Where it began (enter Nirvana)
Although the late 80's were sprinkled with great guitar rock bands like the Pixies and Husker Du, these bands were little known on a global level. Popular music was concerned more with image and superficial entertainment as what it has grown to again today. This, of course, left the music cold and lacking of any truly emotional qualities. Even the hip-hop and rap of the day was of the light beer, dance hall, diluted to 1% of its strength variety. This atmosphere festered and bred a more apathetic music listener. This tendency also had other disastrous side effects like the decline of live music on a local level as well as many other detrimental by-products, but that's a whole other story. Anyway, the point is pop music was breeding a whole generation of music listeners who were void of passion, and as a result many believed rock music to be dead. Enter Nirvana.
"The whole problem can be stated quite simply by asking, 'Is there a meaning to music?' My answer would be, 'Yes.' And 'Can you state in so many words what the meaning is?' My answer to that would be, 'No.'"
- Aaron Copland
Nirvana's sound so brimmed over with passion and intensity that it at first appalled its listeners. Their music...