Grunge has been perceived as the music that defined 'Generation X'. Twenty years after the height of the movement there is still considerable interest in its rise and fall, and its main figures such as Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. As a form of 'retro' music it is even experiencing a resurgence, and Cobain remains an icon to many young music fans today. But what was grunge, and what has it become? This book explores how grunge has been remembered by the fans that grew up with it, and asks how memory is both formed by and forms popular culture. It looks at the relationship between media, memory and music fans and demonstrates how different groups can use and shape memory as part of an ongoing struggle for power in society. Grunge was the site of such a struggle, as popular music so often is, with the young people of the time asking questions about their place in the world and the way society is organized. This book examines what these questions were, and what has happened to them over time. It shows that although grunge challenged many social structures, the way it, and youth itself, are remembered often work to reinforce the status quo.
Dr Catherine Strong, Lecturer in Sociology, Monash University, Australia
'This book is a welcome addition to academic libraries collecting in the sociology of popular music and memory.' Association for Recorded Sound Collections Journal '[Strong] does a remarkable job of historically contextualizing grunge and investigating how it is understood today... Strong’s examination of how women are either denigrated or excluded from the canon is fascinating and opens up avenues for further research into the displacement of women not only in grunge, but also in rock music more generally... for those scholars who are looking for a book that attempts to situate grunge historically while also discussing its remnants in modern consciousness, Grunge is an exceptional foray into the genre.' Popular Musicology Online