The alternative is essentially a wide diversity of music genres, which combines different music directions starting from pop and ends with hard rock. For this reason, the more important indicator in the alternative is the origin of the musicians, unusual concept of creativity and the way of their positioning.
Such a type of music rather implies the antithesis of mainstream music – it is the main key. When everyone in the world of music had been already divided into genres and subcategories, there was no place for other expressions. It was needed to make the new direction, undependable from already existing views on the creation of music.
Thus, some talented musicians came out from the underground with the aim to create something new, something alternative…
Gradually the characterization of alternative becomes stronger, gaining the meaning for the whole generation of musicians, united by certain views, musical style, or simply autonomous ideas. Firstly, it comes from punk rock, which in the late 1970s established the foundation for alternative music.
Thereafter, it has spread to other genres and began to mean any commercially successful music, that evolved from the underground.
It is difficult to describe exactly all the features and characteristics of alternative music, for each group or artist - it comes out differently. This is a unique reflection of internal experiences.
But right under the surface, you can learn a lot of interesting facts. For example, in the United States, the alternative began with the term "college rock", when radio stations of colleges actively broadcast all the music that bypassed any commerce, that is, autarkical underground music.
In Britain, everything happened differently. Nowadays the rather famous indie-rock term began to evolve in the 80's and 90's, as the definition of underground music, which did not fit into existing frameworks and concepts. Also, it should be noted that the majority of indie-rock representatives and alternatives subsequently deliberately wanted to be in the shadows. Even when they became popular they refused hundreds of commercial offers, because it contradicted their DIY-ethics (Do It Yourself).
The most famous alternative bands from the mid-1980s were such U.S. bands, as R.E.M., Sonic Youth, The Replacements, and Hüsker Dü; and such British groups, as New Order, The Smiths, The Cure, The Jesus and Mary Chain. The alternative groups of the 1980s did not achieve much success, but had a great influence on the next generation of music bands, giving rise to their popularity.