Timeline of alternative rock

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Alternative rock is generally understood to have begun in the late 1970s and early 1980s, primarily in the United Kingdom. Reaching a commercial and critical peak in the 1990s, alternative rock acts are still popular today and AAA radio is a common format.

1970s[edit]

Albums Lou Reed releases Rock 'n' Roll Animal

1973[edit]

Bands formed

Events

1974[edit]

Bands formed

1975[edit]

Bands formed

1976[edit]

Bands formed

Albums

1977[edit]

Bands formed

Albums

1978[edit]

Bands formed

Albums

Events

1979[edit]

Bands formed

Albums

1980s[edit]

1980[edit]

Bands formed

Albums

Disbandments

Events

1981[edit]

Bands formed

Albums

Events

1982[edit]

Bands formed

Albums

Events

1983[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Bauhaus
  • Mission of Burma

Albums

Events

1984[edit]

Bands formed

Albums

Events

1985[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Minutemen

Reunions

  • The Feelies
  • Wire

Albums

Events

1986[edit]

Bands formed

Albums

Events

  • MTV begins airing 120 Minutes, a program devoted to videos by alternative artists.
  • NME magazine in the UK releases the C86 cassette compilation, which becomes a seminal release in British indie rock.

1987[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Hüsker Dü
  • The Smiths

Albums

Events

  • R.E.M.'s "The One I Love" unexpectedly becomes a Top Ten hit on the American pop charts, helping to increase alternative rock's mainstream profile and earning the band a major label deal.
  • No Doubt's original lead singer John Spence commits suicide.
  • MTV introduces the Buzz Bin in the fall of 1987, which put various alternative videos into special rotation for a period of time. Many of these videos would become breakout hits and enter normal heavy rotation as well as the top 40, especially during the alternative boom of the following decade.

1988[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Big Black
  • Green River
  • The Housemartins

Albums

Events

1989[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Guadalcanal Diary
  • Dream Syndicate
  • Felt

Albums

Events

1990s[edit]

1990[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Camper Van Beethoven
  • Mother Love Bone

Albums

Events

1991[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Galaxie 500
  • Jane's Addiction
  • The Replacements
  • Spacemen 3
  • Talk Talk
  • Talking Heads

Albums

Events

1992[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • The Feelies
  • The Happy Mondays
  • Pixies
  • Public Image Ltd
  • The Sugarcubes
  • Wire (second disbandment)

Albums

Events

  • Alternative rock fully breaks into the American mainstream consciousness, as albums and singles by bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Toad the Wet Sprocket, R.E.M., Soul Asylum, The Cure, and Nine Inch Nails reach the Top 40 of the Billboard charts. Most notable: Nirvana's Nevermind dethrones Michael Jackson's Dangerous from the top of the Billboard 200 chart
  • Pearl Jam's Ten breaks into the top 10 after nine months of release, helped by months of heavy touring and MTV exposure, eventually peaking at #2, and remaining near the top for many weeks thereafter.
  • The grunge speak hoax appears in the November 15 issue of The New York Times.
  • Trent Reznor founds Nothing Records.
  • Merge Records is founded by members of Superchunk.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers' guitarist John Frusciante quits the band; he returns in 1998.
  • Factory Records declares bankruptcy. The label had been placed in dire financial straits due to Happy Mondays' album Yes Please! going significantly over-budget-- to the point of burning through most of Factory's funds-- and failing to turn a profit, and because of delays suffered by New Order in releasing a follow-up album to 1989's Technique. London Records attempted to buy out Factory, but backed out of the deal due to the latter's lack of contracts giving their artists full rights to their backlogs; many of these artists would sign on to London Records following Factory's closure.

1993[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Echo & the Bunnymen
  • The House of Love

Reunions

  • The Buzzcocks

Albums

Events

  • Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder appears on the cover of the October 25 issue of Time as part of its feature article on the rising popularity of alternative rock. The band's massive night at the year's Video Music Awards with Jeremy leads to a disillusionment with creating music videos, which they stop doing for five years. Even so, their second album, Vs., sells approximately 950,000 copies in its opening week, setting a record for opening week sales.
  • Nirvana plays MTV Unplugged on November 18.
  • 1991: The Year Punk Broke, a documentary chronicling the Summer 1991 European tour of Sonic Youth, is released. The film also features Courtney Love of Hole, Dinosaur Jr., Ramones, and most notably, Nirvana, a month shy of the release of their breakthrough Nevermind.
  • Former Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro joins the Red Hot Chili Peppers after numerous guitarist changes.
  • New Order goes on an 5-year hiatus following the release of Republic.

1994[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Adorable
  • Codeine
  • Nirvana
  • Uncle Tupelo

Albums

Events

1995[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • American Music Club
  • Drive Like Jehu
  • Kyuss
  • Meat Puppets
  • Slowdive
  • Sunny Day Real Estate
  • The Verve (reform in 1996)

Albums

Events

1996[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Pale Saints
  • The Pogues
  • Ride
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees
  • The Stone Roses
  • Sublime

Reunions

  • Echo & the Bunnymen

Albums

Events

  • The Smashing Pumpkins' touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin dies of an overdose on July 12 while using heroin with drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. Chamberlin is subsequently fired and the band continues as a three-piece until his return in 1999.
  • Alice in Chains makes their last appearance with singer Layne Staley on MTV Unplugged.
  • Hype!, a documentary about the grunge scene of the early 1990s, is released.
  • R.E.M. sign a new deal with Warner Bros. worth $80 million. At the time, it was the largest record contract in history.
  • Bradley Nowell of genre-crossing band Sublime dies of a heroin overdose. The band splits up soon after Nowell's death.
  • Oasis performs for 225,000 in two nights at Knebworth. Ticket applications for the show were in excess of 1 million.
  • A studio fire destroys the master tapes for Sub Sub's second album, but the band decide to start from scratch on a third album, renaming themselves Doves.
  • Chris Acland drummer of Lush is found dead from suicide at his parent's house. Thus ending Lush. Lush officially announced their breakup in 1998

1997[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Cocteau Twins
  • Failure
  • Gin Blossoms
  • Jane's Addiction
  • Porno for Pyros
  • Soundgarden – believed by many to signal the end of grunge's mainstream success[3]
  • Throwing Muses
  • The Wedding Present
  • Weezer

Reunions

  • Jane's Addiction
  • Sunny Day Real Estate
  • The Verve

Albums

Events

1998[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Black Grape
  • Faith No More
  • Goats Don't Shave
  • Helmet
  • Kerbdog
  • The Lemonheads
  • Lush
  • Shudder to Think

Reunions

  • Bauhaus

Albums

Events

  • For the first year since it began, Lollapalooza does not take place, and goes on hiatus for six years.
  • John Frusciante returns to the Red Hot Chili Peppers after a six-year hiatus.
  • New Order returns to performing after an 8-year hiatus.

1999[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Blind Melon – after years of struggling to continue on without Shannon Hoon.
  • The Boo Radleys
  • Far
  • The Jesus Lizard
  • The Jesus and Mary Chain
  • Kula Shaker
  • Love and Rockets
  • Luscious Jackson
  • Pavement
  • The Rentals
  • The Verve (second disbandment)

Reunions

  • Wire (second reunion)
  • Weezer

Albums

Events

2000s[edit]

2000[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • At the Drive-In
  • Catherine Wheel
  • Hum
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • The Rentals
  • Screaming Trees
  • The Smashing Pumpkins
  • Soul Coughing

Reunions

  • Meat Puppets

Albums

Events

  • The Smashing Pumpkins announce their breakup, indicating that "Machina" was intended as their final album during production, and play a farewell concert on December 2. They release Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music for free to music downloaders on the internet after feuds between Billy Corgan and Virgin Music emerged.
  • Soul Coughing split up in 2000 after longstand arguments over royalties following their biggest releases Irresistible Bliss and El Oso.

2001[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • The Afghan Whigs
  • At The Drive-In
  • Elastica
  • Fastbacks
  • Sunny Day Real Estate (second disbandment)
  • Toadies

Albums

Events

2002[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Bush
  • Hole
  • Eraserheads
  • Spacehog

Reunions

  • Gin Blossoms
  • Jane's Addiction (second reunion)
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees
  • Talking Heads

Albums

Events

2003[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Blur
  • The Cranberries
  • Mansun
  • Shed Seven
  • Stone Temple Pilots
  • Zwan

Albums

Events

  • The first Lollapalooza in six years takes place.
  • Elliott Smith dies at age 34.

2004[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Guided by Voices
  • The Libertines
  • Sixpence None the Richer
  • The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  • Suede

Reunions

  • Kula Shaker
  • Helmet
  • Pixies
  • The Wedding Present

Albums

Events

2005[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Curve
  • Guided by Voices
  • Luna
  • blink-182
  • The Calling

Reunions

  • The House of Love
  • The Lemonheads

Albums

Events

2006[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Clor
  • Sleater-Kinney
  • Grandaddy

Reunions

  • The Smashing Pumpkins
  • Toadies

Albums

Events

2007[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Audioslave
  • The Beautiful South
  • The Cooper Temple Clause

Reunions

  • Garbage
  • The Jesus and Mary Chain
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • Shed Seven
  • Shudder to Think
  • The Verve (second reunion)

Albums

Events

  • R.E.M. are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Audioslave disbands after third album: Cornell returned to a solo career for the time being; Commerford, Wilk and Morello performed with Zach De La Rocha as Rage Against The Machine at Coachella Music Festival playing together for the first time since 2001.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins perform their first concerts since 2000.
  • Conflicting reports are released about the status of New Order, with bassist Peter Hook insisting that band has broken up, while Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris issued a statement denying Hook's statements. Regardless, the band proceeds to remain inactive for four years.
  • Factory Records founder Tony Wilson dies; his casket is assigned the final Factory catalog number to date, FAC-501.
  • My Bloody Valentine reunite, and announce plans to release a third album that they have been working on since 1996.
  • Radiohead releases In Rainbows over the Internet and allows fans to set their own purchase price.

2008[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Bauhaus

Reunions

  • Eraserheads
  • Far
  • Love and Rockets
  • No Doubt
  • Spacehog
  • Stone Temple Pilots
  • Sixpence None the Richer

Albums

Events

2009[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Dirty Pretty Things
  • Fall Out Boy
  • Oasis
  • Shudder to Think (second disbandment)
  • Silver Jews
  • The Verve (third disbandment)
  • Violent Femmes

Reunions

  • blink-182
  • Blur
  • Guano Apes
  • Hole
  • Skunk Anansie
  • Sunny Day Real Estate (second reunion)

Albums

Events

2010s[edit]

2010[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Far (second disbandment)
  • Supergrass
  • Sparklehorse

Reunions

  • Bush
  • Faith No More
  • Guided by Voices
  • The Libertines
  • Pavement
  • Soundgarden
  • Suede

Albums

Events

2011[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • R.E.M.
  • The White Stripes
  • Thursday

Reunions

  • Archers of Loaf
  • Pulp
  • The Stone Roses
  • Endless Bob Brown

Albums

Events

2012[edit]

Bands formed

Disbandments

  • Jet

Reunions

  • Codeine

Deaths

  • Mitch Lucker, lead singer of metal band Suicide Silence, after a motorcycle accident at Huntington Beach, California

Albums

2013[edit]

Bands formed

Events

  • On February 3, 2013, My Bloody Valentine releases "m b v", their third title, and first album since their 22-year-long hiatus began in 1991.[5]
  • Sonic Youth disbands, with the separation of Moore and Gordon's marriage.
  • Nine Inch Nails returns on tour in February, supporting the new album "Hesitation Marks".

Disbandments

  • My Chemical Romance
  • Elektric Orbit
  • Lostprophets
  • Sonic Youth

Deaths

  • Lou Reed, founder of Velvet Underground, and frequent collaborator with Alt Rock acts.
  • Chi Cheng, Deftones bassist after nearly 5 years of medical complications from an automotive collision.

Reunions

  • Elektric Orbit
  • Fall Out Boy

Albums

2014[edit]

Bands formed

Reunions

  • Slowdive
  • The Libertines
  • Ride

Albums

2015[edit]

Disbandments

  • Klaxons

Events

  • In November 2015, Foo Fighters announce an open-ended hiatus after releasing the EP, Saint Cecilia.

Reunions

  • The Bluetones

Deaths

  • Scott Weiland, former vocalist of Stone Temple Pilots dies on December 3.

Albums

2016[edit]

Reunions

  • At the Drive-In
  • Thursday
  • The Number Twelve Looks Like You

Deaths

  • David Bowie dies on January 10 due to liver cancer, just two days after the release of his final album, .

Albums

2017[edit]

Deaths

  • Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave hangs himself on May 18, 37 years to the day after Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis's suicide by the same method.
  • Chester Bennington of Linkin Park hangs himself on July 20.

Albums

2018[edit]

Albums

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ OMFUG, CBGB &. "CBGB History". CBGB & OMFUG. Retrieved 2018-08-12. 
  2. ^ Cap'n Jazz
  3. ^ St. Peter Times staff writer (1997). "Soundgarden's End Called the End of Grunge" Stargate.net . Retrieved September 27, 2006.
  4. ^ OK Computer (album) by Radiohead : Best Ever Albums
  5. ^ Ratliff, Chinen, Caramanica. "New Albums by My Bloody Valentine, Josh Groban, and Tim McGraw". New York Times. Retrieved 7 February 2013.