Top 10 Grunge Music Videos

10. Alice In Chains – Again (1996)
Directed by Layne Staley & George Vale

Alice In Chains’ final music video filmed with Layne Staley (1999’s “Get Born Again” uses archival performance footage) is one of their best, mixing unique performance footage of the band playing in a hanging cage with bizarre conceptual footage of Staley in some sort of mad house/psych ward. Staley himself co-directed the video, and he has a keen eye for lively performance footage and Lynchian oddness.

9. Stone Temple Pilots – Sour Girl (2000)
Directed by David Slade

Stone Temple Pilots were always famous for their music videos that had a sarcastic weird tongue in cheek nature to them, regardless of the subject matter. It could be a throwback 1960’s music video (like “Big Bang Baby”), but Scott Weiland would be wearing green pants and there would be two random guys with monkey masks on dancing. Don’t even get me started on trying to explain the angry clowns in the “Vasoline” and “Interstate Love Song” videos. “Sour Girl” was probably the most mainstream video STP ever did, with Sarah Michelle Gellar co-starring as Scott Weiland’s love interest and David Slade (future Twilight director) directing. Of course there are demonic teletubbies thrown in for good measure, with Dean DeLeo getting quite close to one of them.

8. Nine Inch Nails – Closer (1994)
Directed by Mark Romanek

Bondage, snakes, pigs, eggs, monkeys, a bald naked woman, and Trent Reznor defying gravity. Not much else needs to be said.

7. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)
Directed by Samuel Bayer

Now onto the predictable choices. The “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video is the visual representation of Generation X rebelling and killing hair metal dead. The hazy lighting and sepia tone is pure Grunge. I wonder what ever happened to that janitor?

6. Smashing Pumpkins – Ava Adore (1998)
Directed by dom&nic

The Smashing Pumpkins were famous for their bold and ambitious videos, but the one track shot “Ava Adore” video is one of the their most stunning videos visually.

5. Soundgarden – Burden In My Hand (1996)
Directed by Jake Scott

Soundgarden’s desert set “Burden In My Hand” video is one of the more cinematic music videos of the 90’s, and its look doesn’t feel dated at all even watching it now.

4. Alice In Chains – Rooster (1993)
Directed by Mark Pellington

“Rooster” tells the story of Jerry Cantrell’s father fighting in Vietnam, with Cantrell’s father even appearing in the music video. The Vietnam war narrative story is mixed with footage of a ferocious Layne Staley singing in front of a screen projecting haunting visuals.

3. Pearl Jam – Jeremy (1992)
Directed by Mark Pellington

Pearl Jam only made one traditional music video during their prime, and they made it count. The video depicts an angry ‘Jeremy’ rebelling against his parents and classmates, ending with the iconic image of his classmates being soaked in his blood after he shoots himself in front of his class. Eddie Vedder also sings seated and makes some pretty awesome facial expressions.

2. Nirvana – Heart Shaped Box (1993)
Directed by Anton Corbijn

Nirvana’s final music video is their best, with some of the most hauntingly beautiful sets ever assembled for a music video.

1. Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight, Tonight (1996)
Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris

By far the most unique video from a Grunge era band is The Smashing Pumpkins’ iconic “Tonight, Tonight” music video which pays tribute to the 1902 silent film A Trip to the Moon. Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris later went on to direct Little Miss Sunshine in 2006.

  • Ben Dawson-Punshon

    How very dare you miss off the iconic Black Hole Sun video?

    • Bill Austeh

      Was one of the more far out videos for sure. But I could see many who got the ” I have seen that big BLACKHOLE one to many times. and it still scares me….:”

  • Corndog

    The Pearl Jam video that Todd McFarlane did for Do The Evolution was much better than Jeremy…

    • deestrattamente .

      Back in those days Ed was an heavily angry man with many issues. He sang his pain and when you sing with your heart it’s very likely that your feelings are shown on your face. Now he’s a middle aged man with an happy life.

  • Elliott Smith

    This compilation is totally retarded.

  • Raj

    I’m going to go with:
    1. Nirvana – Heart Shaped Box/Come As You Are/In Bloom/Lithium
    2. Pearl Jam – Jeremy
    3. STP – Vasoline/Sex Type Thing
    4. Alice in Chains – Grind/We Die Young/Angry Chair/Them Bones
    5. Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun/The Day I Tried to Live/Blow Up the Outside World
    6. Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet with Butterfly Wings/Cherub Rock/Today

    I picked more than one but I don’t care.

  • geezum

    Where is Black Hole Sun?This list is stupid.

  • God

    Monkey Wrench……douche bags

  • lilrockable

    I actually think this is a good list. Sure some of the choices are obvious but I think this a great reflection of the best videos (and bands) of the 90s. All of them except for the lack of Black Hole Sun. (Burden in My Hand?)

  • Bill Austeh

    It’s just Bretts list. We all have our favorites so let’s just think about our own lists. I bet many would think we are nuts.

    so roll the bones .::….,::….,,,

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