The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

76k votes 6.1k voters 216k views 202 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Only hard rock artists. Pure metal bands like Sabbath, Maiden, Priest or punk bands like Pistols, Ramones belong on other lists

Hard rock is a genre that started with bands like Cream, Mountain, Steppenwolf, and Grand Funk in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and filled stadiums in the 1970s and into the 1980s. Hard rock bands are rooted in garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock and over time, hard rock has come to include elements of post-punk. That said, some of the greatest bands of all time are hard rock bands. Featuring iconic guitar solos, aggressive music and heavy drumming, top hard rock bands remain some of the most beloved bands in history and their songs continue to be played on radio today.

So, what are the best hard rock bands? Any top 100 list of hard rock bands has to include the likes of Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, AC/DC, Queen, Aerosmith, Deep Purple and Guns N Roses. These bands are considered among the best in hard rock and with good reason. They continue to endure and their songs hold up - even as new hard rock songs fight for space on radio waves. In the cases of the hard rock bands that have retired or long broken up, they continue to have fans, which is a testament to their staying power.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best hard rock bands. If you like hard rock and noticed that someone is missing from this list of hard rock bands, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best hard rock bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest hard 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 hard rock bands that you might've heard of.
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  • 38 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1,711
    - 597

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,908
    - 620


    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,135
    - 678


    Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,130
    - 680


    Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,038
    - 557


    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  6. 6
    + 933
    - 565


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  7. 7
    + 981
    - 476


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  8. 8
    + 1,360
    - 562

    ranked low on reranks
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  9. 9
    + 683
    - 294

    added by DukeArcher
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  10. 10
    + 704
    - 503

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  11. 11
    + 545
    - 237

    added by Bella70
    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

    ;
  12. 12
    + 625
    - 461


    Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

    ;
  13. 13
    + 812
    - 364

    ranked low on reranks
    Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

    ;
  14. 14
    + 663
    - 479


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  15. 15
    + 679
    - 503


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  16. 16
    + 548
    - 309

    added by HillaryBeckmanHarvey
    New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

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  17. 17
    + 408
    - 389


    Classic rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

    ;
  18. 18
    + 589
    - 413


    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

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  19. 19
    + 551
    - 424


    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

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  20. 20
    + 429
    - 323


    Rock music, Heavy metal, Stoner rock

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  21. 21
    + 405
    - 328


    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

    ;
  22. 22
    + 515
    - 495


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  23. 23
    + 384
    - 369


    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

    ;
  24. 24
    + 489
    - 320


    Blues-rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

    ;
  25. 25
    + 480
    - 350


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  26. 26
    + 509
    - 351


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  27. 27
    + 398
    - 352


    Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

    ;
  28. 28
    + 249
    - 283

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Heartland rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

    ;
  29. 29
    + 356
    - 235

    added by HillaryBeckmanHarvey
    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

    ;
  30. 30
    + 274
    - 335

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Rock music, Punk rock, Hard rock

    ;
  31. 31
    + 310
    - 311


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  32. 32
    + 421
    - 373


    Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

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  33. 33
    + 424
    - 293

    ranked low on reranks
    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

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  34. 34
    + 290
    - 315


    Rock music, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

    ;
  35. 35
    + 251
    - 211

    added by DukeArcher
    Pop punk, Rock music, Classic Punk

    ;
  36. 36
    + 254
    - 379

    added by HillaryBeckmanHarvey
    Rock music, Gothic metal, Alternative rock

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  37. 37
    + 294
    - 386


    Nu metal, Groove metal, Rock music

    ;
  38. 38
    + 239
    - 314


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  39. 39
    + 263
    - 257


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Space rock

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  40. 40
    + 193
    - 254


    Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  41. 41
    + 246
    - 446

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Glam metal, Industrial metal, Rock music

    ;
  42. 42
    + 276
    - 305


    Doom metal, Glam metal, Rock music

    ;
  43. 43
    + 238
    - 236


    Gothic rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  44. 44
    + 168
    - 241


    New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  45. 45
    + 325
    - 419


    Nu metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

    ;
  46. 46
    + 289
    - 365


    Dubstep, Nu metal, Industrial metal

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  47. 47
    + 177
    - 211

    added by DukeArcher
    Rock music, Anarcho-punk, Punk rock

    ;
  48. 48
    + 339
    - 292

    ranked low on reranks
    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

    ;
  49. 49
    + 217
    - 314


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  50. 50
    + 288
    - 324

    added by HillaryBeckmanHarvey
    Nu metal, Groove metal, Rapcore

    ;
203 +

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