How the 1992 VMAs Exemplified Rock’s Generational Power Struggle


Opposite to the favored narrative, grunge did not seem out of skinny air and obliterate the ’80s laborious rock zeitgeist in a single day. But when there is a single occasion that represented rock music’s altering of the guard — and the transient second in time the place these disparate strains coexisted — it is the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards.

The 1992 VMAs had been a who’s who of laborious rock and metallic royalty and grunge and alt-rock heatseekers. Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers had been all there to advertise their multiplatinum breakthrough albums, rubbing elbows with elder statesmen like Def Leppard, Van Halen, Elton John and Eric Clapton. Guns N’ Roses and Metallica even took a break day from their gargantuan co-headlining stadium tour to gather awards as effectively.

This rock ‘n’ roll hodgepodge resulted in some extremely of-the-moment performances and juicy backstage drama, making the 1992 VMAs some of the memorable within the present’s historical past. Listed here are 5 moments from the ceremony that exemplified rock’s generational energy battle.

Van Halen Takes Residence Video of the 12 months
The grunge revolution might need been in full swing by 1992, however that didn’t cease Van Halen from dominating that 12 months’s VMAs. The hard-rocking foursome picked up three trophies for “Proper Now” (together with the highest prize, Video of the 12 months), tying them with the Chili Peppers for essentially the most wins of the night. “Proper Now” served because the third and closing single from 1991’s For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, their third consecutive album with lead singer Sammy Hagar and the third of 4 consecutive No. 1s on the Billboard 200. Fourteen years after releasing their diamond-selling eponymous debut, Van Halen proved they may nonetheless hold with rock’s new class.


Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Will get a New Lease on Life
The 1992 VMAs came about roughly 9 months after Freddie Mercury died, and 12 years after Queen earned their final platinum album within the U.S. Evidently, the basic rock icons weren’t precisely a industrial power to be reckoned with on the time. However they loved one in every of their many profession renaissances that 12 months when “Bohemian Rhapsody” was featured in Penelope Spheeris’ basic comedy Wayne’s World, starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey. The movie’s iconic head-banging scene catapulted “Bohemian Rhapsody” to an all-time peak of No. 2 on the Billboard Sizzling 100 greater than 16 years after its launch (it peaked at No. 9 throughout its preliminary run), and Queen took dwelling the Finest Video From a Movie award on the 1992 VMAs. It was an interesting, ironic rebirth for the kind of classic-rock dinosaur lengthy thought of out of vogue by the early ’90s.


Purple Sizzling Chili Peppers Win Viewer’s Selection Award 
Nirvana’s dour, hyperdistorted punk-pop (or “grunge,” as followers and vulturous advertising and marketing executives knew it) was all the craze by 1992, however so was Purple Sizzling Chili Peppers’ impish, libidinous pressure of funk-punk. Sizzling off the multiplatinum success of 1991’s Blood Sugar Sex Magik, the California quartet turned the most-nominated act of the evening, incomes 9 nods and three wins: Breakthrough Video (“Give It Away”), Finest Artwork Route in a Video (“Give It Away”) and Viewer’s Selection (“Beneath the Bridge”). Dozens of viewers members banged their heads onstage throughout the band’s triumphant “Give It Away” efficiency, cementing RHCP’s standing as populist party-rockers.


Metallica Collects Finest Heavy Steel/Onerous Rock Video
Metallica followers watching the 1992 VMAs may in all probability nonetheless bear in mind the times when the band staunchly refused to make movies, a stance they held for his or her first three albums and at last relinquished with 1989’s “One,” the breakthrough single off … And Justice for All. Quick-forward a number of years, and the reformed thrash titans had been clinching the Finest Heavy Steel/Onerous Rock Video award for “Enter Sandman,” the monstrous lead single off their 1991 self-titled album. The 16-times platinum Black Album and its ensuing awards-show victory lap marked the start of Metallica’s imperial section; they’d proceed to launch chart-topping, multiplatinum data and pack stadiums for the following a number of many years.


Nirvana and Weapons N’ Roses’ Epic Feud
Nirvana and Weapons N’ Roses had been arguably the 2 largest bands on the earth and the poster youngsters for rock’s generational energy battle circa 1992. Each acts carried out at that 12 months’s VMAs — Nirvana taking part in dynamic Nevermind reduce “Lithium” and Weapons N’ Roses teaming up with Elton John to unleash the epic energy ballad “November Rain” — however each performances paled compared to the epic backstage feud between Kurt Cobain and Axl Rose. The meat started simmering throughout a Weapons N’ Roses live performance every week earlier than the VMAs when Rose stated Cobain was “a fucking junkie with a junkie spouse [Courtney Love], and if the infant [Frances Bean Cobain]’s born deformed, I believe they each should go to jail.” Love requested Rose on the VMAs if he can be Frances’ godfather, to which Rose responded by telling Cobain some variation of, “You shut your bitch up, or I’m taking you right down to the pavement!” With out lacking a beat, Cobain — three-week-old daughter in his arms — wheeled round and instructed his spouse, “Shut up, bitch!” Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl additional poked the bear by repeatedly yelling, “Hello, Axl!” into the mic after Nirvana’s “Lithium” efficiency.

High 100 ’90s Rock Albums

Any dialogue of the High 100 ’90s Rock Albums should embody some grunge, and this one is not any completely different.

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