Guest Author - Lizz Shepherd
In the last few years, some classic rock stations have begun mixing early 90s hits into their classic rock formats. But, is grunge rock old enough to be considered classic? The typical classic rock format includes music from the mid-50s through the 80s. Of course, as time passes, the amount of time included into the definition of the classic rock era will grow. At one time, that term included only music from the 50s and 60s.
The grunge era did come with its big names that are sure to endure into the next few decades. Classic rock stations that include grunge are playing Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alanis Morissette singing such generational anthems as Smells Like Teen Spirit, Jeremy and You Oughta Know. Stone Temple Pilots, Bush and Mudhoney singles are quickly recognizable by anyone who was into grunge in the early 90s, and classic rock stations are the only ones who now play a lot of these hits. The other alternative, of course, is to turn to VH1 to get your fill of grunge. Many Generation Xers have found that the station they made fun of for playing the soft rock hits their parents loved are now playing their own generation’s music.
In addition to the now-classic grunge sound, a new classification rose up in the last few years, identifying some of the best mid-90s bands as being a separate genre called post-grunge. The sound of post-grunge is said to be the offshoot of grunge music that occurred in the mid-90s. The sound was a little lighter and more commercial, and later led to the resurgence of pop music on the charts. Whether grunge and post-grunge music are the same thing is a question that might be better solved in another 10 or 20 years, but both do have a similar sound and share a decade.
If post-grunge is a distinct music genre, does it too qualify as classic rock? Since the current mainstream position is that grunge ran from the early 90s through the end of the decade, it probably does. Then there is the question as to whether this means music made less than 10 years ago should be considered classic. For those who remember the decade fondly, probably not. Giving the classic moniker to music that young just makes everyone feel older. And for those who remember the 60s fondly, who their children's music being considered classic?
The Birth of Grunge