The Greatest American Rock Bands

86k votes 5.9k voters 156k views 249 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Bands must have formed in the United States and have mostly American band members

Some of the greatest bands in rock history are from the United States. While the merits of their musical prowess can be fairly disputed between fans, these rock bands bring a certain American flair and bravado that other bands from different countries don't have. Almost all of the bands on this list should be household names among rock fans and there should be few, if any surprises on this list.

All American cities are represented here. Bands from Los Angeles are the most populous here with classic rock bands like The Doors and Van Halen, as well as Guns N' Roses, The Beach Boys, Rage Against the Machine and The Eagles. Due to the grunge explosion in the early '90s, Seattle is well represented. Famous bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains are included on this list. There are metal bands (Metallica), hard rockers (Aerosmith, Alice Cooper), psych bands (Grateful Dead, Phish), punk outfits (The Ramones, Green Day) and even funk bands (Sly and the Family Stone, Prince) that are on this list. If a band is from America and awesome, it should be here.

Vote for the top American rock bands that you think are the best to come from the 50 states. Pick the band who you consider to be the greatest American rock band of all time. There are plenty of great choices to choose from so you can't really go wrong.
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  1. 1
    + 1,232
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    the people's #1 & most listed
    Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop

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  2. 2
    + 1,276
    - 772


    Country pop, Rock music, Folk rock

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  3. 3
    + 1,252
    - 861


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

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  4. 4
    + 1,131
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    Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Aerosmith Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

  5. 5
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    Outlaw country, Blues-rock, Boogie rock

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  6. 6
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    Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Van Halen Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

  7. 7
    + 1,020
    - 505


    Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

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  8. 8
    + 767
    - 515
    ZZ Top is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    ZZ Top Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

  9. 9
    + 701
    - 395
    Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock

  10. 10
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    Metallica is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

  11. 11
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    Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

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  12. 12
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    - 623
    R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    R.E.M. Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock

  13. 13
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    Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Pearl Jam Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

  14. 14
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    Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Guns N' Roses Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

  15. 15
    + 665
    - 418
    The Allman Brothers Band is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    The Allman Brothers Band Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

  16. 16
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    - 557


    Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music

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  17. 17
    + 618
    - 478
    Ramones is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Ramones Pop punk, Rock music, Classic Punk

  18. 18
    + 564
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    Boston is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Boston Classic rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

  19. 19
    + 503
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    Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band Rock music

  20. 20
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    Bruce Springsteen and the E St... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

  21. 21
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    - 381
    Steve Miller Band is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Steve Miller Band Classic rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

  22. 22
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    Heart is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Pop music, Rock music, Folk rock

  23. 23
    + 500
    - 435
    Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

  24. 24
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    - 367
    Journey is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands

    ranked low on reranks
    Journey Rock music, Jazz fusion, Pop rock

  25. 25
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    - 388


    Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Rock music

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  26. 26
    + 420
    - 368
    Jefferson Airplane is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Jefferson Airplane Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Rock music

  27. 27
    + 440
    - 338
    The Cars is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    The Cars Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

  28. 28
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

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  29. 29
    + 511
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    Kiss is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Kiss Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

  30. 30
    + 470
    - 471
    Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

  31. 31
    + 375
    - 194
    Chicago is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands

    ranked low on reranks
    Chicago Ballad, Ska, Rock music

  32. 32
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    - 160

    ranked low on reranks
    Rock music, Folk rock

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  33. 33
    + 370
    - 307
    The Doobie Brothers is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Doobie Brothers Swamp pop, Heartland rock, Rock music

  34. 34
    + 392
    - 331
    Cheap Trick is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Cheap Trick Pop punk, Glam metal, New Wave

  35. 35
    + 361
    - 270


    Jangle pop, Pop music, Raga rock

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  36. 36
    + 485
    - 334
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  37. 37
    + 556
    - 404

    ranked low on reranks
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

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  38. 38
    + 317
    - 375

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

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  39. 39
    + 409
    - 354
    Steely Dan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Steely Dan Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues

  40. 40
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    - 239

    added by RBJFinGrp
    Rock music, Heavy metal, Stoner rock

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  41. 41
    + 367
    - 297
    Blondie is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Blondie Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

  42. 42
    + 327
    - 371
    Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

  43. 43
    + 401
    - 392
    Green Day is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Green Day Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock

  44. 44
    + 288
    - 321

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Sunshine pop, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

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  45. 45
    + 560
    - 436
    Foo Fighters is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands

    ranked low on reranks
    Foo Fighters Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

  46. 46
    + 379
    - 376


    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

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  47. 47
    + 290
    - 243
    Styx is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands


    Styx Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

  48. 48
    + 215
    - 151
    Kansas is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands

    added by but chickens double d
    Kansas Heartland rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

  49. 49
    + 243
    - 190

    added by smellsrank
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

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  50. 50
    + 210
    - 68
    Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands

    ranked low on reranks & added by BobbieJoReedKey
    Fleetwood Mac Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

250 +

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