“The 1990s were a turning point in music: with the increasingly connected world enabling an unprecedented coalescence of various styles and genres, the decade featured the rapid evolution of sonic artistry — and subsequently shaped the soundscape of eras that followed.“
The 1990s were a bit of a strange decade. The post-Cold War landscape gave us attempts at looser forms of politics (does anyone still remember “The Third Way”?) and a cultural explosion to match.
Music that started finding its feet in the 1970s and 1980s was thrust into the mainstream (disco, R&B and punk became techno, hip hop and grunge) and sonic stalwarts of the previous decade reinvented themselves (again).
Step forward, Rob Harvilla, host of 60 Songs That Explain The 90s – a podcast from The Ringer that he created and hosts.
It’s no ordinary, tick-the-boxes music podcast by any stretch of the imagination, with Rob curating, narrating and debating songs from the decade that meant a lot to him, to the music industry – hell, even society, in some cases.
The show is funny, informative and thought-provoking, which is a pretty good description of his chat with us for our episode of MetaPod.
We find out why he selected songs (or didn’t) for his collection in the show, what it was like being Rob Harvilla in the 90s and, as is now customary on MetaPod, a rapid-fire question round at the end.
MetaPod recommendations for 60 Songs That Explain The 90s
- When Rage Against The Machine brought the revolution to the suburbs
- How the Spice Girls took over the planet with Girl Power and Wannabe
- Radiohead’s Creep: The one song they couldn’t escape
- The sacred and the profane of Tori Amos’s Cornflake Girl
- How Oasis conquered Britpop – and then the world – with Wonderwall
- Madonna strikes a pose
- All you ever needed was Whitney Houston’s voice
- Enter Sandman was Metallica’s triumphant crossover
- The Breeders, Cannonball and the chaotic pop of Kim Deal
- Guns N’ Roses, November Rain and the death of hair metal
About Rob Harvilla
Rob Harvilla is a senior staff writer at The Ringer and the host of 60 Songs That Explain The 90s. He’s written for the Village Voice, Deadspin, SPIN, Pitchfork, and various other places that may or may not exist anymore. He lives with his largish family in Columbus, Ohio.