The top 10 best indie songs of all time can appeal to a broad range of audiences, but there's something that kept each one just below the radar of the mainstream. Defiantly different, the best indie songs of all time are defined by their rebellious spirit; even if they might be influenced by classic rock, they're just too raw for mass appeal. That being said, the best indie songs of all time carried influence well beyond their modest original audiences and influence new artists to this day. Here they are, the top 10 best indie songs of all time:
- "I Will Dare" by the Replacements – The opening salvo from the Replacements' final independent album, "Let it Be," "I Will Dare" is a masterpiece of deceptively well-crafted slop that defines the spirit of indie rock; it's a mission statement in just over three minutes.
- "Teenage Riot" by Sonic Youth – An epic anthem built from disjointed guitars, in some alternate universe this would be "Stairway to Heaven" for the coolest of the cool kids. In the real world, it still stands as one of the best indie songs of all time.
- "This Ain't No Picnic" by the Minutemen – One of the most fiercely defiant anthems from one of the most independent-minded bands of all time, "This Ain't No Picnic" surely deserves a place on the list of the top 10 best indie songs of all time.
- "Waiting Room" by Fugazi – A funk-punk masterwork, Fugazi's "Waiting Room" is instant energy and an antidote to the complacency of the mainstream.
- "One More Hour" by Sleater-Kinney – One of the most heartbreaking love songs ever recorded, "One More Hour" still rides on a punk energy inherent in the best indie rock.
- "Holland 1945" by Neutral Milk Hotel – This fuzz-folk ditty is a hard-hitting slice of emotional, powerful pop.
- "Cut Your Hair" by Pavement – One of the '90s best songs by any definition; surely one of the best indie songs of all time.
- "The Underdog" by Spoon – The indie dilemma spelled out in its lyrics makes it a contender for the list of best indie songs of all time; the perfectly crafted execution seals the deal.
- "To Be Young (Is To Be Sad Is To Be High)" by Ryan Adams – The majority of his inconsistent material may not measure up to this, his first and greatest solo song, a true heir to the Replacements' throne.
- "Timorous Me" by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – Proof that classic rock power can come in indie form, this anthem closes out the list of the best indie songs of all time.
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