NPR’s All Songs Rewind: The Legacy Of The ’90s

Pearl Jam (top left), Missy Elliott (top right), the cover of Nirvana's Nevermind (bottom right), PJ Harvey (bottom left), Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel (center).

This retrospective charts the birth of grunge, the commercial rise of hip-hop, a batch of gutsy female songwriters and a few goofy one-hit wonders we’d mostly forgotten about. This episode is also Ann Powers’ debut as a member of NPR Music, and she and Stephen Thompson join Bob and Robin to take a look back at the decade of flannel and spice.

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Rewind: The ’90s Are Back, Or Whatever…

Cover for Nevermind

Smells Like Teen Spirit

  • Artist: Nirvana
  • from: Nevermind
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21 Mashups That Totally Shouldn’t Work But Totally Do

Originally posted on buzzfeed

1. Nine Inch Nails and Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me A Hole”

Producer: pomDeter
Like a Mixture of: Hot Topic and Forever 21

2. The Beatles & Shaggy, “Let it Be Me”

Producer: SOUNDWASTA
Like a Mixture of: A Red Stripe and a cup of green tea

3. System of a Down & Elton John, “Crocodile Chop”

Producer: Neil Cicierega
Like a Mixture of: A mosh pit and a bar mitzvah electric slide

4. The Strokes & Christina Aguilera, “A Stroke Of Genius”

Producer: Freelance Hellraiser
Like a Mixture of: A Chuck Taylor and a stiletto

5. George Michael & Missy Elliott, “Get Ur Faith On”

Producer: Kurtis Rush
Like a Mixture of: Ripped jeans and a chic black trash bag

6. Madonna & Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Crosstown Groove”

Producer: Go Home Productions
Like a Mixture of: A flowy scarf and bondage gear

7. Britney Spears & the O’Jays, “Backstab Me One More Time”

Producer: Go Home Productions
Like a Mixture of: Pepsi and cognac

8. Sex Pistols & Madonna, “Ray of Gob”

Producer: Go Home Productions
Like a Mixture of: Leather pants and glitter

9. Notorious B.I.G. & Miley Cyrus, “Party And Bullshit In The USA”

Producer: Hathbanger
Like a Mixture of: Weed and salvia

10. John Lennon & Van Halen, “Imagine a Jump”

Producer: Mighty Mike
Like a Mixture of: A poet and a frat boy

11. Nirvana & the Jackson Five, “Smells Like Rockin’ Robin’”

Producer: Go Home Productions
Like a Mixture of: Plaid and sequins

12. The White Stripes & the Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams are Made of Seven Nation Army”

Producer: DJ Poly
Like a Mixture of: A horror movie and a rom-com

13. Blondie & the Doors, “Rapture Riders”

Producer: Mark Vidler
Like a Mixture of: Zima and bourbon

14. Korn & Taylor Swift, “We Are Coming Undone”

Producer: Isosine
Like a Mixture of: Dreadlocks and tiaras

15. Janet Jackson & Tears for Fears, “That’s The Way Love Shout”

Producer: DJ SeVe
Like a Mixture of: Lust and existential dread

16. Justin Bieber & Slipknot, “Psychosocial Baby”

Producer: Isosine
Like a Mixture of: Saw and Air Bud

17. Katy Perry & Kylie Minogue, “Get Outta My Teenage Dream”

Producer: DJ PJW
Like a Mixture of: Cotton candy and pop rocks

18. Daft Punk & Will Smith, “Get Lucky Wit It”

Producer: Arcade Jump
Like a Mixture of: Miami and Mars

19. Iggy Pop and the Stooges & Salt n’ Pepa, “No Fun, Push It”

Producer: 2 Many DJs
Like a Mixture of: Acid wash jeans and stone washed jeans

20. AC/DC & Ray Parker Jr., “Thunder Busters”

Producer: Wax Audio
Like a Mixture of: Tank tops and jumpsuits

21. Nelly & the Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Hot”

Producer: lobsterdust
Like a Mixture of: Bell bottoms and Band Aids

Watch the First Trailer for HBO’s ‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck’ Documentary

For months now, Nirvana fans have been eagerly waiting to get a glimpse of the upcoming HBO documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, and now there’s finally a trailer. The film was made with the cooperation of both Frances Bean Cobain (who served as an excecutive producer) and Courtney Love. Watch the trailer below, and watch Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck on HBO on May 4.

This Day in Music History — October 26

1935 : The NBC Radio show Lux Radio Theatre presents its newest find — a 12-year-old girl singer named Judy Garland.

1965 : The Beatles are awarded Members of the British Empire (MBE) medals from Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony held at Buckingham Palace. John Lennon claims they smoked marijuana in the bathroom before receiving the awards, although George Harrison said it was just tobacco. Harrison and Paul McCartney put the awards on their jackets for the Sgt. Pepper album cover; Lennon sent his back in 1969.

1980 : Paul Kantner of Jefferson Starship is taken to LA’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after he (correctly) suspects he’s having a brain hemorrhage. His wife initially doesn’t believe him, but eventually calls the hospital’s front desk, requesting “would you please get an ambulance for this asshole?”

1993 : Michael Jackson is awarded a patent for the system that allows him to lean in unnatural angles during performances of “Smooth Criminal.” To recreate the video on stage, Jackson and his dancers wore special shoes that they could insert into pegs set up on stage for the famous lean.

2010 : Keith Richards releases his autobiography, which is called Life. His drug use is a big topic – here’s a quote: “I loved a good high. And if you stay up, you get the songs that everyone else misses because they’re asleep.”

This Day in Music History — October 25

1983 : “Islands in the Stream,” written by The Bee Gees, becomes a #1 Pop hit in a duet by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

1996 : The first Ozzfest is held as a two-day festival in Phoenix, Arizona and Devore, California.

1997 : During a concert in Flint, Michigan, Johnny Cash tells the crowd he has Parkinson’s Disease after he falls over trying to pick up a guitar pick. The crowd thinks he’s joking, but Cash’s manager confirms it in a statement two days later.

2000 : Billy Ray Cyrus lends his support to two causes when his tour bus stops in 16 different locations on Nashville’s Music Row throughout the day to collect food for Second Harvest Food Bank’s Harvest 2000; and later the same night, headlines a concert benefiting the charity

2006 : Forbes announces that Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain is now the Top-Earning Dead Celebrity, beating out Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Johnny Cash, George Harrison, Ray Charles, and Bob Marley.

This Day in Music History — September 25

1956 : Elvis Presley’s Love Me Tender becomes the first single to sell a million copies before its release.

1980 : Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham dies at age 32 of asphyxiation from vomiting after a night of heavy drinking. The band decides to break up instead of replacing him.

1990 : Dave Grohl, former drummer of the Washington DC band Scream, joins Nirvana.

2012 : Two con artists, Alpha Lorenzo Walker and Tamara Diaz, are sentenced to 292 days in jail and 3 years’ probation after an attempt to blackmail Stevie Wonder. The pair had somehow obtained or created a video portraying Wonder in a negative light and were demanding $5 million under threat of releasing it to the public. The pair were caught in a sting operation.

This Day in Music History — September 22

1960 : Joan Jett was born.

1985 : The first “Farm Aid” concert is held, in Champaign, Illinois with Roy Orbison,Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, John Fogerty and others.

1990 : After parting with original drummer Chad Channing, Nirvana plays their one and only show with Dan Peters of Mudhoney on drums (at the Motor Sports International Garage in Seattle). He is replaced by Dave Grohl, who mans the kit henceforth.

1999 : Diana Ross is held in police custody at London’s Heathrow Airport for several hours following an incident involving a member of the airport’s security staff. Ross is arrested then cautioned and released following an allegation of assault on a female security officer during routine security checks prior to boarding a plane.

2002 : Sting receives an Emmy for his A&E documentary, Sting in Tuscany: All This Time. He dedicates his award to his “dear late friend Timothy White.”

This Day in Music History — September 10

1963 : While traveling in London, John Lennon and Paul McCartney encounter Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who worked as a promoter for The Beatles earlier in the year. Oldham invites them to The Stones rehearsal, where they complete a song they were working on, “I Wanna Be Your Man,” and give it to The Stones, which they use as their second UK single.

1988 : “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses hits #1 for the first of two weeks. The band is opening shows for Aerosmith at the time.

1990 : Starring a young rapper named Will Smith, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air debuts on NBC. Smith hones his acting skills during his six seasons on the show, which features guest appearances by his musical partner, DJ Jazzy Jeff.

1991 : Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is released as a single, forever changing the musical meaning of the word “Alternative.”