I never got grunge.
Yes, it was, I suppose, some sort of “what’s next” to follow the hair metal sound of the late 80’s that had more than run its course, and I did appreciate some of the music that Pearl Jam made – Vedder has a voice for the ages – but to me, grunge wasn’t alternative, and to me, Nirvana was nowhere near being the alternative band of its time, no matter how many albums they sold or however much people wanted to hold up Kurt Cobain as some sort of “voice of a generation.”
The real alternative band of the time was Jane’s Addiction.
As you’ll read in this track-by-track Rolling Stone article from last year (link below), they were influenced by classic rock bands, prog groups (Rush, Genesis and Floyd are cited) and some alternative groups, but Jane’s Addiction’s blend of rock was something different – even dangerous – during their time.
However, they could write epic tracks when so moved – check out “Three Days” or “Ted, Just Admit It” from “Nothing’s Shocking” – and to me, they were always ascribing to create art with their music. A parallel with The Doors was cited, and that’s probably not far off the mark.
Their first album (a live effort), “Nothing’s Shocking” and “Ritual de lo Habitual” are a trifecta of heavy, alternative, artistic rock. The latter two remain in my 100 all-time favorite albums list and still sound great today.
Click here to check out the article.