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    35 More Alt-Rock Songs That Old Millennials And Gen-Xers Grew Up With That Are Now "Classic Rock"

    It feels like just yesterday that you were putting these songs on mixtapes.

    by ,

    1. Goo Goo Dolls, "Iris"


    Why it's Actually Classic: First off the song is epic! But, it also reflects how much we loved power ballads on our soundtracks back in the '90s.

    2. Eagle-Eye Cherry, "Save Tonight"

    Eagle-Eye Cherry/

    Why it's Actually Classic: Eagle-Eye's smooth voice accompanied by an acoustic guitar and scattershot drums made for a perfect late-'90s earworm.

    3. Semisonic, "Closing Time"

    SemisonicVEVO /

    Why it's Actually Classic: Because Dan Wilson managed to turn a song written about having a baby into an end of the night anthem.

    4. The Cranberries, "Zombie"


    Why it's Actually Classic: Of course because of the great, late Dolores O'Riordan! Also, we don't get protest songs like this anymore.

    5. Filter, "Take A Picture"


    Why it's Actually Classic: It's got killer chunky guitar chords that are accompanied by Richard Patrick's layered vocals that create an almost Auto-Tuned affect.

    6. Spacehog, "In the Meantime"


    Why it's Actually Classic: It almost sounds like something David Bowie would have written if Hunky Dory had been released in the '90s. Also, honestly, the best bass line of the '90s.

    7. Elastica, "Connection"

    ElasticaVEVO /

    Why it's Actually Classic: Taking the slinky punk of Wire's "Three Girl Rumba" and exploding it into a hypercolor anthem was truly inspired.

    8. Lenny Kravitz, "Fly Away"

    Lenny Kravitz/

    Why it's Actually Classic: That sick opening guitar riff that sounds both retro and futuristic at the same time.

    9. Silverchair, "Tomorrow"

    silverchairofficial /

    Why it's Actually Classic: Because while this grunge song sounded like it was written and sung by dissatisfied twentysomethings, it was actually written and performed by a 15-year-old!!!

    10. Marcy Playground, "Sex And Candy"

    MarcyPlaygroundVEVO /

    Why it's Actually Classic: Because "I smell sex and candy here" might be the most catchy chorus of any post-grunge song of the '90s.

    11. The Smashing Pumpkins, "1979"

    Smashing Pumpkins /

    Why it's Actually Classic: The song was nostalgic for a simpler era then, and today we're now nostalgic for the era in which this song was released, 'cause it was simpler time.

    12. Liz Phair, "Never Said"

    Matador Records /

    Why it's Actually Classic: Because Liz was a pioneer and Exile in Guyville is an absolute seminal album.

    13. Toadies, "Possum Kingdom"

    The Toadies /

    Why it's Actually Classic: The simple but endlessly catchy, chunky guitar riff and the weirdly mysterious lyrics were just a cool combo.

    14. Everclear, "Everything To Everyone"


    Why it's Actually Classic: This maybe wasn't the most popular Everclear song, but it has this lightness and effortlessly lilting melody that makes it sound kinda timeless.

    15. Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Scar Tissue"

    Red Hot Chili Peppers /

    Why it's Actually Classic: The lead single off Californication marked RHCP's return to form — mainly 'cause John Frusciante had rejoined the band.

    16. Lit, "My Own Worst Enemy"


    Why it's Actually Classic: A big dumb riff that's perfect and big dumb lyrics that you can't help but yell-sing along to.

    17. Rancid, "Ruby Soho"

    Epitaph Records/

    Why it's Actually Classic: I know comparing a band to legends like the Clash is fraught, but like... it's just the right amount of Clash-ness with Tim Armstrong's manic, falling apart energy.

    18. Harvey Danger, "Flagpole Sitta"

    No Sleep Records /

    Why it's Actually Classic: Because this is still great song to scream along to any time it comes up on your playlist. Also: super underrated karaoke jam.

    19. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "The Impression That I Get"


    Why it's Actually Classic: It perfectly incapsulates the energy and fun of '90s third wave ska.

    20. New Radicals, "You Get What You Give"

    NewRadicalsVEVO /

    Why it's Actually Classic: 'Cause the lyrics "Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson/ Courtney Love, and Marilyn Manson" are late '90s perfection.

    21. Sugar Ray, "Every Morning"


    Why it's Actually Classic: Because it manages to bridge pop and alt-rock together perfectly. Also, lets never forget Mark McGarth's frosted tips!!!

    22. 311, "All Mixed Up"


    Why it's Actually Classic: Because it's reggae rock in its purest form.

    23. Len, "Steal My Sunshine"

    LEN TV /

    Why it's Actually Classic: This song is what the summer of 1999 sounded like!

    24. Weezer, "Undone ⁠— The Sweater Song"


    Why it's Actually Classic: Somehow they made having extended spoken word parts work? Manages to be both idiosyncratic and anthemic, which is a neat trick.

    25. Sneaker Pimps, "6 Underground"

    Clean Up/

    Why it's Actually Classic: Perfectly blends cooing harmonies, trip hop, and slinky, minimal production. The song is also an example of how Nellee Hooper could transform any song into a hit.

    26. Folk Implosion, "Natural One"

    xscapelittle /

    Why it's Actually Classic: Lou Barlow supposedly disowned this song, refusing to perform it live, but it combines lite psychedelia with an off-kilter funkiness that was weirdly satisfying.

    27. Cake, "Never There"


    Why it's Actually Classic: Like the Violent Femmes and The Cure, Cake has a signature sound that is uniquely theirs and leaves their music sounding sort of timeless.

    28. Blind Melon, "No Rain"

    Blind Melon /

    Why it's Actually Classic: Such a sweet and airy melody, feels like getting caught up in a light breeze and floating away.

    29. The Cardigans, "Lovefool"

    TheCardigansVEVO /

    Why it's Actually Classic: You could literally start singing this at any bar and everyone over 30 will immediately sing along and know all the words to it.

    30. Deep Blue Something, "Breakfast At Tiffany's"

    DeepBlueSomethingVEVO /

    Why it's Actually Classic: "And I said what about" is a so deceptively catchy at the start of the chorus. Also has that classic '90s contrast of strummy lightness with crunching walls of guitars.

    31. Live, "Lighting Crashes"


    Why it's Actually Classic: Mixes the mystery of deep and heavily symbolic lyrics with a simple and lovely guitar-and-vocals accompaniment for most of the song. When it all comes, err, crashing in halfway through, it feels poignant somehow.

    32. Collective Soul, "The World I Know"

    Atlantic Records/

    Why it's Actually Classic: It's a perfect mid-'90s sweeping ballad that somehow never gets old.

    33. Jewel, "You Were Meant for Me"


    Why it's Actually Classic: From an era rife with delicate singer-songwriter hits, "You Were Meant for Me" stands out, with Jewel's gnarled delivery and that still-dazzling falsetto melody.

    34. Dave Matthews Band, "Crash Into Me"

    Dave Matthews Band /

    Why it's Actually Classic: Just ask Greta Gerwig.

    35. The Verve, "Bitter Sweet Symphony"


    Why it's Actually Classic: The legal fight over the credits and royalties to this song is the MOST classic music industry story ever.

    Listen to this ~Classic Rock~ playlist on Apple Music.

    Or on Spotify:

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