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1991 in music

From Academic Kids

See also: 1990 in music, other events of 1991, 1992 in music, 1990s in music and the list of 'years in music'

Contents

Events

1991 was the year that grunge music made its popular breakthrough. Nirvana's Nevermind, led by the surprise hit single "Smells Like Teen Spirit", became the most popular U.S. album of the year. Followed immediately by other grunge bands like Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, grunge dominated the U.S. charts for the next few years. Its success effectively ended pop-oriented hair metal groups like Def Leppard, Guns 'n' Roses, Mötley Crüe, Poison and Ratt, whose sales and critical viability were beginning to decline for about two previous years and also ended Los Angeles' status as the city to be in for rock stardom.

A Tribe Called Quest's Low End Theory was released this year; it would go on to be considered one of the best hip hop albums of the 1990s. A Tribe Called Quest, along with De La Soul, Dream Warriors, Gang Starr and the Poor Righteous Teachers, helped define what came to be known as alternative rap with important releases this year.

Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was found dead in London on November 24, 1991 due to AIDS. Rumors had been circulating that Mercury had AIDS, but the death came as a shocker to millions of fans and the music industry. The remaining members of Queen form the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the following year, a tribute concert is staged in Wembley Stadium. A sell-out crowd in attendance witnessed the three surviving members reuniting to play along with performances by the likes of David Bowie, Elton John, Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard, Metallica and George Michael.

The massive success of Garth Brooks in this year sets the stage for the mid-1990s influx of pop-oriented country musicians. In addition, several soon-to-be pivotal bands form or release debuts, including future pioneers in riot grrl punk (Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, Huggy Bear), jam bands (moe., Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Spin Doctors) and stoner metal (Kyuss, Sleep, Obsessed). Massive Attack's Blue Lines, while unique at the time, invented the sound that would eventually become known as trip hop. Entombed's Clandestine and Dismember's Like an Ever Flowing Stream are early releases from the Scandinavian metal scene. U2 release their seventh album Achtung Baby, considered by many of their fans to be their best album.

Albums released

Top hits

See also: Hot 100 No. 1 Hits of 1991

Classical music

Opera

Musical theater

Musical films

Births

Deaths

Awards

Charts

KROQ

sv:Musikåret 1991

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