Everyone toughened up their sound in 1994. It didn't matter if you were a folk-leaning acoustic band or a jangly pop group before. Alt-rock was huge, so plugging in, cranking up the volume and looking like you hadn't showered all week mattered more than anything anyone did in 1993. Mainstream radio had picked up on modern rock by this point, so most of the big alt-rock songs of 1994 were also hits on Top 40 stations.

  • Morrissey, 'The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get'

    The former Smiths frontman's biggest solo hit comes from his fourth album, 'Vauxhall and I.' The song spent seven weeks on top of the modern-rock chart in 1994, one week more than 1992's No. 1 'Tomorrow,' which, frankly, we like better.

  • Toad the Wet Sprocket, 'Fall Down'

    This California band took its name from a Monty Python sketch and borrowed a lot from R.E.M.'s playbook early in its career. They strengthened their sound a bit on 1994's 'Dulcinea' album. 'Fall Down' was their only No. 1 hit, staying at the top for five weeks.

  • The Cranberries, 'Zombie'

    Everyone was rocking a little harder in 1994, including this Irish band that plugged in and rocked out on the great 'Zombie.' It paid off for them: It was their first No. 1 and their biggest modern-rock hit. ('Salvation' also reached the top two years later.)

  • Beck, 'Loser'

    People are still trying to figure out what's up with Beck. But back in 1994, when he dropped his first single, everyone was totally baffled by him. Was he a rapper? A folkie? A brain-damaged indie rocker? Or just a weirdo with two turntables and a microphone?

  • Green Day, 'Basket Case'

    Of all the modern-rock bands that were huge in 1994, none topped Green Day. Their major-label debut, 'Dookie,' became an instant classic, with five of its single racing to the top of the charts. 'Basket Case' was the second, and their second No. 1.

  • R.E.M., 'What's the Frequency, Kenneth?'

    R.E.M. stashed away the mandolins and 12-string guitars for 'Monster,' a kick-ass rock 'n' roll album that was louder and more intense than anything they ever recorded. The first single has a fabulous backstory (Google it) and an awesome riff.

  • Live, 'Selling the Drama'

    Speaking of selling the drama, these Pennsylvania rockers really knew how to push it. Ed Kowalczyk sang every line like his very life depended on it. They managed to place three songs at No. 1 in the '90s. 'Selling the Drama,' from their breakthrough album 'Throwing Copper,' was the first.

  • R.E.M., 'Bang and Blame'

    R.E.M. loved their guitars in 1994, and their fans apparently loved them too. The second single from 'Monster,' like the first, reached No. 1. It stayed there for three weeks. It's also the last time the band would reach that spot on the modern-rock chart.

  • Tori Amos, 'God'

    Amos' 1992 album 'Little Earthquakes' is a much better record, but its followup, 'Under the Pink,' was a huger hit with alt-rock fans. Its first single, 'God,' reached the No. 1 spot for two weeks in 1994. It would be Amos' first and only trip to the top.

  • The Offspring, 'Come Out and Play'

    These SoCal rockers defined a certain segment of '90s alternative rock. They were kinda smart and kinda goofy, and they held on to a punk ethos that dated back to the early '80s. 'Come Out and Play' was their first single, a breakthrough No. 1 hit.