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The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time

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. (65 items)

The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time Bands/Musicians
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  1. 1
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    The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, ...

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  2. 2
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    most listed
    The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here

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  3. 3
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    Kid A, OK Computer, The Bends

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  4. 4
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    The Velvet Underground & Nico, Loaded, The Velvet Underground

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  5. 5
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    Stop Making Sense, Remain in Light, Fear of Music

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  6. 6
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    Larks' Tongues in Aspic, In the Court of the Crimson King, In the Wake of ...

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  7. 7
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    A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

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  8. 8
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    Transformer, Berlin, New York

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  9. 9
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    Fragile, Close to the Edge, 90125

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  10. 10
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    Funeral, The Suburbs, Neon Bible

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  11. 11
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    Peter Gabriel, Us, Security

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  12. 12
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    Ænima, Lateralus, 10

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  13. 13
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    Roxy Music, Country Life, For Your Pleasure

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  14. 14
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    - 33

    added by Purple Panther
    Out of the Blue, Time, A New World Record

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  15. 15
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    The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis, Foxtrot

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  16. 16
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    Marquee Moon, Television, Adventure

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  17. 17
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    Breakfast in America, Crime of the Century, Even in the Quietest Moments… ...

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  18. 18
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    Hot Rats, Joe's Garage Acts 1, 2 & 3

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  19. 19
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    Freedom of Choice, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, Fresh

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  20. 20
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    Days of Future Passed, Long Distance Voyager, In Search of the Lost Chord ...

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  21. 21
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    Who's Next, Tommy, Quadrophenia

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  22. 22
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    added by Purple Panther
    Moving Pictures, 2112, Hemispheres

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  23. 23
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    Candy-O, The Cars, Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology

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  24. 24
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    Origin of Symmetry, Absolution, The 2nd Law

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  25. 25
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    added by eg0654
    Hounds of Love, The Dreaming, The Kick Inside

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  26. 26
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    Bright Red, Life on a String, Mister Heartbreak

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  27. 27
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    Instant Karma! / Who Has Seen the Wind?, Cold Turkey, Live Peace in ...

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  28. 28
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    Forever Changes, Da Capo, Love

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  29. 29
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    Tales of Mystery and Imagination: Edgar Allan Poe, I Robot, Eye in the Sky ...

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  30. 30
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    Asia, Alpha, Astra

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  31. 31
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    Procol Harum, Grand Hotel, Shine on Brightly

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  32. 32
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    Emerson Lake & Palmer, Brain Salad Surgery, Tarkus

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  33. 33
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    Xanadu, Armchair Theatre, Concert for George

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  34. 34
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    - 3


    Innerspeaker, Lonerism, Tame Impala

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  35. 35
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    - 1

    added by julian-matthias
    Tago Mago, CAN, The Lost Tapes

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  36. 36
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    Bête Noire, Boys and Girls, More Than This: The Best of Bryan Ferry ...

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  37. 37
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    added by julian-matthias
    Hyperborea, Tangram, Exit

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  38. 38
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    - 1

    added by julian-matthias
    The Man-Machine, Autobahn, Trans-Europe Express

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  39. 39
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    - 1

    new! & added by GANGSTARABBI
    Liquidatia-455, Diktator 17, Shake the Missile Base

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  40. 40
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    - 2

    added by julian-matthias
    Derbe Respect, Alder, Faust IV

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  41. 41
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    - 1

    added by passionsears
    Siamese Dream, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Oceania

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  42. 42
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  43. 43
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    The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, Amused to Death, When the Wind Blows ...

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  44. 44
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    Mer de Noms, Thirteenth Step, eMOTIVe

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  45. 45
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    Fly Like an Eagle, Book of Dreams, Young Hearts

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  46. 46
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    Point of Know Return, Leftoverture, Kansas

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  47. 47
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    The Original Soundtrack, Strawberry Bubblegum: A Collection of Pre-10CC ...

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  48. 48
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    Pink Flag, Chairs Missing, Send

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  49. 49
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    added by julian-matthias
    Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Images and Words, Metropolis

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  50. 50
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    The Grand Illusion, Paradise Theatre, Pieces of Eight

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