The 90’s were an amazing time for music, with the advent of the Grunge movement and with many revolutionary bands coming out of Washington and California you can’t say the 90’s didn’t have some of the most influential bands of all time. But which bands were the most influential? While the position of each band on the following list may be debatable, or even controversial, here is a list of bands that have stood the test of time and are without a doubt, all influential in their own right.
Oasis was a rock band that was formed in Manchester, England by vocalist Liam Gallagher, guitarist Paul Arthurs, bassist Paul McGuigan and drummer Tony McCarroll. Oasis was active from 1991-2009 and had eight #1 albums in the UK. The band has won nine Q Awards, four MTV Europe Music Awards, six BRIT Awards and fifteen NME Awards, and they have also been nominated for three Grammy Awards.
Mudhoney is a grunge band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1988, they are considered one of the first bands to characterize the grunge sound with their dirty, distorted guitar tones and raw vocals. While Mudhoney has never seen much commercial success during the bands long existence, they without a doubt influenced many of the grunge bands and musicians that would follow them.
Soundgarden was formed in Seattle, Washington in 1984 by vocalist Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Along with the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains, Soundgarden helped to popularize the grunge genre and went on to win 2 Grammy awards for their hit singles ‘Black Hole Sun’ and ‘Spoonman’.
#7: Rage Against the Machine
Formed in 1991, Rage Against the Machine is a band from Los Angeles, California that mixes metal, rap and punk and have had a big influence on the nu metal genre. They released their first album in 1992 which became an instant success reaching triple platinum status, partly in thanks to the hit song ‘Killing in the Name’. Despite breaking up once in 2000, Rage Against the Machine still plays even today, with rumors of a new album coming out in 2011.
#6: Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Red Hot Chili Peppers were formed in Los Angeles, California in 1983 and are a alternative rock band with some elements of Funk rock and rap. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have sold over 60 million albums worldwide and have won 7 Grammy Awards along with charting three singles in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 since their inception.
Radiohead are an alternative rock band from Oxfordshire, England. Originally formed in 1985, Radiohead released their very first single, ‘Creep’, in 1992. While the song was unsuccessful at first, it became a worldwide hit a few months after they released their debut album, ‘Pablo Honey’ in 1993. Radiohead’s third album ‘OK Computer’ is considered one of the greatest albums of the 90’s.
Formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California and founded by band mates James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, Metallica is a heavy metal band which pioneered the subgenre known as thrash metal. Metallica has released nine studio albums and three live albums. The band has also won nine Grammy Awards and has sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide.
#3: Alice in Chains
Alice in Chains was formed in Seattle, Washington in 1987 by guitarist Jerry Cantrell and original vocalist Layne Staley. While Alice in Chains is considered to belong to the genre of grunge, the band’s sound incorporates a lot of heavy metal along with their distinct vocal style of harmonizing the vocals of Layne Staley with Jerry Cantrell. The band has sold over 25 million albums worldwide and has achieved eight Grammy Award nominations. After the death of lead vocalist Layne Staley in 2002 Alice in Chains disbanded for a short time. The band reunited in 2005 after finding their new vocalist William DuVall and continue to tour even today.
#2: Pearl Jam
Formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990, Pearl Jam is one of the longest living grunge bands from the 1990’s and has been touted as one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Pearl Jam has sold over thirty million records in the U.S. And have had many hit songs, including ‘Alive’, ‘Jeremy’ and ‘Even Flow’. Pearl Jam has also won 5 American Music Awards, 4 MTV Video Music Awards, 1 Esky Music Award and 1 Grammy Award, along with an abundance of nominations for various other awards.
Formed by vocalist/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987, Nirvana has been considered one of the most revolutionary rock bands of all time, with the band’s frontman Kurt Cobain being called the voice of a generation and popularizing main stream grunge music. Cobain’s uncanny rhythm and unique guitar style along with Dave Grohl’s fast, powerful drumming were in part responsible for much of Nirvana’s success. The band has sold over 50 million albums worldwide and has won 5 MTV Video Music Awards and 1 Grammy Award along with many nominations for other awards. After Cobain’s unfortunate death in 1994 Nirvana broke up, with ex-drummer Dave Grohl going on to form the band ‘Foo Fighters’.
There you have it, the Top 10 Most Influential band of the 90’s. No doubt these bands have influenced millions of people worldwide, and will continue to do so for a long time to come.