Top 10 Forgotten Rock Bands of the 1990’s

Let’s face it; the 90’s rocked, and I mean that literally. After grunge got big in the early years, many bands came into the spotlight and then vanished by the end of the decade. They may have not been the greatest band in the world, but they gave us some great songs.

Sure, bands like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Stone Temple Pilots will always be remembered for the era, but many other bands populated the airwaves as well. Bands like Live, Oasis, Jane’s Addiction, the Smashing Pumpkins, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers still get some credit they deserve. But what of the others?

If you were like me and you were a young kid, you’ll never forget these hits. Here’s to some of the best rock of the 1990’s.

10. Tonic
Tonic didn’t make a splash until later in the 1990’s; they would produce two big hits with “Open Up Your Eyes” and probably their most popular song, “If You Could Only See.” They would close the decade out in 1999 with the songYou Wanted More.”

9. Vertical Horizon
That same year another band would show up to provide a few hits to the post-grunge era. Vertical Horizon would pony up the hits “Everything You Want”, “You’re A God”, and “Grey Sky Morning” before disappearing into rock folklore. It should be noted that the band enjoyed critical success even before making it big, and many have never heard Vertical Horizon’s earlier works “There and Back Again” and “Running on Ice”, the latter featuring the drums of Carter Beauford of Dave Matthews Band fame.

8. Sponge
One of my favorite three hit wonder bands of the 90’s, Sponge soaked up the airwaves with the hits “Molly”, “Plowed”, and “Have You Seen Mary”.

*Note: This is not the original recording. Their entire debut album, “Rotting Pinata”, is not available for streaming pretty much anywhere online (trust me I’ve looked).

7. Soul Asylum
Soul Asylum managed to put together a pretty decent catalog of music including the hits “Black Gold”, “Somebody to Shove”, “Misery”, and their most memorable song, “Runaway Train”. They had a recent album featuring the single “Stand Up and Be Strong”.

6. Collective Soul

Collective Soul shouldn’t be forgotten; they’ve managed to keep producing solid hits ’till this day. They did make a splash during the early ’90s with songs like “Gel”, “December”, “Shine”, and “The World I Know”

Now let’s check out the Top 5 >>

93 thoughts on “Top 10 Forgotten Rock Bands of the 1990’s

  1. Soul Asylum is still going strong…they’re just more in their element again, alternative rock instead of pop rock.

  2. fucking. awful.
    all of those bands should do a reunion concert for mentos, because they’re all fruity flavored candy crap that will rot yur teeth and yur brain. i feel sorry for kids who grew up in the mid 90’s listening to rock.

  3. Awesome!!!! I loved these bands back then and they still bring back great memories. Thanks for this!!!
    Ok–with the exception of Tonic and Vertical Horizon.

  4. There was so much good stuff in the 90s.

    Deep Blue Something – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (great album all around)
    Heather Nova – Walk This World (her latest album, Redbird, is wonderful)
    Abra Moore – Four Leaf Clover
    Alana Davis – 32 Flavors
    The Verve Pipe – The Freshmen (their last album, Underneath, should have been a huge success, but no one ever heard it)
    Candlebox, they sorta faded away
    Better Than Ezra (their most recent, Before The Robots, is their best yet)
    Cracker – Low
    Deadeye Dick – New Age Girl
    Dishwalla, great first couple of albums, been getting weaker lately, they sound great live
    Duncan Sheik had a great breakaway hit with Barely Breathing on his first album. His more recent Daylight album has a lot of great stuff on it.
    Duran Duran finally had a worthy successor to the wedding album with Astronaut a couple years ago. The original re-united line-up, too.
    Eagle-Eye Cherry – Save Tonight
    Elastica – Connection
    Gravity Kills – Blame, Guilty
    Stabbing Westward – What Do I Have To Do?
    HUM – Stars, Green To Me
    The Nixons – Sister, Wire
    Seven Mary Three – Cumbersome
    The Rentals – Friends of P, Waiting
    Silverchair – Tomorrow, Pure Massacre, Ana’s Song
    Spacehog – In The Meantime
    Toadies – Away, Possum Kingdom
    Wanderlust – I Walked (Great album, way out of print)

    Such a shame that so much good stuff never gets heard.

  5. Thank God! 86% of 90’s music sucked anyway. 95% sucks now, down from 97 since Oasis, Brittany spears, and Celine arent really recording anymore.

    Yeah if you remember the 90’s, you weren’t drunk enough.

  6. So, I can’t see the top five, but I’m willing to bet that Refused isn’t on there… I’d have to say that they were at least twice as innovative as any of the bands you have on the list. I call for a recount.

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  8. Pingback: Great Post !! - So many memories « Stuff & Nonsense

  9. i think 80’s and 90’s produced the best bands in music history. they may have been forgotten with the new generation, but for those who have seen and lived with the 90’s.. they’ll always be remembered.

  10. Collective Soul is anything but forgotten.
    They are on the radio all the time around here – and in my cd player even more often. One of the best live acts ever!
    I impatiently await their new cd.

    I think every “era” has good music and crap. Just gotta find the good stuff.

  11. Who could forget classics like Stabbing westward, Filter, VAST, and Jerk. i mean come on people, it wasnt all bad. and some of them are still going strong…except Silverchair which went limpwristed a long time ago.

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  14. Collective Soul are still around and have been “back” since their 2004 album “Youth”. They also did an EP and a live DVD/CD, both in 2005/2006. They’re even working on a new album for 2007.

    They were actually bigger and more successful than ANY of those other bands you listed.

    They had 3 singles off of “Youth” to make the Billboard Charts. Adult Top 40 and Mainstream Rock. At high positions also.

    The “comeback bands” like some of the ones listed that were gone for Years, haven’t even managed to get back on the Billboard charts.

    Collective Soul were only dormant for about 2-3 years and managed to comeback and do very well independantly on the BB charts.

    Some of those other bands ALSO made comeback on major labels and still cant crack the charts.

  15. I have a band I’d like to throw in, but I must have truly forgotten them. Can any of you help me out? I remember that I at least loved their song, but I can’t remember it at all either. The only thing I can remember is that the music video had a whole bunch of people jumping off a cliff in slow motion. (and it isn’t Travis – Why does it always rain on me?) It really was a great song. Does anyone….remember this song or band?

  16. The Red Hot Chili Peppers came out in 1985. Do not try to make a dismal music scene seem better than it was. The 1990’s was a horrendous era for rock. The bands that made it big in that era would not have made it in any other. Things were so bad that Pearl Jam made it big. Their lead singer can’t sing, and the band plays no better than the hundreds that came before them or since. Nirvana is the most overrated band of alltime. I’ve seen that some put them as a top 5 or 10 rock band of alltime. What a laugh. One good album and a handful of others that weren’t so good. Everybody that bought Nevermind was shocked when they heard how bad In Utero was. It was basically a horribly sounding album that no one would have bought if it’s predecessor had never came out. As for Nevermind, it’s no great rock album. For every Smell’s Like Teen Spirit or Come As You Are,there’s a horrible song like Something In The Way or Lounge Act. For an album to be great half the songs can’t suck. To say that they were a top 5 or 10 rock band of alltime is a joke. So their right up with Led Zepplin, The Beatles, Aerosmith, etc. What a joke. It was an era of weak sounding bands that couldn’t play. You know why no one played solos? Because the 80s rockers made them look like pathetic chumps and intimidated them.

  17. I think people say too much dumb shit when it comes to music, almost as dumb as the shit they say about sports. It’s usually like “this band sucked” but I love it when they say “this era sucked”!

    Get a life. Pearl Jam doesn’t suck. Stop comparing everybody to fucking Led Zepplin . Everybody ALWAYS compares bands to Zepplin. I’m scared to start my band up ’cause someone out there is going to compare me to goddamn Led Zepplin. Yes they rocked in ’68 and no one can replace that. If anybody did, they wouldn’t be the great Led Zepplin. I really have nothing to say to someone who says a band sucks (like Pearl Jam) when in fact they’ve been playing music for 15+ years, sell out stadiums, have millions of fans, make records, and oh, they PLAY FUCKING GUITARS and they do it well. So this rant goes out to all you haters. If you don’t like ’em, fine. But don’t sit here and say they can’t play fucking music well.

  18. Colective Soul?!?!?! Vertical Horizon?!?!?! What the heck? Of corse their forgotten. Look at the music that emerged in the 90’s. KoRn,NiN,Manson,Limp Bizkit,Linkin Park. The last two annoy the crap out of me but come on every kid in the 90’s was listening to this stuff more than the “Forgotten Rock”. I mean heck i listened to rammstein more the collective soul just to keep my sanity.

  19. Absolutely right– “rock” in the 90’s was some of the worst crap ever played, nothing more than music to commit suicide to. The strong will always rock, and the weak will always whine, and 90’s bands were the worst of the worst. Up the Irons!

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  21. The song where they jumped off the cliff in slow motion was The Flys singing “Got You Where I Want You”

  22. Some of the best music came out of the 90’s…..true some bands sucked but in comparison to what music is turning into with this hardcore/emo bullshit the grunge era will to be missed by many including myself

  23. Wow! Perfectly made. Very informative sites with video and link to site of the some popular rock band. Yes your right. Not every one of the rock band gained their total success in rock music but they deliver some great rock music.

  24. great top ten man..all these bands rocked. it was a great thing growin up listening to all this music and still bein able to go back and listen to more

  25. rage against the machine kicked ass
    sublime kicked ass
    dave matthews kicked ass
    foo fighters kicked ass
    incubus kicked ass
    green day kicked ass
    offspring kicked ass
    jamiroquai kicked ass
    so on and so on

  26. you people that hated the ninties have to remember it was good cause recrding was at its peak then and thats all we had growing up as kids. so yes its does sound better than most older recordings despite the technicalities of the music. so fuck you older generation…..cause i love your music too…. embrace that what you really don’t know about cause your afraid off it. fuckin fools

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  28. this list aint no fcking joke. screw the fucking rap hip hop crap. these rock bands are inspirations. learn your music and get it right. sure you may like r&b, but they will never compare to the great rock bands of the 90’s.

  29. Dude, you hit it right on the head. Candlebox, Better than Ezra, Silverchair, Dishwalla…some of my favorites. By the way I’m very excited about the STP reunion.

  30. Great list but you left out a big one: Third Eye Blind “Semi-Charmed Life”, “Graduate”, and others, also Garbage was huge “Only Happy When it Rains”.

  31. Wow – no black lab? They had two number #1 hits, something of which none of the ones listed above can say. Look up “time ago” and “wash it away” and see if you don’t remember the songs.

  32. just wanted to let u know i loved the list
    it actually saved my ass
    im a dj for my school station and one of my shows was to create a theme and i chose to do “forgotten bands of the 90s” ur list was a perfect guidline and i liked to see different peoples inputs about the music so i could relate this to my listeners. everyones intitled to the own opinions but as for mine i loved the bands and so do my listeners.

    mad love

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  34. all i can say is rock and roll was at its best through the 70’s-90’s i mean Green Day is awsome there great the made their first Album 1039 smoothed out slappy hours and moved on from there its amazing

  35. What about;

    Pure …Denial
    Live …Selling the drama
    The Flys …Got you where I want you
    The Flaming Lips …She don’t use jelly
    Filter ….Hey man nice shot

  36. wut the fuck kind of drugs did u smoke in the 90s? wut in the hell happened to stp or pearl jam or even beck you fucking idiot!!!

  37. Hey rob, can you READ? I mention all those bands in the beginning of the post, except for Beck, cause he’s in a genre of his own. The article is not about them, you “fucking idiot”. Why don’t you go back to being an ignorant fuck and smoke something yourself instead of bringing your foul mouth and nonsense to the discussion.

  38. Hey, I just found this site while looking for songs to plug into my Pandora. All of the bands mentioned throughout the blog are great. It just depended on what you were into. The same thing goes for todays music.

  39. Cool list. Just a few extras (if not already mentioned):
    (1) Our Lady Peace – Superman’s Dead, Somewhere Out There, Where Are You
    (2) King’s X – Black Flag, Over My Head
    (3) Mad Season – I Don’t Know Anything
    (4) Live – All Over You, I Alone, Lakini’s Juice
    (5) Garbage – #1 Crush, I Think I’m Paranoid, Queer, Special
    (6) Stroke 9 – Little Black Backpack
    (7) Faith No More – Epic, Falling To Pieces, Midlife Crisis

  40. The 80’s and 90’s just had the best. Music nowadays is completely lame. I dont even listen to the radio anymore because everything thats on blows.

  41. I’m listening to BR Radio 90’s Alternative on itunes radio, just listened to Duran Duran-Ordinary World 93 and now freakin Offspring-Come out and Play “Keep Them Seperated” oooh yeah! even my hippy uncle who went to Woodstock rocked to that song. Alice and Chains! ROCK….Come on. If you really love music and Rock in particular you can’t compare everything to Zepplin like dude said that’s just stupid. I know one thing the 90’s fuckin rocked, there was a great sound that will never come back, let’s respect it and honor those rockers. Oh shit there playing Crash Test Dummies….wow remember them, dude sounds like the voice for System Of The Down….The 90’s come on those were the best times and in my opinion some of the best rock n’ roll in history! Can anyone say METALICCA! shiat

  42. What about Our Lady Peace? One of the greatest bands of the 90s.
    My opinion: other great 90s bands:
    Coal Chamber
    Creed( just like two songs)
    Limp Bizkit

    And some of the other bands mentioned like Alice in Chains, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Live, Nirvana, Oasis, Tonic, and Smashing Pumpkins.
    Jane’s Addiction sucks!

  43. I’ve just recently gotten into the band Failure. Their album “Fantastic Planet” from 1997 is amazing. Check it out. I’ve also recently gone back and checked out Helmet. Their albums “Betty” and “Aftertaste” are great. Cheers.

  44. The band which beat out Nirvana and Alice in chains, for best new rock/metal band… one has mentioned them….long gone they are…


  45. I knew it’d be there, Collective Soul. I love them, hard to imagine not many views on youtube. Fuck lady gaga, etc…

  46. I simply consider these bands as a mentor I like the way they play…I am a drummer and use some of their fills in some of my gigs specially the nirvana flum thing on smells and come as you are..they are nice to listen to..thanks for the post…

  47. The 90s were a very inspirational time for musicians to come. you're very right in saying the 90's were a great time for music. It also produced it's fair share of bullshit but what decade hasn't. i just started a band this year that thrives off a mix of the 60s 70s and 90s sound all mixed up. check it out if you want

    also check out our website

  48. How about the heavy band called “I Love You” , they had a song on MTV I think. Bad choice of band name though… much too “generic”

  49. How about the heavy band called “I Love You” , they had a song on MTV I think. Bad choice of band name though… much too “generic”

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