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Grunge. Even the bands hated the term, which was apocryphally attributed to Mudhoney singer Mark Arm and exploited to great effect by Bruce Pavitt in the ad copy for the releases on his Sub Pop record label. Though the word itself means dirt or grime it is now forever synonymous with those grimey rockers that emerged from the Pacific Northwest in the late ‘80s and by the mid ‘90s had changed…well, pretty much everything. Hair metal? Gone. The King Of Pop? Knocked from #1 in the charts by a little band you might have heard of named Nirvana. Hit songs about being a loser? Bring it on. Punk rock being used to sell cars? Blame it on the grunge. 20 years after Kurt Cobain’s suicide, the shock waves of the grunge bands and the ensuing alternative rock explosion are still being felt. So on the eve of the formerly grunge-centric Lollapalloza festival, we thought it time to break it down to alphabetical levels. From Alice In Chains to Big Muff fuzz pedals. From the “Lexicon of Grunge” (what are “wack slacks”?) to Marc Jacobs’ grunge fashion collection, check out the most important bands, moments, trends and locales in the A – Z of grunge.
See Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain talk about how he got started in music.