Taking a little cruise down memory lane last night on YouTube, I came upon a few videos I remember seeing all over MTV in their day. Here are three of them:
White Lion, "Wait"
Firehouse, "Love of a Lifetime"
Nelson, "After the Rain"
Listening to these songs again, I don't find anything wrong with the songs themselves. They're tuneful and filled with melody. However, I can totally understand why grunge was such a great thing for me, the 7th grader in '91/'92, and the jaded rock music critic who was much older than me.
The biggest thing that strikes me with these videos is how goofy-looking guys take themselves very seriously. But how can White Lion's singer consider himself a serious musician when he's constantly bending down in leather pants? How can the guys in Nelson take themselves seriously with their whole look? "That's what people did in those days" they would probably argue today. But come on, this is pure cheese. Yet cheese sells . . . for a while.
I get the same feeling whenever I watch that silly Panic! At the Disco video for "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." Sure, this band has sold a lot of records, but so what? Are the same people who love this band going to be feeling like us former Nelson and Firehouse admirers when they get to be our age? I think that's definitely in the cards.
So why do I even care? Because there's something very peculiar about how cheese can be taken so seriously and then be forever lampooned.