The musical era of the 1990s was filled with a variety of pop, rap, and alternative music artists. Musical taste was varied and saw the resurgence of mainstream music as well as the emergence of many new artists who impacted the music scene. Artists from the 1990s are instantly recognizable by their band gear. Some of our favorites are listed below.
It is difficult to talk about music in the 1990s without also talking about Nirvana. The punk grunge band completely revolutionized rock and roll and the music industry. One of their most well-known symbols is the smiley face with “x” for eyes. It is a clumsily drawn face but has come to symbolize the music which made listeners think beyond merely listening for pleasure. There are several different versions of the shirt; the most classic is a black t-shirt with a yellow design.
Pearl Jam made their own mark in the 1990s with popular songs such as Jeremy, Better Man, Black, and more. They were part of the movement which made punk music mainstream. The classic band gear every fan will know and want has the classic stick figure with long hair, hands raised in the air. On the back of the shirt, there is what looks like a yellow piece of lined paper duct-taped to the shirt at the corners.
The Smashing Pumpkins
While The Smashing Pumpkins began their musical career in the 1980s, they skyrocketed to fame in the 1990s. They combined the best of alternative rock, created a sound people loved, but stayed unique to who they were. Some of their most well-known sounds include Rhinoceros, Bullet with Butterfly Wings, and Cherub Rock. One of their most beloved shirts recalls the psychedelic 1970s, with a pink, blue, and purple image of the band in the center of the shirt with the name of the band in black around the circle.
Radiohead’s music was gritty, punk, and fresh on the music scene. Nothing that had come before had ever sounded quite like they did. Their most popular song, Creep, has been a household song since coming out in 1990. Their most popular shirt is a navy blue t-shirt with a white oval in the middle. A faint image of the white house is in the background of the white oval. The words “Creep” and “radiohead” are also seen in the oval. The implications of meaning are left to interpretation, but it is a classic shirt that is perfect for collectors and fans alike.
Stone Temple Pilots
Stone Temple Pilots originated in San Diego in the late 1980s, combining hard rock, metal, grunge, alternative rock, and psychedelic rock all into one amazing package. They experimented with sounds that were popular on their own, combining them together to create a sound that was entirely their own. Their biggest albums in the 1990s Core and Purple, led the band to fame. However, their legacy lives on through their music and their most famous band t-shirt, combining zombies, androids, and psychedelic coloring.
Green Day was a band which seemingly came out of nowhere and took the world by storm. They led the way for bands to use humor and politics in conjunction with immaturity. It worked, connecting with teens and adults alike. With albums like Dookie and Kerplunk, Green Day become one of the most well-known punk bands. Fans and collectors alike love the Dookie album on a fresh and crisp white t-shirt or in a light gray color. It has a rocket landing its package with Green Day in large letters along the top of the shirt.
One of Green Day’s biggest rivals, but also one of the most similar sounds, is Blink 182, another punk band that uses humor to talk about immature topics. Unlike many of their counterparts and rivals in the 1990s who used their platform to talk about politics and abstract ideas, Blink 182 wanted to entertain and give people something to laugh at. Some of the most popular t-shirts are the famous smiley face with arrows surrounding the left-hand side of the face. Most shirts are baseball shirts with black and white coloration.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Red Hot Chili Peppers brought their own new sound to the 1990s, combining punk and hard rock that entranced listeners. They pushed the boundaries of rock and punk with their most influential and popular album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Their famous logo of the red asterisk has been used for years and is commonly found on their band gear. It is usually in red, with a white shirt. You can have tank tops, baseball tees, or regular t-shirts, but the classic red asterisk is what makes it special and classic for music lovers.