Sick of the posturing style-over-substance and self-indulgence of the Eighties, a group of musicians came together in Seattle and decided to do things differently.
Stripping away all of the extraneous elements of rock, they turned up the scuzz, got rid of the solos, turned their lyrical themes to doubt, angst and disenchantment and got rid of the big hair and shoulder pads, preferring to hang out in thrift store items, ripped jeans and let their hair grow long.
It was a welcome antidote to the excesses of rock, with the Sub Pop label leading the charge. Before they knew it, the music had broken out of their community and exploded in popularity, touching a nerve across the globe. While the original grunge era burned brightly but shortly - being dealt a huge blow with the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994 - its influence continues to this day.
We take a look at 12 classic records from the genre.