Bands from the 90s That We Think Are Awesome Now But Didn’t Think Were Awesome Then

History is a moving target, especially when it comes to music.  Sometimes an artist will appear with a cool and interesting twist on everything only to be ignored or derided by fans and critics.  But let enough time pass and that artist’s work is reappraised and is eventually determined to be something close to genius.

Brooklyn Vegan offers this list of 90s bands that have undergone that kind of re-evaluation.  What if we had been smart enough to recognize the genius in these bands when they were around the first time?

  • Superdrag
  • The Muffs
  • Harvey Danger
  • Jimmy Eat World
  • Smoking Popes
  • Hum
  • Toadies
  • Veruca Salt
  • Goo Goo Dolls

Notice that all these bands are back together and playing gigs, a direct result of their reappraisals.  Who would you put on this list?  Me?  I’d include:

  • Ween
  • Guided by Voices
  • Superchunk
  • Eric’s Tripp
  • Jale
  • Slint
  • Nada Surf
  • Slowdive

Feel free to weigh in.




Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

10 thoughts on “Bands from the 90s That We Think Are Awesome Now But Didn’t Think Were Awesome Then

  • August 14, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Off the top of my head, The Gandharvas, Scratching Post, Doughboys, Sandbox, Urge Overkill, Shed Seven, Cast, Babylon Zoo, Salmonblaster, Pluto, Julia Propeller and Starkicker. I’m sure there are many, many others….

    • August 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      Perhaps I should clarify that these are bands that deserve a re-evaluation and would be great to see tour again.

      Urge Overkill fits the bill of the original question most…

  • August 14, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I would add Nirvana to that list. Never much cared for them when grunge hit. It all sounded like aggression and noise. But as time goes on, it sinks in how important and influential they were

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  • August 14, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Weezer’s “Pinkerton” originally received a chilly reception. Now it’s commonly regarded as one of the most emotionally driven albums ever recorded.

    Also, Smash Mouth.

    • August 14, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      Good call. By this measure, we should also add the Beastie’s Paul’s Boutique. People forget that it was originally considered a disappointment.

      • August 15, 2014 at 1:25 am

        I find this phenomenon all the time. Back in 1993, I bought a book of album reviews. I will also add that I was an avid reader from 1987, and I lived reading the album reviews. Over that seven years, I noticed how much the reviews have changed (for better or worse). I still find it so today. Opinions change. I’ll be curious as to what I’ll be listening to in my collection in 10 years time. I’m sure my focus will change by then.

  • August 15, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Eric you must be from London you’ve got some good local groups on your list.

  • August 17, 2014 at 12:18 am

    So glad to see Hum on the first list! Me & my friends were absolutely nuts about them back when “You’d Prefer an Astronaut” came out. Couldn’t believe that no one else was talking about them at the time. There’s still a lot of people who have never heard of them, which I think is a shame. Still a landmark album for me. PS They’d make for a great show topic!


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