Checkout the below listed latest and best top 10 best Alternative songs of all time 2017, Alternative Rock is a genre that really got its footing throughout the 1990s. Bands that were emerging at this time were so unique and different than what rock and roll had been up to that point, that it demanded an entire new genre be conceived. Below you will find the 10 Best Alternative Rock Songs of All Time. These are the tracks that shaped the genre, that progressed the genre in a significant way, or songs that helped to create the new offshoot of rock and roll in the first place.
- 10. “Dammit” – Blink 182 – Dude Ranch (1997)
- 9. “Semi-Charmed Life” – Third Eye Blind – Third Eye Blind (1997)
- 8. “Disarm” – Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (1993)
- 7. “No Rain” – Blind Melon – Blind Melon (1992)
- 6. “Black Hole Sun” – Soundgarden – Superunknown (1990)
- 5. “Losing My Religion” – R.E.M. – Out of Time (1991)
- 4. “Jeremy” – Pearl Jam – Ten (1991)
- 3. “Plush” – Stone Temple Pilots – Core (1992)
- 2. “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Green Day – Nimrod (1996)
- 1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Nirvana – Nevermind (1991)
Here we present the list of top 10 best Alternative songs of all time 2017.
Pop punk juggernauts from San Diego, California come in at the #10 spot with one of their very first globally distributed singles “Dammit”. This would be one of the primary introductions that the world would get to the unique duel vocalizations and ‘good times’ rock stylings that the band would later become so famous for. While the mid 1990s would see the initial successes of the rockers, “Dammit” would be a song that would carry the groups successes even into their current releases and tours today.
9. “Semi-Charmed Life” – Third Eye Blind – Third Eye Blind (1997)
Who would have thought that a song about doing crystal meth would later be deemed one of the greatest Alternative Rock songs of all time? For those of you that don’t believe that this song is about doing drugs and living your life with someone that is more preoccupied with their next hit than they are about loving each other, than you obviously aren’t reading the lyrics very closely. Regardless, 1997 would see this gem of a debut album from the Alternative giants get released, and with it, this iconic song that still greatly defines the genre to this day.
8. “Disarm” – Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (1993)
The Smashing Pumpkins have had a weird history throughout their existence as a band. From the fact that the lead singer Billy Corgan records all instrumentation in the studios for all of the albums and then just tells the other band members what their parts are, to the leaping of the group back and forth between genres have made the Smashing Pumpkins a rather difficult band to place. Considering that the bulk of their releases would fall squarely into the Alternative genre, they have made this list as one of the best bands offering several of the best singles that the style would ever see. “Disarm” was a masterpiece for the group. Even with its simplistic acoustic styling that was primarily uncharacteristic from the group, both the lyrics and the composition speak to desperation and loss.
7. “No Rain” – Blind Melon – Blind Melon (1992)
When you look up one hit wonders in the dictionary, you are likely going to find quite a lot of names listed under the term as examples. One of those names is most assuredly going to be Blind Melon. While the band would actually stay together for years and release several songs, none of them would ever come anywhere close to the successes that the group would see in 1992 with their hit “No Rain”. The song is really about the singer living life through the his own eyes. He isn’t happy with the way things are, he’s lonely and a host of other problems. The composition and instrumentation of the song would certainly suggest that this is a happy song, but the lyrics paint a different picture entirely.
6. “Black Hole Sun” – Soundgarden – Superunknown (1990)
Soundgarden is a quintessential band to bring up in the discussion for Alternative rock bands, especially during its most successful run in the 1990s. In fact, every single track that is on this top 10 list debuted within the 1990s and saw the bulk of its successes there. So with that in mind, “Black Hole Sun” was a door that was opening to bands that would follow in the stylings of Soundgarden towards (in many cases) the same level of notoriety. Chris Cornell would lead up this band, and when it inevitably would disband the singer would go on to other noteworthy projects like a solo career and a supergroup Audioslave.
5. “Losing My Religion” – R.E.M. – Out of Time (1991)
R.E.M. was a remarkably talented band during its time in the sun. They were very talented musicians, but even more than this, the lyrics for the band were carefully formed and crafted to give each and every song a deeper meaning that resonated with fans. A perfect example of this is “Losing My Religion” which would come off of the bands most successful album to date Out of Time in 1991. This is most often interpreted as a song about a guy who is trying to preserve a relationship because that love means everything to him, but he is watching it slip away no matter how hard he is trying to save it.
4. “Jeremy” – Pearl Jam – Ten (1991)
Well there are already songs about the use of crystal meth and severe depression that have made the list, so why not a little implied child violence as well? “Jeremy” was a very successful music hits that came off of the iconic album Ten from Pearl Jam. This album would feature a number of memorable hits, but something about “Jeremy” would make Pearl Jam as a band an even bigger success than they could have imagined. The singer’s perspective in this song is one of a kid who is watching Jeremy in his class, who has picked on Jeremy because he seemed harmless, and Jeremy’s implied revenge.
3. “Plush” – Stone Temple Pilots – Core (1992)
The Stone Temple Pilots were often a sordid group. While the band saw monumental success through the 1990s, and even after that, they would never quite shake the addictions that their lead singer would carry around with him. These demons would eventually claim his life only a few years ago as the band was touring. “Plush” would be a crowning achievement for the group, and came within a heap of hit singles that the band would see early on in their careers. The inspiration for this particular track was a news story about a woman who had gone missing in their area and was later discovered by hounds who had caught her scent.
2. “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Green Day – Nimrod (1996)
Perhaps one of the most iconic tracks of the 1990s, Green Day likely didn’t realize the impact that this song would have on graduating high school classes even to this day. The catchy lyrics speak a little bit of regret, but ultimately about hoping that the subject of the song looks back on the time that was spent favorably. The song also details the basic unpredictability of life, but that if you believe that they will, that things will usually turn out just how they are meant to. Even with all of the hit singles that the band would see through their mid-90s debut to their current singles today, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) is a song that resonates with audiences of all ages as a classic example of great Alternative Rock.
1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Nirvana – Nevermind (1991)
It would be difficult to make a list comprising the greatest Alternative Rock songs that have ever been created and not include the contributions of Nirvana. The pioneers of what would be deemed a mash of Alternative Rock and Grunge music, would be the forerunners for nearly every single band on this list to find their receptive audience. While the vast success of this album earns nearly every track on Nevermind an honorable mention for this list, one simply cannot refute that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is the single greatest Alternative Rock song that has ever been written. Through its iconic guitar work, its melody and its vast success, this song may never be bumped from its top spot… ever.
Alternative Rock is reliant on these songs existing to have ever reached the global popularity that it did. While there were hundreds of possible bands that could have made this list based on their own successful hits through this critical time frame for the Alternative genre, these songs made the biggest impact on what this facet of Rock and Roll would become over the years. To this day, Alternative rock is still a very present genre in the music world, though nothing quite as iconic and timeless as these tracks have been written as of yet.