If you grew up in the 1990s, and you were really into music and new sounds, you may remember the day that you heard an amazing new sound coming out of Seattle, Washington.
I was at a fraternity party in the early 90’s and they were playing all sorts of music from different genres and years. There was 70’s funk and disco; 80’s pop; 80’s hairband rock, 70’s and 80’s heavy metal. This wasn’t unlike any other college party in the early 90’s.
Then somewhere out of the nowhere that night a sound came blaring out from the cheap speakers setup in the corners of the room. “What is that? Who is that?” were questions being thrown around about this song being played.
It was Nirvana and the song was “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” I had no idea who this band was or where these guys in this frat house found this cassette, but I needed to have it.
Birth of Grunge Rock
And with Nirvana came the birth of what would become known as Grunge Rock. The Big Hair Sounds of the 1980’s was officially behind us and in front of us was the music era that was about to define the coming decade.
These guys weren’t your typical rockers of the day. They were not glamourous. They were not all dressed in thousand dollar wardrobes. They were guys like every kid at that fraternity party that night. They were just a bunch of guys in their Kicks and Walmart jeans and t-shirts playing music that sounded like it came from their garage.
A Completely New Sound
The kids of the early 90’s needed a new sound. They needed a sound that would define their generation, and this was it.
The thing that made Nirvana so great was they brought the other bands that were playing alongside them in Seattle basements and garages right along with them. The Lovemongers, Mother Love Bone, Hole, and Screaming Trees broke into this grunge rock/alternative sound with Nirvana. These groundbreakers would pave the wave for bigger bands that would make huge splashes in the 90’s: Pearl Jam and Soundgarden to name a couple.
And with that, out went my old 80’s look and in ushered my 90’s grunge look that Nirvana made famous: the “I don’t care what I look like as part of this slacker generation.” We were slackers. We were grungy. And we were in love with our look, style, and sound of the next ten year.