The Best of 1995 Grunge Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Relive the best of 1995 grunge music with our top 10 list of the year’s best tracks. From Nirvana to Pearl Jam, relive the hits that defined a generation.

Nirvana- Smells Like Teen Spirit

Nirvana was an American rock band that was formed by singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987. Nirvana went through a succession of drummers, the longest-lasting being Dave Grohl, who joined the band in 1990. In early 1991, Nirvana recorded “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, the first single from their second album Nevermind (1991). The success of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” propelled Nevermind to the top of Billboard 200 chart for weeks.

Pearl Jam- Better Man

Pearl Jam is an American rock band that was formed in 1990 in Seattle, Washington. The band’s lineup consists of founding members Jeff Ament (bass guitar), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar), Mike McCready (lead guitar), and Eddie Vedder (lead vocals, guitar). Since 1998, the band has also included drummer Matt Cameron (also of Soundgarden). Boom Gaspar (piano) has also been a session/touring member with the band since 2002. Drummer Dave Krusen, guitarist Jason Finn and bassist Matt Chamberlain all contributed to the album, Ten (1991). Chamberlain left the band during the recording of the album. The band released their eleventh studio album, Lightning Bolt, on October 15, 2013.

Grunge music is generally characterized by heavily distorted electric guitars,bass guitars, and drums, sometimes accompanied with pianos and keyboards. Pearl Jam’s song “Better Man” is a great example of grunge music. It was released in 1994 as part of the album Vitalogy. The song was written by lead singer Eddie Vedder.

Soundgarden- Black Hole Sun

“Black Hole Sun” is a song by American rock band Soundgarden. Featuring haunting, Despair-filled lyrics Against a Melancholy yet Melodic music, The song became one of the most well-known songs of the Grunge Movement and helpedLaunch Soundgarden into Mainstream popularity. The song topped Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for 7 weeks and peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Alice in Chains- Down in a Hole

Alice in Chains is an American rock band from Seattle, Washington, formed in 1987 by guitarist and vocalist Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley. The initial lineup was rounded out by drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Starr, who was replaced in 1993 by Mike Inez Prior to their formation under the name Alice in Chains, the band’s members performed together as part of several Seattle-based grunge bands.

Staley died in 2002, and William DuVall assuming co-lead vocal duties. The band released its fourth studio album, Black Gives Way to Blue, on September 29, 2009. The album received generally mixed reviews from music critics and debuted at number five on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 122,000 copies its first week of release.

“Down in a Hole” is a song performed by Alice in Chains and written by Jerry Cantrell for the band’s third studio album Dirt (1992). “Down in a Hole” was released as a single on August 30, 1995. The video for this song was directed by Nigel Dick.

The song is one of four lead singles released from the album Dirt (the others being “Would?”, “Them Bones”, and “Angry Chair”), “Down in a Hole” being the final single released before Layne Staley’s death on April 5th 2002.

Stone Temple Pilots- Interstate Love Song

Stone Temple Pilots, one of the defining bands of the grunge era, released their third album, Purple, in June 1994. The album’s first single, “Interstate Love Song,” quickly became a radio staple, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Interstate Love Song” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1995.

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