Nostalgia 101 - Wonders of the '90s:Two genres appealing to different demographics
Published: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 11, 2013 02:03
Though it literally pains me to say their names in the same sentence, some of the biggest influences from the 90’s were the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Backstreet Boys.
Appealing to two entirely different demographics, each left a substantial mark on the decade.
The Chili Peppers no doubt go down as one of the most influential bands from the 90’s. Their combination of funk draped over an impressive punk-rock background out of the underground L.A. scene was unlike anything at the time.
On the other hand, bands such as the Backstreet Boys and N*Sync dominated the radio waves by cranking out pop hits that were just too catchy to forget. Shamelessly I must admit that in my more naive years I was more familiar with their songs than the Chili Peppers concurrent master works.
But what could a 6-year-old do in those days? The Backstreet Boys were simply more parental friendly than anything like RHCP’s song “Suck My Kiss” off their 1991 album “Blood Sugar Sex Magik.” Even the album name itself yells out “Don’t buy me for your 6-year-old son!”
The album “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” is easily one of my favorite albums of all time whereas I have not listened to the Backstreet Boys in anything other than satire in the past 13 years.
Get ready for your memory banks to open wide at the mention of the song names “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” and “As Long as You Love Me” from BSB’s 1996 album “Backstreet’s Back.”
Despite their blatantly pop style, lack of respect and plain old lack of input into their songs, the Backstreet Boy’s 1999 album “Millennium” was the highest grossing record of the year and decade totaling almost 9,500,000 copies sold. Are you kidding me? Who let this happen?
The contemporary Red Hot Chili Pepper’s album “Californication” (1999) also sold over 9,000,000 copies world-wide but sadly cannot claim the highest grossing record of the decade. “Californication” is packed full of Chili Pepper hits such as “Scar Tissue,” “All Around the World” and the title track “Californication,” not to mention gems such as “Easily” and “I Like Dirt.”
What makes the album even more impressive is the resurgence of energy after both lead singer Anthony Keidis and guitarist John Frusciante kicked their substantial heroin habits prior to recording.
Forgive me if I’m wrong but I do not think the Boys went through anything of the sort and still did not have time to write their own tracks, though I’m sure they have had their struggles.
To my surprise, I found that the Backstreet Boys put out a few records since “Millennium”. Keeping true to their style, the title track off their 2005 record “Never Gone” is exactly what you would expect, sentimental lyrics over an instrumental that obviously none of them wrote.
If there is one thing both bands have in common, it has to be that you absolutely must look like an idiot while dancing to their songs. No one looks cool dancing to the Backstreet Boys, and no one wants to look cool dancing to the Red Hot Chili Peppers (because you’ll never do it better than Keidis).
This was just a small sample of the music from the 90’s. Do not get upset with me because I skipped the Spice Girls, Brittney Spears, Dr. Dre and Eminem. I know they exist, we all do, it does not need to be beaten to death.
If there’s something you want mentioned in next week’s tweet at me @Mattthew305.