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No Alternative is an alternative rock compilation album produced by Paul Heck and Chris Mundy. It was released in 1993 to benefit AIDS relief. The album features original tracks and cover versions from bands who went on to define the alternative rock scene of the 1990s. It was released with two different versions of album art: the standard version depicting a boy (without the Nirvana song listed on the back and liner notes), and the alternate version depicting a girl (some with and some without the Nirvana song listed on the back and liner notes).

No Alternative
Various - No Alternative.jpg
Compilation album by
Red Hot AIDS Benefit Series
(Various Artists)
ReleasedOctober 26, 1993
GenreAlternative rock, Grunge
ProducerPaul Heck
Butcher Bros.
Joe Chiccarelli
Richard Dashut
Billy Corgan
Chris Mundy
Paul Fox
Bruce Kaphan
Pierre Marchand
Christopher Shaw
Red Hot AIDS Benefit Series
(Various Artists) chronology
Red Hot + Dance
No Alternative
Red Hot + Country
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Consumer Guide(choice cut)[2]
Deseret News3/5 stars[3]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[4]
Orlando Sentinel2/5 stars[5]

A television special hosted by MTV and a VHS home video release featured live performances, music videos, and information about AIDS.

On 20 April 2013, as part of the annual internationally celebrated Record Store Day, No Alternative was released for the first time on vinyl as a special 20th anniversary edition LP. [6] Stereogum lauded the album in a retrospective piece, saying that "it captures the American alternative scene at its commercial, cultural, and critical peak."[7] In an interview with Radio New Zealand, producer Paul Heck discussed the history of RHO and the anniversary of No Alternative, saying that the response from the musicians asked to contribute was "overwhelmingly positive" and that some artists even wrote songs specifically for the compilation.[8]


Album track listingEdit

1."Superdeformed"Matthew SweetMatthew Sweet3:58
2."For All to See"Buffalo TomBuffalo Tom3:36
3."Sexual Healing"Odell Brown, Marvin Gaye, David RitzSoul Asylum4:45
4."Take a Walk"Urge OverkillUrge Overkill4:39
5."All Your Jeans Were Too Tight"Mark EitzelAmerican Music Club3:33
6."Bitch"Mick Jagger, Keith RichardsGoo Goo Dolls with Lance Diamond3:17
7."Unseen Power of the Picket Fence"Scott Kannberg, Stephen MalkmusPavement3:53
8."Glynis"Billy CorganThe Smashing Pumpkins4:53
9."Can’t Fight It"Bob MouldBob Mould3:49
10."Hold On"Sarah McLachlanSarah McLachlan4:23
11."Show Me"Ben ShepherdSoundgarden2:48
12."Brittle"Shayne Carter, Straitjacket FitsStraitjacket Fits3:24
13."Joed Out"Graeme DownesBarbara Manning and the San Francisco Seals3:52
14."Heavy 33"Graeme DownesThe Verlaines4:21
15."Effigy"John FogertyUncle Tupelo5:59
16."It’s the New Style" (Live)Beastie Boys, Rick RubinBeastie Boys and DJ Hurricane2:20
17."Iris" (Live)Kim DealThe Breeders3:44
18."Memorial Song" (Live)Patti SmithPatti Smith3:33
Hidden track
19."Verse Chorus Verse" (*Note[note 1])Kurt CobainNirvana3:24
Cassette only tracks
20."Burning Spear"Sonic YouthSonic Youth 
21."Hot Nights" (Live)Jonathan RichmanJonathan Richman 

  1. ^ The song is labelled as "Verse Chorus Verse," but is generally referred to by its original name of "Sappy" in order to avoid confusion with another, abandoned Nirvana song with the former name.

Home video track listingEdit

No Alternative
Video by
Various Artists
ReleasedFebruary 22, 1994
GenreAlternative rock
LabelPolyGram Video
  1. Matthew Sweet "Superdeformed"
  2. Neneh Cherry "Athens, Georgia 1993"
  3. Urge Overkill "Take a Walk"
  4. Hole, Luscious Jackson, Free Kitten, Huggy Bear & Bikini Kill "No Alternative Girls"
  5. The Smashing Pumpkins "Hot Heads"
  6. Sarah McLachlan "Hold On"
  7. The Breeders "Iris"
  8. Patti Smith "Memorial Tribute"

US live performances:

  1. Goo Goo Dolls "Bitch"
  2. The Smashing Pumpkins "Glynis"
    • directed by Beth McCarthy
  3. The Smashing Pumpkins "Today"
    • directed by Beth McCarthy
  4. Buffalo Tom "For All to See"
    • directed by Beth McCarthy

UK live performances:

  1. The Breeders "Iris"
    • directed by Neil Breakwell
  2. Suede "The Next Life"
    • directed by Derek Jarman

Spoken word:

  1. Maggie Estep "No More Mr Nice Girl"
  2. Lou Reed "Busload of Faith"
  3. David Wojnarowicz "Untitled"

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ No Alternative at AllMusic
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000-10-15). "No Alternative". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 9780312245603.
  3. ^ Vice, Jeff (1993-12-17). "3 COMPILATIONS BY VARIOUS ARTISTS HIT THE MARKET". Deseret News. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  4. ^ Hochman, Steve (1993-12-19). "In Brief". Los Angeles Times – via ProQuest.
  5. ^ Gettelman, Parry (1993-12-10). "'No Alternative' And 'Born To Choose'". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  6. ^ "No Alternative (20 anniversary edition)". Dusty Groove. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  7. ^
  8. ^

External linksEdit