27 Best 90s Alternative Bands Ever

11. Blur


Blur started their musical journey as a London-based band in 1988 with original members Alex James on bass, Damon Albarn, the lead singer, Dave Rowntree on drums, and Graham Coxon on guitar.

Their first song collection, Leisure, came out in 1991 and was a gold-certified album in the United Kingdom, going as high as seventh on the top United Kingdom Albums Chart that year. “She’s So High” and “Bang” were some of the hit singles in their debut.

12. The Cranberries

The Cranberries

The Cranberries were known as Cranberry Saw Us when they originated in 1989 in Limerick, Ireland. They changed their name a year later. Fergal Lawler on drums, Niall Quinn as the main singer (Dolores O’Riordan assumed this role when they changed their band name), Mike Hogan on bass, and Noel Hogan on guitar was the original band member makeup.

Everybody Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? was their first album from 1993. It became an instant hit with fans after they had released four other extended plays. “Linger” and “Dreams” were the top singles featured in this debut song collection.

13. Blind Melon

Blind Melon

Blind Melon came together in 1990, forming in Los Angeles. Their first self-titled album came out in 1992 with “No Rain” as the top single from the collection. Upon releasing their second album, “Soup” in 1995, their main singer, Shannon Hoon perished because of overdosing on drugs. Unfortunately, the band parted ways four years later when they could not find a steady replacement to fill Hoon’s shoes after her passing.

14. Blink-182


Blink-182, known on their albums with the “B” as lowercase, rose to prominence in 1992 in Poway, CA. Tom DeLonge handled vocals and guitar as Travis Barker drummed. Mark Hoppus also did vocals and played the bass.

They were first an independent band until they joined MCA Records and released their most successful album of the late 90s, Enema of the State. The title generated massive sales: 15 million albums sold internationally. “What’s My Age Again?” and other hit singles from the album including “Adam’s Song” (March 2000) and “All the Small Things” (January 2000) helped to make the album an instant hit.

15. Nada Surf

Nada Surf

Nada Surf started their band in New York City in 1992 with original band members Daniel Lorca on bass and backup vocals and Matthew Caws, the lead singer and songwriter of the group. Their first song collection was released in 1996, High/Low was formulated in 19 days.

“Popular” was the hit song from their first album that topped #11 on the Billboard US Alternative Airplay and became a gold album in France. In Iceland, the song hit #1 on the top 40 songs list.

16. Bikini Kill

Bikini Kill

Bikini Kill is one of the 90s alternative bands that formed at the beginning of the decade in Olympia, WA. Kathleen Hanna leads the vocals and writes all the band’s songs. Billy Karren on the guitar, Tobi Vail on the drums, and Kathi Wilcox on the bass are the other members that bring the music to life.

The band’s first album from 1993 was Pussy Whipped which hit #20 on the UK Independent Albums chart. Spin Magazine designated the album as the 222nd best song amongst the 300 best songs from the past 30 years in 2015. Their hit single “Rebel Girl” placed 296th out of 500 on the Rolling Stone list of best songs ever.

17. Placebo


Placebo is an alternative rock band from London that originated in 1994. Their first song collection with their band name came out in the summer of 1996. It peaked in the 5th position on the top albums chart of the United Kingdom. Featured singles such as “Come Home,” “Teenage Angst,” and “Bruise Pristine” helped to popularize the album.

18. Everclear


Portland-based band Everclear came together in 1991. “World of Noise” was their first released album from 1993, which was recorded in a basement at one of their friend’s houses on a $400 budget.

Signing with Capitol Records a couple of years later, they released Sparkle and Fade in 1995 which became certified as a platinum album in the United States, Canada, and Australia. “Santa Monica” was one of the most popular hit singles from the album that hit #1 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

19. Incubus


Incubus is one of the best 90s alternative bands that also hailed from California in 1991. S.C.I.E.N.C.E.was their second song collection released in 1997 that became a certified gold album in the United States and the United Kingdom with more than 100,000 and 500,000 copies sold, respectively. Singles including “New Skin” and “A Certain Shade of Green” were featured on this album.

20. P.O.D.


P.O.D’s band is an acronym that stands for Payable on Death, which put out alternative metal music when they formed in 1992 in San Diego, CA. Since their inception, they have sold 12 million of their album titles internationally.

Their third album, The Fundamentals of Southtown, hit the highest of #51 on the US Billboard 200 amongst top albums and ended 1999 at #143. Their next album, Satellite, which released two years later, became more successful, hitting number one on the US Billboard Christian Albums chart.

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