Whether you're a huge fan of 90s grunge bands or not, you can't deny that it was ground-breaking. Bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Soundgarden changed the way we listen to music and gave us an appreciation for something a little different. Celebrate this fast-paced, revolutionary and 'drudgy' sound with the greatest grunge albums that made grunge as well-known and loved as a music genre as it is today.
Now what's the first band you think of when you read or hear the word grunge? Nirvana. Walk into major retail shops, record stores or look at the cute rocker boy at the back of your class. What is one thing they all have in common? Nirvana merch. They're grunge icons no doubt, and this album got them there. Kurt Cobain mixed punk and pop together to create this masterpiece of an album. Classic songs like 'Come as You Are' and 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' were first introduced on this album and made the quiet verse/raging chorus type song infamous.
One of the founding bands of grunge, Soundgarden were one of the first to give us those muddy slow riffs we've come to know and love. Having not gained too much success in their previous seven years together, Badmotorfinger really transformed the bands image and popularity. The main reason for this is their single 'Outshined' which hit the MTV music charts with a bang and kept on climbing and climbing. We're thankful Soundgarden gave us this album for us all to appreciate.
I know what you're thinking and yes, it is their most commercial album. However, it doesn't stop it from being the best. Guitarist Stone Gossard and Basest Jeff Ament didn't stop after the tragic end to their band Mother Love Bone and formed this iconic band. This might be their most mainstream album, but they did not release their best song (in my opinion) 'Black' as a single. I don't know about you but if that doesn't scream 'we love music and are not sell-outs', then I don't know what does.
As I just mentioned, before Gossard and Ament became a part of Pearl Jam, they paired up with amazing singer Andrew Wood to form the band Mother Love Bone. My top track on this album has got to be 'Crown of Thorns', purely for how beautiful it sounds as a result of being piano led. So simple, creating a glam aesthetic for grunge that wasn't there before. Tragically Wood didn't make it to see the release of the album because of drugs. Grunge was such a chaotic and short-lived period in history whereby none of the artists expected to make it big. Well done, guys and god bless Andrew Wood.
Dirt followed Alice in Chains' successful album Facelift which projected their newly founded grunge persona out onto the world. This band started out as heavy as they come, and their roots never left them, they just chilled their sound out a little. This album covers so many hard hitting topics like depressions, relationships and drug addiction and sent us on an emotional rollercoater. Since it's release it has been certified four-times platinum and rightfully so. Enjoy this emotion fest, it's beautiful in a dingy, low-vibe way.
This record is a pretty fantastic debut, we must admit. From the flashy guitars to Corgan's deep confessional lyrics, it's hard not to love. Gish is moody, dark and intimate. You'll expect to find nothing but drama with tracks like 'I Am One' and a more chilled folk vibe with 'Crush'.
Guitars were a big contributor to the unique grunge sound and Mudhoney knew it. That's why they named this album after the two key guitar effects pedals that became increasingly used: the Univox Supe-Fuzz and the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff. This album came before most and shaped many artists to come afterwards. The legend, Kurt Cobain listed this album as one of his greatest of all time and that says it all.
This album was recorded as a tribute to a very special icon in grunge history - Andrew Wood. He was Mother Love Bone's lead singer who tragically died in 1990 due to drugs. Featuring former Mother Love Bone members turned Pearl Jam members Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament, this record real means something. Although it didn't kick off well in terms of sales, it soon became one of the greatest grunge albums of all time!
Core is the influential album by American grunge band Stone Temple Pilots, released in September of 1992. Almost unbelievably, this record peaked at #1 on the billboard heatseekers and went 8x platinum in 2001, certified by the RIAA. This was their best selling album and we can see why! Scott Wieland hits on some crazily deep topics with his lyrics surrounding the likes of humanity, religion, power and sex. 'Plush' and 'Naked Sunday' are our favorites, tell us yours!
Although Nirvana had the hardest task in following up their hit album 'Nevermind', they managed it somehow. In Utero is a raw and heart-felt album, featuring less gimmicks to promote a beautifully pure sound. classic off this album has got to be 'heart-shaped box' which is a hit not and was very much at the time of it's release too.
Well, there it is. The Black Ravens' ultimate list of the greatest grunge bands of all time. Have we missed any? What did you think?