I “meh” The 90s Part 1: Blame It On Cobain
This is the first in a series of analyzing the decade that followed my favorite one. To me, the 1980s was a time when creativity and fun were prevalent from beginning to end. Whether it was film, music, culture, or trends, it was all fun. The tail end of the decade for me is where my earliest memories were generated.
The first songs I heard on the radio that actually bring back a sense of nostalgia for me were Billy Idol “Mony Mony,” Richard Marx “Endless Summer Nights” and George Michael “Father Figure.” Hearing them now generate pure 80s nostalgia and remind me of a time when my only concern was Ninja Turtles or Batman.
As the 80s turned into the 90s, I kept listening to whatever my mother or father would play on the radio, which was typically pop music from the 80s and previous decades that were played on soft rock and pop radio. Little did I know what I was listening to was now the scourge of the earth as new modern bullshit began to take over the airwaves.
In 1991, the party that was 80s rock radio was given one last hurrah before a dark depressing cloud took over the mainstream and poisoned the pop and rock charts. Guns N Roses, Metallica and Skid Row released their biggest and most ambitious albums of their careers in September 1991. All of them hit the top of the charts at the same time.
Weeks later, a sound that was different from the rock of the day topped the charts. It’s name was Nirvana, pioneered by Kurt Cobain. This melodramatic, drug addicted lowlife who I wouldn’t let serve me lunch at McDonald’s was now America’s favorite rock star. That soon led to an influx of similar depressing alternative bands known as grunge. It even sounds gross to listen to.
Instead of being a typical rock star, Cobain bitched and moaned about how he hated the rock star lifestyle and became even bigger for it. Soon the music that was fun was gone and replaced with something that was more “honest” and “realistic.” Pop culture began to suffer because of this asshole. Flannel shirts were a fashion trend it was all of a sudden cool to be a depressed suicidal asshole.
Other music genres began to suffer due to this infestation of depression such as R&B. We went from tremendous stars such as Janet Jackson to Mary J. Blige who spewed their depressing message around the world. Suddenly the decade that was supposed to be fun became a depressing couple of years.
Cobain eventually did the world a favor and blew his brains out because he couldn’t take being famous, leaving every depressed teen in America to consider that as an option. Some role model, huh? I’m sorry, but I have no sympathy for a person like that who’s head is so far up their own as that they don’t seek help. Don’t be a rock star if you don’t want to and go away. Also, for the record, the only “honest” music that came out of the 90s was from Notorious B.I.G., 2 Pac, and various other great rappers, although I still prefer Run DMC, Beastie Boys and 2 Live Crew.
Unfortunately, the world of rock music never fully recovered from this black cloud and it became very sparse for good rock stars who want to be rich, famous and play good music to become popular once again. We’re now forced to listen to dreadful acts such as Nickleback, Daughtry, Bon Jovi, and Saving Abel and call them rock stars. Bon Jovi hasn’t made a good album since 1988 so they fall into this class of modern mass suckage.
The problem is that no one wants to be a rock star anymore and there aren’t any memorable front men anymore. Where’s someone like a Mick Jagger, Axl Rose or the list of so many others who wanted to be rock stars? Why do we look at Kurt Cobain as a martyr for music when all he was was a low life drug addict? This whole “I don’t wanna be famous” mentality came from him and it essentially ruined music as we know it today.
Rock music needs another Guns N Roses, Def Leppard, Cheap Trick, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or any of the other great bands from an era of so long ago to kick the doors down and play some kick ass rock music again. Hell, focus on these artists again and give them some radio play since most of them are still together and make music regularly. Maybe then we’ll be putting the right person in as one of the greatest artists of all time in Rolling Stone magazine.
In conclusion, the 1990s music scene suffered from this miscarriage of talent. Why couldn’t music be fun anymore? What was wrong with all the artists who sold millions throughout the 1980s? The decade started out so well but eventually went to in the crapper. Keep posted for more in this series as I analyze the gen X decade and why it could have been better.