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Top 10 Great Modern Rock Songs


In order to be a great rock band you must have a great lyricist and front man, but the
bass, lead guitar, and drums are just as important. Here is a list of 10 of the best
alternative rock songs.

10. Counting Crows - Round Here

Counting Crows is a band that came to fame in the middle of the 1990’s after their debut
release August and Everything After. Originating in Berkeley California the Crows have
sold more then $20 million records worldwide. Round Here is a song written by front
man Adam Duritz and was the second single released on their first album. It reached #7
on the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Chart and surprisingly only hit #70 in the UK. It is a
lyrical masterpiece and a staple in the true modern style of this band.

9. 3 Doors Down - Be Like That

3 Doors Down is an American band that was formed around 1994 in Escatawpa, Mississippi. They were signed to Universal Records after the success of their first single Kryptonite. The band has sold well over $16 million records worldwide since 2000. 3 Doors Down first album The Better Life was 11th best-selling album of 2000, selling over 3 million copies. Be Like That was the fourth single on the album and did relatively well on worldwide charts. 

8. Smash Mouth - Walkin’ on the Sun

Smash Mouth is a band that was formed in San Jose, California.  They named themselves Smash Mouth referring to the phrase coined by NFL legend Mike Ditka. Walkin’ on the Sun was the first single released off of their 1997 album Fush Yu Mang. It was the first major hit for Smash Mouth and launched the band’s popularity. This song has some strong pointed lyrics and looks at the Generation X view of the hippie movement, preaching ideas of peace and love.  It was extremely popular all over the world and reached #1 in the United States, #19 in the UK, #7 in Australian, and did well in Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sweden.

7. Soul Asylum - Runaway Train

Soul Asylum is an American band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The band was created by bassist Karl Mueller.  Runaway Train was the third single off the band’s 1992 release Grave Dancers Union. It reached #5 on U.S. charts and won a Grammy Award in 1994 for Best Rock Song. The lyrics tell a grim, but real story about runaway children. The critically acclaimed video starts with the sentence “There are over one million youth lost on the streets of America." 

6. The Scorpions - Wind of Change

The Scorpions are a heavy metal and rock band from Hanover, Germany.  The band became internationally famous in the 1980’s and 90’s.  They have sold over 75 million records worldwide, including major hits such as Rock You Like a Hurricane, No One Like You, and Wind of Change.  Wind of Change is an incredible tune with a beat and baseline to follow. This song topped the charts in Germany and across Europe. It reached #2 in the UK and #4 in the U.S. The lyrics of this song celebrate the political changes that took place in Eastern Europe during the early 1990's, including the falling of the Berlin Wall, the Polish Round Table Agreement, and the end of the Cold War.

5. Pearl Jam - Black

Pearl Jam is an American Rock band that was formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990.  They have sold over $60 million records worldwide.  Black was the fifth track on the bands album Ten and is a rather somber song telling the story of a broken down man remembering his past lover.  Pearl Jam refused to make a video for Black. They are quoted as saying “we don’t want people to remember our songs as videos.” 

4. Linkin Park - Shadow of the Day

Linkin Park was formed in Agoura, California in the Mid-90’s. They have sold over 50 million albums to date and are the best selling artists of the last 10 years. The band exploded with the release of Hybrid Theory in 2000. Shadow of the Day was the third single off Linkin Park’s third studio album.

3. Guns N’ Roses - Don’t Cry

Guns N’ Roses is an American Rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California. The band has released six studio albums and sold $100 million records worldwide.  They are led by front man Axl Rose, whose voice is internationally recognized.  Don’t Cry was the fourth track on the record Use Your Illusion I.  It is truly a lyrical masterpiece and Axl’s singing range is untouched. The song features the late Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon on backing vocals. The single peaked at #10 in the U.S.

2. Aerosmith - Livin’ on the Edge

Aerosmith was formed in 1970. The bands musical style is rooted in blues-based hard rock, but has evolved over the years. Aerosmith is the best selling American hard rock group of all time and to date have sold over $150 million records worldwide. Livin’ on the Edge was the first single released on the bands massively successful album Get a Grip.  The song won a Grammy Award in 1993.  It peaked at #18 in the U.S. and #19 in the UK.

1. Green Day - Basket Case

Green Day formed in 1987 and was originally part of the underground punk rock scene in Berkeley, California.  The band has sold over 22 million records in the United States alone and have won 3 Grammy Awards.  Basket Case was a single released off of Green Day's album Dookie.  It was written by Billie Joe Armstrong about his struggles with anxiety before he was diagnosed with a panic disorder. The song was a massive hit all over the world and spent five weeks on top of the U.S. Modern Rock Tracks chart, hit #2 in Norway, #3 in Sweden, #6 in the UK, #11 in Ireland, and #18 in Germany.


Copyright The List Blog, All Rights Reserved, Posted June 9, 2009