Alternative rock, sometimes shortened to "alt-rock" or just "alternative," is a form of rock music that came about in the 1970s and early 1980s in the USA and UK, remained fairly obscure through the 1980s, and then became hugely popular in the 1990s. Early alt-rock musicians mostly published independently, partially because they were new bands at the time, and partially because their music was too different from the mainstream to be commercially viable to larger publishers. However, as the genre became more popular, it became the prominent musical genre in the Western music world throughout the 1990s.
Since there isn't a unique musical structure that defines alternative rock, the genre is defined more by the instrumentation, lyrics, and presentation of the band. Alt-rock music primarily focus on electric guitar, usually with distortion, and almost always includes drums and bass guitar. As the free love days of the 70s gave way to greed and drug use in the 80s, the lyrics tend to focus on less upbeat themes like depression, death, drug use, and destruction of the environment. The music rarely promotes these themes, but rather acknowledges their prominence. Alternative rock includes cross-overs from other genres like grunge and post punk, as well as pretty much every sub-genre of rock during the 1990s. The late 1990s saw the rise of post grunge and
By the 2000s, alternative rock was in decline. There were still a lot of active bands, and even new bands forming, but they were decreasing in popularity. By the end of the 2000s, the indie rock genre had effectively replaced the term.
These are alternative rock bands and artists that are important to me.