Alternative Chart 25th Anniversary: Top 100 Songs

The alternative radio format is built upon the promise of what's coming next, so it's no surprise that the music played by alternative stations has experienced multiple changes during the last 25 years. The wide-ranging format of 1988 (when the chart debuted  with the name, "Modern Rock") turned into a mainstream hard rock sound over time, and then found its way back to its roots. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Billboard's Alternative Songs chart, we're counting down the top 100 tunes in the tally's quarter-century history. (Scroll to the bottom of this page to see how this chart was formulated).

Alternative Chart 25th Anniversary: Top 50 Artists, Most No. 1s & More

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  1. 100

    "Like A Stone" - Audioslave Peak Position: No. 1 (2 weeks). Peak Date: May 17, 2003.

  2. 99

    "The Devil You Know" - Jesus Jones Peak Position: No. 1 (6 weeks). Peak Date: Jan. 23, 1993.

  3. 98

    "Lonely Boy" - The Black Keys Peak Position: No. 1 (10 weeks). Peak Date: Dec. 17, 2011.

  4. 97

    "Tomorrow" - Silverchair Peak Position: No. 1 (3 weeks). Peak Date: Sept. 2, 1995.

  5. 96

    "You Outta Know" - Alanis Morissette Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: July 22, 1995.

  6. 95

    "Right Here, Right Now" - Jesus Jones Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: Feb. 9, 1991.

  7. 94

    "Waiting For The End" - Linkin Park Peak Position: No. 1 (4 weeks). Peak Date: Jan. 8, 2011.

  8. 93

    "Fall Down" - Toad The Wet Sproket Peak Position: No. 1 (6 weeks). Peak Date: June 18, 1994.

  9. 92

    "Feed The Tree" - Belly Peak Position: No. 1 (3 weeks). Peak Date: March 6, 1993.

  10. 91

    "Semi-Charmed Life" - Third Eye Blind Peak Position: No. 1 (8 weeks). Peak Date: May 24, 1997.

    NEXT: 90-81

    How This Chart Was Formulated: The Top Alternative Songs ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Alternative chart (formerly Modern Rock) dating to it's inception on Sept. 10, 1988. Rankings are based on an inverse-point system, with weeks at No. 1 having the greatest value and weeks at lower rankings proportionally less. Due to various changes in chart rules, length and methodology, including the implementation of monitored airplay data from Nielsen BDS in 1994, songs have had shorter average runs at No. 1 and on the chart overall earlier in its history. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from all 25 years, earlier time frames were weighted to account for the difference in turnover rates from those periods.

  11. 90

    "Only" - Nine Inch Nails Peak Position: No. 1 (7 weeks). Peak Date: Oct. 22, 2005.

  12. 89

    "Little Black Submarines" - The Black Keys Peak Position: No. 2. Peak Date: Jan. 12, 2013.

  13. 88

    "Loser" - Beck Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: Feb. 5, 1994.

  14. 87

    "My Friends" - Red Hot Chili Peppers Peak Position: No. 1 (4 weeks). Peak Date: Nov. 18, 1995.

  15. 86

    "Walk" - Foo Fighters Peak Position: No. 1 (8 weeks). Peak Date: March 26, 2011.

  16. 85

    "Walkin' On The Sun" - Smash Mouth Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: Sept. 27, 1997.

  17. 84

    "All The Small Things" - Blink-182 Peak Position: No. 1 (8 weeks). Peak Date: Dec. 25, 1999.

  18. 83

    "Steam" - Peter Gabriel Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: Dec. 12, 1992.

  19. 82

    "Use Somebody" - Kings Of Leon Peak Position: No. 1 (3 weeks). Peak Date: April 11, 2009.

  20. 81

    "Friday I'm In Love" - The Cure Peak Position: No. 1 (4 weeks). Peak Date: June 13, 1992.

  21. 80

    "Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth" - Primitive Radio Gods Peak Position: No. 1 (6 weeks). Peak Date: July 27, 1996.

  22. 79

    "Charlotte Anne" - Julian Cope Peak Position: No. 1 (1 week). Peak Date: Jan. 21, 1989.

  23. 78

    "Wish You Were Here" - Incubus Peak Position: No. 2. Peak Date: Oct. 6, 2001.

  24. 77

    "The Hand That Feeds" - Nine Inch Nails Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: May 28, 2005.

  25. 76

    "Interstate Love Song" - Stone Temple Pilots Peak Position: No. 2. Peak Date: Oct 1, 1994.

  26. 75

    "Down" - 311 Peak Position: No. 1 (4 weeks). Peak Date: Sept. 14, 1996.

  27. 74

    "I Will Wait" - Mumford & Sons Peak Position: No. 1 (1 week). Peak Date: Oct. 20, 2012.

  28. 73

    "Animal I Have Become" - Three Days Grace Peak Position: No. 1 (2 weeks). Peak Date: Sept. 9, 2006.

  29. 72

    "More" - Sisters Of Mercy Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: Dec. 15, 1990.

  30. 71

    "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" - Offspring Peak Position: No. 1 (11 weeks). Peak Date: Oct. 4, 2008.

  31. 70

    "Fake It" - Seether Peak Position: No. 1 (8 weeks). Peak Date: Jan. 5, 2008.

  32. 69

    "Faint" - Linkin Park Peak Position: No. 1 (6 weeks). Peak Date: Aug. 9, 2003.

  33. 68

    "Best Of You" - Foo Fighters Peak Position: No. 1 (7 weeks). Peak Date: July 9, 2005.

  34. 67

    "Santa Monica (Watch The World Die)" - Everclear Peak Position: No. 5. Peak Date: Feb. 10, 1996.

  35. 66

    "It's Time" - Imagine Dragons Peak Position: No. 4. Peak Date: June 30, 2012.

  36. 65

    "Ho Hey" - The Lumineers Peak Position: No. 1 (2 weeks). Peak Date: Sept. 29, 2012.

  37. 64

    "So Far Away" - Staind Peak Position: No. 1 (7 weeks). Peak Date: Sept. 20, 2003.

  38. 63

    "The Mayor Of Simpletown" - XTC Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: April 1, 1989.

  39. 62

    "Hanging By A Moment" - Lifehouse Peak Position: No. 1 (3 weeks). Peak Date: Jan. 27, 2001.

  40. 61

    "Feel Good Drag" - Anberlin Peak Position: No. 1 (1 week). Peak Date: May 2, 2009.

  41. 60

    "Seven Nation Army" - The White Stripes Peak Position: No. 1 (3 weeks). Peak Date: July 12, 2003.

  42. 59

    "Laid" - James Peak Position: No. 3. Peak Date: Dec. 4, 1993.

  43. 58

    "Love And Anger" - Kate Bush Peak Position: No. 1 (3 weeks). Peak Date: Dec. 9, 1989.

  44. 57

    "Name" - Goo Goo Dolls Peak Position: No. 1 (4 weeks). Peak Date: Oct. 7, 1995.

  45. 56

    "Somebody That I Used To Know" - Gotye feat. Kimbra Peak Position: No. 1 (12 weeks). Peak Date: March 3, 2012.

  46. 55

    "Losing My Religion" - R.E.M. Peak Position: No. 1 (8 weeks). Peak Date: July 13, 1991.

  47. 54

    "Proud To Fall" - Ian McCulloch Peak Position: No. 1 (4 weeks). Peak Date: Nov. 11, 1989.

  48. 53

    "Orange Crush" - R.E.M. Peak Position: No. 1 (8 weeks). Peak Date: Nov. 26, 1988.

  49. 52

    "Last Resort" - Papa Roach Peak Position: No. 1 (7 weeks). Peak Date: Aug. 5, 2000.

  50. 51

    "Otherside" - Red Hot Chili Peppers Peak Position: No. 1 (13 weeks). Peak Date: Feb. 9, 2000.

  51. 50

    "Animal" - Neon Trees Peak Position: No. 1 (1 week). Peak Date: Oct. 2, 2010.

  52. 49

    "Rush" - Big Audio Dynamite II Peak Position: No. 1 (4 weeks). Peak Date: Aug. 10, 1991.

  53. 48

    "Dani California" - Red Hot Chili Peppers Peak Position: No. 1 (14 weeks). Peak Date: April 22, 2006.

  54. 47

    "What I Got" - Sublime Peak Position: No. 1 (3 weeks). Peak Date: Oct. 26, 1996.

  55. 46

    "What I've Done" - Linkin Park Peak Position: No. 1 (15 weeks). Peak Date: April 21, 2007.

  56. 45

    "Into Your Arms" - The Lemonheads Peak Position: No. 1 (9 weeks). Peak Date: Nov. 6, 1993.

  57. 44

    "Headstrong" - Trapt Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: May 31, 2003.

  58. 43

    "Been Caught Stealing" - Jane's Addiction Peak Position: No. 1 (4 weeks). Peak Date: Oct. 27, 1990.

  59. 42

    "By The Way" - Red Hot Chili Peppers Peak Position: No. 1 (14 weeks). Peak Date: June 29, 2002.

  60. 41

    "Inside Out" - Eve 6 Peak Position: No. 1 (4 weeks). Peak Date: Aug. 8, 1998.

  61. 40

    "Numb" - Linkin Park Peak Position: No. 1 (12 weeks). Peak Date: Nov. 22, 2003.

  62. 39

    "Pepper" - Butthole Surfers Peak Position: No. 1 (3 weeks). Peak Date: July 6, 1996.

  63. 38

    "Kiss Them For Me" - Siouxsie & the Banshees Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: July 6, 1991.

  64. 37

    "All My Life" - Foo Fighters Peak Position: No. 1 (10 weeks). Peak Date: Nov. 23, 2002.

  65. 36

    "1979" - Smashing Pumpkins Peak Position: No. 1 (1 week). Peak Date: March 2, 1996.

  66. 35

    "What It's Like" - Everlast Peak Position: No. 1 (9 weeks). Peak Date: Dec. 26, 1998.

  67. 34

    "Sex On Fire" - Kings Of Leon Peak Position: No. 1 (8 weeks). Peak Date: Dec. 20, 2008.

  68. 33

    "Paralyzer" - Finger Eleven Peak Position: No. 1 (1 week). Peak Date: Aug. 25, 2007.

  69. 32

    "Kryptonite" - Three Doors Down Peak Position: No. 1 (11 weeks). Peak Date: May 20, 2000.

  70. 31

    "Zombie" - The Cranberries Peak Position: No. 1 (6 weeks). Peak Date: Oct. 29, 1994.

  71. 30

    "Scar Tissue" - Red Hot Chili Peppers Peak Position: No. 1 (16 weeks). Peak Date: June 26, 1999.

  72. 29

    "Good" - Better Than Ezra Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: April 29, 1995.

  73. 28

    "Fascination Street" - The Cure Peak Position: No. 1 (7 weeks). Peak Date: May 6, 1989.

  74. 27

    "Lay Me Down" - The Dirty Heads feat. Rome Peak Position: No. 1 (11 weeks). Peak Date: May 15, 2010.

  75. 26

    "1901" - Phoenix Peak Position: No. 1 (2 weeks). Peak Date: Feb. 20, 2010.

  76. 25

    "In The End" - Linkin Park Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: Dec. 22, 2001.

  77. 24

    "Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster The People Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: June 25, 2011.

  78. 23

    "Blurry" - Puddle Of Mudd Peak Position: No. 1 (9 weeks). Peak Date: Jan. 26, 2002.

  79. 22

    "Tighten Up" - The Black Keys Peak Position: No. 1 (10 weeks). Peak Date: Nov. 6, 2010.

  80. 21

    "Regret" - New Order Peak Position: No. 1 (6 weeks). Peak Date: May 1, 1993.

  81. 20

    "Mysterious Ways" - U2 Peak Position: No. 1 (9 weeks). Peak Date: Nov. 30, 1991.

  82. 19

    "So Alive" - Love And Rockets Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: June 24, 1989.

  83. 18

    "Feel Good Inc" - Gorillaz Peak Position: No. 1 (8 weeks). Peak Date: Aug. 27, 2005.

  84. 17

    "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" - Green Day Peak Position: No. 1 (16 weeks). Peak Date: Dec. 11, 2004.

  85. 16

    "Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Nirvana Peak Position: No. 1 (1 week). Peak Date: Nov. 23, 1991.

  86. 15

    "It's Been Awhile" - Staind Peak Position: No. 1 (16 weeks). Peak Date: April 28, 2001.

  87. 14

    "Wonderwall" - Oasis Peak Position: No. 1 (10 weeks). Peak Date: Dec. 30, 1995.

  88. 13

    "Lightning Crashes" - Live Peak Position: No. 1 (9 weeks). Peak Date: Feb. 25, 1995.

  89. 12

    "My Own Worst Enemy" - Lit Peak Position: No. 1 (11 weeks). Peak Date: April 10, 1999.

  90. 11

    "How You Remind Me" - Nickelback Peak Position: No. 1 (13 weeks). Peak Date: Sept. 22, 2001.

  91. 10

    "When I Come Around" - Green Day Peak Position: No. 1 (7 weeks). Peak Date: Jan. 7, 1995.

  92. 9

    "Sex And Candy" - Marcy Playground Peak Position: No. 1 (15 weeks). Peak Date: Dec. 27, 1997.

  93. 8

    "Drive" - Incubus Peak Position: No. 1 (8 weeks). Peak Date: March 3, 2001.

  94. 7

    "Cuts You Up" - Peter Murphy Peak Position: No. 1 (7 weeks). Peak Date: Feb. 10, 1990.

  95. 6

    "Hemorrhage (In My Hands) - Fuel Peak Position: No. 1 (12 weeks). Peak Date: Nov. 4, 2000.

  96. 5

    "Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons Peak Position: No. 1 (13 weeks). Peak Date: March 2, 2013.

  97. 4

    "The Pretender" - Foo Fighters Peak Position: No. 1 (18 weeks). Peak Date: Sept. 1, 2007.

  98. 3

    "Madness" - Muse Peak Position: No. 1 (19 weeks). Peak Date: Oct. 13, 2012.

  99. 2

    "Savior" - Rise Against Peak Position: No. 3. Peak Date: Nov. 28, 2009.

  100. 1

    "Uprising" - Muse Peak Position: No. 1 (17 weeks). Peak Date: Sept. 26, 2009.

    "Uprising" sports the Alternative chart's third lengthiest domination, having led for 17 frames in 2009-10. This year, the band set the record for the longest reign with a 19-week command for "Madness" (No. 3) that concluded in February. In between is Foo Fighters' "The Pretender" (18 weeks, 2007).

    Alternative Chart 25th Anniversary: Top 50 Artists, Most No. 1s & More

    This First Appeared in Billboard Magazine: Buy the IssueSubscribeiPad