100 Greatest Alternative Rock Songs

  1. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
  2. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
  3. Radio Free Europe - R.E.M.
  4. Blue Monday - New Order
  5. How Soon is Now? - The Smiths
  6. Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads
  7. Teen Age Riot - Sonic Youth
  8. Blister in the Sun - Violent Femmes
  9. Jeremy - Pearl Jam
10. Monkey Gone to Heaven - Pixies
11. Under the Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers
12. Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden
13. Closer - Nine Inch Nails
14. Losing My Religion - R.E.M.
15. Wonderwall - Oasis
16. Just Like Heaven - The Cure
17. Cannonball - The Breeders
18. Come As You Are - Nirvana
19. Loser - Beck
20. Creep - Radiohead
21. Bela Lugosi's Dead - Bauhaus
22. Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode
23. Song 2 - Blur
24. The Killing Moon - Echo and the Bunnymen
25. Sunday Bloody Sunday - U2
26. Common People - Pulp
27. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out - The Smiths
28. Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) - Kate Bush
29. It's The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) - R.E.M.
30. 1979 - The Smashing Pumpkins
31. Waiting Room - Fugazi
32. Lovesong - The Cure
33. Alive - Pearl Jam
34. Radio, Radio - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
35. All Apologies - Nirvana
36. Atmosphere - Joy Division
37. Here Comes Your Man - Pixies
38. Paranoid Android - Radiohead
39. There She Goes - The La's
40. Everlong - Foo Fighters
41. Buddy Holly - Weezer
42. Plush - Stone Temple Pilots
43. Enjoy the Silence - Depeche Mode
44. This Charming Man - The Smiths
45. Would? - Alice in Chains
46. The One I Love - R.E.M.
47. Touch Me, I'm Sick - Mudhoney
48. Head Like a Hole - Nine Inch Nails
49. Bastards of Young - The Replacements
50. Burning Down the House - Talking Heads
51. Lithium - Nirvana
52. Sabotage - Beastie Boys
53. New Year's Day - U2
54. Cut Your Hair - Pavement
55. Boys Don't Cry - The Cure
56. Tonight, Tonight - The Smashing Pumpkins
57. Jesus Christ Pose - Soundgarden
58. Live Forever - Oasis
59. I Wanna Be Adored - The Stone Roses
60. Give It Away - Red Hot Chili Peppers
61. What I Got - Sublime
62. Just Like Honey - The Jesus and Mary Chain
63. Where Is My Mind? - Pixies
64. Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes
65. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl
66. Beds Are Burning - Midnight Oil
67. Dear God - XTC
68. Karma Police - Radiohead
69. Epic - Faith No More
70. Man in the Box - Alice in Chains
71. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2
72. True Faith - New Order
73. I Melt With You - Modern English
74. Only Shallow - My Bloody Valentine
75. Bulls on Parade - Rage Against the Machine
76. Left of the Dial - The Replacements
77. That's Entertainment - The Jam
78. Alison - Elvis Costello
79. When I Come Around - Green Day
80. Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve
81. Shine - Collective Soul
82. She's Lost Control - Joy Division
83. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
84. Birdhouse in Your Soul - They Might Be Giants
85. Loaded - Primal Scream
86. Celebrated Summer - Hüsker Dü
87. Float On - Modest Mouse
88. Better Man - Pearl Jam
89. So Alive - Love and Rockets
90. Today - The Smashing Pumpkins
91. Academy Fight Song - Mission of Burma
92. Heart-Shaped Box - Nirvana
93. Fake Plastic Trees - Radiohead
94. Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinéad O'Connor
95. Mr. Brightside - The Killers
96. You Oughta Know - Alanis Morrissette
97. Come Out and Play - The Offspring
98. Don't Speak - No Doubt
99. Been Caught Stealing - Jane's Addiction
100. Senses Working Overtime - XTC

101. Hunger Strike - Temple of the Dog
102. Pump It Up - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
103. Under the Milky Way - The Church
104. Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns - Mother Love Bone
105. Hey Jealousy - Gin Blossoms
106. Sour Times - Portishead
107. Runaway Train - Soul Asylum
108. Big Me - Foo Fighters
109. Man on the Moon - R.E.M.
110. Panic - The Smiths
111. Wuthering Heights - Kate Bush
112. Kool Thing - Sonic Youth
113. Song to the Siren - This Mortal Coil
114. Rusty Cage - Soundgarden
115. One Headlight - The Wallflowers
116. Going Underground - The Jam
117. Interstate Love Song - Stone Temple Pilots
118. Champagne Supernova - Oasis
119. Summer Babe - Pavement
120. No Rain - Blind Melon
121. Freak Scene - Dinosaur Jr.
122. Undone (The Sweater Song) - Weezer
123. Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day
124. Doll Parts - Hole
125. Fell in Love with a Girl - The White Stripes
126. Silent All These Years - Tori Amos
127. Girls & Boys - Blur
128. Linger - The Cranberries
129. Feel Good Inc. - Gorillaz
130. Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
131. Black - Pearl Jam
132. Love My Way - The Psychedelic Furs
133. Lake of Fire - Meat Puppets
134. Ghost Town - The Specials
135. Basket Case - Green Day
136. The Drowners - Suede
137. She's In Parties - Bauhaus
138. Hyperballad - Björk
139. Scar Tissue - Red Hot Chili Peppers
140. Cities in Dust - Siouxsie and the Banshees
141. About a Girl - Nirvana
142. Road to Nowhere - Talking Heads
143. Pictures of You - The Cure
144. Back on the Chain Gang - The Pretenders
145. Everyday is Like Sunday - Morrissey
146. Jane Says - Jane's Addiction
147. Heaven Beside You - Alice in Chains
148. Respectable Street - XTC
149. Tomorrow - Silverchair
150. Rock Lobster - The B-52's
151. Where It's At - Beck
152. I Am the Resurrection - The Stone Roses
153. Ball and Chain - Social Distortion
154. Glycerine - Bush
155. 100% - Sonic Youth
156. Yellow - Coldplay
157. Divorce Song - Liz Phair
158. No Surprises - Radiohead
159. So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry) - R.E.M.
160. Me, Myself & I - De La Soul
161. The Cutter - Echo and the Bunnymen
162. In the End - Linkin Park
163. Best of You - Foo Fighters
164. Somebody That I Used to Know - Gotye & Kimbra
165. Starlight - Muse
166. Welcome to the Black Parade - My Chemical Romance
167. Rebellion (Lies) - Arcade Fire
168. Close to Me - The Cure
169. Drive - Incubus
170. Mysterious Ways - U2
171. The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
172. Sheela-Na-Gig - PJ Harvey
173. Sex and Candy - Marcy Playground
174. Unfinished Sympathy - Massive Attack
175. Where the Wild Roses Grow - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds & Kylie Minogue
176. Even Flow - Pearl Jam
177. Do You Realize?? - The Flaming Lips
178. April Skies - The Jesus and Mary Chain
179. Start Choppin' - Dinosaur Jr.
180. Connection - Elastica
181. Paper Planes - M.I.A.
182. Kiss Them for Me - Siouxsie and the Banshees
183. Last Nite - The Strokes
184. Don't Look Back in Anger - Oasis
185. Stupid Girl - Garbage
186. Disarm - The Smashing Pumpkins
187. Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
188. Can I Kick It? - A Tribe Called Quest
189. 1901 - Phoenix
190. Mannequin - Wire
191. Killing in the Name - Rage Against the Machine
192. I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor - Arctic Monkeys
193. History Lesson Part II - Minutemen
194. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
195. Miss World - Hole
196. You Get What You Give - New Radicals
197. One - U2
198. Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now - The Smiths
199. Fascination Street - The Cure
200. Sugar, We're Goin' Down - Fall Out Boy

201. Clocks - Coldplay
202. Semi-Charmed Life - Third Eye Blind
203. Hey Ladies - Beastie Boys
204. Damaged Goods - Gang of Four
205. Public Image - Public Image Ltd.
206. In Circles - Sunny Day Real Estate
207. The Concept - Teenage Fanclub
208. Seether - Veruca Salt
209. Heaven or Las Vegas - Cocteau Twins
210. Soon - My Bloody Valentine
211. Totally Wired - The Fall
212. What's the Frequency, Kenneth? - R.E.M.
213. Veronica - Elvis Costello
214. The Mercy Seat - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
215. Criminal - Fiona Apple
216. Don't Get Me Wrong - The Pretenders
217. In Bloom - Nirvana
218. Ahead By a Century - The Tragically Hip
219. Let's Go to Bed - The Cure
220. Happy House - Siouxsie and the Banshees
221. Bring on the Dancing Horses - Echo and the Bunnymen
222. Everything Counts - Depeche Mode
223. Metal Mickey - Suede
224. The Last of the Famous International Playboys - Morrissey
225. Regret - New Order
226. Hurt - Nine Inch Nails
227. Dreams - The Cranberries
228. Uprising - Muse
229. This Corrosion - The Sisters of Mercy
230. Hounds of Love - Kate Bush
232. Makes No Sense at All - Hüsker Dü
233. Cattle and Cane - The Go-Betweens
234. Like the Weather - 10,000 Maniacs
235. William, It Was Really Nothing - The Smiths
236. Somebody Told Me - The Killers
237. The Mayor of Simpleton - XTC
238. (Nothing But) Flowers - Talking Heads
239. I Am the Resurrection - The Stone Roses
240. Spiderwebs - No Doubt
241. Violet - Hole
242. Idioteque - Radiohead
243. Miss Misery - Elliott Smith
244. Cornflake Girl - Tori Amos
245. Royals - Lorde
246. Ain't No Rest for the Wicked - Cage the Elephant
247. Parklife - Blur
248. My Hero - Foo Fighters
249. Longview - Green Day
250. Head On - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Last Updated: 2018-03-06
Newly added names are in Red

Background: Alternative rock music began in the mid 1980s and blossomed in the 1990s as an alternative to mainstream top 40 radio playlist formats. College and underground radio began playing independently produced music who's popularity was spread by word of mouth, non-corporate DJs, cable television and the internet... not exclusively promoted by the big record companies as in the past. In the 2000s Alternative music's popularity pushed it into the new "mainstream" with newer independent bands defining their music as "Indie Rock".

Criteria: These songs were chosen for their influence, impact and popularity in the Alternative music genre.