The Best Alternative Bands/Artists

74k votes 7.2k voters 236k 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
    + 1,779
    - 772

    most listed
    Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,263
    - 769

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

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,378
    - 786

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

    ;
  4. 4
    + 615
    - 529

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

    ;
  5. 5
    + 863
    - 643

    often listed
    Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

    ;
  6. 6
    + 711
    - 600

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

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,320
    - 747

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

    ;
  8. 8
    + 1,000
    - 587

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

    ;
  9. 9
    + 301
    - 89
    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
    + 1,026
    - 763


    Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

    ;
  11. 11
    + 629
    - 425

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

    ;
  12. 12
    + 1,115
    - 662

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

    ;
  13. 13
    + 692
    - 487

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

    ;
  14. 14
    + 542
    - 442

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

    ;
  15. 15
    + 949
    - 598

    added by RobDiLorenzo
    Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

    ;
  16. 16
    + 854
    - 549


    Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

    ;
  17. 17
    + 544
    - 364

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

    ;
  18. 18
    + 624
    - 386

    added by ryanjjjj8
    Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  19. 19
    + 596
    - 451


    Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

    ;
  20. 20
    + 455
    - 346

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

    ;
  21. 21
    + 381
    - 364


    Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music

    ;
  22. 22
    + 464
    - 403

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

    ;
  23. 23
    + 473
    - 436


    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

    ;
  24. 24
    + 451
    - 342

    added by FabianMariani
    Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

    ;
  25. 25
    + 480
    - 388

    added by RobDiLorenzo
    Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock

    ;
  26. 26
    + 480
    - 494

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

    ;
  27. 27
    + 312
    - 305


    Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

    ;
  28. 28
    + 432
    - 374

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

    ;
  29. 29
    + 542
    - 388

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

    ;
  30. 30
    + 404
    - 348

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

    ;
  31. 31
    + 339
    - 288

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

    ;
  32. 32
    + 674
    - 439

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

    ;
  33. 33
    + 361
    - 330

    added by rodrincubus
    Rock music, Desert rock, Experimental rock

    ;
  34. 34
    + 299
    - 216

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

    ;
  35. 35
    + 628
    - 348

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

    ;
  36. 36
    + 248
    - 188

    added by ryanjjjj8
    New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

    ;
  37. 37
    + 399
    - 328

    added by Qanea
    Nu metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

    ;
  38. 38
    + 131
    - 78

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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 439
    - 241

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

    ;
  40. 40
    + 241
    - 201

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

    ;
  41. 41
    + 272
    - 228

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

    ;
  42. 42
    + 735
    - 398

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

    ;
  43. 43
    + 529
    - 279

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

    ;
  44. 44
    + 126
    - 143


    Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk

    ;
  45. 45
    + 83
    - 90

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

    ;
  46. 46
    + 86
    - 99

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

    ;
  47. 47
    + 200
    - 195


    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

    ;
  48. 48
    + 276
    - 231

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

    ;
  49. 49
    + 66
    - 115

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

    ;
  50. 50
    + 137
    - 103

    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 >