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Alternative Music ALT 98.7's Best Alt Songs Of "All Time"...My Way  

Danielle Dauenhauer
1.4k votes 125 voters 4.9k views

Naming the best alternative rock songs of all time is quite the burden to anyone that considers themselves a fan of alt rock. As someone who proudly wears that moniker, I was a bit affronted when the voting I did made so little impact on the final rankings of radio station ALT 98.7 fm's list of the 98 best alt rock songs "of all time". All time. Not 2013, not the decade or even the century...ever.

In reordering this list of the greatest alt rock songs ever (according to some insignificant sample of terrestrial radio listeners in LA) by some of the top alternative artists of all time, the hard part wasn't separating the actual timeless alternative rock songs from the crap songs filling out the 98, it was deciding what order to put 50-odd songs that should all have been 99 or greater in some semblance of order that justified their inclusion among songs like "Jeremy", "Song 2", "Smells Like Teen Spirit", and other alt rock staples that truly deserve to be called the top alternative songs of all time.

List of best alt rock songs ever (my way) is a reorder of what I was given by the listeners over at KYSR 98.7 fm. The original rank is listed and some of the songs have commentary (mostly when I don't believe the song to actually be alternative). Make no mistake, there are some doozies missing from what purports to be a greatest alt rock songs ever list. While there's some merit to including quality one-hit wonders like "Flagpole Sitta" and "No Rain", there's not a single song from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Hole, The Pixies, Rage Against the Machine, Garbage, Flaming Lips...I could go on, promise.

Anyhoo, you've got my order. Vote on the best alt rock songs in history, make your own ranking, go nuts.

1
33 11
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Nirvana - ALT Rank: 2

2
26 8
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ALT Rank: 22

3
26 10
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R.E.M. - ALT Rank: 12

4
21 6
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The Cranberries - ALT Rank: 80

5
24 9
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Coldplay - ALT Rank: 13 (I have a little problem calling this "alt" as opposed to pop, but if we go with alt, it belongs high up

6
21 7
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ALT Rank: 5

7
10 1
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8
10 2
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Mumford & Sons - ALT Rank: 39

9
11 3
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ALT Rank: 78

10
15 7
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Weezer - ALT Rank: 90

11
17 9
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Imagine Dragons - ALT Rank: 6

12
12 5
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13
12 5
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MGMT - ALT Rank: 3

14
14 7
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ALT Rank: 14

15
9 3
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Of Monsters and Men - ALT Rank: 48

16
9 3
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Imagine Dragons - ALT Rank: 71

17
13 7
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Muse - ALT Rank: 28

18
13 7
Feel Good Inc is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list ALT 98.7's Best Alt Songs Of "All Time"...My Way
Gorillaz - ALT Rank: 61

19
21 15
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The Killers, Killers - ALT Rank: 32

20
11 6
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MGMT - ALT Rank: 68

21
11 6
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Coldplay - ALT Rank: 44

22
15 10
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Foster the People - ALT Rank: 16

23
8 3
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Capital Cities - ALT Rank: 81

24
11 6
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ALT Rank: 15

25
16 11
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Imagine Dragons - ALT Rank: 21

26
14 10
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Foo Fighters - ALT Rank: 10

27
13 9
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Kings of Leon - ALT Rank: 33

28
11 7
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ALT Rank: 94

29
11 7
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Blur - ALT Rank: 64

30
10 6
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ALT Rank: 57

31
9 5
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32
9 5
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33
15 12
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Johnny Cash - ALT Rank: 7

34
9 6
Mad World is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list ALT 98.7's Best Alt Songs Of "All Time"...My Way
Michael Andrews, Gary Jules - ALT Rank: 31

35
9 6
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Muse - ALT Rank: 73

36
7 4
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Semisonic - ALT Rank: 47

37
5 2
Long View is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list ALT 98.7's Best Alt Songs Of "All Time"...My Way
Green Day - ALT Rank: 88

38
5 2
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ALT Rank: 98 (this is not an alternative rock song)

39
5 2
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Mumford & Sons - ALT Rank: 92

40
13 11
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The Killers - ALT Rank: 8

41
13 11
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Green Day - ALT Rank: 43 

42
12 10
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Jimmy Eat World - ALT Rank: 24

43
11 9
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Soundgarden - ALT rank: 51

44
10 8
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The Shins - ALT Rank: 74

45
9 7
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ALT Rank: 77

46
9 7
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Third Eye Blind - ALT Rank: 17

47
8 6
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Sublime - ALT Rank: 70

48
8 6
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The Postal Service - ALT Rank: 18

49
8 6
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Depeche Mode - ALT Rank: 79

50
7 5
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Black Keys - ALT Rank: 58