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The Best Alternative Bands/Artists

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?"

The Best Alternative Bands/Artists Bands/Musicians
  • 16 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1201
    - 373

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Nevermind, In Utero, MTV Unplugged in New York

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  2. 2
    + 909
    - 375

    added by CilasLee
    Californication, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Stadium Arcadium

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  3. 3
    + 741
    - 373

    often listed & added by but chickens double d
    Kid A, OK Computer, The Bends

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  4. 4
    + 647
    - 209

    added by FabianMariani
    Wasting Light, The Colour and the Shape, Foo Fighters

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  5. 5
    + 536
    - 301

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Ten, Vs., Vitalogy

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  6. 6
    + 861
    - 348

    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    American Idiot, Dookie, 21st Century Breakdown

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  7. 7
    + 452
    - 270

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Murmur, Green, Automatic for the People

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  8. 8
    + 325
    - 197

    often listed & added by but chickens double d
    The Queen Is Dead, Meat Is Murder, The Smiths

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  9. 9
    + 730
    - 312

    ranked low on reranks & added by RobDiLorenzo
    Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, Favourite Worst Nightmare ...

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  10. 10
    + 621
    - 269

    added by RobDiLorenzo
    Origin of Symmetry, Absolution, The 2nd Law

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  11. 11
    + 542
    - 277


    Siamese Dream, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Oceania

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  12. 12
    + 361
    - 144

    added by muzziac
    White Blood Cells, Elephant, De Stijl

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  13. 13
    + 343
    - 103

    added by ryanjjjj8
    Sam’s Town, Hot Fuss, Day & Age

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  14. 14
    + 713
    - 341


    A Rush of Blood to the Head, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, ...

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  15. 15
    + 429
    - 215

    added by but chickens double d
    Pinkerton, Weezer, Weezer

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  16. 16
    + 306
    - 181


    Doolittle, Surfer Rosa, Bossanova

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  17. 17
    + 293
    - 131

    added by FabianMariani
    Disintegration, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, Boys Don’t Cry

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  18. 18
    + 309
    - 203


    Superunknown, Badmotorfinger, Down on the Upside

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  19. 19
    + 376
    - 190


    (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, Definitely Maybe, Don’t Believe the ...

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  20. 20
    + 312
    - 184

    added by RobDiLorenzo
    Is This It, Room on Fire, First Impressions of Earth

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  21. 21
    + 285
    - 155

    added by but chickens double d
    Smash, Americana, The Offspring

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  22. 22
    + 217
    - 127


    The Downward Spiral, The Fragile, With Teeth

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  23. 23
    + 353
    - 177

    added by but chickens double d
    Rubber Factory, Attack & Release, Brothers

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  24. 24
    + 363
    - 108

    ranked low on reranks & added by ryanjjjj8
    The Black Parade, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, I Brought You My Bullets ...

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  25. 25
    + 314
    - 223

    often listed & added by but chickens double d
    The Joshua Tree, War, Achtung Baby

    ;
  26. 26
    + 214
    - 113

    often listed & added by ryanjjjj8
    Demon Days, Gorillaz, Plastic Beach

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  27. 27
    + 507
    - 192

    ranked low on reranks & added by BayzidAnando
    Hybrid Theory, Living Things, Meteora

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  28. 28
    + 288
    - 174

    often listed & added by but chickens double d
    Sublime: 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, 40oz. to Freedom, Sublime ...

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  29. 29
    + 401
    - 168

    ranked low on reranks & added by ryanjjjj8
    Infinity on High, Save Rock and Roll, From Under the Cork Tree

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  30. 30
    + 316
    - 100

    ranked low on reranks & added by ryanjjjj8
    Enema of the State, Dude Ranch, blink-182

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  31. 31
    + 248
    - 129

    added by but chickens double d
    Rage Against the Machine, Evil Empire, The Battle of Los Angeles

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  32. 32
    + 188
    - 116

    added by but chickens double d
    Violator, Songs of Faith and Devotion, Music for the Masses

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  33. 33
    + 271
    - 135

    added by FabianMariani
    Dirt, Alice in Chains, Facelift

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  34. 34
    + 118
    - 63

    often listed & added by ryanjjjj8
    Stop Making Sense, Remain in Light, Fear of Music

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  35. 35
    + 217
    - 151

    added by rodrincubus
    Songs for the Deaf, Rated R, Lullabies to Paralyze

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  36. 36
    + 182
    - 142

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Daydream Nation, Goo, Dirty

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  37. 37
    + 244
    - 87

    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    Thank You, Happy Birthday, Cage the Elephant

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  38. 38
    + 264
    - 128

    ranked low on reranks & added by Qanea
    Toxicity, Hypnotize, Mezmerize

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  39. 39
    + 169
    - 89

    added by muzziac
    Odelay, Sea Change, Mutations

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  40. 40
    + 164
    - 108


    13, Parklife, Blur

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  41. 41
    + 187
    - 87

    added by kanyonrocks
    One-X, Life Starts Now, Three Days Grace

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  42. 42
    + 254
    - 157

    added by DavidJohnson
    The All American Rejects, Move Along, Gives You Hell: The Remixes

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  43. 43
    + 121
    - 73

    added by ryanjjjj8
    Paul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head

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  44. 44
    + 185
    - 116

    added by rodrincubus
    Make Yourself, S.C.I.E.N.C.E., Morning View

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  45. 45
    + 160
    - 101

    added by but chickens double d
    Purple, Core, Tiny Music… Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop

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  46. 46
    + 124
    - 92


    Ritual de lo habitual, Nothing's Shocking, Strays

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  47. 47
    + 121
    - 59

    added by ryanjjjj8
    The Sufferer & the Witness, The Unraveling, Siren Song of the Counter ...

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  48. 48
    + 126
    - 69


    Ænima, Lateralus, 10

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  49. 49
    + 188
    - 70

    ranked low on reranks & added by juliocaesar7080
    Riot!, All We Know Is Falling, brand new eyes

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  50. 50
    + 35
    - 18

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Power, Corruption & Lies, Low-Life

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