Top Alternative Songs of 2010


The top alternative songs of 2010 are right at home on some of the world’s biggest stages. More, now than ever, top alternative bands Muse, 30 Seconds to Mars and Three Days Grace are headlining arena rock tours, while churning out singles that continue to make our annual alternative lists — and ultimately break the barrier between alternative and rock. Here are our favorite alternative songs this year, as rated by AOL Radio Listeners.



Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon came out swinging with the first single from their fifth studio album, which went on to score the No. 1 spot on the Top Alternative Songs chart this year. ‘Radioactive’ also earned the Nashville rockers two Grammy nominations for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best Rock Song. Not too shabby.

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Kings of Leon Radioactive


‘My Best Theory’

Jimmy Eat World

Definitive guitars kick off the rockin’ lead single and first track from Jimmy Eat World’s seventh studio album, ‘Invented,’ which singer Jim Adkins says is “about finding your individuality in a world where extremes are more and more presented as your only option.” The song was a strong debut for the Arizona natives, peaking at No. 2 on the Top Alternative Songs chart.

iTunes | Lyrics

Jimmy Eat World My Best Theory




Although a mere one word short of being considered the title track, this single is tied intrinsically to their fifth studio album, ‘The Resistance.’ Composed by main Muse Matthew Bellamy, it is the band’s top single of 2010.

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Muse Resistance


‘The Crow and the Butterfly’


From the oldest album on this list, ‘The Crow and the Butterfly’ is the fifth single from Shinedown’s 2008 album, ‘The Sound of Madness.’ While he knows the song means something different to everyone, lead singer Brent Smith admits, “Lyrically this was one of the most intense stories I have ever written.”

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Shinedown The Sound of Madness


‘The Good Life’

Three Days Grace

The Good Life’ revels in the simple pleasures of having a good time. And with its hard-rocking, anthemic sound, it’s no wonder the track was featured on several sports broadcasting events in 2010: ESPN’s Winter X Games, the NFL Draft and the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament, among others.

iTunes | Lyrics

Three Days Grace The Good Life



Sick Puppies

The Australian band Sick Puppies have seen plenty of airtime and TV exposure, thanks to their 2009 album release, ‘Tri-Polar.’ The album’s third single, ‘Maybe,’ is attempting to meet the standards set by the first two; ‘Odd One,’ which reached the Top 10 on the rock chart and ‘You’re Going Down,’ which was the official song for a WWE Pay Per View wrestling event.

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Sick Puppies Tri Polar


‘Little Lion Man’

Mumford and Sons

Although the ‘Sigh No More’ single debuted on the UK charts in 2009, ‘Little Lion Man’ made a huge impact in The States this year when it was released in August. The song not only hit No. 1 on the Top Alternative Songs and Heatseekers charts, but it also scored the London quartet a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Song.

iTunes | Lyrics

Mumford and Sons Little Lion Man




Anberlin’s anthemic first single from their fifth album, ‘Dark is the Way, Light is a Place,’ rose to No. 5 on the Top Alternative Songs charts, making the Florida natives a force to be reckoned with. The five-piece holed up at Blackbird Studios to record their album with the legendary Brendan O’Brien, who clearly helped the rockers find their niche.

iTunes | Lyrics

Anberlin Impossible


‘Tighten Up’

The Black Keys

This epic single was a huge hit for blues rock duo, hitting No. 1 on the Top Rock Songs and Top Alternative charts this year. In fact, after six albums, ‘Tighten Up’ is only the second Black Keys song to chart. It was used in various film and TV placements, such as ‘Gossip Girl,’ FIFA ’11 and an ad for Subaru, but also earned the Ohio natives Grammy noms for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals and Best Rock Song.

iTunes | Lyrics

The Black Keys Tighten Up


‘Kings and Queens’

30 Seconds to Mars

If ever there were an arena-ready song, this would be it. The grand single is featured on the band’s third album, ‘This is War,’ and had prominent placements in TV commercials for Sunkist and Budweiser. ‘Kings and Queens’ shot up to No. 1 on the Billboard’s Top Alternative Songs chart, and is also, well, king on our Top Alternative Songs of 2010.

iTunes | Lyrics

30 Seconds to Mars Kings and Queens


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