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Rolling Stone lists the 50 greatest grunge albums of all time

Nirvana corporate magazines

Rolling Stone has done other genre-specific ‘greatest albums’ lists before, like for metal and punk, and now they’ve done it for grunge. Their list of the 50 Greatest Grunge Albums comes in honor of the 25th anniversary of 1994. Rolling Stone explains:

Because 1994 was the last time grunge dominated the mainstream — it was the year that Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana and Pearl Jam all had Number One LPs, and, tragically, it was also the year that Kurt Cobain died by suicide — we’ve decided to mark the 25th anniversary of that year by reflecting on the best albums of the era. To capture the breadth of the genre and prove that the music never became passé, our editors have selected records by bands that topped the charts, as well as ones by unsung heroes like Paw, the Gits and the U-Men, and even the odd grunge forefather. And we’ve left off a few records that were once huge, by Bush, Candlebox and Silverchair, for instance, that just haven’t stood the test of time.

The list includes proto-grunge like The Stooges, Black Flag, and Neil Young (but not Dinosaur Jr or Meat Puppets), as well as all the usual suspects. All three Nirvana albums are in the top 15, and we bet you can guess which one topped the list. Check out the whole thing below and read commentary on each pick over at Rolling Stone.

Rolling Stone also asked Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil to list his favorite grunge albums, and you can also see that list below and read Kim’s commentary here.

Update (4/3): Melvins’ Buzz Osborne also made a list for RS and you can also see that one below and read more here. On Nirvana’s Bleach, he said: “I picked Bleach because there’s just not that many grunge records I think are any good. But that would be one of them.”

Update (4/5): Mudhoney’s Mark Arm made a list of his favorite “grungy” albums (“going by the original definition of the word that he grew up with”), and you can see his picks below and read his commentary here.

L7’s Donita Sparks also did one, and you can see hers below and read commentary here.

Rolling Stone’s 50 Greatest Grunge Albums
50. Mother Love Bone – “Apple“
49. Toadies – “Rubberneck“
48. Fecal Matter – “Illiteracy Will Prevail“
47. The U-Men – “Step On A Bug“
46. Veruca Salt – “American Thighs“
45. The Stooges – “Fun House“
44. Skin Yard – “Hallowed Ground“
43. Black Flag – “My War“
42. Alice In Chains – “Jar Of Flies“
41. Soundgarden – “Screaming Life“
40. Mudhoney – “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge“
39. The Gits – “Enter: The Conquering Chicken“
38. The Fluid – “Purplemetalflakemusic“
37. L7 – “Smell The Magic“
36. Neil Young And Crazy Horse – “Ragged Glory“
35. Paw – “Dragline“
34. 7 Year Bitch – “¡Viva Zapata!“
33. Babes In Toyland – “Fontanelle“
32. Smashing Pumpkins – “Gish“
31. Tad – “8-Way Santa“
30. Wipers – “Youth Of America“
29. Green River – “Come On Down“
28. Soundgarden – “Louder Than Love“
27. Babes In Toyland – “Spanking Machine“
26. Smashing Pumpkins – “Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness“
25. Melvins – “Bullhead“
24. Stone Temple Pilots – “Purple“
23. Soundgarden – “Ultramega OK“
22. Various Artists – “Deep Six“
21. Jerry Cantrell – “Degradation Trip“
20. Green River – “Dry As A Bone“
19. Various Artists – “Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack“
18. Mad Season – “Above“
17. Screaming Trees – “Sweet Oblivion“
16. Melvins – “Houdini“
15. L7 – “Bricks Are Heavy“
14. Alice In Chains – “Facelift“
13. Nirvana – “Bleach“
12. Smashing Pumpkins – “Siamese Dream“
11. Stone Temple Pilots – “Core“
10. Pearl Jam – “Vs.“
09. Soundgarden – “Superunknown“
08. Nirvana – “In Utero“
07. Temple Of The Dog – “Temple Of The Dog“
06. Alice In Chains – “Dirt“
05. Mudhoney – “Superfuzz Bigmuff“
04. Hole – “Live Through This“
03. Pearl Jam – “Ten“
02. Soundgarden – “Badmotorfinger“
01. Nirvana – “Nevermind“

Kim Thayil’s (Soundgarden) Favorite Grunge Albums
Nirvana – “Bleach“
Green River – “Dry As A Bone“
Melvins – “Gluey Porch Treatments“
U-Men – “U-Men“
Malfunkshun
Skinyard – “Hallowed Ground“
Mudhoney – “Superfuzz Bigmuff“
Tad – “God’s Balls“
Screaming Trees – “Clairvoyance“
Alice In Chains – “Facelift“
Pearl Jam – “Ten“

Buzz Osborne’s (Melvins) Favorite Grunge Albums
Soundgarden, Badmotorfinger (1991)
Nirvana, Nevermind (1991)
U-Men, U-Men (1984)
Tales of Terror, Tales of Terror (1984)
Mudhoney, “Touch Me, I’m Sick” (1988)
Flipper, Generic (1982)
Nirvana, Bleach (1989)
Soundgarden, Superunknown (1994)
Malfunkshun, Return to Olympus (1995)
Babes in Toyland, Spanking Machine (1990)

Mark Arm’s (Mudhoney) Favorite Grungy Albums
The Sonics, Boom (1966)
The Stooges, Fun House (1970)
Randy Holden, Population II (1970)
Hawkwind, Doremi Fasol Latido (1972)
Discharge, Why (1981)
Bobby Soxx, “Scavenger of Death” / “(Learn to) Hate in the 80’s” (1981)
Hellhammer, Apocalyptic Raids (1984)
Tales of Terror, Tales of Terror (1984)
Cosmic Psychos, Down on the Farm (1985)
Fuzz, Fuzz (2013)

Donita Sparks’ (L7) Favorite Grunge Albums
Flipper, Generic (1982)
Frightwig, Cat Farm Faboo (1984)
The Fluid, Clear Black Paper (1988)
Cat Butt, Journey to the Center Of (1989)
Nirvana, Bleach (1989)
Cosmic Psychos, Go the Hack (1989)
Smashing Pumpkins, Gish (1991)
Love Battery, Dayglo (1992)
Wool, Budspawn (1992)
Veruca Salt, American Thighs (1994)

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