alternative music The Best Alternative Bands/Artists  

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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?"
list ordered by

1
+ - 2,094 975
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Nirvana Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

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2
+ - 1,560 1,030
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

3
+ - 1,664 954
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
+ - 791 691
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Smiths Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

5
+ - 1,582 936
Green Day is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Green Day Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock

6
+ - 878 733
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
R.E.M. Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock

7
+ - 1,063 785
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Pearl Jam Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

8
+ - 606 286
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
+ - 1,215 703
Foo Fighters is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Foo Fighters Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

10
+ - 1,217 986
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Coldplay Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

11
+ - 1,325 780
Arctic Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Arctic Monkeys Trip hop, Dance-punk, Garage rock

12
+ - 691 530
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Pixies Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

13
+ - 871 573
Weezer is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Weezer Pop punk, Rock music, Garage rock

14
+ - 779 522
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
+ - 1,148 698
Muse is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Muse Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

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16
+ - 1,046 627
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Smashing Pumpkins Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

17
+ - 796 480
The Killers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Killers Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

18
+ - 571 421
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
+ - 699 434
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Cure Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

20
+ - 561 492
The Offspring is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Offspring Pop punk, Ska punk, Rock music

21
+ - 721 544
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Oasis Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

22
+ - 584 421
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
+ - 484 442
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
+ - 838 585
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
+ - 605 504
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Soundgarden Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

26
+ - 499 408
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
+ - 802 460
My Chemical Romance is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
My Chemical Romance Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

28
+ - 515 450
Sublime is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Sublime Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music

29
+ - 581 451
The Strokes is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Strokes Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock

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30
+ - 546 428
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Gorillaz Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

31
+ - 588 599
U2 is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

32
+ - 385 377
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Sonic Youth Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

33
+ - 432 363
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Depeche Mode Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

34
+ - 639 460
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
+ - 650 373
Blink-182 is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Blink-182 Pop punk, Rock music, Skate punk

36
+ - 357 305
Stone Temple Pilots is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Stone Temple Pilots Rock music, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

37
+ - 233 130
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Clash Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

38
+ - 548 325
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
+ - 433 405
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
+ - 384 294
Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Beck Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap

41
+ - 890 524
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
+ - 331 270
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

43
+ - 299 78
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

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44
+ - 168 84
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Velvet Underground Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

45
+ - 247 287
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
+ - 309 290
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Beastie Boys Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop

47
+ - 320 171
Imagine Dragons is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Imagine Dragons Indie pop, Pop music, Alternative rock

48
+ - 330 323
Incubus is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Incubus Nu metal, Rock music, Experimental rock

49
+ - 93 204
Hüsker Dü is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Hüsker Dü Alternative rock, Punk rock, Post-hardcore

50
+ - 171 215
Violent Femmes is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Violent Femmes Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk