Still, given the surge of commercially successful artists over the decade, it can be hard to keep them all straight. After all, you can’t really play 10 years’ worth of music on repeat—unless you’re really that dedicated.
Let’s put your knowledge of ’90s alternative music to the test. We’ll give you an artist, and you tell us which of the hit songs listed belongs to them. Feel up to the challenge? Take the quiz below.
More on ’90s alternative music
While alternative music has early roots in the ’80s, the scene owes the next decade for its rise to popularity. The ’90s brought alternative rock into the spotlight with the commercial success of bands such as Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers and R.E.M. Following this shift in public attention, subgenres such as grunge, Britpop and indie rock would come to dominate the airwaves.
Nirvana released their grunge phenomenon “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in September 1991. Their breakout success and subsequent popularization of the grunge genre largely influenced public perception of heavier music. In their wake emerged a number of bands who would come to define the ’90s. Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam became radio regulars.
The genre would progress significantly over the course of the decade. Stemming from the influence of the British Invasion came bands such as Pulp, Blur and Oasis. Others, such as Bush, Creed and eventually Foo Fighters, expanded sonically on their grunge predecessors.
By the start of the 21st century, the alternative scene had evolved largely beyond recognition, setting the stage for the pop-punk takeover of the 2000s. However, a lot of your favorite acts from the ’90s are still releasing music. Alanis Morissette returned with her first album in eight years on Such Pretty Forks In The Road, and Semisonic dropped a new EP in September. And Foo Fighters are gearing up for their tenth studio album, Medicine At Midnight, set to release in 2021 with first single “Shame Shame.”