BillboardThe Alternative Songs Chart celebrates its 30th anniversary. Since its launch in 1988, the rankings have reflected trends in alternative American radio stations, ranging from late 80s college rock to 90s grunge, to early 2000s nu-metal, synthesized sounds format. ‘today, which actually have a lot in common with where it all began.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers had more songs at the top of the chart (13) than any other artist, closely followed by Linkin Park and Green Day with 11 each. But a lot of successful alternative bands you’d expect to have at least a No.1 strangely never reached the top. A few are familiar names that have had more success in different rankings; a few are critical favorites that have failed commercially; others just weren’t lucky.
Here are 15 bands from the past 30 years that never had # 1 hits on BillboardIt’s in the ranking of alternative songs, despite their much-vaunted status in the genre.
Alongside Oasis, Blur was half the royal family who led the British Britpop movement of the mid-90s. This scene defined British music culture at the time, and although it was not so pervasive in the American domination of Alternative Songs, it’s always surprising that Blur never had a number 1n – mainly because it only landed one gigantic American crossover. If we’re talking about sustained cultural impact, “Song 2” is probably one of the ten most iconic rock songs of the 90s, but it ranked # 6 on Alternative Songs in 1997.
For the record, Blur’s alternative song hit is “Girls & Boys”: # 4 in 1994. Notably, Blur frontman Damon Albarn recorded his # 1 debut via Gorillaz’s “Feel Good Inc” in 2005 .
Breaking Benjamin ranks 50th on the Alternative Song’s Top 100 All-Time Artist list, though the Pennsylvania band is one of only two in the top 50 without a No. 1 on their resume (Rise Against is the other). The band’s long career has been filled with success (four top five and six top 10 on Alternative Songs), but, alas, no single has peaked higher than “So Cold” and “Breath”, both No. 3, in 2004 and 2007, respectively.
On the Mainstream Rock Songs chart, where his hard rock sound is a little more comfortable, Breaking Benjamin has six No.1s to his name.
Georgia rockers were mainstays of alternative radio throughout the ’90s, when tracks like “Heavy”, “The World I Know” and “December” (their biggest hit, at # 2) all entered. in the top 10. Today, most would call “Shine” Collective Soul’s signature song – it’s by far their most-streamed track on Spotify – but the fact that it’s their debut single l ‘ probably stopped taking a few laps from the more established grunge hitters in 1994, when it peaked at Number 4.
Dave Matthews Group
Dave Matthews Band’s legacy as a touring titan is obviously legendary, and his commercial success remains stellar, if under-represented (this year Come tomorrow opened with 285,000 albums sold, the biggest selling week for a rock band in more than four years, according to Nielsen Music). Still, no # 1 alternative songs for Dave and co. “Don’t Drink the Water,” “Too Much” and “I Did It” all made the top five in the jam group’s late 90s and early 90s.
While most alternative radio playlists have moved away from harsher rock sounds in recent years, bands like Disturbed have lost weight on the format, but throughout the 2000s the longtime Chicago band was among his safest bets. He recorded five top 10 alternative songs during this period, peaking with “Prayer” at No. 3 in 2002.
Beyond the heavier Mainstream Rock Songs count, Disturbed has eight chart tops, including the current No. 1, “Are You Ready”.
Fall out Boy
Fall Out Boy is a rare case in 21st century radio: a rock band that often does better on the first 40 stations than rock. Smashes like “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” and “Thnks Fr th Mmrs”, both from 2007 Infinity up, in fact peaked higher on the Billboard Hot 100 All Genre than on Alternative Songs. The group came closest to a # 1 alternative song with “Dance, Dance” (# 2) and “Sugar, We’re Going Down” (# 3), both released in the 2005s. Under the cork oak.
Like Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin, Godsmack is an absolute giant in the mainstream rock universe, with eight No. 1s in the format, including this year’s “Bulletproof”. The Massachusetts band also did well on Alternative Songs. It qualified for our list of the Top 100 Alternative Song Artists to mark the 30th anniversary of the charts, backed by Top 10 Hits like “Voodoo”, “Serenity” and “Straight Out of Line”. But even with all the success the band has had in the rock radio world over the course of this century, they have yet to reach the peak of alternative songs.
During nu metal’s greatest years, Korn was a staple of the alternative song chart, with tracks like “Here to Stay”, “Freak on a Leash” and “Make Me Bad” hanging alongside much more post-grunge. radio and and pop-rock of the time. As iconic as they are, Korn didn’t collect any # 1 alternative songs, peaking at # 4 with “Here,” one of his top five 10s, in 1999.
Without a doubt
At the start of his career, mainly in the 2000s The return of Saturn, No Doubt zoned on alternative radio play. It made sense, as this was the time when the ska-punk side of his sound was more in the foreground; ‘Don’t Speak’ and ‘Ex-Girlfriend’ were the band’s biggest alternative song hits at this point, both peaking at No. 2. Considering No Doubt’s lasting impact on alternative culture in its together it’s kinda crazy at least one of these (or say, “just a girl”) never had enough alternative radio for the best alternative songs. The band have, at least, had their moments in the mainstream sun, once their sound has shifted more firmly to pop (after “Speak” spent 16 weeks at No.1 on the Radio Songs All Format chart), in trio of singles No Doubt entered the top 10 of the Hot 100 of the new millennium.
For all the love Paramore had for his 2017 album After the laugh and continues to receive for their music production, Hayley Williams and the band have never attracted enough radio antennae to score a number 1 in format. Two singles from 2007 Riot!, “Misery Business” and “crushcrushcrush”, peaked respectively at # 3 and # 4 (the group’s biggest hits to date) and After the laughThe flagship single from “Hard Times” landed at No. 13. Like his label mates Fall Out Boy, Paramore enjoyed some Hot 100 success when he set his sights on pop. “Ain’t It Fun”, “Still Into You” and “The Only Exception” all made it into the Top 30 of the Hot 100 without even appearing on the alternate songs.
The most acclaimed rock band since they debuted the alternative songs charts in 1988? There is a case to be made. But the number of Radiohead No. 1 in the ranking? Exactly zero. As cool as it would have been, it’s hardly surprising that nothing is happening. Child A Where The king of limbs went to # 1, but “Creep” failed at # 2 and “High and Dry” at a miserable # 18? It’s a disappointment. We don’t imagine that stopping Thom Yorke from sleeping at night these days.
Stand up against
If you’ve followed alternative radio over the years, the inclusion of Rise Against here should come as a real shock. And if you’ve taken a look at our list of the best alternative songs of all time, you’ll be even more bewildered; Rise Against’s 2009 single “Savior” was the second greatest song in chart history, but it never exceeded third place during its 65-week reign. 2011’s “Help Is on the Way” peaked, but couldn’t get past number 2. In total, the band listed 17 songs and sent almost half (eight) into the top 10, but a number. 1 still escapes the Chicago punk group.
The punk group So-Cal became a radio force in the 90s while maintaining their hard-earned credibility. But unlike contemporaries like The Offspring or Green Day, Social Distortion never sent any of their singles to the top of alternative songs. “Bad Luck” is the closest, reaching No. 2 in 1992, though between the eponymous 1990s and 2011 albums. Difficult times and nursery rhymes (the act’s most recent album), he has maintained a constant presence on alternative radio. For this, he earned a coveted place on the list of the best artists of all time (No. 98).
This one is a big surprise. Even as an idol in the inner circle of the grunge movement, Soundgarden never surpassed alternative songs. Three singles (including “Black Hole Sun”!) Frontman Chris Cornell finally got his first number 1 on the list via Audioslave’s “Like a Stone” and we’d be remiss to mention that Soundgarden had a much bigger hit than on Mainstream Rock Songs, which he has passed six times.
The Strokes are icons of New York City and the leaders of a true rock ‘n’ roll renaissance in the early 2000s. This was well documented in the popular 2017 book. Meet me in the bathroom, and the stories of their heyday are expected to continue into the future. For all their influence, The Strokes were never the sales force many hoped they would be. It’s too cool for the general public; attribute it to other groups who follow their example to greater success. The Strokes recorded just two top 10 hits on the Alternative Song Chart, culminating in “Last Nite” (# 5) in early 2002.