No Alternative

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No Alternative
Compilation album by Red Hot AIDS Benefit Series
(Various Artists)
Released October 26, 1993
Recorded 1991–1993
Genre Alternative rock, Grunge
Length 74:21
Label Arista
Producer Paul 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
(1992)
No Alternative
(1993)
Red Hot + Country
(1994)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [1]

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 (with the Nirvana song listed on the back and liner notes; however, some CDs have the girl but no Nirvana mention).

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

On the 20th of 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. [2] Stereogum lauded the album in a retrospective piece, saying that "it captures the American alternative scene at its commercial, cultural, and critical peak."[3] 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.[4]

Album track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Artist Length
1. "Superdeformed"   Matthew Sweet Matthew Sweet 3:58
2. "For All to See"   Buffalo Tom Buffalo Tom 3:36
3. "Sexual Healing"   Odell Brown, Marvin Gaye, David Ritz Soul Asylum 4:45
4. "Take a Walk"   Urge Overkill Urge Overkill 4:39
5. "All Your Jeans Were Too Tight"   Mark Eitzel American Music Club 3:33
6. "Bitch"   Mick Jagger, Keith Richards Goo Goo Dolls with Lance Diamond 3:17
7. "Unseen Power of the Picket Fence"   Scott Kannberg, Stephen Malkmus Pavement 3:53
8. "Glynis"   Billy Corgan The Smashing Pumpkins 4:53
9. "Can’t Fight It"   Bob Mould Bob Mould 3:49
10. "Hold On"   Sarah McLachlan Sarah McLachlan 4:23
11. "Show Me"   Ben Shepherd Soundgarden 2:48
12. "Brittle"   Shayne Carter, Straitjacket Fits Straitjacket Fits 3:24
13. "Joed Out"   Graeme Downes Barbara Manning and the San Francisco Seals 3:52
14. "Heavy 33"   Graeme Downes The Verlaines 4:21
15. "Effigy"   John Fogerty Uncle Tupelo 5:59
16. "It’s the New Style" (Live) Beastie Boys, Rick Rubin Beastie Boys and DJ Hurricane 2:20
17. "Iris" (Live) Kim Deal The Breeders 3:44
18. "Memorial Song" (Live) Patti Smith Patti Smith 3:33
Hidden track
No. Title Writer(s) Artist Length
19. "Verse Chorus Verse" (*Note[note 1]) Kurt Cobain Nirvana 3:24
Cassette only tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Artist Length
20. "Burning Spear"   Sonic Youth Sonic Youth  
21. "Hot Nights" (Live) Jonathan Richman Jonathan Richman  


  1. ^ The song was formerly known as "Sappy", but it was labelled here as "Verse Chorus Verse", which was also the title of a different Nirvana song.

Home video track listing[edit]

No Alternative
Video by Various Artists
Released February 22, 1994
Genre Alternative rock
Length 65:00
Language English
Label PolyGram Video
Director various
  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 also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ No Alternative at AllMusic
  2. ^ "No Alternative (20 anniversary edition)". Dusty Groove. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  3. ^ http://www.stereogum.com/1541231/no-alternative-turns-20/franchises/the-anniversary/
  4. ^ http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/nat-music/audio/2575803/red-hot-paul-heck

External links[edit]