alternative music The Best Alternative Bands/Artists  

Originally by
88k votes 8k voters 257k views 625 items Follow Embed
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?"

1
+ - 2,000 921
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Nirvana Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 2010s The Best Affordable Cosmetics Brands

2
+ - 1,468 963
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

3
+ - 1,571 913
Red Hot Chili Peppers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Red Hot Chili Peppers Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music

4
+ - 736 650
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Smiths Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

5
+ - 1,487 895
Green Day is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Green Day Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock

6
+ - 1,005 750
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Pearl Jam Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

7
+ - 823 698
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
R.E.M. Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock

8
+ - 534 231
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Arcana Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

9
+ - 1,154 677
Foo Fighters is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Foo Fighters Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

10
+ - 1,155 932
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Coldplay Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

11
+ - 1,253 756
Arctic Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Arctic Monkeys Trip hop, Dance-punk, Garage rock

12
+ - 646 510
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Pixies Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

13
+ - 828 551
Weezer is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Weezer Pop punk, Rock music, Garage rock

14
+ - 736 499
The White Stripes is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The White Stripes Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

15
+ - 998 612
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Smashing Pumpkins Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 2000s The 36 Greatest On-Stage Falls of All Time

16
+ - 1,090 681
Muse is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Muse Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

17
+ - 745 462
The Killers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Killers Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

18
+ - 537 402
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rage Against the Machine Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

19
+ - 650 419
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Cure Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

20
+ - 528 472
The Offspring is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Offspring Pop punk, Ska punk, Rock music

21
+ - 686 524
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Oasis Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

22
+ - 546 406
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Alice in Chains Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

23
+ - 454 426
Nine Inch Nails is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Nine Inch Nails Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music

24
+ - 785 550
Fall Out Boy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Fall Out Boy Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

25
+ - 754 438
My Chemical Romance is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
My Chemical Romance Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

26
+ - 463 385
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
System of a Down Nu metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

27
+ - 497 429
Sublime is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Sublime Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music

28
+ - 560 491
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Soundgarden Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

29
+ - 554 437
The Strokes is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Strokes Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock

The Greatest Alternative Rock Songs by One-Hit Wonders Little Things That Make You Disproportionately Happy

30
+ - 561 576
U2 is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

31
+ - 506 410
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Gorillaz Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

32
+ - 368 362
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Sonic Youth Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

33
+ - 613 354
Blink-182 is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Blink-182 Pop punk, Rock music, Skate punk

34
+ - 611 447
The Black Keys is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Black Keys Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

35
+ - 400 349
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Depeche Mode Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

36
+ - 211 116
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Clash Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

37
+ - 332 296
Stone Temple Pilots is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Stone Temple Pilots Rock music, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

38
+ - 513 313
Cage the Elephant is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Cage the Elephant Punk blues, Garage rock, Garage punk

39
+ - 408 392
Queens of the Stone Age is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Queens of the Stone Age Rock music, Desert rock, Experimental rock

40
+ - 360 281
Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Beck Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap

41
+ - 835 499
Linkin Park is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Linkin Park Hip hop music, Nu metal, Rock music

42
+ - 308 255
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

43
+ - 256 69
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

The Best Blues Artists of All Time The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels

44
+ - 293 274
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Beastie Boys Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop

45
+ - 235 273
Jane's Addiction is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Jane's Addiction Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

46
+ - 148 72
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Velvet Underground Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

47
+ - 89 188
Hüsker Dü is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Hüsker Dü Alternative rock, Punk rock, Post-hardcore

48
+ - 310 309
Incubus is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Incubus Nu metal, Rock music, Experimental rock

49
+ - 260 154
Imagine Dragons is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Imagine Dragons Indie pop, Pop music, Alternative rock

50
+ - 394 349
The All-American Rejects is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The All-American Rejects Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music