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
2,136 1,005
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 Current HBO Series

2
1,596 1,059
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

3
1,696 979
Red Hot Chili Peppers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
CilasLee added Red Hot Chili Peppers Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music

4
824 715
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added The Smiths Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

5
902 755
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
R.E.M. Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock

6
1,090 801
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Pearl Jam Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

7
1,616 961
Green Day is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Green Day Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock

8
648 310
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
1,238 713
Foo Fighters is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Foo Fighters Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

10
1,242 1,015
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Coldplay Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

11
1,349 795
Arctic Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Arctic Monkeys Trip hop, Dance-punk, Garage rock

12
713 540
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Pixies Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

13
886 581
Weezer is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Weezer Pop punk, Rock music, Garage rock

14
803 529
The White Stripes is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added The White Stripes Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

15
1,066 633
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 Greatest Songs by One-Hit Wonders

16
1,176 712
Muse is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Muse Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

17
821 490
The Killers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added The Killers Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

18
585 430
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Rage Against the Machine Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

19
717 444
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added The Cure Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

20
577 502
The Offspring is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added The Offspring Pop punk, Ska punk, Rock music

21
606 427
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Alice in Chains Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

22
736 558
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Oasis Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

23
494 452
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
623 509
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Soundgarden Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

25
859 601
Fall Out Boy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Fall Out Boy Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

26
514 416
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Qanea added System of a Down Nu metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

27
826 473
My Chemical Romance is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added My Chemical Romance Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

28
524 460
Sublime is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Sublime Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music

29
605 610
U2 is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

The Greatest Alternative Rock Songs by One-Hit Wonders The Biggest Turn Ons in a Person

30
563 438
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Gorillaz Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

31
587 461
The Strokes is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added The Strokes Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock

32
398 384
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Sonic Youth Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

33
449 372
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Depeche Mode Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

34
656 467
The Black Keys is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added The Black Keys Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

35
253 136
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added The Clash Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

36
671 384
Blink-182 is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Blink-182 Pop punk, Rock music, Skate punk

37
364 315
Stone Temple Pilots is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Stone Temple Pilots Rock music, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

38
449 413
Queens of the Stone Age is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
rodrincubus added Queens of the Stone Age Rock music, Desert rock, Experimental rock

39
562 337
Cage the Elephant is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Cage the Elephant Punk blues, Garage rock, Garage punk

40
389 304
Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added Beck Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap

41
348 277
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

42
919 534
Linkin Park is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
BayzidAnando added Linkin Park Hip hop music, Nu metal, Rock music

43
318 84
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 Dubstep Artists The Best Autobiographical Novels

44
254 295
Jane's Addiction is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Jane's Addiction Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

45
178 90
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Velvet Underground Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

46
319 297
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Beastie Boys Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop

47
100 211
Hüsker Dü is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Hüsker Dü Alternative rock, Punk rock, Post-hardcore

48
337 181
Imagine Dragons is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
cole-faraday added Imagine Dragons Indie pop, Pop music, Alternative rock

49
335 330
Incubus is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
rodrincubus added Incubus Nu metal, Rock music, Experimental rock

50
182 219
Violent Femmes is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Violent Femmes Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk