The Best Alternative Bands/Artists Bands/Musicians

The Best Alternative Bands/Artists

46,376 votes 5,497 voters 179,132 views 380 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?"


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  • 19 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1435
    - 465

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

    ;
  2. 2
    + 944
    - 442

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

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1093
    - 472

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

    ;
  4. 4
    + 664
    - 373


    Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

    ;
  5. 5
    + 789
    - 299

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

    ;
  6. 6
    + 555
    - 326

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

    ;
  7. 7
    + 432
    - 259

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

    ;
  8. 8
    + 1037
    - 448

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

    ;
  9. 9
    + 883
    - 387

    added by RobDiLorenzo
    Trip hop, Dance-punk, Garage rock

    ;
  10. 10
    + 647
    - 321


    Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

    ;
  11. 11
    + 750
    - 339

    added by RobDiLorenzo
    Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

    ;
  12. 12
    + 457
    - 190

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

    ;
  13. 13
    + 515
    - 264

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

    ;
  14. 14
    + 446
    - 148

    ranked low on reranks & added by ryanjjjj8
    Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  15. 15
    + 828
    - 446


    Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

    ;
  16. 16
    + 380
    - 216


    Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

    ;
  17. 17
    + 375
    - 164

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

    ;
  18. 18
    + 351
    - 191

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

    ;
  19. 19
    + 292
    - 153

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

    ;
  20. 20
    + 360
    - 243


    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

    ;
  21. 21
    + 459
    - 242


    Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

    ;
  22. 22
    + 372
    - 219

    added by RobDiLorenzo
    Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock

    ;
  23. 23
    + 348
    - 212

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

    ;
  24. 24
    + 433
    - 206

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

    ;
  25. 25
    + 271
    - 165

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music

    ;
  26. 26
    + 276
    - 176

    added by rodrincubus
    Rock music, Desert rock, Experimental rock

    ;
  27. 27
    + 457
    - 149

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

    ;
  28. 28
    + 506
    - 217

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

    ;
  29. 29
    + 313
    - 161

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

    ;
  30. 30
    + 371
    - 274

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

    ;
  31. 31
    + 243
    - 138

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

    ;
  32. 32
    + 166
    - 84

    often listed & added by ryanjjjj8
    New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

    ;
  33. 33
    + 587
    - 247

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

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  34. 34
    + 388
    - 142

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

    ;
  35. 35
    + 325
    - 160

    added by FabianMariani
    Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

    ;
  36. 36
    + 223
    - 164

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

    ;
  37. 37
    + 322
    - 111

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

    ;
  38. 38
    + 219
    - 110

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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 309
    - 159

    added by Qanea
    Nu metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

    ;
  40. 40
    + 198
    - 135

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Indie pop, Shoegazing, Pop music

    ;
  41. 41
    + 296
    - 187

    added by DavidJohnson
    Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  42. 42
    + 248
    - 103

    ranked low on reranks & added by juliocaesar7080
    Pop punk, Rock music, Emo

    ;
  43. 43
    + 163
    - 106

    added by ryanjjjj8
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop

    ;
  44. 44
    + 222
    - 114

    added by kanyonrocks
    Nu metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  45. 45
    + 218
    - 138

    added by rodrincubus
    Nu metal, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  46. 46
    + 198
    - 123

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

    ;
  47. 47
    + 170
    - 95


    Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

    ;
  48. 48
    + 66
    - 38


    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

    ;
  49. 49
    + 143
    - 81

    added by ryanjjjj8
    Melodic hardcore, Alternative rock, Positive hardcore

    ;
  50. 50
    + 62
    - 27


    Punk rock, Post-punk

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