Every self-respecting music fan should be familiar with the 10 best alternative rock songs ever. Lacking the mainstream promotion enjoyed by pop acts, these alternative rock songs relied on sheer quality to gain acceptance in the industry.
- “Misery Business” Paramore. This alternative rock song was the first single from the 2007 album “Riot!” The well-crafted riffs and intricate melody showed a young band just hitting their stride.
- “My Immortal” Evanescence. The 2003 debut album “Fallen” contained several memorable alternative rock songs, but none more so than “My Immortal.” Singer Amy Lee’s soaring vocals hold the balance from the subdued intro to the rollicking finale.
- “Creep” Radiohead. 1992’s “Pablo Honey” contained this debut single from British alternative rockers Radiohead. Its lyrics are perhaps the most notable aspect of the song, containing an urgent plea of inadequacy: “I’m a creep / I’m a weirdo / What the hell am I doing here?”
- “Hash Pipe” Weezer. Weezer’s self-titled 2001 album contained this song, quickly becoming buried in controversy because of its drug connotations. The uproar was misguided, though, since the song is actually about a transvestite prostitute: “I deal off my business if I can’t get a trick.”
- “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” REM. As one of the most enduring acts on the list of the ten best alternative rock songs ever, REM has been releasing quality material since 1980. This song first appeared on the 1987 album “Document.” It’s a peppy ode to the apocalypse, with rapid-fire lyrics that awe listeners even now.
- “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” Panic! At The Disco. The 2007 album “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” contained this alternative rock song, which launched the band into the public eye. It’s a marriage of modern rock and adept lyrical storytelling, as evidenced in the lines: “Haven’t you people ever heard of closing the Goddamn door? / No, it’s much better to face these kinds of things with a sense of poisoned rationality.”
- “Under The Bridge” Red Hot Chili Peppers. The breakthrough 1991 album “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” was Chili Peppers’ first huge success, and “Under The Bridge” was a big reason why. It’s a heartfelt story of singer Anthony Kiedis’ muddy history of drug use, and his attempts at staying clean.
- “Wonderwall” Oasis. 1995’s “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory” held this alternative rock gem, which became a smash hit for British brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher’s band. It’s a melancholy ode to a meaningful love, with earnest lyrics like: “Because maybe / You’re gonna be the one that saves me.”
- “Jane Says” Jane’s Addiction. A list of the ten best alternative rock songs ever wouldn’t be complete without Jane’s Addiction, the godfathers of underground rock. Their signature song “Jane Says” appeared on the group’s 1988 studio debut, “Nothing’s Shocking.” It’s a haunting ballad about a drug-addicted woman and her efforts to kick the habit.
- “Everlong” Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl’s “other band” came into their own with this 1997 single from the album “The Colour and the Shape.” It’s an upbeat grunge-flavored song that dances the line between subdued and chaotic, turning the dichotomy into one of the best alternative rock songs ever.
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