The Best Alternative Bands/Artists

55k votes 6.1k voters 206k views 596 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
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  1. 1
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    - 534

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

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  2. 2
    + 1,092
    - 521

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

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  3. 3
    + 1,224
    - 540

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

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  4. 4
    + 887
    - 357

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

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  5. 5
    + 763
    - 429


    Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

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  6. 6
    + 624
    - 380

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

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  7. 7
    + 514
    - 308

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

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  8. 8
    + 1,160
    - 518

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

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  9. 9
    + 739
    - 366


    Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

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  10. 10
    + 991
    - 452

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

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  11. 11
    + 847
    - 398

    added by RobDiLorenzo
    Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

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  12. 12
    + 451
    - 251

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

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  13. 13
    + 601
    - 303

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

    ;
  14. 14
    + 538
    - 233

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

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  15. 15
    + 921
    - 512


    Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

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  16. 16
    + 533
    - 201

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

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  17. 17
    + 444
    - 194

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

    ;
  18. 18
    + 403
    - 230

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

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  19. 19
    + 494
    - 236

    added by but chickens double d
    Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

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  20. 20
    + 320
    - 193

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

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  21. 21
    + 404
    - 266


    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

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  22. 22
    + 520
    - 270


    Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

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  23. 23
    + 345
    - 188

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

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  24. 24
    + 382
    - 179

    added by FabianMariani
    Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

    ;
  25. 25
    + 414
    - 249

    added by RobDiLorenzo
    Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock

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  26. 26
    + 375
    - 186

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

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  27. 27
    + 386
    - 242

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

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  28. 28
    + 543
    - 202

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

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  29. 29
    + 317
    - 201

    often listed & added by rodrincubus
    Rock music, Desert rock, Experimental rock

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  30. 30
    + 581
    - 275

    added by ryanjjjj8
    Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

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  31. 31
    + 368
    - 144

    added by but chickens double d
    Punk blues, Garage rock, Garage punk

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  32. 32
    + 456
    - 178

    added by ryanjjjj8
    Pop punk, Rock music, Skate punk

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  33. 33
    + 254
    - 190

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

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  34. 34
    + 422
    - 310

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

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  35. 35
    + 285
    - 164

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

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  36. 36
    + 646
    - 293

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

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  37. 37
    + 200
    - 106

    added by ryanjjjj8
    New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

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  38. 38
    + 351
    - 189

    added by Qanea
    Nu metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

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  39. 39
    + 251
    - 132

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

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  40. 40
    + 235
    - 153


    Indie pop, Shoegazing, Pop music

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  41. 41
    + 230
    - 145

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

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  42. 42
    + 83
    - 27

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

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  43. 43
    + 198
    - 131

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

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  44. 44
    + 244
    - 167

    added by rodrincubus
    Nu metal, Rock music, Experimental rock

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  45. 45
    + 206
    - 118


    Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

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  46. 46
    + 324
    - 221

    added by DavidJohnson
    Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

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  47. 47
    + 167
    - 135

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

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  48. 48
    + 285
    - 145

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

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  49. 49
    + 253
    - 149

    added by kanyonrocks
    Nu metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

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  50. 50
    + 168
    - 107

    added by ryanjjjj8
    Melodic hardcore, Alternative rock, Positive hardcore

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