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Alternative Rock Albums of the ’90s — My Top 5 [VIDEOS]

Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

The ’90s, more specifically the early ’90s, were a glorious time period in rock music. It was the dawning of a new era. Out with the hair metal bands, and in with the raw, unapologetic power of grunge.

Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice of Chains ushered in the decade and set the tone for an eclectic blend of punk and classic rock.

Here are my favorite alternative rocks albums of the decade.

5. “Facelift,” Alice in Chains (1990)

This was the first of the “grunge” albums to make it big in the mainstream, featuring songs like “Man in a Box.” Frontman Layne Staley’s vocals in the chorus, some say, officially put grunge on the map.

4. “In Utero,” Nirvana (1993)

The trio’s follow-up to the breakthrough album “Nevermind” may not have had the sales figures, but what it lacked in commercial success it more than made up for in lyrical content. The words in “Heart-Shaped Box” and “All Apologies” were some of the most haunting of the era.

3. “Superunknown,” Soundgarden (1994)

There may not have been a better vocalist of the grunge movement than Chris Cornell. “Superunknown” was the band’s fourth studio album, but the first to reach the mainstream thanks to the song “Black Hole Sun,” the music video for which is among the creepiest ever.

2. “Ten,” Pearl Jam (1991)

Truly one of the biggest albums of all time, the first in a long list of masterpieces recorded by the always outspoken and fearless Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam. “Even Flow,” “Alive,” “Black,” and “Jeremy” were all megahits off the groundbreaking album.

1. “Nevermind,” Nirvana (1991)

Even the album cover has become iconic. Many wondered if America was ready for the alternative rock sound that had been embraced years before by the underground. We got our answer on September 10, 1991, when “Smells Like Teen Spirit” officially hit the airwaves as the band’s first single off the album. Overnight, Kurt Cobain and Nirvana were ordained as spokesmen of a generation.

 

Now that I’ve given my top five, what are yours?

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