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Top 10 Alternative Rock Albums

10. Pearl Jam – Ten (Epic Records, 1991)

Pearl Jam - Ten

Released in August 1991, Ten is the debut studio album by the American rock band Pearl Jam. The album which contains some of the band’s best known songs, ”Alive”, ”Even Flow”, ”Jeremy”, ”Oceans”, ”Once” is widely credited with bringing alternative rock into mainstream and it was also Pearl Jam’s most comercially successful LP, with over 10 million copies sold. Q magazine called Ten ”raucous modern rock, spiked with infectious guitar motifs and powered with driving bass and drums” while Kerrang! defined the LP ‘introspective and charged with a quiet emotional force”.

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9. Alice In Chains – Dirt (Columbia Records, 1992)

Alice in Chains - Dirt

Released in September 1992, Dirt is the second studio album by American rock band Alice In Chains. Recorded between March -May 1992, Dirt, the last LP to feature bassist Mike Starr, before his departure from the band, was well received by fans and critics alike. The album produced five singles, ”Would?”, ”Them Bones”, ”Angry Chair”, ”Rooster”, ”Down In A Hole”, and sold more than 5 million copies worldwide, the band’s highest selling album. Talking about the album’s songs, lead guitarist Jerry Cantrell said ”We did a lot of soul searching on this album. There’s a lot of intense feelings.” The songs are focused on depression, anger, drug use, death, anti-social behaviour, war, Steve Huey of AllMusic calling Dirt ”Alice In Chains’ major artistic statement and the closest they ever came to recording a flat-out masterpiece.”

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8. Jeff Buckley – Grace (Columbia Records, 1994)

Jeff Buckley - Grace

Released in August 1994, Grace is the only studio album by Jeff Buckley. Initially the album was not well received, with poor sales and mixed reviews, in time it acquired critical acclaim and commercial success, eventually selling over 2 million copies. Rolling Stone magazine placed it on No. 303 on its list of the greatest 500 albums of all time, while David Bowie considered Grace to be the best album ever made. The title-track and Jeff Buckley’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s ”Hallelujah” remain two of his best-known recordings, and in 2014 it was announced that ”Hallelujah” will be inducted into the Library Of Congress’s National Recording Registry.

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7. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses (Silvertone Records, 1989)

The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses

Released in May 1989, The Stone Roses is the debut studio album by English rock band The Stone Roses. The album was recorded at Battery Studios in London, and produced seven singles: ”Elephant Stone”, ”Made Of Stone”, ”She Bangs The Drums”, ”Fools Gold”, ”I Wanna Be Adored”, ”Waterfall”, and ”I Am The Resurrection”. Initially The Stone Roses was not a successful album, but in time it became a widely appreciated one, Bob Stanley from Melody Maker called it ”beautifully flowing, certainly psychedelic”, Mojo magazine said it ”set the tone for rock music in the ’90s” while Chris Jones from BBC Music said ”it served as a peerless testament to the fusion of rock and dance music inspired by working class hedonism.”

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6. My Bloody Valentine – Loveless (Creation Records, 1991)

My bloody valentine - Loveless

Released in November 1991, Loveless is the second studio album by Anglo-Irish rock band My Bloody Valentine. The album took 2 years to record, mainly because vocalist and guitarist Kevin Shields wanted to achieve a particular sound, thus experimenting with guitar tremolo and tuning systems, unusual production techniques, obscured vocals and sampled feedback and percussion. Loveless did not achieve a great commercial success, however it was adored by critics, who named it one of the best albums of the ’90s and an essential work in the shoegazing genre. Most of the songs on the album were written and performed by Kevin Shields. Andrew Perry from Select magazine called it ”An album without parallel”, and was ranked No. 219 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

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  • Jay Nicoll

    No Pumpkins, STP or Weezer?

    • kkh

      Nope. I certainly would have put “Siamese Dream” on that list, instead of anything by Stone Roses. And Pixies “Surfer Rosa” instead of “Doolittle”.