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5 Music Genres That Have Died Out

Music is an art medium that can transcend hundreds of years. A great deal of a person’s musical tastes are influenced by the people in their lives, which can often lead to listening to music from generations before. As common as this fact is, many of these people are unfamiliar with a handful of genres.

The thing is, these genres may have come and gone before their time. Here are a few genres of music that were lost to history or crumbled under their own weight:

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1. Hair Metal

This was a sub-genre of rock that also went by ‘Glam metal,’ made popular by bands like Twisted Sister, Kiss, and Alice Cooper. After a full 10 years of spotlight, it was the genre’s time to leave the musical landscape.

Many bands saw their members slowly leave the groups. Rhythm guitars Izzy Stradlid departed from Guns ‘N Roses, Vince Neil bid farewell to Motley Crue, and C.C. Deville parted ways with Poison.

It wasn’t until Nirvana’s Nevermind was released that it spelled the end of hair metal. With a genre like grunge taking center stage, there was only room for one.

2. Grunge

Although bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam popularized the genre, it too slowly lost traction among rock music fans. 90’s pop culture became all about grunge and the angst that came with it.

Unfortunately, when Kurt Cobain was found dead in 1994, it marked a dark day in music and for the genre of grunge. After the musician’s death, it created a wave that made certain grunge died out in the late 1990s.

3. Britpop

Just as the West has its variations on many genres, so too do countries across the pond. Britpop, which originated in the UK of course, took over Europe just as grunge was spreading across North America.

After Cobain’s death in 1994, bands like Blur, Pulp, Oasis, and Suede were able to capitalize on the void left in the music scene.

Definitely, Maybe, released in ‘94 was a song that put Oasis in line as the face of the entire genre. Because many of the bands lived close to each other, sometimes in the same towns, there were often rivalries.

As the success of Oasis began to decline after their album “Be Here Now” in 1996, Blur began noticeably distancing themselves from the genre altogether.

Many attribute the genre’s death to the release of Radiohead’s album “Okay Computer” in 1997.

4. Boy Bands

If you grew up in the 90s like I did, you saw the pandemonium caused by boy bands wherever they traveled. The most well-known of them, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, and 98 Degrees were on every station you tuned into at least once every hour.

Thanks to the clean, family friendly lyrics (for the most part), parents were able to listen to and enjoy the music with their kids.
Boys Bands, as fate would have it, lasted from about 1997 to the early 2000s. As the genre faded from popularity, mainstream rap and R&B began to take over television and radio waves.

Even One Direction, a recently popular boy band, saw their members part ways to pursue independent endeavors.

5. Disco

This genre got its start and popularity in the 1970s landscape of the US nightlife scene. It was a mix of music with that resonated with African Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans. Even Italians were grooving to the genre.

When it comes to the way that genres die, disco’s demise has to be the saddest of all. The genre didn’t just fade from memory but had an actual death date. July 12, 1979, is the day that Disco Demolition Night was held at Comiskey Park.

Steve Dahl, a DJ laid off from the station WDAI when they change from rock to disco, organized the event. After being picked up by WLUP and promoting the event, the expected attendance was about 20,000.

Likely a pleasant surprise to Dahl, his event saw more than 50,000 disco haters show up to participate in figuratively killing the genre.

The large crowd saw the destruction of hundreds of vinyl disco records at the field. Because the field was left so dirty after the event, the Chicago White Sox forfeited the game against the Detroit Tigers.

Despite the lack of popularity among these genres now, they helped contribute to the sounds of many modern-day genres.

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