rock The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time

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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)

1
+ - 396 264
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock Experimental rock

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2
+ - 349 223
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop Electronic music

3
+ - 169 115
The Who is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Who Popular music, Pop music Rock music

4
+ - 313 295
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music New Prog

5
+ - 188 183
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
+ - 211 217
Queen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Queen Pop music, Rock music Heavy metal

7
+ - 221 212
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Velvet Underground Noise rock, Blues-rock Rock music

8
+ - 161 170
Yes is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Yes Rock music, Experimental rock Pop rock

9
+ - 150 159
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Genesis Rock music, Pop rock Soft rock

10
+ - 192 186
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
+ - 153 153
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
+ - 41 29
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Beatles Pop music, Rock music Pop rock

13
+ - 145 144
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul Spoken word

14
+ - 91 96
Electric Light Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Electric Light Orchestra Synthpop, Pop music Rock music

15
+ - 126 126
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock Heavy metal

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16
+ - 133 129
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Roxy Music New Wave, Rock music Protopunk

17
+ - 139 136
Arcade Fire is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Arcade Fire Indie pop, Alternative rock Art rock

18
+ - 79 79
Rush is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Rush Progressive metal, Rock music Heavy metal

19
+ - 112 128
Supertramp is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Supertramp New Wave, Pop music Rock music

20
+ - 136 144
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
+ - 90 97
The Moody Blues is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Moody Blues Synthpop, Rock music Acoustic music

22
+ - 33 25
Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Syd Barrett Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk Space rock

23
+ - 83 81
Television is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Television New Wave, Rock music Protopunk

24
+ - 23 13
Kraftwerk is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Kraftwerk Krautrock, Synthpop Electronic music

25
+ - 35 30
Kate Bush is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Kate Bush Synthpop, Pop rock Alternative rock

26
+ - 20 11
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music Psychedelic pop

27
+ - 82 87
Devo is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Devo Synthpunk, New Wave Synthpop

28
+ - 22 14
CAN is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
CAN Krautrock, Rock music Electronic music

29
+ - 27 23
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
+ - 18 13
Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Tangerine Dream Krautrock, New Age music Electronic music

31
+ - 64 75
The Alan Parsons Project is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Alan Parsons Project Pop rock, Soft rock Progressive rock

32
+ - 67 70
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock Art rock

33
+ - 73 70
Procol Harum is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Procol Harum Blues-rock, Raga rock Progressive rock

34
+ - 67 78
Emerson, Lake & Palmer is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Emerson, Lake & Palmer Rock music, Progressive rock Art rock

35
+ - 59 58
Laurie Anderson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Laurie Anderson Experimental music, Art rock

36
+ - 12 8
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band Blues-rock, Spoken word Garage rock

37
+ - 65 67
Bryan Ferry is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Bryan Ferry New Wave, Pop music Rock music

38
+ - 17 17
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Smashing Pumpkins Shoegazing, Gothic rock Alternative rock

39
+ - 82 107
Muse is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Muse Space rock, Rock music Electronic music

40
+ - 9 6
Sigur Rós is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Sigur Rós Shoegazing, Experimental rock Minimalist Post Rock

41
+ - 61 65
Jeff Lynne is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Jeff Lynne Disco, Pop music Rock music

42
+ - 19 19
Steve Lieberman is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Steve Lieberman Garage punk, Outsider music Heavy metal

43
+ - 49 58
Love is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Love Rock music, Garage rock Folk rock

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44
+ - 59 72
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Cars Bubblegum pop, Synthpop New Wave

45
+ - 9 8
Faust is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Faust Krautrock, Experimental rock Progressive rock

46
+ - 60 82
Kansas is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Kansas Heartland rock, Rock music Progressive rock

47
+ - 8 7
Porcupine Tree is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Porcupine Tree Progressive metal, Space rock Britpop

48
+ - 7 9
Neutral Milk Hotel is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Neutral Milk Hotel Indie pop, Psychedelic folk Rock music

49
+ - 54 72
Asia is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Asia Rock music, Arena rock Pop rock

50
+ - 9 10
The Flaming Lips is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Flaming Lips Rock music, Space rock Psychedelic pop