The Best Alternative Bands/Artists

73k votes 7.2k voters 235k views 608 items tags f p @
At the end of the 1980s, at the peak of glam rock and hair metal, a new genre began to emerge from the underground. Since it served as an option to the bloated sound of those genres that was all over the airwaves and MTV, it was aptly titled alternative rock. Over the years, alternative rock has become part of mainstream rock. But at its beginning, alt rock and all of the alternative artists were on the cutting edge of what was going on in response to those more commercial genres. The origins of the best alternative bands are in cities like Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and various college towns around the country.

So, who can be considered one of the top alternative bands, or even a good alternative band? Any list isn't complete without Husker Du and R.E.M., who represent the best college rock musicians. These alternative music bands had a huge impact on the alternative scene and influenced many, if not all alternative rock bands. Jane's Addiction can also be lumped into that category. Other popular alternative artists include Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Oasis, Blur and Smashing Pumpkins. These groups' legacy and impact on alternative music is indisputable and they continue to crank out the hits.

Who is on your top 100 alternative bands list? We know this list isn't 100 bands/artists long. . . we did that on purpose because we're alternative.

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what is the best alternative band. If you think an alternative artist or band isn't on here and should, feel free to add them to this list. This list answers the questions "who are the best alternative bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest alternative musician ever?"
Collection Photo:  via wikimedia
  • 33 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1,776
    - 768

    most listed
    Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,257
    - 767

    added by but chickens double d
    Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,374
    - 781

    added by CilasLee
    Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music

    ;
  4. 4
    + 611
    - 529

    often listed & added by but chickens double d
    Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

    ;
  5. 5
    + 863
    - 640

    often listed
    Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

    ;
  6. 6
    + 707
    - 599

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,317
    - 744

    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock

    ;
  8. 8
    + 998
    - 586

    added by FabianMariani
    Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

    ;
  9. 9
    + 290
    - 86
    The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists

    the people's #1
    Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

  10. 10
    + 1,023
    - 757


    Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

    ;
  11. 11
    + 627
    - 423

    added by muzziac
    Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

    ;
  12. 12
    + 1,113
    - 658

    ranked low on reranks & added by RobDiLorenzo
    Trip hop, Dance-punk, Garage rock

    ;
  13. 13
    + 689
    - 487

    added by but chickens double d
    Pop punk, Rock music, Garage rock

    ;
  14. 14
    + 540
    - 442

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

    ;
  15. 15
    + 946
    - 596

    added by RobDiLorenzo
    Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

    ;
  16. 16
    + 850
    - 548


    Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

    ;
  17. 17
    + 542
    - 364

    added by FabianMariani
    Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

    ;
  18. 18
    + 624
    - 384

    added by ryanjjjj8
    Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  19. 19
    + 595
    - 448


    Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

    ;
  20. 20
    + 455
    - 345

    added by but chickens double d
    Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

    ;
  21. 21
    + 379
    - 364


    Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music

    ;
  22. 22
    + 463
    - 403

    added by but chickens double d
    Pop punk, Ska punk, Rock music

    ;
  23. 23
    + 472
    - 436


    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

    ;
  24. 24
    + 451
    - 341

    added by FabianMariani
    Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

    ;
  25. 25
    + 479
    - 388

    added by RobDiLorenzo
    Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock

    ;
  26. 26
    + 477
    - 492

    added by but chickens double d
    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

    ;
  27. 27
    + 309
    - 304


    Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

    ;
  28. 28
    + 542
    - 386

    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

    ;
  29. 29
    + 430
    - 374

    added by but chickens double d
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music

    ;
  30. 30
    + 401
    - 345

    added by ryanjjjj8
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

    ;
  31. 31
    + 338
    - 287

    added by but chickens double d
    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

    ;
  32. 32
    + 670
    - 435

    ranked low on reranks & added by ryanjjjj8
    Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  33. 33
    + 360
    - 327

    added by rodrincubus
    Rock music, Desert rock, Experimental rock

    ;
  34. 34
    + 295
    - 215

    added by muzziac
    Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap

    ;
  35. 35
    + 626
    - 346

    ranked low on reranks & added by ryanjjjj8
    Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  36. 36
    + 245
    - 188

    added by ryanjjjj8
    New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

    ;
  37. 37
    + 397
    - 326

    added by Qanea
    Nu metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

    ;
  38. 38
    + 129
    - 78

    added by but chickens double d
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

    ;
  39. 39
    + 437
    - 239

    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    Punk blues, Garage rock, Garage punk

    ;
  40. 40
    + 239
    - 199

    often listed & added by ryanjjjj8
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop

    ;
  41. 41
    + 269
    - 228

    added by but chickens double d
    Rock music, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

    ;
  42. 42
    + 731
    - 396

    ranked low on reranks & added by BayzidAnando
    Hip hop music, Nu metal, Rock music

    ;
  43. 43
    + 527
    - 276

    ranked low on reranks & added by ryanjjjj8
    Pop punk, Rock music, Skate punk

    ;
  44. 44
    + 125
    - 143


    Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk

    ;
  45. 45
    + 82
    - 90

    added by ryanjjjj8
    New Wave, Neo-psychedelia, Alternative rock

    ;
  46. 46
    + 84
    - 98

    often listed & added by muzziac
    Electronic dance music, Jazz, Tribal house

    ;
  47. 47
    + 199
    - 195


    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

    ;
  48. 48
    + 274
    - 230

    ranked low on reranks & added by rodrincubus
    Nu metal, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  49. 49
    + 66
    - 114

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Alternative rock, Punk rock, Post-hardcore

    ;
  50. 50
    + 137
    - 102

    added by muzziac
    Indie pop, Garage rock, Space rock

    ;
609 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >