Music

The Best Alternative Songs Of The '90s, Ranked  

Ranker Music
7.4k votes 234 voters 4.8k views 104 items

Here are the greatest '90s alternative songs, ranked by fans everywhere. Alternative music first got its start in the 1970s. It emerged from the independent music scene and embodies multiple rock traditions, such as the DIY nature of punk rock. The genre really began to hit its stride in the 1990s when a host of new artists adopted the label and played to sold-out crowds around the United States. Put on your favorite flannel shirt and get ready to throw up the devil horns because these are the most popular '90s alternative songs. 

Alternative rock often goes hand-in-hand with other genres. In the '90s, grunge was all the rage. A lot of alternative artists at the time from Nirvana to Soundgarden incorporated grunge into their music style, but they were alternative all the same. One of the most prominent alternative bands of the era was The Smashing Pumpkins, who released Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness in 1995. The double album would go on to sell over 10 million copies. 

Which of the songs on this list do you remember jamming out to? Proud Gen-Xers will remember a lot of these songs on their high school dance playlists. This list of good '90s alternative songs has some of the defining tracks of the era, so vote for the ones that speak to you.

 

list ordered by
1
Smells Like Teen Spirit is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alternative Songs Of The '90s, Ranked
dejour added Nirvana
2
Ranker Video
Nirvana
3
Ranker Video
Soundgarden
4
Ranker Video
Temple of the Dog
5
Ranker Video
Beck Hansen
6
Ranker Video
The Cranberries
7
Ranker Video
Pearl Jam
8
Ranker Video
Jane's Addiction
9
Ranker Video
The Breeders
10
Ranker Video
Soundgarden
11
Ranker Video
Alice In Chains
12
Ranker Video
Temple of the Dog
13
Ranker Video
Stone Temple Pilots
14
Ranker Video
Depeche Mode
15
Ranker Video
16
Ranker Video
Beastie Boys
17
Ranker Video
The Smashing Pumpkins
18
Ranker Video
Blind Melon
19
Ranker Video
Nirvana
20
Ranker Video
21
Ranker Video
22
Ranker Video
Red Hot Chili Peppers
23
Ranker Video
Nine Inch Nails
24
Ranker Video
Rage Against the Machine
25
Ranker Video
Stone Temple Pilots