When Joe Elliott Described ’90s Bands As A ‘Huge Disappointment’

Joe Elliott started his career as a professional musician when he met guitarist Pete Willis, who was in a local band called Atomic Mass. The two started chatting while waiting for the bus and found out they were both interested in music. Elliott spent a lot of time with the other Atomic Mass members thanks to Willis, and the singer’s personality and talent impressed them so much that they invited Elliott to join the band.

Then, Elliott suggested that they change their name to Deaf Leopard, which would eventually become Def Leppard and the other members agreed with him. Def Leppard has released countless hit records and performed remarkable concerts since their formation in 1977. Therefore as a person who gained critical acclaim and is considered one of the best musicians of all time, Elliott was asked to share his ideas about the music industry many times, of course. Let’s take a look at one of them.

Joe Elliott’s Thoughts On ’90s Music

Some bands in the ’90s decided to continue to produce teen pop and dance-pop songs, which had become popular in the early 1980s. In contrast, others embraced different genres such as grunge, Britpop, industrial rock, and other alternative rock music.

Also, alternative rock bands’ styles inspired the rock music genre, which had been dominated by the new wave and glam metal. One of the new wave bands, Def Leppard’s lead singer Joe Elliott compared the ’80s and ’90s music to each other on different occasions.

In Joe Elliott’s words, he said:

The ’90s are a huge disappointment to the ’90s kids, I believe. If you look at bands that came out in the ’80s that are still going. There are dozens of them, I mean just to name a few, ourselves, U2, R.E.M., Duran Duran, Iron Maiden…

These bands were big in the ’80s and are still selling out stadiums or arenas now where you can’t count on one finger really. The amount of ’90s bands is still doing that.”

During one of his previous appearances on Billboard, Elliott expressed his thoughts about ’90s music, saying that it turned out to be a huge disappointment for everyone, especially ’90s kids. He stated that the bands founded in the ’80s, such as U2, Def Leppard, Duran Dran, and Iron Maiden, continued to be commercially successful and internationally popular for years, unlike the 90’s bands that lacked many things.

Why Did Joe Elliott Target The Bands Formed During The ’90s?

According to the Def Leppard frontman, the ’90s bands’ records lacked melody, which can be defined as the main reason behind his criticism of these bands. Elliott said they followed the ‘7os punk bands’ drug-fueled music and attitude but admitted that they had their own unmatchable works too. However, this didn’t stop Elliot from targeting ’90s bands who wanted to explore different genres by combining them in their songs.

Elliott added:

The ’90s lacked melody that was the main thing. It had the attitude that punk had in the ’70s in Britain. It had a shoe staring quality If you like it as well. You could almost tell where the drug dealer was, never mind how much heroin they were taking.

It had just had a very insular feel, was very introverted whereas we grew up with extroverted things. We loved David Lee Roth and Freddie Mercury, we came from that era when we were kids, these were the bands that were big and are obviously influences along with ’70s pop music.”

Joe Elliott added that the band members were too introverted, which was unusual for a generation who grew up watching Van Halen’s David Lee Roth and Queen’s Freddie Mercury. The frontmen like Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder preferred to perform the songs without turning into showmanship, or theatrical show, unlike the ’80s lead singers that became famous for their iconic moves and dances during their live shows.

You can check out the interview below.