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The 15 Grungiest Grunge Artists: A Power Ranking

It's been more than 20 years since grunge's heyday, but since we've got Courtney Love on our cover this month, PAPERMAG is releasing our (very relevant) Grunge Power Rankings.

The rules are simple: Only one grungester per band can make the list. Now put on some thermals under your shorts, because it's time to mosh:

15) Neil Young

tumblr_monvnw7YkQ1reqpbro1_500.gifGrungiest Fact: He's known as the "Godfather of Grunge," but Neil's grunginess ranking has slipped since he's become Daryl Hannah's BF.  
Grungiest Track: "Rockin' in the Free World" with Pearl Jam

14) Kim Deal

Grungiest Fact: Inspired nearly every grunge band as the bassist and co-vocalist in the Pixies, then released the transcendent Pod LP with the Breeders in 1990.
Grungiest Track: "Cannonball" -- the Breeders

13) Donita Sparks

Grungiest Fact: While being pelted with mud by an unruly crowd at the 1992 Reading Festival, Sparks removed a bloody tampon, threw it at the audience, and said, "Eat my used tampon, fuckers!" It's the grungiest moment of all-time.
Grungiest Track: "Wargasm" -- L7

12) Kat Bjelland

tumblr_m7uin6C0nc1qfgo1to1_500.gifGrungiest Fact: In the mid-'80s, Bjelland was a member of Sugar Babydoll, a proto-grunge band featuring Courtney Love and L7's Jennifer Finch. They never recorded any music, though Bjelland and Love did have a brief stint in another band called "The Pagan Babies." They released a demo featuring eventual Hole single "Best Sunday Dress." In the '90s, Bjelland helped popularize the "kinderwhore" fashion trend.
Grungiest Track: "Handsome and Gretel" -- Babes in Toyland

11) Dave Grohl

Grungiest Fact: Grohl plays drums on Mike Watt's "Against the '70s," one of the grungiest, anti-nostalgia songs ever. In addition to Watt and Grohl, that song features Eddie Vedder on vocals and Pat Smear on guitar.
Grungiest Track: "Weenie Beenie" -- Foo Fighters

10) Buzz Osborne

king-buzzo-o.gifGrungiest Fact: In the early '80s, Kurt Cobain was his roadie.
Grungiest Track: "Night Goat" -- Melvins

9) Tad Doyle

Grungiest Fact: Doyle's early Sub Pop Records band, TAD, had the two grungiest album titles: God's Balls and 8-Way Santa.
Grungiest Track: "Woodgoblins"  -- TAD

8) Mark Lanegan
Grungiest Fact: In 1989, Screaming Trees frontman Lanegan sang in The Jury, a Leadbelly cover band featuring Krist Novoselic and Kurt Cobain.
Grungiest Track: "Nearly Lost You" -- Screaming Trees

7) Courtney Love

Grungiest Fact: In the '80s, Love squatted in the basement of the NYC punk venue ABC No Rio. Our current cover star told Paper: "I was sleeping on dirt. Once a month, I'd have to get up on stage while [drag queen performance artist] Lady Bunny would throw fish at me. I was covered with hamburger meat and was being beaten with fish -- fresh mackerel and flounder."
Grungiest Track: "Plump" -- Hole

6) Layne Staley

tumblr_mizohbqtJX1qjpxbbo1_400.gifGrungiest Fact: In addition to fronting Alice In Chains, the late Staley also sang for Mad Season, a grunge supergroup featuring Mike McCready of Pearl Jam and Barrett Martin of the Screaming Trees.
Grungiest Track: "Man in the Box" -- Alice In Chains

5) Eddie Vedder

eddie-vedder-birthday2.gif Grungiest Fact: Vedder plays the drummer of the fictional grunge band Citizen Dick in Cameron Crowe's 1992 grunge rom-com, Singles.
Grungiest Track: "Even Flow" -- Pearl Jam

4) Chris Cornell
Grungiest Fact: Cornell was the main songwriter and singer in Temple of the Dog, a band that paid tribute to Mother Love Bone frontman Andrew Wood. Wood and Cornell were roommates. And, without question, Temple of the Dog holds the title of Grungiest Band.
Grungiest Track: "Outshined" -- Soundgarden

3) Kim Gordon and Kathleen Hanna (tie)
tumblr_maf60iC6eF1rd4qiao1_500.gifGrungiest Fact: Gordon steals the documentary 1991: The Year Punk Broke, which follows Sonic Youth's tour with Nirvana, Babes in Toyland and Mudhoney. Bikini Kill, Hanna's punk band, launched the riot grrrl movement and infused the grunge scene with a revolutionary spirit. Hanna makes a cameo in the 1994 Sonic Youth video "Bull in the Heather."
Grungiest Track: "Kool Thing" -- Sonic Youth

"Rebel Girl" -Bikini Kill

2) Mark Arm

tumblr_n0c74lICWC1rsbscfo1_400.gifGrungiest Fact: Arm is currently Sub Pop Records' warehouse manager. He still rocks harder than anyone on this list.
Grungiest Track: "Sweet Young Thing Ain't Sweet No More" -Mudhoney

1) Kurt Cobain

tumblr_mrr8mzd8jf1sg27n8o2_500.gifGrungiest Fact: Kept pet turtles.
Grungiest Track: "Blew" -Nirvana

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