The Best Grunge Music on YouTube

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A top 10 list of the best grunge music on YouTube.

Alice in Chains- “Would?”

Alice in Chains is one of the defining bands of the grunge movement, and “Would?” is one of their most iconic songs. The song is a contemplation of life and death, with lead singer Layne Staley asking “would you fight for my honor / would you lie for me / would you die for me?” It’s a dark, brooding song that perfectly captures the angst and hopelessness of the grunge era.

Nirvana- “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Nirvana was one of the most influential grunge bands of all time. Formed in 1987 by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic, the band went through a number of drummers before settling on Dave Grohl in 1990. Nirvana’s sound was a combination of punk, metal and pop music, which appealed to a wide range of listeners. The band’s 1991 album, Nevermind, became a huge success, due in part to the popularity of its lead single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Nirvana continued to enjoy success with its next two albums, In Utero (1993) and MTV Unplugged in New York (1994). Tragically, Cobain took his own life in 1994 at the age of 27. Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

Soundgarden- “Black Hole Sun”

Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” is a grunge classic. The song was released in 1994 and is one of the band’s most well-known tracks. The music video for “Black Hole Sun” was directed by Mark Pellington and won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1995.

Pearl Jam- “Jeremy”

Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” is one of the best examples of grunge music. The song is about a high school student who shoots himself in front of his classmates. The song was inspired by a true story, and the video was directed by Mark Pellington.

Stone Temple Pilots- “Creep”

Stone Temple Pilots achieved massive success in the early 1990s with their debut album, Core, which produced the singles “Sex Type Thing” and “Plush.” The band followed up with the release of Purple in 1994, which featured the hits “Vasoline” and “Interstate Love Song.” STP’s third album, Tiny Music…Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop was released in 1996 and was a departure from the band’s heavier sound, exploring more of a pop/rock direction. The album features the singles “Big Bang Baby” and “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart.” Stone Temple Pilots officially disbanded in 2002, but reunited in 2008 and have released two more albums, self-titled Stone Temple Pilots (2010) and High Rise (2013).

Stone Temple Pilots – “Creep”

Album: Core
Released: September 29, 1992
reached #7 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart

Stone Temple Pilots – “Vasoline”

Album: Purple
Released: June 7, 1994
reached #8 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart

Mudhoney- “Touch Me I’m Sick”

Mudhoney’s “Touch Me I’m Sick” may be the perfect grunge song. It’s short, it’s to the point, and it’s got a killer riff. The video is equally great, with the band performing in a garage while a bunch of kids dance around them.

L7- “Pretend We’re Dead”

L7 is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California, United States. Formed in 1985, the band’s original lineup consisted of Donita Sparks, Suzi Gardner, Jennifer Finch and Dee Plakas. Secondary songwriters during the band’s heyday included Gardner and Sparks. L7 has been associated with the grunge movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s and they were often referred to as “the female Nirvana”.

The band’s sound was influenced by heavy metal, punk rock and hard rock. They performed with a sense of humor which set them apart from their grunge contemporaries. The band was active from 1985 to 2001, and reunited in 2014.

L7’s signature song is “Pretend We’re Dead”, which was a Top 40 hit in 1992. The song was included in the soundtrack for the 1996 film Curdled and featured in an episode of Beavis and Butt-head.

Hole- “Celebrity Skin”

This song is from the album of the same name and was released in 1998. It was one of Hole’s biggest hits, reaching #3 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. The music video was directed by Nick Egan and features actress Rose McGowan.

Smashing Pumpkins- “Bullet with Butterfly Wings”

The Smashing Pumpkins are an American alternative rock band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 1988. Formed by frontman Billy Corgan (lead vocals, guitar) and James Iha (guitar, backing vocals), the band included D’arcy Wretzky (bass guitar) and Jimmy Chamberlin (drums) in its original incarnation. It has undergone many line-up changes throughout its existence, with the current lineup being Corgan and rhythm guitarist Jeff Schroeder.

“Bullet with Butterfly Wings” is a song by American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. It was released in October 1995 as the lead single from their fourth studio album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The song was written by frontman Billy Corgan and was produced by Butch Vig. “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” peaked at number 22 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming The Smashing Pumpkins’ second top-forty single. In 2012, NME placed it at number 160 on its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

Bush- “Glycerine”

“Glycerine” is a song by the British rock band Bush. It was released in November 1995 as the fourth single from their debut album, Sixteen Stone. The song is in the key of F major. The main chord progression for the entire song is F5, C5, D5, and B♭5. The song entered the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks on 21 January 1996 at number 30 and reached number one on 18 February. It remained there for 10 weeks before being replaced by “Who Will You Run To” by Hootie & The Blowfish.

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