Twenty-five years ago, in what now seems like a brief moment, the musical stars and planets began to align.
The year before, Nirvana’s “Nevermind” had (mercifully) knocked hair-metal off the charts. With its surprise popularity, the ground started shifting around popular music, and the door cracked open for artists who had been toiling around the fringes.
In 1992, R.E.M.’s “Automatic for the People” hit critical and commercial success, as did several other left-of-the-dial artists, including Pavement (“Slanted and Enchanted”), Beastie Boys (“Check Your Head”), Sugar (“Copper Blue”), the Jayhawks (“Hollywood Town Hall”), 10,000 Maniacs (“Our Time in Eden”), K.D. Lang (“Ingenue”), Buffalo Tom (“Let Me Come Over”) and others.
Finally, the outcasts had been invited to the party.
But it didn’t last long. A year or two later, someone opened the door for Candlebox, and then Bush barged in behind them, and Collective Soul. And before you knew it, the party had been taken over by the likes of Silverchair.
With that, the outcasts filtered back to the shadows. But for a minute, we had the whole party to ourselves.