Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Tour Dates/Tix | Feeds

How Nirvana and Metallica Changed Rock Forever

06/25/2013
.
(Gibson) It's generally held that 1967 was a landmark year for rock music. Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced, Cream's Disraeli Gears, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band – all of those albums were released that year and they all had an instant and jarring effect on music history, with particular impact on guitarists. A similar impact was felt around the world in 1991 with the release of several extremely influential albums – U2's Achtung Baby, Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Pearl Jam's Ten, My Bloody Valentine's Loveless, Primal Scream's Screamadelica). Among this elite crop were a pair of very different but equally epoch-changing records: Nirvana's Nevermind and Metallica's self-titled album (often referred to as the Black Album due to its distinctive monochromatic cover).

Metallica had been on the brink of breaking through to the mainstream for a few years. They even scored a minor hit in the form of "One" from 1988's …And Justice For All. But it wasn't until the epic opening section of "Enter Sandman" crept onto radio in July 1991 that the band really exploded into the mainstream. Likewise, Nirvana had been around since 1987 and had sold 40,000 copies of their debut album Bleach in 1989, but Nevermind really busted things wide open for the band.

Like a huge rock dumped in the path of a small stream, the release of the Black Album on August 13 and Nevermind on September 24 seemed to split the direction of guitar playing - and therefore rock music in general – into two distinct paths. One side - the Nirvana-influenced side – favored rougher technique, grittier tones and relatively minimal production. The other side, championed by Metallica acolytes, preferred a heavier, more technically precise sound. The rise of grunge is well documented, and while Nirvana's success helped open the door for their contemporaries, it also opened the floodgates to a surge of imitators. Similarly, the bottom-heavy sound of the Black Album can be heard as an influence on many later recordings, from the immediate aftermath to now, twenty years later.

Black Album producer Bob Rock seemed to take some of the Metallica guitar tone with him when he produced Motley Crue's self-titled album in 1994: the single "Hooligan's Holiday" prominently displays a very Metallica-like rhythm guitar tone in its chorus. Anthrax's The Sound Of White Noise features similar high production values and song structures; and Testament's The Ritual exhibits similar structural streamlining and an increased focus on melody, as did Megadeth's Countdown To Extinction. Did these bands change their approach because that was the way metal was evolving, or were they encouraged by their labels to veer more towards the formula that worked so well for Metallica? It's impossible to say, but intriguing to ponder. It's undeniable that after Metallica led the way, metal became much more mainstream. Pantera's Far Beyond Driven debuted at #1 in 1994, while a year earlier Morbid Angel became the first death metal band to sign with a major label (Giant, a joint venture of Warner Bros. Records and Irving Azoff).

As for Nirvana, Kurt Cobain's distinctive vocal delivery and Pixies-inspired quiet verse/distorted chorus songwriting style were echoed a couple of years later by bands such as Bush and Silverchair, then on through Lifehouse in the early noughties and to modern bands like 30 Seconds To Mars. In fact 30STM vocalist Jared Leto is a declared Nirvana fanatic – he performed Nirvana's "Pennyroyal Tea" dressed as Cobain on the 17th anniversary of Cobain's death.

What was it about Cobain that galvanized guitar players of the era so thoroughly? Well, for starters, the genius simplicity of his riffs meant they weren't as difficult to master as Metallica's, and perhaps that made them more accessible to kids picking up an axe for the first time to learn a few songs. His guitar solos were typically reflections of his vocal melodies, which made them extremely memorable and playable (since Cobain didn't pack his melodies or solos with billions of notes). And his guitar tones weren't as difficult to replicate as Metallica's. Free of excessive studio processing, Cobain's guitar sounded much more like the average guitar in the average room, compared to Metallica's ultra-crafted sounds. It's easy to imagine young players in 1991 picking up a guitar for the first time to learn songs from each of these two classic albums, and finding that the simpler technical nature of Cobain's riffs (combined with their intriguing harmonic content) was easier to approximate that the complex thrash riffage of Metallica, which required a degree of endurance and precision to nail. more on this story

Gibson.com is an official news provider for the antiMusic.com.
Copyright Gibson.com - Excerpted here with permission.

Metallica Tour Dates/Tickets

Metallica CDs, DVDs and MP3s

Metallica T-shirts and Posters

Metallica CDs, vinyl and rarities


Share this article


.


...end




.
News Reports
.
• Day in Rock:
Paul McCartney Reveals Song Featuring Led Zeppelin's John Bonham- Slayer's Kerry King Wanted To Join Pantera?- Ozzy Thinks Technology Is Killing Music- more

• Day in Pop Singing Nun Covers Madonna's Like A Virgin- Interscope Drop Chief Keef?- South Park Releasing Kanye West 'Hobbit' Spoof- Annie Lennox On Beyonce Criticism, Twerking- more

• B-Sides: Jimmy Page Talks Beastie Boys, Fav Led Zeppelin Album - Michael Anthony Says He Could Sing for Van Halen- Alice Cooper Appears In New Theory Of A Deadman Track- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

.
 
Reviews
.

• Road Trip: Styx Rocks Cozumel, Mexico Aboard The Carnival Breeze

• Anubis Gate - Horizons

• Rock Reads: Excess All Areas: Demands and Idiosyncracies of Rock Icons on Tour

• Riot V - Unleash the Fire

• Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare

• Classics: Virgin Steele - Invictus

• Manilow - Cease and Desist

• Striker - City of Gold

• Ali Campbell (UB40) - Silhouette

• Hank 3 Live

• 5 Star: Ozzy Osbourne - Memoirs of a Madman

• Excel - Split Image

• Sister Hazel - 20 Stages

• Portrait - Crossroads

• Elvenking - The Pagan Manifesto

• Bryan Adams - Tracks of My Years

• MorleyView: St. Madness

• Virgin Steele - The Marriage of Heaven and Hell - Part One


.
.
.

Search for Tickets

Or Browse For Tickets

.
.
Today's Rock News
.

• Paul McCartney Reveals Song Featuring Led Zeppelin's John Bonham (top story)

• Slayer's Kerry King Wanted To Join Pantera? (top story)

• Ozzy Thinks Technology Is Killing Music (top story)

• Nick Oliveri SWAT Team Incident Inspired Song (top story)

• Lydon Will Never Reunite With 'Talentless' Sex Pistols (top story)

• The Old 97's Adding Unearthed Songs To Hitchhike Reissue (top story)

• Bob Marley's Final Tour Captured On Uprising Live! DVD (top story)

• John Doe Of X Plans Book About L.A. Punk Scene (top story)

• Russian Circles Reveal Initial 10th Anniversary Tour Dates (top story)

• Flaming Lips Ready For Backlash Over Beatles Cover Album (top story)

• Judas Priest Reveal World Tour Dates (top story)

• Paul Stanley Calls Former KISS Members Flat Tires (top story)

• Pearl Jam Pay Tribute To Isaiah 'Ikey' Owens With Song (top story)

• Behemoth Releasing Limited Edition EP (top story)

• Sodom Reveal New EP Details (top story)

• Diablo Blvd Give Fans A Taste Of Upcoming Nuclear Blast Release (top story)

• Waypoint Releasing New EP Next Month (top story)

• Virgin Steele Working On New Album (top story)

• Machine Head Guitarist Tributes Randy Rhoads With Tattoo (top story)

• Slipknot Guitarist Explains New Member's Band History (top story)

• Slipknot Streaming New Album In Full (top story)

• Why Velvet Revolver Passed On Corey Taylor (top story)

• Led Zeppelin Lose 1st Battle In Stairway To Heaven Fight (top story)

• Fleetwood Mac Plan New Album (top story)

• Queensryche Frontman Suffers Personal Tragedy (top story)

• Black Widow's Clive Beer-Jones Dead At 65 (top story)

• Primus Add 'Golden Tickets' Hunt To Wonka Album Launch (top story)

• Paul Stanley Explains Why KISS Replacements Wear Same Makeup (top story)

• Aerosmith's Joey Kramer Addresses Recent Health Scare (top story)

• Pink Floyd's David Gilmour Pays Tribute To Rick Wright (top story)

• Ozzy Osbourne Reveals Timetable For New Solo Album (top story)

• Ian Denies Anthrax Rift With Belladonna (top story)

• Supertramp Expanding Crime Of The Century For 40th Anniversary (top story)

• KK Downing Felt Judas Priest Lost Their Spark (top story)

• Metallica Made Big Impression On Volbeat Frontman (top story)

• Obsidian Kingdom Streaming Debut Album Online (top story)

• Paul Allender Explains Exit From Cradle Of Filth (top story)

• Porcupine Tree Offshoot Burnt Belief Streaming New Album Online (top story)

• I AM I Enter New Era With New Lineup (top story)

• Hammerfall Reinvigorated With Latest Album (top story)

Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Pop News
.

• Singing Nun Covers Madonna's Like A Virgin (top story)

• Interscope Drop Chief Keef? (top story)

• South Park Releasing Kanye West 'Hobbit' Spoof (top story)

• Annie Lennox Clarifies Beyonce Criticism, Calls Out Twerking (top story)

• The Game Sued Over Alleged No Show (top story)

• Sara Evans Releasing Christmas Album (top story)

• Wiz Khalifa Releases Interactive Stayin Out All Night Video (top story)

• Naked Chef Treats Taylor Swift To Shake It Off Parody (top story)

• Kevin Hart Pokes Fun at Drake and Drake Fires Back (top story)

• Lorde's Hunger Games Soundtrack to Feature Kanye West, Charli XCX (top story)

• T.I. Releases Mobster 'King' Video (top story)

• Rapper Who Cut Off Own Penis Turns Incident Into Stand-Up Routine (top story)

• Ringo Starr To Be The New Face of Skechers (top story)

• Little Big Town Have Surreal Grand Ole Opry Induction (top story)

• Ice Cube Gets Angry For Jimmy Kimmel (top story)

• iLoveMakonnen Delivers Tuesday Video (top story)

• Teyana Taylor Teases New Song with Fabolous (top story)

• Gwen Stefani Releases Baby Don't Lie Video (top story)

• Lorde's Royals Banned in San Francisco (top story)

• Dustin Lynch Hit In The Face With Beer Can (top story)

• Sleater-Kinney Releasing First New Album In A Decade (top story)

• Taylor Swift Premieres New Song Welcome To New York (top story)

• Coldplay Announce New DVD and Live Album Releases (top story)

• Country and Rock Songwriter Paul Craft Dead at 76 (top story)

• Alan Jackson Announces 25th Anniversary Tour (top story)

• Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris Go Outside For New Single (top story)

• Jason Aldean Expands Burn It Down Tour (top story)

• Lorde, Chemical Brothers, Miguel Release New Hunger Games Track (top story)

• Gwen Stefani Releases New Single (top story)

• Damon Albarn Confirms New Gorillaz Album Plans (top story)

• Kelly Clarkson Covers Sam Smith's 'Stay With Me' (top story)

• James Blunt Was Also Annoyed By 'You're Beautiful' (top story)

• Hozier Provides Soundtrack To LeBron James' Akron Return (top story)

• Beyonce Designer In Racial Controversy (top story)

• Paloma Ford Recruits Meek Mill For New Track (top story)

• Jason Derulo Plans Songs About Jordin Sparks Breakup (top story)

• U2's Bono Has Eye Disease (top story)

• Migos Star Jumps Off Stage and Punches Fan (top story)

• Iggy Azalea Responds to Divorce Claims (top story)

• Taylor Swift Hosts Secret Fan Events (top story)

• 16 People Die At K-Pop Concert (top story)

• Munford & Sons Working On New Album (top story)

• Trace Adkins Launching Christmas Tour and DVD (top story)

• Fat Joe and Jennifer Lopez Release 'Stressin' Video (top story)

• Lupe Fiasco Reveals First Track From New Mixtape (top story)

• Rich Gang Release 'Freestyle' Video (top story)

• Hank Williams Biopic Cast Revealed (top story)

• Gucci Mane Streaming New Album Trap God 3 (top story)

• Dillon Francis Remixes Deadmau5's 'Some Chords' (top story)

• Little Big Town Releasing New Album, Pain Killer, This Week (top story)

• Tanya Tucker Exhibit Coming To Country Music Hall of Fame (top story)

• Pharrell Producing Snoop Dogg's New Album (top story)

• Film Rights For Steamy Harry Styles Fan Fiction Sold To Paramount (top story)

• Jason Aldean's New Album Almost Had A Different Title (top story)

.
.
Latest B-Sides News
.

• Jimmy Page Talks Led Zeppelin Success, Beastie Boys, Fav Album, More (top story)

• Michael Anthony Says He Could Sing for Van Halen (top story)

• Alice Cooper Appears In New Theory Of A Deadman Track (top story)

• Bring Me the Horizon Release Horror Themed Drown Video (top story)

• U2 Perform New Songs On Jools Holland (top story)

• How Sick Of It All Avoided Music Biz Downturn (top story)

• In This Moment Release Sick Like Me Video (top story)

• Crowbar Release Symmetry In White Video (top story)

• Aerosmith's Joe Perry Discusses Influences and Bandmates (top story)

• Metal All-Star Christmas Raskasta Joulua Is Not A Joke (top story)

• Bush Rock Jimmy Kimmel (top story)

• Robert Plant Animated For Led Zeppelin Stairway Story (top story)

• Foo Fighters Team With Cheap Trick Star For New Single (top story)

• At The Gates Release Death And The Labyrinth Video (top story)

• Riot V Preview New Album Unleash The Fire (top story)

• Interpol Release Surreal My Desire Video (top story)

• The Smashing Pumpkins Release New Song Being Beige (top story)

• Deep Purple Release Live Lazy Video (top story)

• Alice Cooper Releases Welcome To My Nightmare Live Video (top story)

• Gene Simmons Says He'll Be God On Reality Singing Show (top story)

• Zakk Wylde Looks Back At Ozzy's Breakin' All The Rules (top story)

• Alien Ant Farm Look Back At Smooth Criminal (top story)

• Video Of Pearl Jam's Live Debut Of New Song Goes Online (top story)

• Chickenfoot Reunite At Sammy Hagar Birthday Bash (top story)

• Lost Paul McCartney & Wings TV Ad Goes Online (top story)

• Fall Out Boy Recruit Rick Ross For New Video (top story)

• Alice Cooper Releases Live Poison Video (top story)

• Down N Outz Release Pop-Up Video For One Of The Boys (top story)

• Halestorm Fans Tattoo Devotion Surreal For Frontwoman (top story)

• Sting Presents 'Stingtones' On Fallon (top story)

• Amplifier Release The Meaning Of If Lyric Video (top story)

• Leprous Release Pre-Tour Video (top story)

• Gotthard Release C'est La Vie Video (top story)


More News

.
 
anti Worthy Links
.
• AudioNationRadio.com • The Screen Door • A Journal of Musical Things • Lloyd Zeffler blog • Demolish Mag • Nightwatcher's House of Rock • CJ Chilvers • Deja Voodoo • The 1st Five • thecopycat.biz • Hard Rock Memorabilia • Day in Rock @twitter

.
  .
.

Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!
Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!



 

Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2014 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved. antiMusic works on a free link policy for reprinting of our original articles, click here for details. Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.