The ’90s was a great decade for rock music. Check out our list of the best rock music videos of the ’90s.
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana
Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is one of the most iconic music videos of the ’90s. The black and white video features the band performing in a dimly lit school gymnasium, with teenage girls moshing in the background. The video perfectly captures the raw energy and excitement of Nirvana’s music.
“Come as You Are” by Nirvana
With its stripped-down set and simple shots of the band members (and frontman Kurt Cobain’s now-iconic cardigan), the music video for Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” was a far cry from the over-the-top visuals that characterized many other videos of the ’90s. But that’s precisely what made it so effective; it perfectly matched the song’s raw, emotive power.
“Lithium” by Nirvana
Nirvana’s “Lithium” was released in 1992 as the third single from their album Nevermind. The song was a huge success, reaching #1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart and #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The accompanying music video was directed by longtime Nirvana collaboratorKevin Kerslake and features the band performing in a basement. The video was nominated for four MTV Video Music Awards, winning two for Best Alternative Video and Best Editing.
“In Bloom” by Nirvana
Nirvana’s “In Bloom” was released in 1992 as the fourth single from the band’s album Nevermind. The song was written by Kurt Cobain and features him on lead vocals and guitar. The music video, directed by Kevin Kerslake, features the band performing in a dimly lit room with clips of them playing in concert interspersed. Kerslake also included a number of shots of flowers blooming, which Cobain felt represented the band “in bloom” and at the peak of their success.
“Heart-Shaped Box” by Nirvana
Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box” is one of the most iconic rock music videos of the ’90s. The video, which was directed by Sophie Muller, features a creepy, otherworldly tone that perfectly matches the dark and brooding feel of the song. The video also features some memorable images, including a close-up of Kurt Cobain wearing a nun’s habit, which has become one of the most iconic images associated with Nirvana.
“Rape Me” by Nirvana
“Rape Me” is a song by American rock band Nirvana, released as the second single from their album In Utero in 1993. The song was written by Kurt Cobain and was one of the first songs he wrote for the album.
The music video for “Rape Me” was directed by Samuel Bayer and was released in February 1994. The video caused controversy due to its graphic and potentially offensive imagery. It was subsequently banned from MTV.
“Pennyroyal Tea” by Nirvana
The music video for Nirvana’s “Pennyroyal Tea” was directed by Anton Corbijn and released in 1993. The black-and-white video features footage of the band performing the song intercut with shots of Kurt Cobain lying in a field of tall grass.
“Dumb” by Nirvana
“Dumb” by Nirvana is often cited as one of the best rock music videos of the ’90s. The video was directed by Robert BREER and released in 1993. It features footage of the band performing the song intercut with various animation techniques.
“All Apologies” by Nirvana
“All Apologies” by Nirvana is one of the best rock music videos of the ’90s. The video features a black and white footage of the band playing in a sparsely decorated room. The visual effects are simple but effective, and the song’s lyrics are printed on the screen in a handwritten font. “All Apologies” is a great example of how a rock music video can be powerful and moving without being over-the-top or flashy.
“You Know You’re Right” by Nirvana
Nirvana’s “You Know You’re Right” is one of the best rock songs of the ’90s. The music video is just as iconic, and features the band performing in a dark room with flashing lights. The video was directed by Anton Corbijn, and won MTV’s Best Alternative Video award in 1994.
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