No Alternative

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  • Superdeformed Matthew Sweet
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  • For All To See Buffalo Tom
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  • Sexual Healing Soul Asylum
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  • Take A Walk Urge Overkill
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  • All Your Jeans Were Too Tight American Music Club
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  • Bitch Goo Goo Dolls with Lance Diamond
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  • Unseen Power Of The Picket Fence Pavement
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  • Glynis The Smashing Pumpkins
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  • Can't Fight It Bob Mould
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  • Hold On Sarah McLachlan
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  • Show Me Soundgarden
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  • Brittle Straitjacket Fits
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  • Joed Out Barbara Manning and the San Francisco Seals
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  • Heavy 33 The Verlaines
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  • Effigy Uncle Tupelo
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  • New Style Beastie Boys and DJ Hurricane
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  • Iris The Breeders
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  • Memorial Song Patti Smith
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  • Verse Chorus Verse Nirvana
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No Alternative was the third Red Hot project. It was produced by Paul Heck and Chris Mundy, classmates at Brown University. Mundy was writing for Rolling Stone magazine at the time and Heck joined Red Hot to oversee the project. The two curated some of the best contemporary Rock artists who were creating the alternative music scene at the time including Nirvana, The Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, Pavement, Uncle Tupelo, The Breeders and many others.  The album also featured a live track by Patti Smith memorializing Robert Mapplethorpe, who had died of AIDS-related causes a few years earlier.

For legal reasons, Red Hot could not list the Nirvana track on album packaging although it was an exclusive original (“Verse, Chorus, Verse” also known as “Sappy” in other versions of the song). The album became popularly known as the one “with the hidden Nirvana track” to great acclaim.


There was also a companion long form TV program broadcast on MTV and available on home video, which featured the final film by Derek Jarman set to Patti Smith’s performance. The show also had performances by artists on the album as well as Lou Reed and David Wojnarowicz and short films by directors such as Hal Hartley, Tamra Davis (a seminal super 8 documentary featuring Courtney Love, Luscious Jackson and Bikini Kill), Jim McKay & Michael Stipe and Jennie Livingston.

Tamra Davis’ No Alternative Girls is a 6 minute documentary focused on female alternative musicians, asking them questions about their identities and sexuality. The result is a powerful piece that looks at feminism through a gritty and honest lens.

Jennie Livingston’s Hotheads explores two comedians’ responses to violence against women: cartoonist Diane Dimassa, and writer/performer Reno.


rolling stone

It’s 1993, and Alternative Rock is in full bloom; unfortunately, so is the horror of the AIDS epidemic. Producers Paul Heck, Jessica Kowal and Rolling Stone Senior Writer Chris Mundy have corralled 21 of the biggest names in the alternative universe

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Unquestionably, the best of this trio of new benefit albums is the AIDS charity album No Alternative, which boasts 21 new songs by alternative rock’s most individualistic voices. Smashing Pumpkins’ meditative “Glynis,” Soul Asylum’s daring “Sexual Healing” cover, and punk godmother Patti Smith’s raw “Memorial Tribute” prove that the genre’s roots go far deeper than Seattle ennui. 


Red Hot’s latest AIDS benefit could hardly be more star-studded: Matthew Sweet, Soul Asylum, Urge Overkill, the Breeders, Pavement, Soundgarden, the Beastie Boys, and Patti Smith are just some of the 18 performers who contribute mostly original material. 


Produced By:
Paul Heck, Jessica Kowal and Chris Mundy
Original Concept:
Paul Heck and Chris Mundy
TV show created & directed by:
John Carlin, MTV version directed by Alex Coletti
Executive Producer:
John Carlin