5 Videos — The R’s and B’s of Grunge


Want further proof of grunge’s pop culture takeover? Then take a gander at these 90s R&B music videos.


While the grunge music scene had been simmering in the Pacific Northwest since the late 80s, it really landed into the international public consciousness in the fall of 1991 with the release of Nirvana’s Nevermind. The band’s subsequent performance on SNL in January 1992 was an especially pivotal moment in pop culture, exposing an even larger mainstream audience to a gritty, anarchistic look and sound that opposed everything else playing on Top 40 radio and MTV. Suddenly, all of that high-priced pop music gloss seemed incredibly outdated. By the end of the year, grunge ‘style’ had become ubiquitous

Just how visually influential was grunge? So much so that it even rippled into the world of R&B. All you need to do is to check out music videos pre-1992 and compare them to those shot after Nirvana (and Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, et al) exploded. R&B and hip hop artists who had previously dressed in clashing colors and loud get-ups were suddenly wearing flannel shirts, combat boots and muddy-hued stripes. Even music video art direction got knee-deep in rustic, sepia tones. Of course, this dialed-down aesthetic only lasted a few years — by 1995, flash was back, led by Michael and Janet’s pricey video for ‘Scream’ (ironic since Nevermind knocked MJ’s Dangerous from Billboard’s #1 album spot three years earlier). But 20 years on, it’s sometimes hard to remember just how transcendent the grunge moment was, even if its plaids, ditsy florals and Docs have since been adopted by the Generation Coachella.

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Categories: Editorial, Fashion, Film, Lifestyle, Music


Fashion Stylist | Author of "Michael Jackson Style" and "Madonna Style". Spent majority of time backstage in London and New York; shuffling between Fashion Week and Theatrical Costuming Gigs after Graduating from the University in Fashion Design.


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One Comment on “5 Videos — The R’s and B’s of Grunge”

  1. August 4, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    Great post!! I’m really loving grunge right now 🙂 <3

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