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Boyz II Men in concert, 1995. Like the Temptations or the Drifters before them, Boyz II Men featured highly choreographed stage shows and a polished, richly harmonized vocal style. Their album Cooleyhighharmony (1991) was a crossover hit and helped revitalize Motown Records, which had struggled in the 1980s. Photo Credit: John Atashina/Corbis

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Whitney Houston, seen here in concert in 1992, was one of the most successful singers of the 1990s. Working with topnotch professional songwriters like Kenneth “Babyface” Edmunds, she produced many hit singles and best-selling albums. Her soundtrack to the movie The Bodyguard (1992), featuring her version of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” was the second best-selling album of the decade, with over twenty million copies sold. Photo Credit: George Chin/Redferns;

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Kelly Clarkson (center), winner of the first American Idol competition, sings “A Moment like This” to close the show’s first season. Runner-up Justin Guarini is behind her, and the show’s other contestants look on. Though first accepted by professional judges, Clarkson was the top choice of the millions of judges that mattered most: the viewing audience. Photo Credit: Reuters/ Corbis;

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Britney Spears performing live at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards ceremony. In many ways a classic teen idol, Spears (and her contemporary, Christina Aguilera) also tapped into a large preteen audience. Many overlook Spears’s considerable skill as a singer in light of her flair for dramatic performances, her huge global successes, and her Madonna like style reinventions. Photo Credit: Reuters/ Corbis

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Tori Amos and many female singersongwriters of the period (Ani DiFranco and Sarah McLachlan, among others) were the antithesis of the mass-marketed pop diva. Amos, a classically trained pianist, wrote, produced, and sang songs about highly personal, intimate moments. Though the music was produced on a small scale, Amos proved that such music could sell in large numbers: she had several successful albums through the 1990s and beyond. Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect/Getty Images

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One of the most important DJs in post-disco dance music, Larry Levan, pictured here in 1990 performing at Mars, an important club in the New York City house music scene. With his innovative use of multiple records, lighting, and sound effects, Levan controlled all aspects of the dance club experience. He proved that in this new genre it was not the records that were important; it was the DJ. Photo Credit: tinapaul @fifibear.com;

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One of the most successful recording teams in hip-hop history, Snoop Doggy Dogg (left) and Dr. Dre (right). Dre was a key player in West Coast rap, where he came up with Eazy-E and Ice Cube in the group N.W.A. (Niggaz with Attitude). Snoop and Dre teamed up to create The Chronic (1992), which became the model for West Coast gangsta rap. This album includes many George Clinton/Parliamentinspired tracks, like “Let Me Ride,” and the gangsta rap anthem, “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang.” Photo Credit: Rogan Coles/ Redferns

Slide 34

One of the most successful recording teams in hip-hop history, Snoop Doggy Dogg (left) and Dr. Dre (right). Dre was a key player in West Coast rap, where he came up with Eazy-E and Ice Cube in the group N.W.A. (Niggaz with Attitude). Snoop and Dre teamed up to create The Chronic (1992), which became the model for West Coast gangsta rap. This album includes many George Clinton/Parliamentinspired tracks, like “Let Me Ride,” and the gangsta rap anthem, “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang.” Photo Credit: Rogan Coles/Redferns

Slide 37

Dr. Dre discovered Eminem (Marshall Mathers, pictured here at a live concert) in 1997 and soon helped him produce his first album. Eminem had a distinctive vocal style and his lyrics focused not on “gangsta life” or politics, but on his personal experiences growing up as a poor white kid in Detroit. Eminem’s mother and his wife Kim were only two of many targets of his aggressive and often violent rhymes. Photo Credit: Salifu Idress/ Redferns

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Rage Against the Machine, pictured here in concert, was one of the first groups to successfully combine a rap vocal style with rock. Zack de la Rocha’s (left) often political vocals share the spotlight with Tom Morello’s (right) innovative guitar playing, which often imitated the sound of DJ scratching. Photo Credit: Grant Davis / Redferns

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Like Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne before him, Marilyn Manson used grotesque, satanic, and often vulgar lyrics and visuals in his music. Manson’s outrageousness, which he seemed to flaunt at Middle America as often as possible (this picture is from a performance at the American Music Awards, 2001), appealed to a large audience of teens who longed to rebel against suburbia and the perceived commercialism of music. Photo Credit: Reuters/Corbis

Slide 43

Georgia Hubley (drums) and Ira Kaplan (guitar) are the core members of Yo La Tengo, one of the most successful indie rock bands of the 1990s. Indie rock centered around a DIY (do-ityourself ) method of production: many bands had their own labels or used small ones (Matador produced many important indie groups, including Yo La Tengo), and the music was supposed to sound simple, nonchalant, and easy-to-create. Photo Credit: Carey Brandon/Redferns

Slide 46

Singer, songwriter, producer Beck, in concert, 1997. For years Beck has successfully straddled the indie-major label divide, scoring hit albums with both. Beck’s music blends the do-it-yourself feel of indie rock with elements of hip-hop, country rock, ’70s soul, and even classical music. In a musical world where nearly all styles are available streaming over the Internet, Beck always seems to be looking for new ones to embrace. Photo Credit: Jon Super/Redferns

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Conclusion chapter 13

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Classic Rock CD reissues Began in 1980s A change to new media forces consumers to buy old records again Radio Consultants employed to create formatted playlists “Classic Rock” becomes a format

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The Rock Hall

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Classic Rock Rockumentaries MTV and VH-1 leading proponents Behind the Music and Legends Predictable format Sense of rock history Video specials, Time-Life series Museums, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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Classic Rock Older musicians still popular From the 1960s Beatles, McCartney Rolling Stones Eric Clapton From the 1970s Peter Gabriel Santana

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Eric Clapton

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Classic Rock Older musicians still popular From the 1980s Bruce Springsteen U2 Sting

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New Traditionalism Younger roots rockers Sheryl Crow Tuesday Night Music Club, 1993 Hootie and the Blowfish Cracked Rear View, 1994 Counting Crows August & Everything After, 1993 Wallflowers Bringing Down the Horse, 1996

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Sheryl Crow

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New Traditionalism Jam bands Underground culture Directly from Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers Live show most important Phish Widespread Panic Blues Traveler Spin Doctors Dave Matthews Band

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New Traditionalism Poppier guitar-driven roots rock Matchbox 20 Third Eye Blind

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John Popper

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Black Pop Boyz II Men Returned to earlier styles of rhythm and blues Cooleyhighharmony, 1991

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Boyz II Men

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Black Pop LaFace Babyface Edmunds L.A. Reid Producers and songwriters Artists TLC Usher Toni Braxton

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Black Pop Divas Singing styles that showcased technical dexterity, ornamentation, expression Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You,” 1992 The Bodyguard, 1992 Mariah Carey “Vision of Love,” 1990

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Whitney Houston, 1992

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Teen-Oriented Groups Boy bands Lou Pearlman, manager Backstreet Boys Millennium, 1999 *NSYNC No Strings Attached, 2000 Justin Timberlake

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The first American Idol

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Teen-Oriented Groups Girl groups Spice Girls Simon Fuller, manager Spice, 1997 Teen Girls Britney Spears Christina Aguilera

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Britney Spears

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Female Singer-Songwriters Artists seem to be singing about their own experiences Tori Amos Little Earthquakes, 1991 The Indigo Girls Atlanta-based Swamp Ophelia (1994)

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Tori Amos

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Female Singer-Songwriters Liz Phair Chicago-based Exile in Guyville (1993) Ani DiFranco Ran her own label, Righteous Babe Not a Pretty Girl, 1995

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Female Singer-Songwriters Canadian Sarah McLachlan “Adia,” 1997 Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill, 1995 The audience for both teen idols and female singer-songwriters is mainly teenage girls

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Electronic Dance Music Regional dance styles in New York, Chicago, Detroit, England, San Francisco, Los Angeles After the fall of disco, new records were in short supply DJs developed techniques to create new music

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Electronic Dance Music New York Larry Levan, Paradise Garage Garage style Chicago, Frankie Knuckles House style Detroit, Belleville Three (Atkins, May, Saunderson) Detroit house style Producers traveled between cities

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Larry Levan, 1990

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Electronic Dance Music Rave Culture American underground dance culture Mainstream electronic dance music Fatboy Slim Chemical Brothrs Moby As recorded music, sometimes awkward to perform

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Rap A dominant style in the United States during the 1990s

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Rap West Coast Death Row Records Suge Knight, owner Dr. Dre The Chronic, 1993 Snoop Doggie Dogg Doggystyle, 1993 Tupac Shakur Me Against the World, 1995 Killed in 1996

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Snoop Doggy Dogg

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Rap East Coast P. Diddy Bad Boy Records Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die, 1995 Killed 1997

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Dr. Dre

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Rap Wu Tang Clan Co-op of nine DJs Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), 1993

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Rap Will Smith Family friendly rapper In addition to music, television and film actor Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) Provoked widespread controversy

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Eminem, 1997

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Metal and Indie Rap and rock fusion Rage Against the Machine Blended hard-driving rock with mostly rapped vocals Korn Heavy, angular, distortion-soaked riffs Follow the Leader, 1998 Limp Bizkit System of a Down Kid Rock

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Rage Against the Machine

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Metal and Indie Nine Inch Nails Industrial The Downward Spiral, 1994 Marilyn Manson Fascination with the grotesque

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Marilyn Manson

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Metal and Indie Indie “Do it yourself” aesthetic Yo La Tengo Pavement Slanted and Enchanted, 1992 Guided by Voices Bee Thousand, 1994 Critics generally found indie rock to be purer and more direct that mainstream music

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Yo La Tengo

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Metal and Indie Indie Important labels Matador Merge Sub Pop K Records Kill Rock Stars

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Metal and Indie Indie Beck Indie rocker gone mainstream “Loser,” 1993 Alt-country Uncle Tupelo Son Volt Wilco

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Beck, 1997

Summary: Popular music 1990s

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