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Alternative Rock

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Alternative Rock


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Throughout the 1980s, alternative rock was mainly of underground nature. Once in a while a song of this subgenre would become a commercial hit or albums would receive critical praise in mainstream media like Rolling Stone; however alternative rock in the 1980s was primarily relegated to independent record labels, fanzines, college radio stations and underground circuits.

American alternative artists of the 80s did not generate big album sales, but they became a major influence on later alternative musicians of the 90s and laid the groundwork for their success.

Bands such as R.E.M., The Feelies, and Violent Femmes combined punk influences with folk music and mainstream music influences. R.E.M. was the most immediately successful; with its debut album, Murmur (1983), entering the Top 40 charts and spawning a number of jangle pop followers.

The top American Alternative Rock bands of the decade included R.E.M., The Replacements and Sonic Youth which were popular long before the Grunge movement of the early 1990s.

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