After Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell committed suicide in 2017, I posted a list of the top 50 grunge songs as a tribute. That list, as with amost Dave’s Music Database lists, was created by aggregating multiple other lists.
However, there is a challenge with creating such a list. Grunge was a fusion of punk and heavy metal which originated out of Seattle and bands such as Nirvana, Pearl, Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains. The movement developed in the latter half of the ‘80s and peaked in the early ‘90s.
While its rise and fall was quick, it birthed a revival of interest in guitar-based, alternative rock. When record companies started rushing to sign similar-sounding bands, another movement was born: post-grunge. Often these groups have been critically dismissed as less authentic, cash-in versions of grunge. As with all genres, though, the lines are never completely clear. Some bands such as Bush and Collective Soul walked a tightrope, not clearly falling in one camp or the other. Others, such as Nickelback and Creed, sold boatloads but came to be reviled by critics.
In any event, I’ve posted two lists – one focused on grunge and the other on post-grunge. Some songs qualified for both lists but were only listed on one. So here we go – the two lists – one on the top 50 grunge songs and the other on the top 50 post-grunge songs.
Click here to see other genre-specific song lists.
Check out Dave’s Music Database podcast: The Best of Grunge based on this list. It debuts August 31, 2021 at 7pm CST. Tune in every Tuesday at 7pm for a new episode based on the lists at Dave’s Music Database.
image from fanboysanonymous.com,
1. Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991)
11. Stone Temple Pilots “Interstate Love Song” (1994)
21. Alice in Chains “Rooster” (1992)
31. Hole “Violet” (1994)
41. Nirvana “Rape Me” (1993)
image from alternativenation.net
1. Foo Fighters “Everlong” (1997)
11. Three Days Grace “I Hate Everything About You” (2003)
21. Foo Fighters “My Hero” (1997)
31. Creed “With Arms Wide Open” (1999)
41. Seven Mary Three “Cumbersome” (1995)
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First posted 5/25/2017; last updated 8/30/2021.