Music

The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s 

Ranker Music
Updated October 13, 2018 970 votes 147 voters 45 items

Alternative music as today's listeners know it was essentially invented in 1991. That's when the Grammys first began awarding a prize to rock albums that fell outside of mainstream musical genres, labeling these acts as simply "alternative." This catchall term encompassed revolutionary acts like Morrissey, Kate Bush, and perhaps the biggest alternative group of them all, Nirvana. These Grammy nominees penned some of the best alternative albums of the 1990s, and arguably some of the greatest rock records of all time.

What groundbreaking LP should top this 1990s alternative albums list? Maybe the honor should go to Nirvana. It should come as no surprise that the iconic band was nominated for several Grammys for Best Alternative Album throughout the '90s. Unfortunately, they didn't actually take home the trophy until 1996 – for Unplugged in New York – two years after Kurt Cobain's death.

In the later half of the '90s, Radiohead emerged as a Grammy favorite, winning the Best Alternative Album Award for OK Computer in 1998. Other notable releases featured on this list of the best 1990s album nominees include The Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and Post by Bjork.

Do you have a favorite '90s alternative Grammy winner? Vote the most deserving albums up to the top of the list.
list ordered by
1
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By Nirvana (1991); Tracks: Breed, Smells Like Teen Spirit & Something in the Way
Nominated in 1992.
2
In Utero is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By Nirvana (1993); Tracks: All Apologies, Scentless Apprentice & Pennyroyal Tea
Nominated in 1994.
3
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By The Smashing Pumpkins (1993); Tracks: Soma, Luna & Mayonaise
Nominated in 1994.
4
OK Computer is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By Radiohead (1997); Tracks: Airbag, Subterranean Homesick Alien & Electioneering
Won in 1998.
5
MTV Unplugged in New Yor... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
MTV Unplugged in New York
Won in 1996.
6
Mellon Collie and the In... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By The Smashing Pumpkins (1995); Tracks: Cupid de Locke, Bagpipes Drone (Sadlands demo) & Tonight
Nominated in 1997.
7
The Downward Spiral is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By Nine Inch Nails (1994); Tracks: Ruiner, Piggy & The Becoming
Nominated in 1995.
8
Automatic for the People... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By R.E.M. (1992); Tracks: Monty Got a Raw Deal, Ignoreland & Try Not to Breathe
Nominated in 1994.
9
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By Green Day (1994); Tracks: Pulling Teeth, F.O.D. / All by Myself & Chump
Won in 1995.
10
Foo Fighters is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters (1995); Tracks: Big Me, This Is a Call & I’ll Stick Around
Nominated in 1996.
11
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By Beck Hansen (1996); Tracks: Jack‐Ass, Minus & Derelict
Won in 1997.
12
Post is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By Björk (1995); Tracks: Isobel, Army of Me & Headphones
Nominated in 1996.
13
Hello Nasty is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By Beastie Boys (1998); Tracks: Flowin’ Prose, Sneakin’ Out the Hospital & Unite
Won in 1999.
14
Earthling is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By David Bowie (1997); Tracks: Telling Lies, Seven Years in Tibet & Little Wonder
Nominated in 1998.
15
Homogenic is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By Björk (1997); Tracks: Bachelorette, Pluto & So Broken
Nominated in 1998.
16
Wish is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By The Cure (1992); Tracks: Cut, From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea & Wendy Time
Nominated in 1993.
17
Out of Time is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By R.E.M. (1991); Tracks: Low, Shiny Happy People & Country Feedback
Won in 1992.
18
New Adventures in Hi-Fi ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By R.E.M. (1996); Tracks: Bittersweet Me, Low Desert & Departure
Nominated in 1997.
19
To Bring You My Love is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By PJ Harvey (1995); Tracks: One Time Too Many, Daddy & Reeling
Nominated in 1996.
20
Bone Machine is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By Tom Waits (1992); Tracks: A Little Rain, I Don’t Wanna Grow Up & Murder in the Red Barn
Won in 1993.
21
Adore is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By The Smashing Pumpkins (1998); Tracks: To Sheila, Pug & Once Upon a Time
Nominated in 1999.
22
From the Choirgirl Hotel... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By Tori Amos (1998); Tracks: Liquid Diamonds, Northern Lad & Hotel
Nominated in 1999.
23
The Sensual World is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By Kate Bush (1989); Tracks: Deeper Understanding, Rocket's Tail & The Sensual World
Nominated in 1991.
24
Nonsuch is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
Nonsuch By XTC (1992); Tracks: Holly up on Poppy, The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead & The Disappointed
Nominated in 1993.
25
Dig Your Own Hole is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s
By The Chemical Brothers (1997); Tracks: Setting Sun, It Doesn’t Matter & It Doesn't Matter
Nominated in 1998.