The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time

9.9k votes 1.1k voters 78k views 81 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. (81 items)
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 6 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 332
    - 174

    the people's #1
    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

    ;
  2. 2
    + 375
    - 214

    most listed
    Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

    ;
  3. 3
    + 300
    - 244


    Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

    ;
  4. 4
    + 182
    - 140


    New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  5. 5
    + 213
    - 171


    Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  6. 6
    + 177
    - 145


    New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

    ;
  7. 7
    + 152
    - 135


    Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock

    ;
  8. 8
    + 140
    - 125


    Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

    ;
  9. 9
    + 194
    - 177


    Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  10. 10
    + 145
    - 122


    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  11. 11
    + 81
    - 72

    added by Purple Panther
    Synthpop, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  12. 12
    + 116
    - 112


    Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  13. 13
    + 138
    - 123


    Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

    ;
  14. 14
    + 120
    - 105


    Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  15. 15
    + 130
    - 110


    New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

    ;
  16. 16
    + 107
    - 114


    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  17. 17
    + 133
    - 135


    Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

    ;
  18. 18
    + 29
    - 16

    added by Sixten Kastalje
    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

    ;
  19. 19
    + 71
    - 67

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

    ;
  20. 20
    + 138
    - 129


    Indie pop, Alternative rock, Art rock

    ;
  21. 21
    + 84
    - 95


    Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music

    ;
  22. 22
    + 80
    - 76


    New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

    ;
  23. 23
    + 20
    - 9

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

    ;
  24. 24
    + 28
    - 22

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

    ;
  25. 25
    + 19
    - 10

    added by julian-matthias
    Krautrock, Synthpop, Electronic music

    ;
  26. 26
    + 17
    - 11

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

    ;
  27. 27
    + 31
    - 28

    added by eg0654
    Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock

    ;
  28. 28
    + 79
    - 86


    Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

    ;
  29. 29
    + 24
    - 21


    Space rock, Neo-psychedelia, Dream pop

    ;
  30. 30
    + 59
    - 74


    Pop rock, Soft rock, Progressive rock

    ;
  31. 31
    + 63
    - 69


    Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

    ;
  32. 32
    + 69
    - 68


    Blues-rock, Raga rock, Progressive rock

    ;
  33. 33
    + 14
    - 10


    Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

    ;
  34. 34
    + 19
    - 16
    Steve Lieberman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time

    added by GANGSTARABBI
    Garage punk, Outsider music, Heavy metal

  35. 35
    + 57
    - 56


    Experimental music, Art rock

    ;
  36. 36
    + 64
    - 65


    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  37. 37
    + 10
    - 6

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

    ;
  38. 38
    + 63
    - 77


    Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock

    ;
  39. 39
    + 49
    - 56


    Rock music, Garage rock, Folk rock

    ;
  40. 40
    + 7
    - 4

    added by julian-matthias
    Shoegazing, Experimental rock, Minimalist Post Rock

    ;
  41. 41
    + 9
    - 7

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

    ;
  42. 42
    + 59
    - 72


    Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  43. 43
    + 58
    - 81


    Heartland rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

    ;
  44. 44
    + 76
    - 106


    Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

    ;
  45. 45
    + 6
    - 4

    added by passionsears
    Progressive metal, Space rock, Britpop

    ;
  46. 46
    + 58
    - 64


    Disco, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  47. 47
    + 7
    - 6

    added by passionsears
    Rock music, Space rock, Psychedelic pop

    ;
  48. 48
    + 13
    - 17

    added by passionsears
    Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

    ;
  49. 49
    + 6
    - 8

    added by julian-matthias
    Indie pop, Psychedelic folk, Rock music

    ;
  50. 50
    + 36
    - 45


    Electronic music, Experimental rock, Industrial music

    ;
82 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >