The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

69k votes 5.7k voters 204k views 190 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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  • 35 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1,607
    - 544

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,807
    - 556


    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

    ;
  3. 3
    + 955
    - 504


    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,061
    - 608


    Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,048
    - 626


    Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  6. 6
    + 1,278
    - 505

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

    ;
  7. 7
    + 872
    - 507


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  8. 8
    + 916
    - 430


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  9. 9
    + 624
    - 262

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

    ;
  10. 10
    + 649
    - 462

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

    ;
  11. 11
    + 581
    - 423


    Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

    ;
  12. 12
    + 485
    - 207

    added by Bella70
    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

    ;
  13. 13
    + 752
    - 335

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

    ;
  14. 14
    + 629
    - 451


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  15. 15
    + 616
    - 429


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  16. 16
    + 495
    - 276

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

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  17. 17
    + 540
    - 379


    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

    ;
  18. 18
    + 510
    - 389


    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

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  19. 19
    + 393
    - 292


    Rock music, Heavy metal, Stoner rock

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  20. 20
    + 363
    - 357


    Classic rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

    ;
  21. 21
    + 485
    - 444


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  22. 22
    + 370
    - 300


    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

    ;
  23. 23
    + 353
    - 339

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

    ;
  24. 24
    + 447
    - 295

    ranked low on reranks
    Blues-rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

    ;
  25. 25
    + 441
    - 322


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

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  26. 26
    + 475
    - 311

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

    ;
  27. 27
    + 360
    - 312


    Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

    ;
  28. 28
    + 386
    - 267


    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

    ;
  29. 29
    + 259
    - 295

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

    ;
  30. 30
    + 394
    - 344


    Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

    ;
  31. 31
    + 223
    - 255


    Heartland rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

    ;
  32. 32
    + 266
    - 290


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  33. 33
    + 329
    - 208

    ranked low on reranks & added by HillaryBeckmanHarvey
    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

    ;
  34. 34
    + 266
    - 286


    Rock music, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

    ;
  35. 35
    + 274
    - 342


    Nu metal, Groove metal, Rock music

    ;
  36. 36
    + 262
    - 237

    added by HillaryBeckmanHarvey
    Thrash metal, Groove metal, Rock music

    ;
  37. 37
    + 255
    - 266


    Doom metal, Glam metal, Rock music

    ;
  38. 38
    + 219
    - 282


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  39. 39
    + 226
    - 185

    ranked low on reranks & added by DukeArcher
    Pop punk, Rock music, Classic Punk

    ;
  40. 40
    + 168
    - 224


    Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  41. 41
    + 149
    - 213


    New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  42. 42
    + 226
    - 403

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

    ;
  43. 43
    + 294
    - 377


    Nu metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

    ;
  44. 44
    + 232
    - 232

    ranked low on reranks
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Space rock

    ;
  45. 45
    + 265
    - 327


    Dubstep, Nu metal, Industrial metal

    ;
  46. 46
    + 232
    - 335

    often listed & added by HillaryBeckmanHarvey
    Rock music, Gothic metal, Alternative rock

    ;
  47. 47
    + 206
    - 217


    Gothic rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  48. 48
    + 311
    - 270

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

    ;
  49. 49
    + 201
    - 271


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  50. 50
    + 233
    - 245


    Horror punk, Noise rock, Nu metal

    ;
191 +

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