The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time Bands/Musicians

The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time

7,156 votes 828 voters 73,237 views 73 items tags f p @

Fusing influences ranging as far as experimental rock and classical music, art rock is a form of music where the best musicians are willing to take chances with sound that only a few of their contemporaries would ever contemplate doing. The best art rock bands not only experimented with their sound, but made it sound great in the process. Art rock has always had an underground following and some of the biggest bands were from rock's formative years in the 1960s and 1970s, where bands took traditional rock and decided to test how far they could take it. Art rock, thus, remains a highbrow genre and retains a strong following among its fans.

So, what are the best art rock bands? Any list has to include the likes of David Bowie, Pink Floyd, the Velvet Underground, Peter Gabriel, Arcade Fire, Radiohead and Roxy Music. Those bands are only a batch of the best art rock bands. What distinguishes these groups from others is that they are widely recognized not only as art rock bands, but also musicians willing to push themselves and their music by challenging themselves and implenting other genres into their sound. Thus, no art rock band's one song or album is considered different or more forward thinking than their last.

That said, it's up to you to determine what is the best art rock band. If you notice a band that should be on this list, and isn't, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best art rock bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest art rock musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular art rock bands that you might've heard of. (73 items)


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  1. 1
    + 267
    - 85


    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

    ;
  2. 2
    + 292
    - 128

    most listed
    Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

    ;
  3. 3
    + 221
    - 114


    Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

    ;
  4. 4
    + 170
    - 100


    Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  5. 5
    + 148
    - 87


    New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  6. 6
    + 142
    - 86


    New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

    ;
  7. 7
    + 160
    - 109


    Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  8. 8
    + 120
    - 78


    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  9. 9
    + 121
    - 86


    Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock

    ;
  10. 10
    + 119
    - 80


    Indie pop, Alternative rock, Art rock

    ;
  11. 11
    + 114
    - 75


    Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

    ;
  12. 12
    + 106
    - 72


    New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

    ;
  13. 13
    + 111
    - 80


    Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

    ;
  14. 14
    + 63
    - 37

    added by Purple Panther
    Synthpop, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  15. 15
    + 103
    - 79


    Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

    ;
  16. 16
    + 93
    - 81


    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  17. 17
    + 89
    - 72


    Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  18. 18
    + 69
    - 54


    New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

    ;
  19. 19
    + 85
    - 80


    Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  20. 20
    + 69
    - 60


    Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

    ;
  21. 21
    + 76
    - 71


    Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music

    ;
  22. 22
    + 17
    - 4

    added by eg0654
    Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock

    ;
  23. 23
    + 46
    - 36

    added by Purple Panther
    Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  24. 24
    + 67
    - 68


    Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

    ;
  25. 25
    + 53
    - 56


    Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  26. 26
    + 53
    - 59


    Pop rock, Soft rock, Progressive rock

    ;
  27. 27
    + 55
    - 51


    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  28. 28
    + 50
    - 46


    Experimental music, Art rock

    ;
  29. 29
    + 61
    - 59


    Blues-rock, Raga rock, Progressive rock

    ;
  30. 30
    + 46
    - 50


    Rock music, Arena rock, Pop rock

    ;
  31. 31
    + 13
    - 5

    added by GANGSTARABBI
    Garage punk, Outsider music, Heavy metal

  32. 32
    + 55
    - 53


    Disco, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  33. 33
    + 54
    - 52


    Rock music, Experimental music, Art rock

    ;
  34. 34
    + 57
    - 63


    Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock

    ;
  35. 35
    + 9
    - 1

    added by passionsears
    Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Space rock

    ;
  36. 36
    + 40
    - 45


    Rock music, Garage rock, Folk rock

    ;
  37. 37
    + 7
    - 2

    added by julian-matthias
    Krautrock, Rock music, Electronic music

    ;
  38. 38
    + 5
    - 4

    added by julian-matthias
    Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

    ;
  39. 39
    + 8
    - 3

    added by passionsears
    Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

    ;
  40. 40
    + 8
    - 5


    Space rock, Neo-psychedelia, Dream pop

    ;
  41. 41
    + 5
    - 2

    added by julian-matthias
    Krautrock, Synthpop, Electronic music

    ;
  42. 42
    + 31
    - 41


    Psychedelic folk, Experimental music, Alternative rock

    ;
  43. 43
    + 41
    - 47


    Rock music, Experimental rock, Neo-psychedelia

    ;
  44. 44
    + 44
    - 51


    Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

    ;
  45. 45
    + 5
    - 4

    added by julian-matthias
    Krautrock, Experimental rock, Progressive rock

    ;
  46. 46
    + 49
    - 68


    Heartland rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

    ;
  47. 47
    + 28
    - 38


    Electronic music, Experimental rock, Industrial music

    ;
  48. 48
    + 2
    - 0

    added by passionsears
    Blues-rock, Spoken word, Garage rock

    ;
  49. 49
    + 34
    - 49


    Classic rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

    ;
  50. 50
    + 3
    - 3

    added by julian-matthias
    Krautrock, New Age, Ambient music

    ;
74 +

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