15 Rock Bands That Have Surprisingly Never Had a No. 1 Hit on the Alternative Songs Chart

Billboard – No Doubt, Soundgarden, Rise Against and Dave Matthews Band are among those who’ve oddly never reached the summit.

Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart is celebrating its 30th birthday. Since it launched in 1988, the chart has reflected trends on American alternative radio stations, ranging from the college rock of the late ’80s, to the grunge of the ’90s, to the nu-metal of the early ’00s, to the format’s synth-happy sounds of today, which actually have a lot in common with where it all started. 

Red Hot Chili Peppers have had more songs top the chart (13) than any other artist, followed closely by Linkin Park and Green Day with 11 apiece. But plenty of successful alternative bands you’d expect to have at least one No. 1 have strangely never reached the apex. A few are household names who had greater success on different charts; a few are critical favorites who came up short on the commercial side; others were just plain unlucky.

No Doubt 

Early in its career, primarily through 2000’s Return of Saturn, No Doubt zoned in on alternative radio play. This made sense, as these were the days when the ska-punk side of its sound was more in the forefront; “Don’t Speak” and “Ex-Girlfriend” were the band’s biggest Alternative Songs hits at this point, both peaking at No. 2. Considering No Doubt’s lasting impact on alternative culture as a whole, it’s kind of crazy at least one of these (or say, “Just a Girl”) never got enough alt radio play to top Alternative Songs. The group did, at least, get to have its moments in the mainstream sun, once its sound moved more firmly into pop (after “Speak” spent 16 weeks at No. 1 on the all-format Radio Songs chart), as a trio of No Doubt singles went top 10 on the Hot 100 in the new millennium. 

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