Alternative Rock & Adult Alternative

This is a list of the 5-star alternative rock, indie rock, grunge, and Britpop albums on AllMusic. If you are interested in looking at more genre-specific lists of AllMusic’s 5-star albums, click here.

Alternative evolved from punk music and remained in the underground until Nirvana’s Nevermind brought it into the mainstream in 1991. It’s important to note, however, that “alternative” and “grunge” are not synonymous, though people often use them interchangeably. Alternative rock is a broader form of music that includes styles like grunge, a movement very particular to the city of Seattle, and Britpop, which was in many ways a reaction to the popularity of grunge across the Atlantic.

Anyway, here are the best alternative albums, presented in the order in which they were released. I have linked both the artists and albums to their respective AllMusic pages for easy perusal. Let me know if there are any albums I have left out.


AcclaimedMusic.net’s 3000 Greatest Albums of All Time

In 2003, Rolling Stone published a list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, updating it in 2012. Here’s what AllMusic thinks of the best alternative albums on the list (links to current list provided):

★★★★★

★★★★½

★★★★

★★★½

★★★

★★½

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