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Top 100 Alternative Songs of the '90s

The top alternative songs of the '90s helped usher in a major cultural shift, as serious-minded, image-free bands blew hair metal and pop off the airwaves almost overnight. Many of these bands have gone on to become the new ruling class of rock 'n' roll in the years, and decades, that followed. Here's where it all started: The top 100 alternative rock songs of the '90s, as chosen by AOL Radio listeners.
'Been Caught Stealing'
The success of this bass-heavy ode to theft helped fuel the decade's highly influential Lollapalooza tours.
Jane's Addiction Ritual de lo Habitual
Does he mean it was great? If so, shouldn't he do more than just wait to see her again on the Fourth of July?
Better Than Ezra Deluxe
If you're a historian from the future, by "down" he means having a close friendship, not low or sad.
311 311
This slow, brooding song is actually a revenge fantasy about trapping a rich guy in a crappy hotel room.
Silverchair Frogstomp
'6 Underground'
This moody, atmospheric club hit probably deserved to be on a better soundtrack than 1997's 'The Saint.'
Sneaker Pimps Becoming X
'In the Meantime'
The British glam-rockers wake up in a really great mood and send love "to the future of the humankind."
Spacehog Resident Alien
Pretty much the one and only time this legendary underground band would sync up with the mainstream.
Butthole Surfers Electriclarryland
'(Good Riddance) Time of Your Life'
Cliches are cliches because they are true, and great songs like this get overplayed because they are great.
Green Day Nimrod
It may be titled 'You,' but Kevin Martin says "I" or "I'll" almost 40 times. Somebody order a mixed message salad?
Candlebox You
'The Distance'
This song's like a pile of unassembled parts, or a magic trick where you see the secret, but are still awed.
Cake The Distance
'Down in a Hole'
This tale of hopelessness is even more haunting to hear now that singer Layne Stayley has left us behind.
Alice In Chains Down In A Hole
'Bound for the Floor'
A powerful reminder of how harsh criticism, from parents or peers, can lead to a very negative self-image.
Local H Bound For The Floor
This song's fantastic bass line is a like a big, happy, boisterous, lurching drunk. Gimme the keys, though...
The Breeders Last Splash
'Flagpole Sitta'
A bit of a dichotomy between the catchy sing-along music and the "only stupid people are breeding" message here.
Harvey Danger Flagpole Sitta
'Head Like a Hole'
You know why this record's out of print? Cause Trent would rather die, than give a label control...
Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine
'Karma Police'
This was the one you could play for your parents or older siblings. Our Pink Floyd and R.E.M., all in one.
Radiohead Karma Police
'Killing in the Name'
In 2009, Facebook fans decided to send this to the top of the British Pop Charts. Why? it's a great story...
Rage Against The Machine Rage Against The Machine
'Gone Away'
The normally bratty California punk-rockers get serious, not quiet, when talking about a grave site visit.
The Offspring Ixnay on the Hombre
This song sneaks in a nice lyrical tribute to Captain Beefheart's 'Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles.'
Cracker Kerosene Hat
While we're talking about past classics, isn't 'Cumbersome' really a '90s version of the out-of-touch protagonist in 'Comfortably Numb'?
Seven Mary Three American Standard

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