1990-1999: the Gulf War and Our Lady Peace. Clinton and Cobain. Friends and 2Pac.
When we decided to dedicate our second issue of the CBC Music Magazine to the 1990s, one thing became clear: we each experienced it in very different ways. Through geography, or age or interest, each member of CBC Music's editorial team explained their unique version of what and how they consumed music and pop culture in the ’90s. This was the decade that birthed the internet, and changed the way we interacted with our interests. It was the decade that gave us the tools to begin customizing our interests and cultural experiences; it was when rock became alt-rock and alt-rock became indie rock and indie rock became post-rock.
Through our CD players and Walkmans, some of us experienced the ’90s as the decade of Britpop or the silver age of hip-hop. Some looked back with anger at classical music going pop, and others heard the soundtracks of Space Jam, The Legend of Zelda and Full House. Others spent the decade swooning over boy bands, or donned the plaid uniform of grunge.
Even deciding on the look and feel of this issue divided our team: should we reflect the early part of the decade, with its bubblegum neon veneer (Saved by the Bell), or align the visual style with David Carson and his darker, late-decade defining design (Ray Gun)? We went with the latter.
The one thing we could agree on was keeping the primary focus for this issue on Canadian music, and there's no debating that it was a crucial decade for Cancon. Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair was summer's hot ticket, and Sloan drew the record industry's gaze to Halifax. Celine and Shania were blowing up the charts, and Barenaked Ladies went from busking in Toronto to guest starring (as themselves) on American prime-time TV. Meanwhile, small music scenes began to coalesce across the country, and formed the base for today's critically acclaimed musical landscape.
No matter what your version of the ’90s is (or even if you're a university student who hadn't even been born yet), we hope you'll enjoy our exploration of the decade.
Click here to download for IOS.