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Top 100 Alternative Songs of the '90s -- Part Three of Five

This original, plus Johnny Cash's version, might form the best one-two punch since 'All Along the Watchtower.'
Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral
What turns a catchy one-hit wonder into something more? A "Weird Al" Yankovic parody, of course!
Presidents of the United States of America Presidents of the United States of America
'The Sweater Song'
Take away the pop vocals, focus on the guitars, and you realize it's actually a low-volume heavy metal song.
Weezer The Blue Album
Hey, is it just us, or does this song really get in your head? In your heaaaaad? In your heeeeeaaaaaddd?
The Cranberries No Need to Argue
'Buddy Holly'
Producer Ric Ocasek had to beg the band to include this song they considered "cheesy" on their debut album.
Weezer Buddy Holly
'Tonight, Tonight'
Indie rockers Passion Pit recently feted this influential symphonic wonder by recording it themselves.
Smashing Pumpkins Tonight Tonight
'Burden in My Hand'
This textured, stomping tale of murder and regret was just as epic in '96 as it is today, justifiably making it on their 2010 compilation.
Soundgarden Down on the Upside
'I Stay Away'
A wonderfully surprising blend of strings, horns and acoustic guitars showed the true range of this band.
Alice in Chains I Stay Away
'About a Girl'
This stripped down acoustic version of one of his earliest songs shows the pure talent of Kurt Cobain.
Nirvana Unplugged in New York
'No Excuses'
Layne Staley's haunting vocals in this track add to our acoustic bunch, next to 'About a Girl' and 'I Stay Away.'
Alice in Chains No Excuses
'Jane Says'
If rock bands really want you to know drugs are bad, they shouldn't write such affecting music about them.
Jane's Addiciton Nothing's Shocking
'Hunger Strike'
Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell go mano y mano to make you feel their pain over the loss of Andrew Wood.
Temple of the Dog Temple of the Dog
'I Alone'
A song so good it gave Ed Kowalczyk the confidence to sport a rat-tail and dance like a loon in the video.
Live Throwing Copper
Tool bring heavy, heady progressive rock back to the forefront with the first of many dramatic, epic songs.
Tool Undertow
Guilty Pleasures 101 in session. Lesson 1: the lightly distorted guitar and simple "yeah" of this chorus.
Collective Soul Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid
This musically complex, moody piece is example No. 2 in our "What the heck is Gavin singing about?" series.
Bush Sixteen Stone
'Hey Man, Nice Shot'
This alternatively contemplative and raging song attempts to understand the public suicide of Budd Dwyer.
Filter Short Bus
'Song 2'
We're supposed to have some insight on this song? Yeah, well, how about "Whooo-hooo! Whooo-hooo!"
Blur Song 2
'Far Behind'
Wasn't grunge supposed to kill hair metal? Give these guys different haircuts and this becomes a power ballad.
Candlebox Candlebox
'Soul to Squeeze'
'Blood Sugar Sex Magik' was so great that there wasn't even room among its 17 songs for this winding ballad.
Red Hot Chili Peppers Soul to Squeeze

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