The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

72k votes 5.9k voters 212k views 194 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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  • 37 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1,661
    - 575

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,865
    - 592


    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,096
    - 653


    Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,002
    - 533


    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,099
    - 645


    Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  6. 6
    + 907
    - 530


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  7. 7
    + 952
    - 452


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  8. 8
    + 1,320
    - 534

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

    ;
  9. 9
    + 655
    - 281

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

    ;
  10. 10
    + 682
    - 482

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

    ;
  11. 11
    + 603
    - 443


    Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

    ;
  12. 12
    + 515
    - 222

    added by Bella70
    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

    ;
  13. 13
    + 785
    - 348

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

    ;
  14. 14
    + 640
    - 457


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  15. 15
    + 652
    - 479


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  16. 16
    + 388
    - 373

    often listed
    Classic rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

    ;
  17. 17
    + 523
    - 293

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

    ;
  18. 18
    + 561
    - 398


    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

    ;
  19. 19
    + 530
    - 409


    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

    ;
  20. 20
    + 411
    - 310


    Rock music, Heavy metal, Stoner rock

    ;
  21. 21
    + 391
    - 316


    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

    ;
  22. 22
    + 497
    - 473

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  23. 23
    + 368
    - 356

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

    ;
  24. 24
    + 467
    - 309

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

    ;
  25. 25
    + 457
    - 339


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  26. 26
    + 489
    - 335

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

    ;
  27. 27
    + 380
    - 333


    Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

    ;
  28. 28
    + 241
    - 267

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

    ;
  29. 29
    + 408
    - 283

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

    ;
  30. 30
    + 409
    - 361


    Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

    ;
  31. 31
    + 269
    - 317


    Rock music, Punk rock, Hard rock

    ;
  32. 32
    + 290
    - 303


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  33. 33
    + 344
    - 225

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

    ;
  34. 34
    + 279
    - 303


    Rock music, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

    ;
  35. 35
    + 267
    - 285


    Doom metal, Glam metal, Rock music

    ;
  36. 36
    + 284
    - 365


    Nu metal, Groove metal, Rock music

    ;
  37. 37
    + 231
    - 299


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  38. 38
    + 241
    - 199

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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 162
    - 228


    New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  40. 40
    + 181
    - 241


    Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  41. 41
    + 249
    - 246

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

    ;
  42. 42
    + 308
    - 399


    Nu metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

    ;
  43. 43
    + 276
    - 346


    Dubstep, Nu metal, Industrial metal

    ;
  44. 44
    + 235
    - 428

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

    ;
  45. 45
    + 224
    - 227


    Gothic rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  46. 46
    + 243
    - 357

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

    ;
  47. 47
    + 329
    - 279

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

    ;
  48. 48
    + 261
    - 326


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  49. 49
    + 209
    - 293


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  50. 50
    + 245
    - 227

    ranked low on reranks
    Progressive metal, Rock music, Power metal

    ;
195 +

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