The ’90s were full of music legends. But some bands stood out from the rest. There are many reasons why these bands became the most influential and iconic music acts of their time. They have released hit songs, amazing albums, and they have always been remembered for putting on a great live show whenever they performed in front of a huge audience.
The 90s were filled with great music that everyone loved, and these bands gave us the reasons to love them even more. They made us want to go back in time when we could hear their songs all over the radio without having to deal with internet piracy or downloads which spoiled our favorite songs.
And when each new song came out, you would rush to your nearest store or order online to get your hands on an original copy in cassette or CD format, instead of getting it for free on sites like YouTube where you can listen (and watch) for free today. Here are some of the most iconic names in ’90s music that ruled the time:
Green Day took the world by storm when they released “Dookie” in 1994. Their songs became instant hits and it was something new from what we usually hear at that time. Green Day’s live performances were a big hit as well, and their concerts continued to be sold out for several years before taking a break in 2004 due to singer Billie Joe Armstrong entering rehab for substance abuse.
Luckily, they returned stronger than ever with even better hits like “American Idiot” which won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 2005 and became one of their top-selling albums worldwide. They continue to perform today and you can bet that their upcoming tour will also be a huge success!
The Smashing Pumpkins:
If you are a 90s kid, then you heard this band’s songs being played on the radio. Their album “Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness” brought them mainstream success around the world due to its outstanding sales figures which were only second to Michael Jackson at that time.
They continued their dominance in popular culture with several hit singles from their follow-up albums like “Adore” and “Machina/The Machines of God.” But it was not long before internal conflicts tore the band apart and lead singer William Corgan went on to release many solo albums as well as collaborate with other artists. As far as we know, he is still in the band with a new album set to be released this year.
Rage Against The Machine:
This was one of the most iconic bands at that time due to their political songs about social issues and struggles around the world. They hit us after hit back when they first started, but when lead singer Zack de la Rocha left in 2000, they have since focused more on change through their music instead of being a full-time band.
They are still very relevant in today’s musical scene because many artists have drawn inspiration from their music which makes you want to gather in huge stadiums just to hear them play live once again!
The Beastie Boys:
They were able to produce fantastic albums almost every other year. They were the definition of cool and not only did they produce hit songs, but their music videos were just as awesome!
Just like Green Day and Nirvana, this band also took a long break before returning stronger than ever with “To The 5 Boroughs” in 2004 which won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. This album was their first number one album in 18 years, and it proved that they still have what it takes to make great records!
Red Hot Chili Peppers:
They continued to produce amazing albums throughout the 90s including several hits like “Californication” which earned them Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album (2000) and Album Of The Year (2001). Lead singer Anthony Kiedis’ drug addiction and subsequent rehabilitation also led to the band taking a break before reuniting with brand new music this year which will surely be a huge success.
They may not have enjoyed as much commercial success as the other bands on the list, but they left their mark in rock history due to frontwoman Courtney Love who was also well-known for her tumultuous relationship with Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain.
Their second album “Live Through This” even received critical acclaim despite all of those personal issues surrounding Courtney Love and it landed at number 45 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 100 Best Albums Of The Nineties. Hole officially disbanded in 2002 after 8 years together since forming in 1989.
Dave Matthews Band:
Despite frontman Dave Matthews being accused of drug use, he still managed to put out good songs that were loved by many. They have toured every year since the 90s and are always bringing their A-game when it comes to living performances.
They’ve released 10 albums including hits like “Crash” which won them the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal (2001). They continue to perform in different countries even up until this day.
Another iconic band from the 90s, Pearl Jam has sold over 60 million records worldwide—all without any major label support! Their debut album “Ten” is one of the best-selling albums in the world, and it also gave the band their first Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal in 1993.
And though they have since released new material, they are still most famous for their early 90s hits like “Jeremy” which was inspired by a school shooting that happened in Texas in 1991.
They continued to be relevant in rock history even up until 2012 when lead singer Michael Stipe announced his retirement from music altogether so he could focus on being an artist instead of just being known as one of the members of R.E.M. But despite not making records anymore—they continue to perform live shows all around the world!
This was the famous grunge band led by the late Kurt Cobain who tragically killed himself in 1994. But even after his death, the band’s music lived on and is still relevant today! Their second album “Nevermind” sold over 26 million copies and was also named as the best-selling first-generation CD ever released.
They were awarded several Grammys including one for Best Alternative Music Album (1996) and Best Rock Song (1994, 1996). This band will forever be remembered as one of those 90s bands that truly ruled the time!
They are an alternative rock band that released several singles starting with their debut record “Dreaming Out Loud” which had songs featured on various soundtracks by different TV shows including “The O.C., Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs” etc.
This led to increased exposure for the band who later went on to release their sophomore album “Waking Up” in 2009. This record garnered them three Grammy nominations including Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals (2010). Their latest album, “Oh My My” was released just last year and has been one of the top hits on Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs chart ever since it debuted!
They’ve been dubbed as one of the most iconic live acts in music history and continue to headline sold-out concerts all over the world. They have released 13 studio albums with their latest album titled “Songs Of Innocence” receiving universal acclaim from critics and fans alike.
Even up until today, Bono is widely recognized by music lovers across the globe for his activism on humanitarian causes due to his stellar songwriting abilities that resonate with people everywhere!
Boyz II Men:
This band is one of the most popular R&B groups in history with songs like “Motownphilly” and “End Of The Road.” They were highly successful in the 90s released several songs that made it to the top of the charts including “I’ll Make Love To You” which was also used for a fragrance commercial by Japanese men’s cologne brand, Armani Code.
This Irish boyband was formed in 1998 which launched the careers of several successful solo artists. They have sold over 50 million records worldwide and are also credited for being one of the acts that helped to “revive” pop music’s popularity in Europe during the turn of the millennium!
This band consists of three brothers with an Americana, folk-rock sound who are most famous for their single “Mmmbop.” Their self-titled debut album won them a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (1998). They continued to release new singles even after 20 years since their formation!
They were created by Lou Pearlman as part of his own “boy band” factory and they became one of the most successful groups in history selling over 130 million records worldwide. Their second album “Millennium” released in 1999 lead to them having a record-breaking year on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart with all nine songs from their second album!
They went on to win an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Band (2000) and also received two Grammy nominations which included Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals (2000).