Tumblr Music Rooms: The Grunge Edition

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for some new music to get into? Check out our latest Tumblr Music Rooms post, featuring a selection of the best grunge tracks around!

What are Tumblr Music Rooms?

Tumblr Music Rooms are curated, real-time listening experiences featuring different genres of music. You can explore different rooms and find new music to listen to, or just sit back and relax.

The Grunge Edition features a selection of grunge songs from the 1990s.

The Grunge Edition

if you didn’t know, Tumblr has these things called Music Rooms. They’re public rooms dedicated to a specific genre of music, and anyone can listen and chat in them. I’ve been hanging out in the Grunge Edition lately, and it’s been a lot of fun.

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain was the guitarist, singer and songwriter for Nirvana, one of the most influential grunge bands of the early 1990s. He was born on February 20, 1967 in Aberdeen, Washington.

Cobain’s musical career began when he started playing guitar at the age of fourteen. In 1987, he formed Nirvana with bassist Krist Novoselic. The band released their first album, Bleach, in 1989. Nirvana’s mainstream success came with their second album, Nevermind, which was released in 1991. The album’s lead single,”Smells Like Teen Spirit”, became a huge hit and helped to make Nevermind one of the best-selling albums of all time.

Cobain struggled with addiction and depression throughout his life. On April 8, 1994, he was found dead at his home in Seattle from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 27 years old.

Cobain’s death shocked the music world and had a profound impact on the grunge scene. He is widely considered to be one of the most influential musicians of his generation.

Layne Staley

Layne Staley was the lead singer for Alice in Chains, one of the most successful and influential grunge bands of all time. Staley struggled with addiction for much of his life, and his death from an overdose in 2002 sent shockwaves through the music community.

Staley was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1967. He began playing music at a young age, and by his teens he was playing in a number of local bands. In 1987, he co-founded Alice in Chains with guitarist Jerry Cantrell. The band released their debut album, Facelift, in 1990.

Facelift was a success, and Alice in Chains became one of the most popular bands of the early 1990s grunge movement. The band’s second album, Dirt (1992), is considered by many to be one of the best albums of the grunge era. It included the singles “Would?”, “Rooster”, and “Down in a Hole”.

Staley’s battle with addiction began around this time, and it would ultimately lead to his untimely death. He quit Alice in Chains in 1997 due to his addiction problems, but rejoined the band in 1999 for a reunion tour. The band’s third album, Black Gives Way to Blue (2009), was released posthumously and includes a tribute to Staley written by Cantrell.

Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell was an American singer, songwriter and musician, best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist for the rock band Soundgarden. He also had success as a solo artist, with his first solo album, Euphoria Morning, reaching number one on the Billboard chart in 1999. Chris Cornell died on May 18th, 2017 by suicide.

The Music

The room is full of people, all different types. There’s the goth girl in the corner, the hipster boy by the window, the metalhead next to him, and the grunge girl sprawled out on the floor. And they’re all here for one thing: the music.


Nirvana was an American rock band that was formed in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987. The band consisted of singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain, bassist Krist Novoselic, and drummer Dave Grohl. Nirvana achieved mainstream success with their second album, Nevermind (1991), which topped charts worldwide and popularized the grunge genre. The band’s third album, In Utero (1993), was also a commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard 200. Nirvana ended with Cobain’s suicide in April 1994.

Alice in Chains

Alice in Chains is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley. The initial lineup was rounded out by drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Starr, who was replaced in 1993 by Mike Inez. Although widely associated with grunge music, the band’s sound incorporates heavy metal elements. Since its formation, Alice in Chains has released six studio albums, three EPs, two live albums, four compilations, and two box sets.

The band achieved commercial success with their second album, Dirt (1992), which was released to critical acclaim and went on to be certified quadruple-platinum by the RIAA. The album has sold over 5 million copies worldwide to date. Dirt was followed by their EP Sap (1992) and the acoustic album Jar of Flies (1994), which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart—making it the first EP ever to do so—and was certified triple-platinum. After a brief hiatus due to Staley’s drug addiction and dependence on heroin that resulted in his death in 2002,[1] Cantrell and Kinney recruited William DuVall as lead vocalist and released their fourth studio album, Black Gives Way to Blue (2009). The album debuted at number five on the Billboard 200 chart; it has been certified gold by the RIAA for shipments exceeding 500,000 copies. Their fifth studio album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013), debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart.[2] In 2018, they released Rainier Fog,[3] which became their fifth consecutive album to debut at number one on Billboard’s Hard Rock Albums chart.[4][5]

The band has had 16 top ten songs on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart,[6] nine Grammy Award nominations,[7][8][9] four MTV Video Music Awards,[10][11] and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.[12]


Soundgarden was an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Matt Cameron became the band’s full-time drummer in 1986, while bassist Ben Shepherd replaced Yamamoto in 1990. Cornell was considered one of the chief architects of the 1990s grunge movement, and Soundgarden was the first grunge band to sign to a major label (A&M Records in 1989).

The band achieved its greatest commercial success with the 1994 album Superunknown, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and contained the singles “Spoonman”, “Fell on Black Days”, “Black Hole Sun”, and “My Wave”. In 1997, the band broke up due to internal strife over its creative direction.

After more than a decade of working on solo projects, Soundgarden reunited in 2010 and released their sixth studio album, King Animal, two years later. The album received mixed reviews from critics but was a commercial success upon its release debuting at number five on Billboard 200. As of 2012, Soundgarden had sold more than 10 million records in the United States alone. In 2012, VH1 ranked Soundgarden at number 14 on their list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.

Why Grunge?

Grunge music was born in the early 1990s in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It was a direct response to the over-produced and polished sounds of popular music at the time. Grunge was raw and real, and it quickly gained a following among people who were tired of the fake and plastic sounds of mainstream music. Grunge music is still popular today, and there are many tumblr music rooms dedicated to this genre.

The Sound

Grunge is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged in the mid-1980s. Musically, grunge is characterized by heavy guitar riffs, often played with distortion, and a strong emphasis on melody. Lyrically, grunge songs are often about disaffection and conclude with an element of hope or redemption.

Grunge became commercially successful in the early 1990s, thanks in part to the release of Nirvana’s album Nevermind. The success of Nevermind led to a wave of major label signings for other Seattle bands, including Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains. These bands became known as the “big four” of grunge.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, grunge began to lose its commercial momentum, due in part to the death of Kurt Cobain and the retirement of Pearl Jam from touring. However, many grunge bands have continued to find success through underground channels.

The Attitude

Grunge was a movement that emerged in the early 1990s as a reaction to the over-the-top commercialism and excess of 1980s popular culture. The music of grunge bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam was characterized by its raw, unpolished sound and angry, distorted vocals. The fashion sense of grunge fans was likewise relaxed and unkempt, favoring plaid flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and Converse sneakers.

The grunge aesthetic was in stark contrast to the glitz and glamour of the 1980s, and it quickly became popular with disaffected youth who were tired of the superficiality of popular culture. Grunge bands rejected traditional rock stardom, instead embracing a DIY ethic and shunning commercially successful approaches to music making. In many ways, grunge was a return to the roots of rock ‘n’ roll, emphasizing emotion and authenticity over technique and polish.

Though the grunge movement was short-lived (Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994 effectively ended the scene), its influence can still be felt in today’s music.


As you can see, there are many types of coffee roasts out there. And, as with most things in life, it all comes down to personal preference. Do you like your coffee strong and rich? Or do you prefer a lighter, more mild flavor? Regardless of your taste, there is sure to be a roast (or several!) that suits you perfectly. So get out there and start exploring the world of coffee!

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