Top 10 Best Grunge Songs of All Time

Like the 90s? Well here's a set of the greatest grunge songs ever.
The Top Ten
1 Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana

This is an amazing song! Right now, there's a band up in heaven formed from Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) on guitar and lead vocals, Paul Gray (Slipknot) on bass, and The Rev on drums and backing vocals, that is playing for God right now. We on Earth love and miss all of you. May you all rest in peace, and may your music be played forever.

This song stands out beyond other grunge songs because it is pure grunge and nothing else. Kurt Cobain really set the tone for what grunge sounded like with this song.

Kurt's vocals in this song fit so well. No one else could sing it as well as Kurt sang it.

2 Man in the Box - Alice in Chains

Come on, "Smells Like Teen Spirit"? Those people don't know what alternative or even music in general is all about. Nirvana only got famous because of that song. If it was never written, they would be pretty underground.

Every time I hear Layne Staley's voice, I have an eargasm. He blows Kurt out of the water! And I think, even though most people think of AIC as a grunge band, I see them more as sort of "alternative metal."

I personally prefer Nirvana, mainly because I heard them first, and they impacted me before any other band. However, Alice in Chains excelled in instrumental, lyrical, and performance aspects.

Layne Staley was just as troubled as Kurt Cobain, if not more, and he had a far superior voice. Their music was crafted exceptionally well (just listen to Would? and Rooster), and their songs were significantly darker. Man in the Box put them on the map, which is why I voted for it.

Smells Like Teen Spirit was an okay song, but Sliver and Rape Me were much more grungy. I mean, Kurt Cobain didn't even like Smells Like Teen Spirit. Layne Staley was like the forgotten Kurt Cobain, which I think is unfair considering he was a better singer and in a better band. Nirvana is still my favorite, but I believe Alice in Chains was better. In fact, I think they were the best band of the '90s, along with Mudhoney.

3 Would? - Alice in Chains

This is literally the most perfect tune ever in the entire grunge era. This song is just pure perfection.

Layne and Jerry's harmonized vocals, that killer bassline, and the perfect drum beat. This song is a must-listen for anyone who wants to know what grunge actually means. Smells Like Teen Spirit, Black Hole Sun, etc., are absolutely great too, but just can't compete with this tune. It's absolutely perfect.

Would? stands out in every facet of composition. It has a great off-beat sound, one of the greatest bass riffs in history, a dark and haunting guitar part, and Layne Staley's amazing vocals.

Layne's scream/howl after the guitar solo is the most expressive vocal part I've come across and will make anyone empathetic to the disease he, and many of us, feel in the deepest parts of our hearts.

4 Black - Pearl Jam

I saw this on the MTV live show they did, and to me, this is absolutely the best ballad ever. Eddie puts so much emotion into the live performance, you can almost feel his pain.

I taped it on VHS to watch over and over, and it moves me every time. The one on the CD is not so powerful, though. Thank goodness for YouTube. Thank you, Eddie and Pearl Jam, for giving us such powerful songs!

It hurts me to see this song so far back. I know it's not that grungy, but honestly, it's the best song ever (proven by science). Eddie Vedder wrote the perfect lyrics to the perfect ballad. Doesn't get any better than that.

5 Rooster - Alice in Chains

Oh, come on people, let's vote for this song. This song should be in the top five, if not the top three, after "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Would."

Chilling to the bone. The best song about the Vietnam War, in my opinion. No sugar coating, just raw feelings about how gruesome it was.

I still spin this song often. Layne Staley, with his singular voice, could convey emotion with the best. R.I.P.

6 Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden

I can't believe this is the only Soundgarden song on this list. Did anyone here take the time to listen to other Nirvana, PJ, AIC, and Soundgarden songs from the albums?

This song is amazing and deserved its spot in the top 5! But two other grunge songs I think are just as great are Jesus Christ Pose or The Day I Tried to Live.

Chris Cornell, Layne Staley, Kurt Cobain, and Eddie Vedder were gods of music and the voices of grunge. Vedder's amazing wails and Cornell's soothing voice are simply amazing. Cobain's musical genius was one of the best in music history, and Layne Staley's voice was that of a god.

This song defined grunge in the best way possible, alongside Man in the Box and Smells Like Teen Spirit.

7 Jeremy - Pearl Jam

The only reason Pearl Jam is less famous than Nirvana is that no one in Pearl Jam is dead. If Cobain were still alive, they wouldn't be as popular.

This is simply an amazing song. I'm 13, and I couldn't believe how dynamic the vocals were. It's simply beautiful.

I love almost all grunge songs, but the story and power of Jeremy I think make it the best.

8 Heart-Shaped Box - Nirvana

This song really uses the Nirvana soft/loud style to perfection. Nirvana doesn't really get better than this, except maybe "In Bloom" or "Serve the Servants."

Anyone who has spent the time to listen to Nirvana's music would know that they have produced more than one great song. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is a great song, no doubt, but it isn't the only good song by Nirvana.

Amazing song. Everybody says that their favorite song is Smells Like Teen Spirit, but it's not their best. It's just their most known. This song is what Nirvana is really about.

9 Lithium - Nirvana

Any song by Nirvana could be in first, but if this is the top ten "grunge" songs, then this song should be number one. "Lithium" equals grunge in every way, from the song name to the lyrics to the instrumentals. It was made to.

Lithium is literally the best song ever. Smells Like Teen Spirit is the only Nirvana song people know, so that's the only reason it's on top. Lithium is way better!

It's like the only Nirvana song you know.

Sorry, but in my humble opinion, this is the best grunge song of all time. Smells Like Teen Spirit is good but definitely not the best, not even in the top three for sure.

My top three:

1. Lithium
2. About a Girl
3. Even Flow.

10 Come as You Are - Nirvana

I'd vote for Smells Like Teen Spirit, but everyone does. This is tied for my favorite, though, followed by Man in the Box and Black Hole Sun, probably.

But this is such a great song. Perfect bass, great guitar and drums, and of course, Cobain is singing, and that just automatically brings it to the top of the list.

Nirvana is the best, and this is simply an amazing song. It stands out for many reasons: it has a great melody and one of Kurt's best guitar solos.

Dudes, this song is the embodiment of grunge. Deep lyrics, killer sound, and something to jam to.

The Contenders
11 Hunger Strike - Temple of the Dog

It's where Chris Cornell continuously proves that he is the best vocalist ever throughout the song. The lyrics are great too, and it's Pearl Jam and Soundgarden in the same band. It just breaks the limit to awesomeness!

What's there not to love? It's a tribute to Andy Wood, who started it all, with two of the big four grunge band lead singers together.

Just out of my top ten at 11 is Screaming Trees' Nearly Lost You.

It's my favorite song ever. I just love Chris Cornell's voice. I was reminded of it the other day and have to listen to it all the time now!

12 Even Flow - Pearl Jam

Depends on the mix, honestly. The rearviewmirror Greatest Hits remix of Even Flow is superior to the original Ten version, in my opinion, since it sounds less produced. Eddie Vedder's voice is less tame, and the reverb isn't as apparent.

Even still, this is probably my favorite song from the early '90s, not just in the grunge subgenre. Better than any track Nirvana ever made, in my opinion.

I think Even Flow is one of the best songs by Pearl Jam, no matter what you say. It's a perfect song that symbolizes the band and the grunge revolution.

For me, it's better than the ones listed above.

13 Plush - Stone Temple Pilots

33? You've got to be kidding! This song was grunge! Top 5, easy. It's one of the songs that ushered in the '90s. Like it or not, PJ fans. Once again, STP gets no respect for being one of the best bands of not just the '90s but the last 20 years.

Don't forget, they're still pumping out great music.

I know it can sound like PJ, but I will always love STP a lot more. Plush is certainly one of the best songs of the grunge era.

Why is Plush so low? Even if they sound like Pearl Jam - and I don't think they do - Plush is one of the most iconic grunge songs ever. RIP Scott.

14 Nutshell - Alice in Chains

This is raw beauty. Layne's voice in the chorus sounds as if he is howling for help, and it has one of the coolest bass lines in grunge.

If I could be myself, I'd feel better dead.

Great song. Hits close to home. Powerful, epic, and raw.

So much emotion. Listen to it when you're down.

15 You Know You're Right - Nirvana

This is one of Nirvana's best songs of all time, far better than Teen Spirit. Even though it only has three chords, the quiet-to-loud and loud-to-quiet effect resonates in your ears like nothing else, and it just gets you pumped!

I love everything about this song. The raw vocals, the painful and heart-wrenching lyrics, the perfection in the drums, and the guitar, just... EVERYTHING!

I saw Kurt do a rough version of this at the Aragon Ballroom in '93. That was one of the best shows I had ever seen.

16 Dive - Nirvana
17 Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns - Mother Love Bone

An iconic song by the band that arguably started it all (okay, Green River fans, it really wouldn't have happened without Andy Wood). Deserves a top ranking.

Masterpiece! As all the rest of the songs here are brilliant, this is without a doubt my favorite of all time!

RIP Andrew

Hands down, one of the best grunge songs ever written. It should at least be in the Top 10!

18 Blow Up the Outside World - Soundgarden
19 Rotten Apple - Alice In Chains
20 Oh, Me - Meat Puppets
21 Angry Chair - Alice In Chains
22 Creep - Stone Temple Pilots

Amazing lyrics and emotion. I love the layered lyrics.

23 In Bloom - Nirvana

Why the hell isn't this song number one?

24 Alive - Pearl Jam

It might not be a headbanger, but drawing half of this amazing song from his own experiences with his father's identity, Eddie Vedder has made this one of the best songs of the '90s, if not ever!

Should be number two, right after Spoonman by Soundgarden.

Very nice song. It should be in the top 5 at least.

25 Like Suicide - Soundgarden
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