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No Alternative

4.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 9, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Alternative ~ No Alternative

Amazon.com

Among the recent glut of good-cause charity albums, No Alternative stands out as the best, both for its performances and its cause (proceeds benefit the Red Hot organization in the fight against AIDS). The high points are Soul Asylum's unlikely cover of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing;" outtakes from recent albums by Chicago's Urge Overkill and Smashing Pumpkins; "Unseen Power of the Picket Fence," the major-label debut by Pavement; a surprise hard-rocking Nirvana track, and "Memorial Song," an a capella tribute from punk godmother Patti Smith to the late Robert Mapplethorpe. --Jim DeRogatis

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Superdeformed - Matthew Sweet
  2. For All To See - Buffalo Tom
  3. Sexual Healing - Soul Asylum
  4. Take A Walk - Urge Overkill
  5. All Your Jeans Were Too Tight - American Music Club
  6. Bitch - Goo Goo Dolls
  7. Unseen Power Of The Picket Fence - Pavement
  8. Glynis - Smashing Pumpkins
  9. Can't Fight It - Bob Mould
  10. Hold On - Sarah McLachlan
  11. Show Me - Soundgarden
  12. Brittle - Straightjacket Fits
  13. Joed Out - Barbara Manning And The San Francisco Seals
  14. Heavy 33 - The Verlaines
  15. Effigy - Uncle Tupelo
  16. It's The New Style - Beastie Boys
  17. Iris - The Breeders
  18. Memorial Tribute - Patti Smith
  19. Laundry Room - Nirvana


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 9, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: November 9, 1993
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arista
  • ASIN: B000002VNM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,597 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Red Hot AIDS Benefit Series Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. C. Murtaugh on May 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I just popped this CD in yesterday, for the first time probably since 1996. What a great compilation! Anyone who wants to remember what the Great Rock Realignment was all about needs to pick up this album -- as does any fan of Soundgarden, Pavement, the Smashing Pumpkins or Nirvana, all of whom contribute excellent tracks. (The last of which is uncredited.) The Pumpkins track, "Glynis," is especially wonderful, as it harkens back to the era when Billy et al. were still haunting and creepy, rather than just [mad]. It's a bit depressing to think about what was and what might have been, listening to this CD, and then to realize what we have on the radio today, but the album is also a good reference point: whenever you start to think that maybe Incubus or Linkin Park is actually a good band, you can pop this in and remind yourself what good bands really sound like.
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Format: Audio CD
No Alternative is one of those CDs that you listen to on your way to work for a month straight, finally tire of, forget for a few years, and then remember all over again, listening to it on your way to work for a month straight. The beauty of compilations and soundtracks is that, when they're done right, they're diverse enough to keep your interest far longer than an album by a single artist ever could.

Yet, what makes No Alternative excel as a compilation is the fact that it does manage to maintain some commonality amongst the diversity; enough to keep things fresh and interesting with each successive track, but all while weaving them together with an emotional thread. Urge Overkill's "Take a Walk" and American Music Club's "All Your Jeans Were Too Tight" sound nothing alike, yet somewhere, in the deep emotional core of these songs, there's some commonality. Virtually every song on this album somehow deals with loss at its center. Some are uplifting, some despairing, some jaded, and some treat it with black humor. No two can be confused for one another; no two feel like they're consciously working for this effect. Yet, on a tribute album for an AIDS foundation, each of these songs seem to have taken the underlying cause to heart in a way that makes song transitions often seamless, even when the tone, beat, and volume change abruptly. The one exception to this is Nirvana's hidden track at the end, which (while worthy of inclusion on a Nirvana's Greatest Hits album) seems to have been contributed arbitrarily.

To provide some background (I guess I should have done this first), No Alternative was compiled in 1993, at the height of the Alternative/Independent movement.
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Format: Audio CD
I honestly bought this CD only for the hidden Nirvana track, "Verse Chorus Verse" and for the Smashing Pumpkins song "Glynis". But I found something else...this CD, at points, is extremely good. Aside from some of the trite and very loathsome pieces by an Early Goo Goo Dolls, a badly choosen cover of "Sexual Healing", particually on a CD about AIDS awareness, by Soul Asylum, this CD shines. The best track on here is by far Uncle Tupelo's cover of the CCR song "Effigy", overly beautiful, its loud, abrasive, and even more haunting then when John Fogerty ripped his way thorugh the song. Urge Overkill serves up a great song as well. Soundgarden comes up short, The Beastie Boys deliver, and Nirvana comes across with one of their most powerful songs, and most intricate ever. The guitar solo is worth the cost of this CD.
But all in all, No Alternative has its moments of pure glory, and moments of recycled pessismism, and useless trite. It is with 19 tracks, and 78 mins of running time, a good buy, and good addidtion to any collection
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By A Customer on June 7, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This CD has been one my favorites for over ten years...so many great songs!
The best cuts:
Pavement's "Unseen power of the Picket Fence", a tribute to my favorite band R.E.M.
Two of the best break up songs ever, "All Your Jeans Were Too Tight", and "Can't Fight It" (Bob Mould's best ballad IMHO)
An incredible mix of Sarah McLachlan's "Hold On"
Urge Overkill's "Take a Walk"
Lastly, no Nirvana fan should be without this album, because of the amazing "Verse Chorus Verse".
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Probably the most shocking of the Red Hot Series entries to date after the sublime, "Red Hot & Blue" and then the celebratory "Red Hot & Dance". This begins the Red Hot Series edgier releases as more genres would be explored over the next dozen or so releases.
Marketed by the astute Arista Records label, this one would also be certified Gold making that 3 in a row. Nirvana is the crown jewel. But Hole is worth digging for Pavement if you follow my nonsensical riff.
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By g cooper on February 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
this compilation was a great idea. not only are nearly all the songs brilliant, but it features great artists like smashing pumpkins, nirvana, mathew sweet, barbara manning, and urge overkill. i highly reccomend this, because it is one of the best cd purchases i have made in a long time. very worthwhile
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Format: Audio CD
The only No Alternative song here is Sarah McLachlan's Hold On and that song is One of the good ones!

Let's cut to the chase!

The best tracks in are:

1. "Superdeformed" Matthew Sweet 9/10
2. "For All to See" Buffalo Tom 9/10
3. "Sexual Healing" Marvin Gaye's Cover 100/10
4. "Take a Walk" Urge Overkill 9/10
5. "All Your Jeans Were Too Tight" American Music Club 7/10
6. "Bitch" Rolling Stone's Cover Goo Goo Dolls with Lance Diamond 7/10
7. "Unseen Power of the Picket Fence" Pavement 7/10
8. "Glynis" Billy Corgan The Smashing Pumpkins 100/10
9. "Can’t Fight It" Bob Mould 7/10
10. "Hold On" Sarah McLachlan 9/10
11. "Show Me" Soundgarden 9/10
12. "Brittle" Straitjacket Fits 7/10
13. "Joed Out" Barbara Manning and the San Francisco Seals 7/10
14. "Heavy 33" The Verlaines 7/10
15. "Effigy" John Fogerty's cover Uncle Tupelo 7/10
16. "It’s the New Style" (Live) Beastie Boys and DJ Hurricane 9/10
17. "Iris" (Live) The Breeders 7/10
18. "Memorial Song" (Live) Patti Smith 7/10
Hidden track

19. "Verse Chorus Verse [note 1]" Nirvana 9/10
Cassette only tracks

20. "Burning Spear" Sonic Youth Haven't heard this 2 yet, looking forward to...
21. "Hot Nights" (Live) Jonathan Richman

Vini, Alterni, Vici!
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