The return of rock: Part 2

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By Griffith Fuller

By Griffith Fuller

As mainstream rock departed the larger-than-life “Grunge period,” many talented bands such as the Smashing Pumpkins saw the decline of their popularity.

Rap-Metal took over MTV and radio airwaves. Some artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ben Harper, and Radiohead continued to make music, regardless of what was popular or played on mainstream radio.The Red Hot Chili Peppers is one of the most innovative bands of the 90s’, and proved that it is still as talented and original today as it was then.

By The Way, released in 2002, was one of the best rock albums to come out that year. A band that had an album produced by George Clinton (Freaky Styley), and that had Dave Navarro as a guitarist must have done something right. The band survived drug addictions that even forced guitarist John Frusciante to leave the band temporarily. 1999’s Californication is considered a classic, and proved to be one of the best albums of the closing 20th century.

Its music is still important and of great quality even in today’s cesspool of popular rock.

A folk musician of color added to the output of positive quality rock. One of Ben Harper’s biggest hits was “Steal My Kisses,” other singles are better known among college students and loyal fans.

He released his debut album, Welcome to the Cruel World, in 1994 and developed a cult following throughout the 90s’.

Harper served as the underdog for alternative rock; his music ranged from folk to reggae.

His last album is a collaborative project with The Blind Boys of Alabama called There Will Be a Light, released in Sept. 2004.

After scoring a hit with “Creep” in 1993, off of its debut album Pablo Honey, Radiohead established itself as a band that would bring something new to the table from that time and forward.

Led by Thom Yorke, Radiohead was one of the most creative bands of the 90s’, and still creates great music today.

Its second album, The Bends, was a great modern folk album with such moderate hits as “High and Dry,” and “Fake Plastic Trees.” Its next album, however, was nothing like The Bends at all.

OK Computer was a progressive digital abstract album that showed the intelligent side of industrial/ electronica music and mellow acoustic rock. Its following albums, Kid A, Amnesiac, and a live EP did exceptionally well and was very well accepted by Radiohead fans.

Amnesiac debuted at No. 1 in the United States and earned a hit from the soothing ballad “Pyramid Song.” 2003’s Hail To The Thief was a phenomenal album with such epic songs as “There There,” “Sail To The Moon,” and “We Suck Young Blood.”

While Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers were enjoying the success of their latest efforts in the late 90s’, another band was emerging from its subterranean lair to present music that was obviously more mature than the music put out by its peers. Incubus released its second project, Enjoy Incubus, an EP, in 1997.

It later released their first full-length album, S.C.I.E.N.C.E., which was heavy, corky, and certainly a new sound for future rock. Its first taste of mainstream success arrived with the release of Make Yourself in 1999. Songs such as “Pardon Me” and “Stellar” became radio favorites. But its biggest hit from that album was “Drive.” The album showed a glimpse of a change of the band’s sound. Morning View showed the bands appreciation for 70s’ psychedelia, as it said in a MTV interview that it was inspired by Pink Floyd and Björk.

Its last album, A Crow Left of the Murder, is one of its finest efforts.As the new century arrived, a band from London stole the hearts of many, showing that rock could be sensitive too.

After releasing five EPs, (The Safety EP, The Brothers and Sisters EP, The Blue Room EP, Shiver, and Yellow) Coldplay released Parachutes in 2000.

Its debut album was a nice blend of folk and alternative rock. 2002’s A Rush of Blood To The Head was a mix of psychedelia, folk, and piano ballads.

From that album were hits such as “The Scientist,” “Clocks,” and “In My Place.” X&Y, released in 2005, is considered to be the best album of the band’s career. It even includes a danceable song called “White Shadows.”

Indie rock, as a genre, had its offers of talented musicians and quality rock. With the popularity of The Strokes and The White Stripes in 2001, a powerful offspring of alternative rock bands would set the scene of today’s favorite alternative bands.

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