rock The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time  

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13k votes 1.5k voters 83k views 84 items Follow Embed
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. (84 items)
list ordered by

1
+ - 481 274
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

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2
+ - 474 359
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

3
+ - 310 262
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Velvet Underground Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

4
+ - 221 209
The Who is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Who Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

5
+ - 268 240
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

6
+ - 392 374
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

7
+ - 197 173
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

8
+ - 96 86
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Beatles Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

9
+ - 260 287
Queen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

10
+ - 239 229
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
King Crimson New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

11
+ - 187 193
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Peter Gabriel New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

12
+ - 187 211
Yes is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Yes Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock

13
+ - 176 215
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Genesis Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

14
+ - 109 109
Rush is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Rush Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

15
+ - 155 149
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Roxy Music New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

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16
+ - 59 47
Kate Bush is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Kate Bush Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock

17
+ - 146 147
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

18
+ - 112 120
Electric Light Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Electric Light Orchestra Synthpop, Pop music, Rock music

19
+ - 50 41
Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Syd Barrett Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Space rock

20
+ - 156 172
Tool is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Tool Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

21
+ - 155 160
Arcade Fire is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Arcade Fire Indie pop, Alternative rock, Art rock

22
+ - 36 24
Kraftwerk is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Kraftwerk Krautrock, Synthpop, Electronic music

23
+ - 127 153
Supertramp is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Supertramp New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

24
+ - 102 118
The Moody Blues is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Moody Blues Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music

25
+ - 95 96
Television is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Television New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

26
+ - 97 104
Devo is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Devo Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

27
+ - 81 81
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

28
+ - 33 27
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

29
+ - 36 35
Tame Impala is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Tame Impala Space rock, Neo-psychedelia, Dream pop

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30
+ - 72 87
The Alan Parsons Project is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Alan Parsons Project Pop rock, Soft rock, Progressive rock

31
+ - 79 90
Emerson, Lake & Palmer is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Emerson, Lake & Palmer Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock

32
+ - 75 83
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Cars Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

33
+ - 30 28
CAN is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
CAN Krautrock, Rock music, Electronic music

34
+ - 73 93
Kansas is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Kansas Heartland rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

35
+ - 32 35
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Smashing Pumpkins Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

36
+ - 23 25
Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Tangerine Dream Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

37
+ - 78 83
Procol Harum is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Procol Harum Blues-rock, Raga rock, Progressive rock

38
+ - 90 120
Muse is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Muse Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

39
+ - 19 20
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band Blues-rock, Spoken word, Garage rock

40
+ - 66 75
Jeff Lynne is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Jeff Lynne Disco, Pop music, Rock music

41
+ - 71 82
Bryan Ferry is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Bryan Ferry New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

42
+ - 63 73
Laurie Anderson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Laurie Anderson Experimental music, Art rock

43
+ - 15 17
Sigur Rós is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Sigur Rós Shoegazing, Experimental rock, Minimalist Post Rock

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44
+ - 53 69
Love is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Love Rock music, Garage rock, Folk rock

45
+ - 59 82
Asia is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Asia Rock music, Arena rock, Pop rock

46
+ - 46 61
Steve Miller Band is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Steve Miller Band Classic rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

47
+ - 10 13
My Bloody Valentine is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
My Bloody Valentine Indie pop, Noise rock, Shoegazing

48
+ - 15 20
The Flaming Lips is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Flaming Lips Rock music, Space rock, Psychedelic pop

49
+ - 13 18
Faust is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Faust Krautrock, Experimental rock, Progressive rock

50
+ - 65 81
The Plastic Ono Band is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Plastic Ono Band Rock music, Experimental music, Art rock