Nirvana Were the Most-Played Band of the Decade on Mainstream Rock Radio
Grunge icons Nirvana have emerged as the most-played artist of the decade on mainstream rock radio. That's according to figures recently released in Nielsen Music's year-end report for 2019.
Of the Top 10 songs included in that particular ranking, the band that was led by the late Kurt Cobain logs four tunes among the tally. It also includes Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam.
This means it was a good decade for '90s rock music on mainstream rock radio in the nine years spanning from 2010 to 2019. Of the Top 10 selections that received the most spins in that format, Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" takes the cake with 145,000 total plays.
See the full list down toward the bottom of this post.
The No. 2 mainstream rock radio tune of the decade is Alice in Chain's "Man in the Box" (142,000 spins), followed by another Nirvana classic, "Come as You Are," at No. 3 (134,000). Stone Temple Pilots' "Plush" lands at No. 4 (133,000), and Pearl Jam's "Even Flow" sits at No. 5 (132,000). The Offspring, Metallica, Soundgarden and two further Nirvana songs round out the Top 10.
Alternative rock radio has its own ranking of the most-played songs of the decade. Those include songs by (in descending order) Cold War Kids, AWOLNATION, Arctic Monkeys, Portugal. The Man, Milky Chance, Vance Joy, Imagine Dragons, Neighborhood, Muse and Bastille.
Among vinyl album sales for the decade, classic rock also had a banner period, as reported by Forbes. 1969's Abbey Road by The Beatles moved 558,000 vinyl albums over the past decade. Almost half of those sales came from 2019 — the LP's 40th anniversary — when it sold 246,000 vinyl copies.
Nielsen Music Top 10 Mainstream Rock Radio Songs | Spins: 2010-2019
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