Thanks to the rise in popularity of iconic bands like Nirvana, grunge erupted onto the scene in the 1990's. Rebellion, non-conformism and teen angst are all things captured by the grunge epidemic and is most famously expressed through music and meaningful lyrics. As we love our readers just as much as we love grunge, we have blessed you with a countdown of the greatest grunge bands of all time!
Starting out as Green River, Mudhoney have become known as one of the most consistently solid grunge bands of all time. When you think of the grunge revolution - this band instantly comes to mind. Not the best selling grunge band, we admit, but still very much worthy of a spot on this list! Their track 'Suck You Dry' is a classic grunge anthem and embodies everything the genre is and more.
When our beloved Kurt Cobain rose to fame with Nirvana, his wife Courtney Love had a harder time succeeding with her band Hole. Now this might be the case but they still deserve a spot on this list and I'll tell you why. Love's raspy voice is mesmerizing and hits all the right notes which can be seen in their hits like 'Doll Parts' and 'Celebrity Skin'. The grit and passion is so real and captivating, it's hard not to Love! Not only did this band go on to make musical gold and still look incredible, Love's style inspired womens alternative fashion across the nation, for that Courtney - we are also grateful.
Pre-dating the grunge movement, this band had already made fantastic tracks like 'Bed of Roses' - a personal favorite of mine. When the 90s grunge music came around, Screaming Trees were at the forefront and became expert leaders in the field. 'Nearly Lost You' is by far the greatest grunge track they have made and really put their name on the map!
This Seatle-based band truly set grunge free. Songwriter and guitarist Jerry Cantrell combined with the unique vocals of Layne Staley made this band so poetically dark. The emotion and feeling Staley projected was like no other and will never be forgotten. Listen to one of their greatest hits below!
Breaking through with their iconic single 'Outshined' right at the beginning of the grunge movement in 1991, everybody knew this name. However, Soundgarden achieved its biggest success with the 1994 album 'Superunknown' which reached number one on the Billboard 200 and included some Grammy-award winning singles! Where would grunge music be without Soundgarden? If I were to describe this band in two words, they'd be - deep and moody. Two things that are at the heart of grunge music genre.
The eargasmic sound of Pearl Jam is one not to be forgotten. Eddie, Mike, Stone and Jeff stayed together through it all - never once leaving each others side. Grunge was a movement, a community, and a never ending subculture which should be celebrated through the music for all that it is. Pearl Jam is a classic grunge band and potentially one of the greatest bands of all time. This list would not be complete without them.
Although grunge was born and bred in Seattle, San Diego rockers Stone Temple Pilots decided to change the norm. Their second single 'Plush' made Scott Weiland's amazingly harsh vocals known to the world as well as the beautifully rhythmic guitar. Although they basically left the grunge scene eventually, the albums 'Purple' and 'Core' still embody all the grunge vibes it possible could have.
Sonic Youth are definitely one for the Nirvana fans reading this. 'Dirty', 'Daydream Nation' or 'The Eternal' - take your pick. I feel like this band is not in receipt of as much praise as it deserves and that is why we're here to give it to them! That's why this band has received one of the top spots in our list of greatest grunge bands of all time.
This song is a lesser well-known favorite of ours and so worth the listen:
The Melvins.. where do I start? Do you ever wonder where that moody, ambient darkness of Nirvana and Soundgarden was inspired by? We have the answer. The trudging and slow-moving sound of the Melvins became extremely influential over the years and helped to shape the newer generation of grunge mold into what it is. The authentically of this band shows die to the fact they are still together in the present day. You can't have the icons without the influencers. So here you have it.
Okay, maybe you could see this one coming - but can you really disagree? Their 1991 classic hit 'Nevermind' launched them to success and put the genre on the map, making the music and grunge fashion a new trend. The band only blessed us up until 1994 when Mr. Cobain tragically left us. In this tiny timespan however, Nirvana changed the lives of so many which speaks volumes as to their talent, influence and greatness as a grunge band. No band deserved the #1 spot more.
Is Your Favorite Grunge Band On The List?
There you have it, our countdown of the top ten classic grunge bands that took the world by storm! Do you agree with us? Did we miss some out? Get in touch and let us know!
If you loved more aspects of grunge culture than just the music, check out The Black Ravens for our range of mens alternative fashion as well as women's, to become that grunge icon we all aspire to be!