Best Alternative Bands of the '90s

Here is a list of bands that I am putting in my files. I want to collect their songs, the songs, that became a hit during the boom of alternative rock up until the time when hybrid hardcore flourished. If there's something that's missing from this list you are welcome to add them.

The Top Ten
Smashing Pumpkins The Smashing Pumpkins is an American alternative rock band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 1988. Formed by frontman Billy Corgan and James Iha, the band included D'arcy Wretzky and Jimmy Chamberlin in its original incarnation.

Easily the most unique and diverse sounding band of the 90s if not of all time, with in my opinion, one of the most unique vocalists of all time- Billy Corgan, especailly with albums Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Their sound captured sadness, happiness, love, depression, yet also a soothing comfort to the soul.

SP had the widest range of musicality from psychedelic, hard core heavy metal, rock, grunge, shoegaze and dreamy sweeping ballads. Way more breadth then most of their peers could muster.

By far no doubt the best of the best. Very nice to see them here at #1 where they rightfully belong voted by the people, not the music industry. WPC is an all time musical genius.

Even after nearly 30 years active, they still put on an amazing live show. Especially with most of the original crew back together.

Nirvana Nirvana was an American grunge band that was formed in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987. Nirvana disbanded after Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994. The drummer of the band, David Grohl, went on to start the Foo-Fighters, an alternative rock band. ...read more.

Defined a new style of music, should be #1. They are the equivalent of elvis to rock and roll or black sabbath to metal. No equal.

Nirvana is the band responsible for making grunge music popular. A great band.

Nirvana didn't make grunge, they just made it popular and better. Too bad kurt cobains dead...

The best grunge band, and one of the best bands.

Radiohead Radiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Colin Greenwoood (bass guitar), Phil Selway (drums), and Ed O'Brien (guitar).

This band are truly amazing. Ok Computer is one of the best albums of all time. Amazing band.

Thank god these guys are above Green Day and The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Radiohead>Nirvana... It's not even close

amazing'

Red Hot Chili Peppers The Red Hot Chili Peppers is an American funk-rock and alternative rock band, that was founded in 1983. ...read more.

RHCP has a very eclectic mix of genres represented in their songs, from rap/punk rock to slow, emotional rock ballads. They never aligned with any specific sound of the era, they created their own. Their guitarist is a musical genius, the way a significant portion of their songs can strike a chord with their audience. RHCP's music really does have something for everyone; the band has great music that might take a little digging past their top hits to find.

Even though every 90's alternative list seems to put Nirvana on top with good reason, but there is no reason Red Hot Chile Peppers should be any worse than 2. Give Californication, Otherside, Dani California, Under the Bridge, and Scar Tissue a listen. (There are many other good RHCP songs but I only listed the most popular ones.) The guitarist precision is astounding (Californication) and the bassist is purely amazing (Listen to Can't Stop for the best bass line of any alternative song) I can't see why Radiohead and Smashing Pumpkins are above RHCP.

Red hot chili peppers is very modern compared to other alternative bands that just sound and look like retro acts or impersonators. And they are still relevant.

I love this band!

Oasis Oasis were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1991. Developed from an earlier group, the Rain, the band originally consisted of Liam Gallagher (vocals and tambourine), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs, Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan, and Tony McCarroll.

Champagne Supernova is probably the best song from the 90's. Noel Gallagher is one of the best song writers of all time, especially during this time.

Noel Gallagher is an unbelievable song writer. Still remains so today with his solo stuff.

People say they ripped off The Beatles. But they are a great talented band.

Noel Gallagher had/has the best songs, and Liam the best voice, end of it.

Green Day Green Day are an American pop punk, punk rock, and alternative rock band formed in East Bay, California in 1986. The members include Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals and guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass), Tré Cool (drums) and Jason White (guitar) . Green Day are associated with punk rock, pop punk and alternative ...read more.

I'll never understand how Green Day trumps the Offspring. Dookie is awesome, then TWO DECADES later American Idiot is awesome with a few singles in between. The Offspring produced, Smash, Ixnay, Americana and Conspiracy of One and singles as well.

Few bands can churn out bangers for 3 decades straight the way Green Day has. Sure we can debate all day about whether they are "true punk" or not, but yo, they are good.

Just one of the oldest bands. They started back in mid 90s but they're still around and still producing hits

They were the only band at the time keeping punk rock alive. Say what you want, they're still punk.

Weezer Weezer is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1992, currently consisting of Rivers Cuomo (lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar), Patrick Wilson, Brian Bell, and Scott Shriner.

WE DESERVE BETTER THAN THE #10 SPOT
Now excuse me as I play D&D in my mom's basement

(Ok... on a serious note, sure their new stuff isn't as good, but this is the best alternative bands of the 90's. Blue and Pinkerton are in my opinion are up their with the likes of Nevermind, Siamese Dream, and Ok Computer.)

They have a great debut album they also have some good later music.

Should be at #2 right below nirvana a great band

Emotion and a good rhythm, Easily the best.

Nine Inch Nails Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock band and, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio.

Best of all time

Foo Fighters Foo Fighters are an American rock band, formed in Seattle in 1994. The band was founded by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl after the death of Kurt Cobain and the dissolution of his previous band. The band consists of Dave Grohl (lead vocalist, rhythm guitar, main songwriter), Pat Smear (rhythm guitar), Nate ...read more.

Foo fighter is a term used by World War II pilots to identify UFOs. And the name of the band is Foo Fighters, it's plural. They are definitely one of my Favorite bands. Founded in 1994 by Dave Grohl, they're not one of the oldest.

One of the oldest, I still wonder about the meaning of their name. I guess it was taken from one of the controversial files I think from area 51. I am not sure.

One of the few 90s alternative rock bands that still make great music today.

everlong is one of the best

Pearl Jam Pearl Jam is a Alternative/Grunge Rock Band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990. The band had comprised of Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament. ...read more.

Eddie Vedder had amazing vocals, Mike McCready had fantastic solos, and Jeff Ament wrote the best music. Love Jeremy and Alive.

Only Nirvana's impact was greater and easily outclasses everyone on this list! ( Just one man's humble opinion )

The Contenders
Alice In Chains Alice in Chains is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley.

Favorite band, but I honestly don't think of them when you're talking about "alternative" rock.

For sure should be higher up. Just listen to Rooster, Would? And Man In The Box.

AIC should be Number 1 on this list certainly ahead of Chili Peppers.

Foo fighter is a term used by World War II pilots to identify UFOs.

Stone Temple Pilots Stone Temple Pilots was formed in San Diego, CA in 1989. ...read more.
Soundgarden Soundgarden is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Chris Cornell died on May 17th, 2017.

With tracks like "Rusty Cage" and "Jesus Christ Pose" (and a less known but incredible track "Room a Thousand Years Wide", I can't see how Soundgarden could be left off this list, and be below Pearl Jam for that matter... Just saying!

Third Eye Blind Third Eye Blind is an American rock band formed in San Francisco in 1993. The songwriting duo of Stephan Jenkins and Kevin Cadogan signed the band's first major-label recording contract with Elektra Records in 1996, which was later reported as the largest publishing deal ever for an unsigned artist.

Third Eye Blind is amazing. With The Background, God of Wine, Narcolepsy, Blinded, Semi Charmed Life, Jumper, What's it going to be, Wounded, Alright Caroline, and many others, their early discography is amazing. Easily one of my favorite bands.

One of the best bands of the 90' and still one of the greatest vocals I have ever heard. Plus Stephen Jenkins was amazing, I wonder where he is now.

This should at least be in the Top 10! All five of their albums (Sixth on the way) have awesome songs!

Anyone who didn't vote for this band is straight up stupid

Filter Filter is an American Alternative/Industrial rock band formed in 1993 in Cleveland, Ohio by singer Richard Patrick and guitarist/programmer Brian Liesegang.

Underrated Band

The Offspring The Offspring is an American punk rock band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1984. Formed under the name Manic Subsidal, the band consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Dexter Holland, bassist Greg K., lead guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman and drummer Pete Parada.

Should be top ten, the last of true punk rock and still significant today

Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine is a rock band formed in Los Angeles, California. The band consists of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, bassist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello and drummer Brad Wilk.

Should be a little higher on the list

Should be a lot higher on the list and I’m not even a huge fan

U2 U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music. Throughout the group's musical pursuits, they have ...read more.

One of the oldest still rocking band

their best stuff was 80s and early 2000s, but achtung baby was a great album

Live Live is an American rock band from York, Pennsylvania, composed of Chad Taylor, Patrick Dahlheimer, Chad Gracey, and Chris Shinn. Live's original lead singer Ed Kowalczyk left the band in November 2009.
Pavement
Deftones Deftones are an American alternative metal band from Sacramento, California. The band, which was founded in 1988, consists of Chino Moreno, Stephen Carpenter, Frank Delgado, Abe Cunningham and Sergio Vega. They have released a total of 8 studio albums. Some of their most popular songs are Change (in ...read more.

One of the most misunderstood bands, I think because their song isn't really the kind which you will get to like when you first hear it, you have to listen to their songs twice or thrice before you get to like it. And the lyrics is very poetic. But I just put them on the 9th because although they are my favorite, they still are young.

They aren't alternative. They fall under the category of alternative metal, but that's a subgenre of metal. Not alternative

Deftones are pioneers of alternative metal, they revolutionized the genre.

Blur Blur are an English rock band, formed in London in 1988. The group consists of singer/keyboardist/guitarist Damon Albarn, guitarist/singer Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree.

Blurs self titled 5th album and follow up 13 are some of the best alternative albums I own. defiantly underrated, if they are not on this list.

Sublime Sublime was an American ska punk band from Long Beach, California, formed in 1988. The band's line-up, unchanged until their breakup, consisted of Bradley Nowell, Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh.

Should be higher in the single digits.

its too bad Nowell died young. he could have kept making great music

Tool Tool is an American progressive/alternative/post-metal band, that was formed in 1990. ...read more.

At first I was upset they were so low but it's Tool, not everyone is ready. Oh well it's their loss. Number 1 for me.

They defined 90s alternative metal.

Should be higher on the list.

Should be in top 6 In this order Nirvana,Tool,Jane's Addiction,Alice In Chains,Radiohead,Red Hot Chili Peppers

New Radicals

I am putting this band on my list because simply they are good, too bad they disbanded too early, I had their album before and I think all of the songs there was good.

8Load More
PSearch List