What do we know about the 1990s and the alt.country music genre? What is alt.country, the genre? How different is the 1990s from other decades? Is the decade underestimated?
It is twenty years since the momentous events of 2000/2001. So it's a good time now to ask: what happened in the 1990s?
In this book, alt.country is the key to unlocking the '90s. Now That We Live provides context, a new general definition of music genre, and a guide to the alt.country genre. Plus a new view of the fascinating relationship between Europe and the US, and vice versa.
History's representation of the 1990s is the challenge. What if history, as told in both history books and music books, has misrepresented the 1990s and as one consequence has left out alt.country?
History may not have recognised the character of the decade. If that’s the case, what is particular to the 1990s? What makes it different? And what if both the 1990s and alt.country are not what we might think?
From these questions a surprising new story emerges, told here for the first time.
So this is a fresh look at the 1990s and alt.country, including the vital role of Europe, the key labels, the prime movers, the breakthrough, the press, the key releases, and selected tracks. And what happened next.
How does a music genre get made? Might genres typically have a trajectory? How might genres relate to each other, and why might they rise and fall? Add to this the possible effects today of streaming on genre? These questions and more are answered.
The nature, geography, and role of the music industry at the time, and how that changed during the 1990s, is revealed. Including the behaviour and role of the major labels, as well as the independents.
This reappraisal gives the 1990s a distinct new life. And new stars.
Who was involved in alt.country in terms of artists, labels, and industry people? And what remains in terms of the great recordings? Plus the nature, primary location, extent, and key role of the press at the time. How does all of this relate to the decade?
Here at last, the story of the 1990s and alt.country is uncovered.
The author Mal Smith has worked in the music industry for 25 years and lives in London.
- To be published in the UK by authors.london