“Alternative” refers to the genre’s distinction from mainstream or commercial rock or pop music. The term’s original meaning was referring to A generation of musicians unified by their collective debt to the music style.
Alternative rock, pop music style dominated and changed rock between 1991 and 1996. It made it into the mainstream when “smells like teen spirit”- the first major label single from Nirvana, which was based in Seattle, Washington became a national hit. Their album nevermind was swelling 400,000 copies a week by Christmas in 1991. Other than nirvana, the music was enticed by alternative rock’s commercial possibilities and major labels had already signed Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Jane’s addiction and Dinosaur Jr.
in early 1991, R.E.M went mainstream worldwide with “out of time” while becoming a blueprint for many alternative bands. But before it all went mainstream, alternative rock 1st made its mark when the Dead kennedys formed the “independent record label alternative tentacles” in 1979. By 1984, several other bands had done the same and had mined into a variety of rock. Between the time period from the 1980s to the 1990s, various bands such as My bloody Valentine, slow dive, happy mondays and acid house made their respective marks in the world of alternative rock.
But, after the breakthrough success of Nirvana which led to the popularisation of alternative rock in the 1990s, there was a “new openness to alternative rock”. All the record labels, who were confused by this genres success, scrambled to sign bands and were eager to capitalise it. The New York Times in 1993 stated that “ alternative rock does not seem so alternative anymore. Every major label has a handful of guitar-driven bands on shapeless shirts and threadbare jeans, who conceal catchy tunes with noise”
Despite in the change of style, alternative rock still managed to be mainstream.
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, several alternative rock bands emerged, including the strokes, Franz Ferdinand and the Rapture. 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 artists found commercial success in this time. Arctic monkeys Wore a prominent act to owe their initial commercial success to the use of internet social networking, with 2 UK number one singles and whatever people say I am, that’s what I am not (2006) which became the fastest selling debut album in British chart history.
Hence, alternative music has held a place in modern culture and as culture and society evolved, so did this highly influential gamer.
While alternative music has faded into the musical background, it’s importance in the world of entertainment, and the development of western culture, stands the test of time.