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).
"Like A Stone" - Audioslave
Peak Position: No. 1 (2 weeks). Peak Date: May 17, 2003.
"The Devil You Know" - Jesus Jones
Peak Position: No. 1 (6 weeks). Peak Date: Jan. 23, 1993.
"Lonely Boy" - The Black Keys
Peak Position: No. 1 (10 weeks). Peak Date: Dec. 17, 2011.
"Tomorrow" - Silverchair
Peak Position: No. 1 (3 weeks). Peak Date: Sept. 2, 1995.
"You Outta Know" - Alanis Morissette
Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: July 22, 1995.
"Right Here, Right Now" - Jesus Jones
Peak Position: No. 1 (5 weeks). Peak Date: Feb. 9, 1991.
"Waiting For The End" - Linkin Park
Peak Position: No. 1 (4 weeks). Peak Date: Jan. 8, 2011.
"Fall Down" - Toad The Wet Sproket
Peak Position: No. 1 (6 weeks). Peak Date: June 18, 1994.
"Feed The Tree" - Belly
Peak Position: No. 1 (3 weeks). Peak Date: March 6, 1993.
"Semi-Charmed Life" - Third Eye Blind
Peak Position: No. 1 (8 weeks). Peak Date: May 24, 1997.
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.