Nearly all the writers about the 90’s like to re-write history to suit their own viewpoint especially after Seattle became the new Sunset Strip.
I recall reading hundreds of articles that said the lyrics of the grunge bands became personal, deeper and showed an angst that resonated more with people than the lyrics of the 80’s hard rock bands who focused so much on the usual SDRR (Sex, Drugs and Rock N Roll) themes.
I think there are millions of peaches that disagree.
And I always disagreed with that view point because I felt that hard rock bands from the 80’s did write personal lyrics and on topics different to the usual SDRR themes.
Dee Snider on the “Stay Hungry” album wrote about censorship, rebellion, about being away from his family, his fan base and about keeping the fire burning when you think that goal is unachievable.
Nikki Sixx wrote “On With The Show” about the night that Frankie became Nikki.
People talk about the lyrics that Layne Staley wrote in the grips of an heroin addiction. What about “Dancin On Glass” from Nikki Sixx, which is referencing Nikki’s overdose in London.
Skid Row broke big with a song about rebellion in “Youth Gone Wild”, cemented their rebellious status with their fight song “Piece Of Me” and nailed the power ballad charts with “I Remember You”. But it was their follow up album that covered so many social issues. “Slave To The Grind”.
Guns N Roses built their career on singing about cities and relationships. “Welcome To The Jungle” is about LA and “Paradise City” is about San Francisco, while “Sweet Child O Mine” is basically a love song.
However, the songs are done in a way that they seem general. Maybe that was the difference between the 80’s and 90’s songwriters.
How can you say something effective without giving too much away?